How can I calm my high-strung poodle on first meetings?

asked 2016-12-05 10:18:40 -0600

I have a very loving, non-aggressive, non-biting (never bit in his life) standard poodle. I cannot stress this more; however, when we do meet-and-greets with other dogs, he turns into Ricochet Rabbit. I have tried everything, even training! He's often around other dogs, dog parks, etc. But it does. Not. Help.

What he does is he'll bark when he meets a new dog, hops around, runs in a circle, is a bit jumpy, and in the end, these first meetings I suspect hurt my booking chances. Ugh! What can I do? It usually takes him an hour or two to get past his excitement.

Or is Rover just not for me? It is extremely disappointing because I love dogs and really wanted this to work.

Has anyone been in a similar position?

**Note: I do mention my dog's disposition in my profile, too. Of course, I'm not sure if anyone reads the profiles. And the weird thing is, his best dog pal is a 13-year-old sheltie! Those two are inseparable. I just wish everyone else could see that side!

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answered 2016-12-05 13:59:34 -0600

Okay, I am going to answer my own question.

Since my dog is highly food-oriented, I decided to keep treats on hand, and rewarded him for each time he gave me his attention. Worked like a charm. ALSO, I tried another suggestion I read on another post and suggested to the client that we first take our dogs on a brief walk together. Golly, it worked like charm! So, go for that five minute walk when you introduce your pups during the first meeting!

Thought that might be useful for someone in a similar situation.

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answered 2017-02-23 21:11:44 -0600

Yes, the key is getting your dog into a relaxed state of mind as much as possible before the meet-n-greet. Even playing a good game of fetch for 30 minutes before your meeting can make it easier for your pup to listen to your commands. Couple that with positive reinforcements of treats when he listens to your commands, and your pup will be awesome! If anything, addressing your pups training needs and looping your client on things that you're actively working on will show them how dedicated and attentive you are to dogs' needs :)

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answered 2017-02-24 16:02:42 -0600

Yes, as above answer states, get the dog VERY tired if possible before visit. Warn, as you say in your profile, about the dog's disposition. Emphasize the non-agression, vs excitement, in arranging the meet and greet. It may be more prepping the sitter than your dog. Make sure the dogs meet for the first time outside the house, Allow lots of time for the greet and have the dogs walk along side each other outside for a while before entering the house. This is kind of a non-threatening way of introducing them. Good luck!

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