Poodle Obedience Training
When you set out to obedience train your poodle, you will need a training collar and lead. The training collar is a snug collar that fits over the poodle’s head with no more than an inch of clearance. The poodle should only wear this collar during training sessions. Training sessions should last no longer than ten or fifteen minutes, lest the poodle become bored or frustrated.
There are five obedience commands that your poodle should master.
Sit should be the very first command that your dog learns. To teach your poodle how to sit, position it beside your left leg. Hold the lead in your right hand. Gently push the puppy’s hindquarters down with your left hand while gently pulling up on the leash with the right hand. At the same time, say firmly, “Caramia, sit!” (Always use your dog’s name before a command.) When the poodle sits, pet and praise it lavishly.
The maneuvering of the puppy’s body should be done gently. Your goal is to ease the pup into a natural position, not beat it down with excessive force.
Practice this command several times over the next few days. Your poodle should get the hang of it in about a week.
This command is harder to teach, since the puppy naturally wants to be where you are. Start out with the puppy in the “sit” position. Hold your palm out like a police officer directing traffic and take a step backward. At the same time say, “Caramia, stay!”
If the poodle stays, give it praise and affection. If it follows you, don’t offer any praise. Simply return it to its original position and try again. Gradually step back further and further, until you can call, “Caramia, stay!” from fifteen or twenty yards away and the poodle will obey you.
Heel is a relatively easy command to teach because your puppy wants to be with you. Start this lesson with your dog in “sit” position at your left side. Start walking, left leg first, exert a gentle pull on the leash, and say, “Caramia, heel!” As long as the poodle stays at your left foot, praise it and make much over it. If it moves off in another direction, stop the praise and start the lesson over.
It should be noted that the gentle pull on the leash is to get the dog moving, not to drag it around the yard. If the pull on the leash doesn’t work, clap your hands together or slap the leash against your trouser leg to get your puppy’s attention. Then try again.
Down is another relatively easy command. Start with the poodle in sit position, then pull down on the lead gently while saying, “Caramia, down!” When your dog lies down, give it love and praise.
The poodle’s natural love of people makes this one a relatively easy command as well. Start the lesson by opening your arms to your puppy and calling, “Caramia, come!” When the poodle obeys, give it plenty of love and praise.
Practice that a few times, then put your dog on a long lead and and call it to come to you. If it obeys, praise it. If not, give the leash a firm tug to get the pup moving in your direction and repeat the command. (Never drag the pup to you–you could injure its neck or back.) If the pup comes to you, praise it.
Keep practicing until the poodle obeys your command to come no matter where you are or what it’s doing. Never call your poodle to you for punishment or anything else unpleasant. If the dog knows to expect pain when it comes to you, it will quickly unlearn this command.
Many owners like the idea of poodle obedience training, but are far more worried about poodle potty training. The next article offers some ideas for housebreaking your poodle quickly and easily.