How to Break Your Pit Bull Terrier’s Jumping Habit
As you have probably already learned, Pit Bulls are highly energetic animals. They love to run and play, and get excited easily. One of the more annoying habits they develop at a young age is jumping. Jumping can be particularly annoying when they do it as a way of greeting, especially if it is young child or someone who is afraid of dogs. Teaching your Pit Bull to curb this behaviour is not an easy task, but is your responsibility as a Pit Bull owner.
Many people have stopped their Pit Bulls from jumping on them by using treats. When they come inside, they throw some treats on the floor, and then greet their dog while his attention is fixed on the treats. The treats usually work as a good distraction to pull your Pit Bull’s attention away from jumping on you. If you don’t like using treats to train your Pit Bull, or if the method just doesn’t work well for you, then you have to try other ideas to train your Pit Bull not to jump.
One thing you can try is teaching your Pit Bull that it is nicer to sit than jump. Go outside, leaving your Pit Bull inside, then come back in and calmly greet him. If your Pit Bull starts to jump on you, turn your back to him, and ignore him. When your Pit Bull puts all four feet back on the floor, turn back around and pet him. If he starts to jump on you again, turn back around and ignore him. This will teach your Pit Bull that when he jumps, he doesn’t get any attention, but that if he sits nicely you will pet him. This technique may take quite a while for your Pit Bull to learn, especially if he is a very excitable dog. But, if you stick with it long enough, he should learn that jumping is not going to gain him anything other than losing your attention. Once you get your Pit Bull thru this step, try to teach him to sit still for a few moments before you acknowledge him. If he gets up, use the same routine of ignoring him, and then when he sits down, pet him again. This would also be a good time to try to teach him to shake hands when he greets people, rather than jumping on them.
You can also further entice your Pit Bull to not jump by tempting him and then rewarding and praising him for his good behaviour. Hold treats up in the air so that your Pit Bull will have to jump to get them. If he jumps, ignore him, and when he is calm try again. When he is able to remain seated, praise him, give him the treats, and some extra attention. He will soon learn that by behaving the way you want him to, he will not only get extra attention, but some extra treats as well, which is double incentive for him to obey.
Another method that tends to work well in teaching your Pit Bull not to jump is to have a designated place for your Pit Bull, and teach him to go there when you need him to, for example, when someone is at the door. To start this training, you will need to pick the spot, and put maybe a bed or blanket and some of his favourite toys there. When the spot is ready, spend some time with him while he is there. Giving him special attention and treats will help him attribute the spot as a good place that he wants to spend time at. As your Pit Bull becomes accustomed to his place, start sending him there occasionally. At first, you will want to be close to the spot, and eventually move farther and farther away from it as your dog learns. Make it a point to give him special attention and treats each time he goes to his spot when you ask him to. Eventually, your Pit Bull will learn that by going to his spot when you ask him to, that you will reward him for it.
The biggest thing you can do to help your Pit Bull learn not to jump is to keep your own greetings calm. I know it is hard when you have been away from him all day not to come in and play and wrestle with him, but this will only get him more excited, and he will expect this same attention from everyone that enters the house. Until you can completely break the jumping habit, it may be best to ignore him for the first few minutes you come home, and then play with him once he settles down. It may take a little time, but your Pit Bull will soon learn how to tone down his excitement.