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Your Pit Bull puppy has boundless energy. With such a little pup, you don't mind them jumping up on you when you come into the house. But in a few months, your puppy won't be so little anymore and with the bad press surrounding Pit Bull, your dog could easily scare a guest. Pit Bull are playful and they often show their enthusiasm by jumping up on people, so training your puppy not to jump is important for a well-behaved adult dog.
Puppies are eager to please, so training your Pittie not to jump should be easy if you start young. Your puppy is jumping on you because, in the past, doing so got them the attention they wanted. During training, your goal is to show your pup that jumping doesn't get them what they want. It should only take a couple of weeks for them to get the hang of it.
When training your Pit Bull puppy not to jump, make sure to set firm boundaries for your puppy. Jumping can't get any reward, from you or your guests. Even if your guests say they don't mind the jumping, attention from them will just make your job more difficult. You should do a short training session at least once every day, but keep in mind to practice the skills whenever your puppy jumps.
The Orderly Greetings Method
Pick a spot for your Pit to wait for you
Like most puppies, your Pit Bull probably meets you at the door by jumping up and down and trying to make their little tongue reach your face. For this method, decide on a spot near your door where you want your Pit Bull to wait until you are ready to greet them.
Politely ignore your pup
If your puppy begins jumping on you when you come in the door, politely, but pointedly, ignore them and walk them back to their spot.
Make them wait for it
Tell your puppy to sit when you reach their spot. If they follow you, return to the spot and repeat your command. Keep doing this until your puppy actually waits on the spot while you walk away.
Invite them over
The first few times you try this method, don't make your Pit Bull puppy wait too long. Go sit down right away and then call them over. At this point, you can give them all the loving they deserve.
Be consistent and keep working on it
Each time you come in, go through the same routine. Tell your Pit Bull puppy to sit in their designated spot and go about your routine until you are ready to greet them. As they get better at staying put, you can extend the amount of time you make them wait before you invite them over. The goal is for your Pit Bull to realize that sitting and waiting gets attention, while jumping gets no response.
The Hands Up Method
Give your puppy time to miss you
Go outside or into a room where your Pit Bull puppy can't get to you and wait a few seconds so your pup has time to miss you. You want to recreate their feelings when you first come home after a long time away.
Ignore your pup
Walk back into the room where your puppy is. When your Pit Bull starts to jump on you, stop moving, look straight ahead, and pull your hands up to your chest.
Wait it out
You will need to hold this position until your puppy stops jumping on you. If they are used to getting attention for jumping up, this may take a little while. Do not acknowledge your puppy until they stop jumping.
Calmly reward your Pit Bull
Once they stop jumping, look at your puppy immediately and mark the action by saying "good" or clicking your clicker if you are using it for training. Then calmly pet your puppy. If she gets excited again and jumps, repeat the steps.
Keep working with your puppy
As you work with your Pit, their puppy brain will begin to recognize that jumping doesn't bring them the attention they're looking for. When they start to get the hang of the new behavior, require that their paws never touch you before you give them attention. Then, only give attention if they don't jump at all.
The Sit for It Method
Make sure your puppy knows the basics
Practice 'sit' and 'stay' with your puppy a bit before beginning this method to make sure they have a good grasp on these basic commands. You will use 'sit' to redirect your Pit's energy, since they can't jump while also sitting.
No paws on me
When your puppy starts to jump on you, move out of their way so your Pit's paws never touch you. Then turn away from your puppy.
Tell her to sit
Turn so you can still see your puppy in your peripheral vision and then give the command to sit. Do not look directly at your puppy or turn back around until they sit.
Get on the pup's level and give some love
As soon as they sit down, turn back, kneel down, and calmly pet your puppy. Try not to get your Pit Bull all riled up again, but make sure they know they did good. Kneeling down is important because it shows your puppy when they can expect attention.
Repeat as needed
If your puppy starts jumping on you again once you kneel down, stand back up and repeat the same steps. Be consistent and repeat the same series of actions whenever your Pit Bull puppy tries to jump on you. Over time, consistency and repetition will teach your furry friend how to greet you politely.
By Christina Gunning
Published: 03/20/2018, edited: 01/08/2021