Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I respectfully request advice to eliminate or minimize risk of my dog causing me potentially permanent injury, as in losing a body part.

Dog is a male red moyen poodle age about 8 months, whom I'll call "M." M has a lot of energy and is a loving, affectionate, and exceptionally fun family member. This family comprises sum total M and two adult humans. Home is moderate sized, w/moderate sized private yard. Quiet neighborhood except two fences border families who sometimes use their yard, which causes M to bark. M's claws and foot pads far exceed normal proportions for a dog of his size and 35#, exacerbating this problem. AFAIK M is the quickest and hardest cornering dog I have ever seen. He is so quick my eye and head can not follow him.

There are two conditions wherein M strikes me in the groin. Earlier, from mid-Feb when we got him till about May, M jumped on us more frequently than now. He randomly struck one or both body parts when jumping. IIRC such strikes caused less injury than the current problem. Also IIRC, I started holding him away and doing what I could to minimize such strikes. Several weeks, probably more than a month went by without a strike.

The current and more recent problem: the height of M's head just happens to exactly equal that of my groin area. We face each other, and wham! He suddenly raises his right paw, punching said L body part. (Do dogs favor L or R paw, like humans are L or R handed?) The quickest athlete in the world could not defend him or herself from such strike, lightning fast and without warning. I have worn a leather apron but it's uncomfortable and short term partial remedy at best. Needless to say this must end, with a long term fix.

We planned on social training @ PetSmart, but such was another Covid casualty. Our vet told us that lacking social training with other dogs, M thinks he is a human (apparently one with limited verbal skills but infinitely superior athletic capacity).

For personal and confidential reasons, my SO and me must minimize risk of Covid exposure resulting from interaction with a trainer or other dog owners. Such would be last resort only, and we still might avoid it if it was the only option. We'd require a ton of trust to give him up for private training.

Thank you for sharing my burden on this sensitive subject.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,671 Posts
Oh, poodles.

The breed is incredibly handsy (pawsy?) and this doesn't surprise me too much, but it obviously has to stop. I'd start by treating it like puppy biting. All interaction ends when it happens, even if that means stepping over a baby gate so he can't try to make a game out of it. You can try acting really dramatic and hurt when it happens, which works for some dogs, but others think this is more exciting, so it's a case of figuring out if that's the appropriate approach for your pup. If pained noises seem to excite your dog and you (understandably!) can't stop them from happening when he does this, I'd honestly invest in a sports cup. Not as a permanent solution, just as extra protection while you're working through this.

The other thing I'd do is teach him paw-related tricks. I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but hear me out. Stuff like shake, high-five, paw targeting, etc. gives you more control over their feet, and you can enforce that he doesn't get rewarded for pawing unless you specifically cue one of the behaviors. It's also a 'legal' outlet for this behavior. I do think there's some studies that support dogs being right- or left- pawed, btw, but don't quote me on that - I haven't done any in-depth research or anything haha.

Lastly... I hate to say it, but I think you have a standard poodle. Moyen/klein/mellom poodles are not very common in the US, and some breeders use these words to market dogs that are actually standard/mini mixes, not from European moyen stock. The tallest a moyen should be is just under 18" at the shoulder, and it sounds like your dog is already well above that and will probably get taller, given his age and the size of his paws. I have a "mini" poodle from one of these breeders (well, secondhand, he's a Craigslist rehome) who is actually in the moyen size range (16") and we strongly suspect has standard in his pedigree, since his mother was supposedly a toy and his father supposedly a mini. Once you start mixing poodle sizes, the results in terms of size can be kind of unpredictable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,826 Posts
This sounds like excited jumping up or pawing at you, which is a very common puppy problem. Dogs will often jump up on their humans asking for attention. They want to be closer to your face, but sometimes there is....unfortunate casualties in this happy behavior. You must teach your dog that you will gladly give him attention, but that attention must be on your terms and he must behave properly to get it.

My dog was also a terrible jumper, and I had great success with simply turning away from him when he lifted his paws off the ground. I ignored him and kept turning away until his paws were back on the ground, and in order to get attention they had to stay on the ground. If he resumed trying to jump up after he was calm and I gave attention, I would repeat the ignoring process. I did get scratched up a bit, but it only lasted a week or two until he finally understood that jumping up or any sort of pawing at my body was NEVER going to get him attention. It also helped that I was training this in the winter, so when I walked in the door and he got excited, I was already wearing some pretty heavy clothing!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
From time to time this is unavoidable. But I have [body parts] of steel. Dogs just bounce off and look dazed.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top