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How to Train a Poodle (8 Great Tips and Tricks)

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By Nicole Cosgrove

white standard poodle on a leash

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The Poodle is one of the most intelligent dog breeds out there, but you have to take the time to train them properly.

Just like training any dog, there are a few tips and tricks that can make everything a bit easier for you when you’re trying to train your Poodle.

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The 8 Great Tips and Tricks on How to Train a Poodle

1. Use Positive Reinforcement

Poodles are sensitive dogs, and if you want to effectively train them, you need to stick exclusively with positive reinforcement. It encourages your dog to do what you want, and your dog wants to listen to you.

Make the training sessions fun and avoid any type of punishment. This will make your Poodle want to hide certain behaviors, and they’ll actively start to avoid and escape your training sessions.

2. Stay Consistent

a happy red standard poodle on grass
Image Credit: Diana Kellior, Shutterstock

If you want your Poodle to know that you’re serious about training them, be consistent with it. If your Poodle doesn’t realize that you’re trying to train them or you don’t do enough to let them know what to expect, you won’t get the results that you want.

Try to stick with the same time of day, the same location, and the same training techniques. Give your Poodle time to figure out what’s going on, and make it a rewarding experience. Before long, your Poodle will be reminding you when it’s time to go train!

3. Start Simple

Many owners get frustrated with their Poodles because they want them to do the coolest and most elaborate tricks right away. While Poodles are smart and can learn more tricks than many other dog breeds, that doesn’t mean you get to skip the simple stuff.

Teach them their name, to sit, and to lie down. These commands come in handy in everyday dog life and during training sessions. Once they learn the basics, they can progress to more advanced training techniques.

4. Find a Unique Treat

Merle poodle licking a woman's hand
Image Credit: RebeccasPictures, Pixabay

You want your Poodle to want to listen to you during training sessions. So, get them a unique treat that you only use during this time. Do your best to ensure that it’s their favorite treat.

If they’re not getting anything better at other times, they’ll want the treats from the training sessions. This will give them extra incentive to try to figure out what you want as quickly as possible.

5. Use Short Sessions

Your Poodle doesn’t have the longest attention span, so a training session that lasts too long won’t be beneficial for anyone. Aim for 10-minute-long sessions. Try to have at least 5 minutes in each training session, but don’t go over 15 minutes.

This is ideal for your Poodle’s short attention span and will have them eager to come back to the training session the next time that you’re ready. You can do multiple training sessions per day, but try to space them out so your dog has plenty of time to rest between each one.

6. Avoid Frustration

poodle on a leash
Image Credit: AV_Photographer, Pixabay

Your Poodle can pick up on your feelings, and if they feel that you’re frustrated, they won’t want to be there. We understand that it can be challenging trying to teach your dog something, but if you feel your annoyance starting to shine through, go ahead and take a break.

Frustration can significantly set back your training process, and it’s better to cut a few training sessions short instead of trying to push through. Just ask for something super easy and give your dog a treat, then move on to something else for a while.

7. Always Reward Good Behavior

If your dog is listening to what you’re telling them, you need to reward it every time. This is especially true during training sessions, but even outside of training sessions, you should give them a reward for doing something well. This lets your Poodle know that they’re doing something that you want, and it gives them the incentive to do it again. However, we do recommend using a different treat than what you use during training sessions.

8. Praise, Praise, Praise!

Moyen Poodle Side VIew
Image Credit: Lisjatina, Shutterstock

Dogs live to please, so this one is worth repeating. When your dog does something that they should, give them plenty of praise. It’s completely free and goes a long way in ensuring that your Poodle continues to do what you want them to do.

If you don’t keep reminding them that you like a specific behavior, they might choose to stop displaying it, and you’ll have to return again to re-train some steps of the training process, so make sure to keep going!

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Now that you know more about how you should train your Poodle, all that’s left is for you to find the perfect treats and schedule your first training session. With consistency, time, and patience, you’ll have a well-trained Poodle that impresses all your friends!


Featured Image Credit: evgenii mitroshin, Shutterstock

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