Case Study: Maggie the Standard Poodle

by Sascha Cox // August 2017

Case Study: Maggie the Standard Poodle

Maggie is a Standard Poodle who we originally met in January when she came along to our puppy class. Her owner Susie was struggling to stop Maggie jumping up on visitors (and anyone else Maggie could find) so we did our best to enable Susie to educate her on how to appropriately greet people. She flew through puppy class and when it was time for week 5, the jumping up had started to decrease but it was still an issue so we told Susie that consistency over time was the best way to effectively stop the Behaviour.

A few months later, Susie rang us again as she decided she would like to take Maggie to our Adult class in order to keep up her training. On week 1, Maggie bounded into the training hall and we braced ourselves for this big bundle of energy to jump on us. However, it never happened – Maggie simply ran up to us, wagging her tail and remaining completely on the floor. We were so pleased with the difference a couple of months of consistent training had made for Maggie and Susie.

As it turned out Maggie’s only other issue was that she WOULDN’T jump into the car, an issue we also worked on and seen great results with. Maggie’s story just goes to show that although we do a lot in our 5 weeks of class, homework is the most important part – the training must be carried into the real world and kept consistent for results to be seen. 

When we were training Maggie, we used the ‘Four on the Floor’ exercise whereby we stayed very still when Maggie jumped up and showered her with rewards when she either sat or kept all four paws on the floor. We started this in a very plain environment, with no distractions, and built up to adding toys, people walking past and the coaches excitedly greeting her. She learnt that no mater how excited she got, the most rewarding thing to do was to stay on the floor because jumping up led to no rewards. This was carried out consistently over time by Susie and her family and led to the massive change displayed by Maggie.

If you wish to work on your dogs jumping up, or any other training, give our team a call on 07715 654650 or email us at nidogschool@dogstrust.org.uk.