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Your Poodle is a jumper. You are constantly apologizing to visitors as your over-excited pup jumps all over them. Every time you pick up your dog's food bowl, the jumping starts as well. Like most dog owners, you are probably tired of the constant smack of your Poodle's paws on your legs. Poodles are very intelligent dogs and they will quickly figure out the best way to get what they want. If your Poodle jumps on you, it is likely because jumping gets them something they want, like attention from you or their dinner.
Training your Poodle to not jump requires them to unlearn some bad habits, but with consistent training, is not too difficult to achieve. It is best to start young when teaching a Poodle not to jump up on people. However, you can work on correcting this behavior at any age. The most important thing to keep in mind while you are working on this skill is consistency. You need to maintain the same rules at all times. If you don't want your Poodle to jump, you can never allow them to jump on anyone. Your one friend who says "I don't mind" when your pup jumps is as much a part of the problem as your dog's natural instincts.
Identify what prompts your Poodle to jump so you can be on guard to correct the behavior. Some dog owners find leaving their dog in a harness with a trailing leash in the house helps during the early phases of correcting the behavior, especially for pups who tend to jump on visitors. You can also carry treats with you to reward your Poodle when they avoid the temptation to jump.
The Sit or Stand Method
Stop rewarding jumping
The first step is to ignore your Poodle whenever they jump. When a dog is jumping, any attention encourages them to keep it up. If I have their attention, they think, I will eventually get the toy/food/pets I want. When your dog jumps, turn and walk away and make sure all of your guests do the same.
Reward all four feet on the floor
If jumping usually gets your Poodle what they want, they will probably keep at it. Don't respond, but keep an eye on them and wait for a break in the jumping. As soon as all four of their paws are on the ground, say "good" and give them a treat. Make sure the treat comes only if all four paws stay grounded.
Make sitting a requirement
After a bit of practice with four on the floor, move on to requiring your Poodle to sit to get the thing they are jumping for. For example, if your dog jumps on you when you have their dinner bowl, tell them to sit before they get their chow. Wait until your pup is sitting quietly and then reward them.
Help your pup succeed
In the early stages, too much excitement will probably make bad habits resurface. If your Poodle is around someone new or in an overstimulating situation, they will likely forget their manners and jump. Anticipate their behavior and tell them to sit before they start jumping. If they struggle with staying in the 'sit' position, use a harness to correct them until you get farther along in the training process.
Be patient and keep practicing
It may take a few weeks to see real progress with your pup, especially in older dogs with more ingrained habits. Remember not to scold your dog when they do jump, as this indirectly rewards their behavior. If you start to feel confident about your dog's behavior, you can purposefully add in bigger distractions to see if your Poodle will remember her training. If she struggles, go back to early stages and keep working.
The Prevention Method
Identify and avoid triggers
As you get started with this method, try to avoid situations which you know cause your Poodle to jump. For example, if your pup tends to jump on visitors, keep the dog in their crate or in another room until everyone is settled. Then bring them out on a leash and let them quietly say hello to everyone.
Teach a replacement behavior
Choose a command which is incompatible with the behavior you want to avoid: jumping. 'Sit' combined with stay is a good choice, or you can teach your pup 'stand-stay', which is a dog show trick. Require your Poodle to sit or stand quietly before you pet them or give them a reward.
Correct jumping before the jump
When you are using this method, you want to keep a close eye on the dog and use a correction method when you see them preparing to jump, not after they jump. You can use a collar correction, by putting your dog on a harness and pulling gently down or sideways when you see them start to jump. Or you can teach your Poodle "no" or "stop". However, you should always give these commands in a calm, but firm, voice. Yelling at your pup will only make them more excited and increase their desire to jump.
Reward your dog for not jumping
Whenever your Poodle sits or stands properly, give them a treat. Treating your pup consistently causes them to look up at you. This behavior translates to your dog looking to you for guidance when in a new situations instead of barreling into it at full speed.
Practice in a variety of situations
Once your Poodle gets good at using their replacement behavior instead of jumping, try practicing under other distracting conditions. Ideally, you should practice a couple of times a day for a few weeks so the behavior becomes automatic. When you see your pup start greeting people by sitting or standing and waiting for attention, you know you have trained your Poodle not to jump.
The Time Out Method
Take away the fun
In general, dogs love socializing. One of the reasons your Poodle instinctively starts to jump on people is the urge to socialize and play. In this method, you will use short "time outs" to show your pup that jumping means an end to the fun, while sitting or standing quietly invites attention.
Start at home
If your Poodle tends to jump up on you the moment you walk in the door, you can start training this method at your own front door. Open your door and if your dog jumps up on you, immediately leave your pup for a time out by walking away and closing the door.
Wait for a bit and then re-enter
Let your pup wait it out for 30 seconds to a minute. Then open the door and enter again calmly. The moment your Poodle jumps up on you, repeat the same actions as before and put them in a time out.
Repeat until you get an appropriate greeting
It may take a few tries for your Poodle to put it together that jumping is the cause of your leaving. Keep putting them in short time outs until you can enter the house without them jumping on you. Only when you get a calm greeting should you pet your pup as a reward.
Get some help
Dogs don't really have the ability to generalize, so you should have friends or family members help you with training as well. Have them enter and re-enter your house or put your Poodle on a leash and have your guests walk away from you when your pup jumps. With consistent practice, your dog should realize that jumping doesn't get them the attention they want, while a calm greeting does the trick.
Written by Christina Gunning
Veterinary reviewed by:
Published: 03/28/2018, edited: 01/08/2021