Poodles are Perfect!

For those of you who haven’t lived with a Standard Poodle, you’ve been missing out on a great experience. Just look at this dog! He settled in for a nice chew on his favorite rawhide, using his little buddy as a cushion. See his expression? He’s saying “what!, why you looking at me like that? Grant doesn’t mind!”
Casper is so smart. Tonight, Ron was putting a banana in his lunch box and he turned and pointed it at Casper and said ‘bang!’. Casper gave him the look and the eyeroll ‘0k bub, I know you want something…what is it? ‘ So he did a sit, then a down, then I rolled him on his back and said ‘good ‘bang’ and Ron gave him a treat. We did that once more and on the third ‘bang’ he laid down and rolled onto his side. That is REALLY fast learning!
Why would you want to teach your dog to play dead on the command ‘bang’? Well, it IS kind of cute, but more importantly, its a great way to give small people a tool to get dog into a submissive position without having to do anything physical. Think about it. That’s huge!
About 15 years ago I went to a seminar at the Vet college in Saskatoon. Ian Dunbar, a puppy specialist, was lecturing for three days. Dunbar, who has a PhD in animal behaviour and was originally a practicing Vet had quit his practice to focus on working with vicious dogs. After some time doing that he came to the conclusion that the vast majority of vicious behaviour could be completely eliminated if dogs were raised properly and well socialized from puppy hood. From then on, his entire practice became focused on teaching people how to train and socialize puppies. He talked a lot about non violent, non physical ways to train dogs and the importance of teaching children to handle dogs and of teaching dogs to handle children! Years ago, I taught Puppy Kindgarten classes with the local dog club and, believe me, we really used his teachings.
What brought all this back was a week or so ago one of Grant’s young friends came over to play. He was scared of Casper. Casper loves kids and is very trustworthy with them but poor little Jack wasn’t used to dogs. Especially dogs that weigh 20 pounds more than him and can look him in the eye. If we had put the ‘bang’ response on command, that would have been a helpful tool for Jack to start feeling like he had some control over this big galoot. As it was, I just kept them apart which deprived all parties of some real fun. Oh well, we’ll polish up this playing dead routine and hopefully Jack will enjoy his next visit quite a bit more.
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33 Responses to Poodles are Perfect!

  1. G says:

    Haha, that’s a great picture. You certainly do know dogs! It’s sweet of you to think of ways to not make Jack so afraid. Tali was bit by her uncle’s dog (Scissors’ side πŸ™‚ – really just graised the skin, but she was afraid of dogs until pretty recently.

    So that bang trick sounds pretty good.

  2. Kyahgirl says:

    g- You should have seen the smirk on Ron’s face when he said ‘wait til we tell Elly (the breeder) we taught Casper to bang with a banana!’ Wicked, wicked man.

  3. zydeco fish says:

    I love standard poodles, but I have to admit that I am not fond of the usual topiary fur treatment.

  4. neva says:

    that Casper’s a charmer… and a clever one, at that. so now i’m wondering what would happen in Ron had said “bang” while holding Mr. Banana, instead of a real one. hey, maybe Gina should send him up there so we can find out…?

  5. Mailyn says:

    How cute!!! Love your doggie!!!! πŸ™‚

  6. Doug says:

    Casper has a real toy’s expression, doesn’t he?

    I tried training Walela. She took away the banana and pistol whipped me.

  7. quilldancer says:

    I had a dog once that trained that easily. A well-trained dog is a joy to be around. Usually they are loving and trustworthy.

  8. jan says:

    Poodles are so smart it’s sometimes scary. Life with a standard Poodle is like living with a teenage honor student.

  9. weirsdo says:

    I am so delinquent in sending Lobsterlela that I feel embarrassed to comment, but the mailer is now addressed, so even I should be able to get to the post office with it soon. . . .
    That is one bright looking dog. Good for you for getting the word out on socialization. It is so much harder with dogs than with cats, I find, probably because so much of the dog’s psyche is invested in group dynamics.

  10. Kyahgirl says:

    zydeco fish-that’s the first time I’ve heard it referred to as a ‘topiary’ treatment. That’s perfect. I don’t care for it either but the fancy/goofy one is required for show dogs. I think the plain cut we give him makes him look like a regular dog πŸ™‚

    neva-that’s an interesting thought….mr. banana might be scared to death though!


    Doug-that Walela! I always suspected she was the supreme commander. still waters run deep.

    quilly-you got that right πŸ™‚

    jan-that’s a good description…a teenaged honour student with big springs in their legs!

    weirsdo-I don’t want you feeling bad about Lobsterlela. We’re in no rush at all!
    Dogs might be more work than cats but they sure are a joy to live with. (I like cats too, they are just different).

  11. Dusty Doggy says:

    I’m only half poodle, so I guess I’m just half-perfect.

  12. tsduff says:

    Casper has the longest most huggy looking arms! Cute cute pic. Dusty – never admit to anything. πŸ™‚

  13. Kyahgirl says:

    Dusty Doggy-but you are a saint, putting up with all your humans and other animals so that makes up for it!

    terry-yeah, he’s a good cuddler!

  14. actonbell says:

    Aw, Casper sounds precious, and that’s a fantastic pic! We have friends who have a standard poodle, and they’re very happy about it, too.

  15. Tickersoid says:

    My poodles are now almost completely wild, which is a pity because they have potential. I’ll have to house them in the garden shed until daughter decides she wants to be more involved with them or get rid of them.

