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Getting a puppy out of a bad habit

(41 Posts)
Midnightblue Tue 05-Dec-23 08:22:04

Close friends of ours came to stay recently with their 9 month old cavapoo.

He’s a very needy little dog wanting constant attention. I suggested they take him to their bedroom at night to keep him calm (DH wasn’t impressed, he’s not a particular dog lover).

When he is awake, and he doesn’t seem to sleep much, he demands attention by jumping up and biting, not hard but annoying as it is constant. We didn’t invite our dgds as they wouldn’t have liked it. If he’s put in another room on his own for a while he gets very upset. Our friends can’t leave him at all for the same reason.

He’s hard to let off the lead as he jumps up at any other walkers. I have a friend who has the breed who does the same jumping up and biting thing. I stopped going round for coffee as the dog was so distracting, and now, several years old, the dog still does it.

Is it a problem with this particular breed? Our friends have always kept a dog and have trained them very successfully, but they’re struggling with this one.

Any tips?

Also, when visiting, is it reasonable to expect your dog to be able to sit on the furniture? Obviously dog owners often like their pets next to them at home, but our friends were very put out and argued a bit when DH banned the dog from our furniture.

Whitewavemark2 Tue 05-Dec-23 08:26:30

First - your house, your rules.

Second. Training classes

Third- talking to a vet - she reckons all these different crossbreeds have been done so purely with profit in mind and not with care to personality traits etc. I think she has a point.

Aldom Tue 05-Dec-23 08:30:47

May I suggest watching chanel 5 at 6pm. Graham Hall, Dogs Behaving Badly. Graham soon sorts out similar problems to the one you describe. I've seen him do it several times. A very interesting and informative programme for dog owners.

Midnightblue Tue 05-Dec-23 08:39:43

I agree about the crossbreeds. The friends have kept pure breeds before. They’ve taken the puppy to classes and say he did ok there and have stopped taking him. I don’t think they discussed the jumping up/biting with the trainer.

I’ll let them know about Dogs Behaving Badly, and watch it myself.

sodapop Tue 05-Dec-23 09:06:17

I most certainly would not allow my dogs on other people's furniture, unless of course they were dog lovers and happy with that. Very entitled behaviour.
I agree about watching Graham Hall for training ideas although I think time scales are reduced for TV.

NfkDumpling Tue 05-Dec-23 09:40:00

He may be better when he's neutered. They're clever dogs and he will push to be top dog. Neutering may help calm him (at least that's what I've heard). Also, if he did well at training classes why did they stop? He probably enjoyed the stimulation. Perhaps agility training or fly ball to use up some of that energy?

foxie48 Tue 05-Dec-23 10:25:54

Separation anxiety is horrible for the dog and no better for it's owners. There's lots of help on the internet (eg Battersea Dogs home have a helpful site) I do think the mix of King Charles Spaniel (lap dog) and poodle (clever but some are very nervous) can lead to issues unless they get good consistent training but tbh despite being a dog lover I won't have a badly behaved dog to stay and I only take my well behaved dog to places where I know he is welcome.

Oldbat1 Tue 05-Dec-23 10:45:58

Cockapoos look very sweet especially as a puppy. They have yet to reach the “teenage attitude” stage so attending a training class should definitely be a must. I have dogs but would only take them to family and again we dont allow dogs unless family dogs. One of mine (rescue) can be taken anywhere as he is so good but we dont.

Esmay Tue 05-Dec-23 11:01:06

I agree with Whitewavemark on this .
It sounds as though this dog has unfortunately inherited negative traits from the breeding .
I know two sisters with Cockerpoo dogs from different breeders .
One is a complete nightmare and the other a pleasure to own .

OldFrill Tue 05-Dec-23 11:22:43

Dog Training and Behaviour Solutions: The stress-free way to live in harmony with your dog

Best book ever. Graham Hall does telly the authors of this book do responsible dog training.

grandtanteJE65 Wed 06-Dec-23 15:16:32

If I were you, I would simply tell my friends that they are welome, but only if they come without their dog, until it has learned not to bite.

Why on earth do so many people keep dogs these days, who have no idea how to train them?

In my childhood, a dog was allowed to bite once, but was reproved, and steps were taken to prevent whatever had scared or annoyed the dog occuring again.

A habitual biter was put down, before any real damage was done.

And no, you are not unreasonable telling the dog and its owners that in your house dogs lie on the floor at all times, and neither sit, nor lie on sofas or armchairs. Nor do they beg at the table or jump up at people.

Yes, all right, I know I am old-fashioned, but at 72 I have the right to be.

