Along with the border collies, poodles are one of the easiest dog breeds to train, with immense capacity and drive to learn. Unsurprisingly, poodles are popular in circus performance over the centuries, and toy poodles are no exception. In fact, of all toy breeds, toy poodles often take the spotlight in obedience and agility shows. This is a sensitive breed that is believed to often outsmart his owners. The good news is that a toy poodle can be trained with simple tricks at home when introduced with proper techniques.
Apart from this breed having high intelligence and competency, training your tiny poodle is crucial to prevent him from developing small dog syndrome. This refers to various behaviours observed in small dogs acting as pack leaders to people rather than the other way around.
Introduce a reward-based training.
The appropriate timing of giving a reward during training leads to a confident dog in a domestic environment. Moreover, this can be classified as a positive interaction between the dog and the owner, which in turn strengthens human/pet bond.
Reward-based training is a method wherein good behaviour is rewarded accordingly. As soon as your poodle recognises that there is a pleasurable consequence for doing a certain behaviour, he is likely to repeat the said behaviour. On the other hand, bad behaviour should be ignored instead of doing any violent response.
Food is the most commonly used reward, although toys, praise, and play can also be effective depending on your dog’s preference. The trick is to find the right reward. You may try different food or use diverse techniques and see what your toy poodle really loves.
Start training with basic commands.
It is best to start training with the most basic dog commands. For beginners, it is best to use one-word phrases such as stay, sit, and quiet. All cue words should be introduced consistently with all family members using the same commands.
Be sure that the first command is fully grasped before proceeding to the next commands and other steps. Training sessions should not be longer than ten to twenty minutes. Bear in mind that a bored dog is unlikely to have any progress at all.
Find the right place.
Train your toy poodle in the right environment. Avoid places that are noisy or cluttered with things. Your dog’s attention should be solely kept in the task at hand. Select a quiet place with few distractions.
Learn how to handle boredom.
Intelligent dog breeds such as poodles are likely to get bored easily. Beware: it is quite fascinating how creative they can be in finding ways to make trouble. Leaving him alone at home is an example. He may find the opportunity to engage with destructive activities in your house and garden, which is one of the signs of separation anxiety in dogs.
The same goes for training. Training might easily bore your poodle. If this happens, you have to find other creative ways of teaching commands, or perhaps it is good to initiate a break from training.
Be consistent in training schedules.
Dogs are at their best when on a routine. If you decide to train your poodle either once or twice a day, do so every day at the same time. Remember not to keep training sessions too long. Keep a daily training session but not more than two sessions per day.
Be consistent in giving treats.
Ensure to keep small amounts of the favoured treat in a treat pouch during training. This is to keep yourself equipped and ready to reward your toy poodle for every executed dog command.
Further, as soon as your pooch has mastered the said command, consider reducing giving treats. Give rewards with intervals of every after fourth or fifth good action. This is to ensure that your dog will stay well behaved, keeping his attention in earning the reward.
Consistency in giving rewards includes your efforts to resist giving rewards for failed or poor behaviour. If your pooch is tired and is not performing his best, consider quitting training and resuming it the next day. It is important to praise or give rewards only when he deserves to receive so.
Toy poodle tricks
The following are some simple tricks with effective ways to introduce them:
- Hoop Jumping
Firstly, give the ‘sit’ command to your toy poodle. Whilst your poodle is sitting, hold a hoop in front of him and hold a treat on the other side of the hoop. You may use ‘jump hoop’ as a cue word. The goal is to teach your poodle to pass through the hoop to get the treat.
- Turn Around
Start by having your poodle stand in front of you. He should be able to see the treat you are holding in your hand. Repeatedly give the command ‘turn around’ to the poodle. Whilst giving the cue words, you should slowly lead the pooch in a circle. Do this whilst keeping the treat in front of his nose. Once the poodle successfully turns into a full circle, make sure to reward him accordingly. This should be repeatedly done in practice sessions, and remember to be patient.
Watch this dog training video:
If you do not have enough time to train your dog, it is best to enrol him in essential dog training such as obedience training. It is important to raise a canine citizen that can behave well even in the presence of other dogs. Apart from that, training is fun!