  16. mig bardsley says:

    That’s a brilliant idea…Nutmeg needs some serious training to stop him jumping up at people..mind you, people need some even more serious training. It drives me wild when I say please don’t encourage him and they say “Oh I don’t mind I love dogs come here pet and lick my face”!!! GRRRR!

    Caspar is beautiful! I love standard poodles too. Best possible dogs (after boxers and idiot-who-is-always-in-the-way and may be some sort of Kelpie dog πŸ™‚

  17. ames says:

    Your dog is gorgeous!! Do you trim his hair yourself?

  18. Miz BoheMia says:

    Very cute indeed! And HUGE for a poodle! We used to hav one of the small ones when I was a kid and, well, I could relate to the funkified hair when she wasn’t trimmed and had her afro! WOOH! ;-P

  19. Monika says:

    That si really quick leanring and we do have a poodle too. Granted, two versions smaller but I adore her. I have never met a more loyal dog, i think!

    Poodles rock!

    she is white too and really hard to see in teh snow now πŸ™‚

  20. The Phoenix says:

    That’s not a full poodle, is it? It looks like part Lab in that picture.

  21. Meow says:

    Caspar is a gorgeous dog.
    What a wonderful photo, too.
    Hope your weekend is going well.
    Take care, Meow

  22. IDV says:

    Will Casper play dead if you just point a banana at him without saying Bang?

  23. IDV says:

    Hi, btw. Sorry it’s been a while. I hope you’re all ok x

  24. Barngoddess says:

    beautiful dog! I have to confess, I have never known a standard poodle before but Ive known lots of miniatures, my dad’s teacup ‘daisy’ being my favorite. It nearly ended us all when she passed from old age last winter 😦

  25. Casper is a VERY GOOD DOG. And yes, I know and agree that our poodles are the BEST DOGS and SMARTEST dogs out there. I taught my guys to “scoot” when they are sitting on my spot on the couch, my side of the bed, or in the driver’s seat in the car. “Scoot” means to get out of my way, I am going to sit there. I didn’t use any treats, no rewards, nothing. Just “scoot”. Now whenever I say the word, the offending dog moves over – no hesitation, no fuss. They are the best dogs ever. I just can’t say enough good about them. And you are so right on the early training and socialization. I totally believe that there are no real bad dogs out there, only bad owners. Yay for Casper and Yay for poodles everywhere. POODLES RULE.

  26. G says:

    Heh heh Neva. Just let me know Kyah, if you want to try the Mister Banana trick. I could have him up there before the weekend πŸ™‚

  27. Kyahgirl says:

    actonbell-Thanks! They really are a treat to live with if you don’t mind big dogs.

    Tickersoid-you’re in a tough spot. its not easy looking after someone else’s animals. a bit constraining!

    mig -you’re right about people being the problem Mig. In the time I spent doing training I’d say that the dogs were mostly ready and willing to take direction and the people didn’t have a clue how to give it!

    ames-yup, I sure do. I even have a post on it if you want to see it: here

    Miz B-hi, you know what? the big ones are actually the original breed πŸ™‚

    Monika-see, you know exactly what to say, that’s why we’re friends πŸ™‚

    The Phoenix-you bet, he’s a total poodle. πŸ™‚ Maybe he looks a bit like a lab because the way I have his ears trimmed?

    Meow- For a cat person you have good taste in dogs!

    IDV-hey, he might eventually. you can teach dogs silent cue too. But dang, I don’t know if I want him reacting to random banana waving! And btw, I like to see you anytime, I know its hard to get around to all the blogs!

    Barngoddess-I’m sorry to hear about Daisy. it really hurts.

    schnoodlepooh – I guess I’m preaching to the choir eh? πŸ™‚ Good job on the ‘scoot’ command!

    G-well, maybe we’ll try it with Lobsterlela when she gets here. Who knows, there could be a whole new world of activity for the former NG4J performers!

  28. grannyp says:

    my first ever dog was a standard poodle. Wonderful animals – but not always bright. Mine always thought she was a hunter. Wrongly. Nearest thing she got to catch a mouse was sitting on it. (And then getting up to see what was wriggling underneath.) Don’t think we got far with training her. Oh but she was lovely.

  29. logoΓ’β€žΒ’ says:

    That is a fine looking man you have there.
    Ariella is very impressed with his choice of lounging positions. She likes those little cushions as well.

  30. Kyahgirl says:

    grannyp-I’m glad you enjoyed her πŸ™‚

    logo-Ariella and Casper have the best of all worlds!

  31. ariel says:

    I didn’t think much of poodles until we got that black middle sized one, he was smart and so polite, and totally sweet, too. πŸ™‚

    Casper learns more than fast!

  32. Barb says:

    Hey there, wow I can’t believe it has been this long since checking up on you, took me awhile to catch up.

    Love the Casper picture and really miss my poodles…

    I am glad your Mom is better, what a scare eh.

    I am glad you are enjoying your retirement!! as if you can retire with kids and pets but now at least you will be able to spend more time with the family. After all that is the important things in life. Take care, Barb

  33. L-girl says:

    I love that photo!!

    And I love Ian Dunbar’s work. Since I lived with and loved with all my heart a dog who people thought was viscious (and who was, in certain situations), and I know it was from his early abuse, I am so grateful to Dunbar and others like him.

    Standard Poodles sound like German Shepherds in that regard – so damn smart. And without all that shedding! (Lucky you!)

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