Tenko Wed 06-Dec-23 19:46:23

Regarding the jumping up and biting , the dog needs training . Either classes or there’s loads online . I’ve always had dogs and training isn’t just a 6 week session of classes . You have to be consistent and as they reach adolescence and become teenagers you sometimes have to back to basics . I now have a 20 month lab and have put in the work but occasionally he goes deaf , so the training is a constant thing. Luckily labs are food driven.
With the separation anxiety, again you have to train them to be comfortable being left alone , which takes time and patience.
Your friends might benefit from a dog behaviourist ,as the biting , jumping up and neediness sounds like attention seeking . but again you have to put in the work at home .
Regarding the dog on the furniture at your house, absolutely not , your house , your rules . My boy is allowed on the sofas at home but definitely not at someone else’s house . He sits or lies on the floor. Also if we’re going to someone’s house , i ask if he’s welcome and if not I leave him at home .

watermeadow Thu 07-Dec-23 19:31:36

All little dogs jump up and all puppies bite until they are taught not to. It’s nothing to do with their breed.
Cross-breeds are a wonderful fight back against dogs bred with terrible deformities to suit a ‘Breed standard’. German shepherds with hip displasia, pugs and bull dogs who can’t breathe, cavaliers with in-built heart disease and all the many others bred for the show ring and doomed to ill health.

icanhandthemback Fri 08-Dec-23 11:24:20

We had this. Basically every time the dog jumps/bites, get up and walk away. When they approach you and sit, you say, "yes" and treat. The important thing is to say absolutely nothing until they do the right thing. Dogs are like children; even bad attention is attention.

We had a behaviourist/trainer out to our house and it was the best £50 we spent. He watched what our dog did and showed us how to sort it. He only used positive reinforcement but it was amazing how quickly the dog learned once we learned! I have also had well behaved dogs for years but some of the old ways of doing things just did not work for this one.

Your friends also appear to have an anxious dog so they need to work on separation anxiety. There are loads of resources on t'internet to assist in this. Just make sure that whatever they use, it is positively reinforced. I found something online which told me to keep moving from room to room staying in each room for less than a minute. The dog followed me round until it realised that nothing exciting was happening so began to just stay where it was. Gradually I built up the time I was out of the room and treated when I came back in. Similarly I built up time for crate/pen training and now she feels safe whenever we have to go out. She sleeps there overnight and wherever we go, we take the crate so it is home from home.

bytheway Fri 08-Dec-23 11:37:35

I have a Cavapoo (aged 4) and can catergorically say she does not bite (apart from the usual puppy biting which ended at about 6 months) or jump up at people. So, no, it’s not all crossbreeds or this breed in particular.

However, they are needy dogs who suffer from separation anxiety but that is something we had to work hard on and after a few months training at home, leaving her for very short periods then building them up we are now able to leave her for 4 hours ( which is generally considered the max amount of time to leave any dog alone) She also attended puppy training classes for 6 weeks, so learnt the basics and more.

All dogs needs training in different areas. Cavapoo’s are generally gentle dogs, and I think their good/ cute looks mean they can get away with behaviour that others may not…but that’s down to the owner.

MayBee70 Fri 08-Dec-23 12:00:31

My latest whippet was very full on as a puppy and she’s the only dog I’ve ever had that has been allowed on the sofa ( being retired I wasn’t as strict with her as I’d been when my dogs had to fit in with my lifestyle).And that’s where she was at her stroppiest. After going to several dog training classes until I found one that suited her I found that if I put her collar and lead on she would immediately calm down and go into a more what do you want me to do mode. 9 months is puppy adolescence time when they forget what they’ve learned and rebel against everything. Although she’s allowed on our sofa we take her ‘blankie’ everywhere for her to lie on on the floor. I don’t really understand separation anxiety. The first time I heard of it was when someone I knew bought a second dog because the first one suffered from it. They thought it would cure dog number one but ended up with two dogs with separation anxiety.I think it’s very complex and very difficult to cure. Puppies minds are formed in the first few weeks of life and a good breeder will do things in those 8 weeks that result in happy confident dogs. Winnie’s breeder takes her dogs out and about, car trips, visiting friends etc when they are tiny. Because of retiring and lockdowns etc I’ve never left our latest dog alone with full access to the house but the rare occasion that she has been left she goes into the kitchen where she has an open crate as there’s nothing she can destroy there. I always give her a special treat but she never eats it till I return!

sazz1 Fri 08-Dec-23 12:17:21

We bought a cockapoo from a person in Wales. When I picked her up she was shaking all over. I didn't realise that meant she hadn't been socialised properly or had much contact with people. Was ok as a young pup but latched on to my OH and gradually 'protected' him from everyone in the family including me. Would run at people snarling growing and barking and try to chase us out of the room. DD and baby DGD living with us at the time so v dangerous. Spent nearly £200 on behaviourist - no improvement at all. We rehomed to a single person through a rescue where she's bonded and doing extremely well. It's all down to socialisation as a young puppy and the temperament of the mother, breeder and any other dogs around. The mother dog teaches bite inhibition to her pups, and teaches them not to bite hard. This dog is young so training may help OP.

icanhandthemback Fri 08-Dec-23 12:18:49

Puppies minds are formed in the first few weeks of life and a good breeder will do things in those 8 weeks that result in happy confident dogs.

