No Jumping on People

Most dogs don't mean ill when they jump on people. Dogs often greet one another by touching noses. So it's perfectly natural for your dog to want to get as close as possible to the face of the person he's greeting.

However, most people don't like dogs jumping on them. Even a Toy Poodle can run stockings or leave dirty paw prints on nice clothes. Standard Poodles can cause physical injury with an enthusiastic greeting. That's why one of the most important manners to teach your dog is proper greeting behavior.

Greeting You Properly

The way to solve this good-natured, if annoying, problem is to teach your dog to greet people by doing something incompatible with jumping up, like sitting.

You can also satisfy your dog's desire to get to your face by crouching to the floor when you and your dog greet each other. Again, dogs repeat behavior that is rewarded. So if you want to teach your dog not to jump on people, don't reward the jumping behavior. Instead, reward the desired behavior, in this case, sitting.

If your dog jumps on you, remove all your attention. Even negative attention, like yelling at him, can be rewarding for your dog. Silently turn your back on your poodle when he jumps on you. Wait for the sound of his front feet hitting the floor, turn around, and ask him to sit. When he does, give him a treat. (It's important to keep treats in your pocket or near the door to teach proper greeting behavior.) Then, while he's sitting, greet him by crouching down so he can get in your face.

Question?

Is it okay if my puppy jumps upon me?

Don't let your puppy do anything now that you don't want her to do as an adult. It might be endearing when your little Standard Poodle puppy jumps on you, but it won't be quite as cute when she weighs more than fifty pounds.

If you say “Off” when he jumps, then reward him after he sits, he'll soon learn that “Off” means he should have all four feet on the floor. Before long, you might get a nice automatic sit when your poodle greets you, and you won't even need to say “Off.”

Greeting Visitors Properly

It's even more important that your poodle not jump on visitors. When you answer the door, put him on leash. (You can keep a leash near the door just for this purpose.) Since you have your dog's leash in your hand, you're able to stop your poodle from making contact if he tries to jump. Ask your poodle to sit. You can ask your visitor to crouch down to greet your poodle, if he or she is so inclined. Either give a treat to your visitor to give your dog, or give it to him yourself, depending on how enthusiastic you want your poodle to be about visitors.

Essential

Don't resort to old-fashioned techniques to try to teach your dog not to jump on people. These include grabbing her front paws until he's uncomfortable (some people suggest squeezing the paws so it hurts) or kneeing her in the chest. These punitive methods don't have a long-lasting effect, whereas teaching your dog to sit in greeting does.

Don't let visitors undermine your training efforts by giving your dog attention when she jumps on them. These folks mean well — they may not mind the jumping, particularly if the dog is small. But you need to be careful that your dog's jumping isn't reinforced, so instruct visitors to turn their back if your poodle jumps.

Jumping Up on Cue

If you don't mind your poodle jumping on you, but don't want him to jump on others, you can train him to jump on cue.

When you see that he's about to jump, pat your belly (or knee, depending on the size of your poodle) and say “Up” or “Hugs” or whatever cue you choose. Then reward him jumping on you by giving him a hug or petting him. When he jumps on you when you don't request it — this is important — turn your back and walk away. He should not be rewarded for jumping unless you gave him the cue. At some point, he should jump only when asked.

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