The next 4 weeks are as important too because that is generally when the socialisation skills are learned from their siblings which is why a good breeder will not let their puppies go until they are 12 weeks old. If you do take on a puppy at 8 weeks, you have to work doubly hard at socialising it which often gets missed because they aren't allowed out and about due to needing their vaccinations. I really think there should be strict laws about when puppies should leave their first homes.

Jess20 Fri 08-Dec-23 12:19:07

I've got a ' needy and anxious' cockapoo. She's 5 and we still do a lot of training so we can ask her to do something rather than tell her not to do whatever is annoying. She understands 'no' and stops what she's doing immediately despite never having been scolded or told off, she sits and waits for the next instruction. Always wants to please. She's a delight and everyone (almost) likes her. While she doesn't need hours of exercise like a previous springer, she still needs a lot of stimulation and company - these intelligent doodles are known to be Velcro dogs so not the right breed to automatically expect self sufficiently. My springer could be left a few hours easily, my Labrador up to 3-4 hours but it's taken years to get my cockapoo to be happy being left for a couple of hours. It's partly a breed thing. Loads of training is the best way forward, with a proper trainer so you don't reinforce bad habits by accident. Trouble is, it's not your dog. If you ask people to leave a dog like this at home when they visit they probably can't. Could they bring the dogs bed? Maybe put it beside or on the sofa? Or a big thick towel to sit on? My little dog is happy to sit on a towel on my lap for example. Asking the dog to behave differently to normal in an unfamiliar or stressful place like someone else's house isn't fair on the dog unless some serious training has gone into it. The biting sounds like the puppy was taken away from the litter too soon.

Ilovedragonflies Fri 08-Dec-23 12:56:34

I have a 6 year old cavapoo who appears to not be the norm going by above comments. He was crate trained when I got him as a puppy and I kept it up. The door is always open and he takes himself off there to bed when he wants to sleep. He's never bitten because when he was teething I gave him toys to help and diverted him before it started. He's extremely clever, knows and obeys several commands which I taught him by praising him when he did the right thing and ignoring what he did wrong. He thrives on praise.

He has never been off leash even when we walk over the fields opposite, not because I don't trust his recall but because I don't trust other dogs. There have been so many times when out of control, enormous dogs have bounded over to us and ignored their owners, meaning I've had to hang on to their collars at times. He's very sociable and loves to meet them (and their owners, once they've caught up!) The fields drop down to a major A road and I wouldn't take the risk - lots of dogs have lost their lives on it because owners haven't been able to stop them. He loves everyone and, unless they indicate for him to, doesn't jump up to greet them (but does get underfoot in his desire to be petted).

He's not perfect; if I go for a shower/bath/visit to the loo and close the door, he'll tip the bin over in the lounge and glare at me when I come out again but strangely, he doesn't do it when I leave the house. He'll also scarf dropped food and doesn't make the connection that doing so will give him a dicky tummy - same goes with things he finds on our walks, if I don't spot it in time, it's in his belly.

But he's perfect to me.

Ilovedragonflies Fri 08-Dec-23 12:59:57

Sorry, I meant to say that if you gently stop the puppy from doing things you don't want it to by diverting its attention, a cavapoo will learn very quickly what it can and can't do. They're very intelligent and want to please.

Iam64 Fri 08-Dec-23 13:02:38

I’ve loved my cockapoo and hug labradoodle. They taught me more than any other dogs I’ve lived with. I’ve also fostered poodle crosses for the charities who rehome these dogs.

Cross two sensitive, intelligent dogs and expect you’ll need to join and commit to well run training classes - months not weeks. They’re prone to separation anxiety, nipping, jumping up. Most behaviours can be improved.
Watching Graham Hall on tv won’t help the OPs friends . They may get a condensed idea of simple training techniques but, training needs to be consistent, calm and a 24/7 activity,

icanhandthemback Fri 08-Dec-23 13:27:14

^ Watching Graham Hall on tv won’t help the OPs friends . They may get a condensed idea of simple training techniques but, training needs to be consistent, calm and a 24/7 activity,^

I totally agree with this statement!

susz Fri 08-Dec-23 13:53:06

While training may help I am afraid this is a 'poodle' thing. My parents had a standard poodle, he was adorable - to us - but he could never be left on his own and was pretty grumpy to other people and dogs!

Libbee Fri 08-Dec-23 14:02:36

We have a Cockerpoo who is coming up to 6 months of age. We love him very much but he is manic. Full of energy and very intelligent, won’t listen to commands, barks at everything and shreds his toys and any paper he can find. Took him to puppy training, wasn’t interested. All he wanted to do was play with the other pups there. Take him out with his lead on and he kangaroo hops all the way there and back. Talking to other owners of this breed, found out that this is standard performance for them. It takes years for them to calm down. I read somewhere that one lady said 7 years. He is very loving, loves his cuddles but can be very naughty. Wouldn’t change him though.