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You know that Rocky is soft as anything. In fact, your Pit Bull loves nothing more than lying on his back being stroked. However, that doesn’t mean he isn't large and strong. Actually, Pit Bull can be extremely strong, and Rocky also has a somewhat intimidating face if you don’t know him. As a result, when he runs and jump up, it doesn’t half scare some strangers and small children. If you’re old, injured or disabled then Rocky can also knock you to the ground when he jumps up. Training him to not jump, therefore, is extremely important.
Teaching this means you will be able to take Rocky to friends' houses without them looking worried or hiding around the door. It also means he won’t be able to jump up in the kitchen and steal food off the table and counter. Finally, training your Pit Bull to not jump could help you stamp out other bad habits too.
Training your Pit Bull to not jump isn’t as complicated as some people think. The first thing to do is introduce a number of deterrence measures. You can then start using obedience commands to increase your control and channel the dog's energy into something more productive. You will also need to create and enforce a number of boundaries.
If your Pit Bull is just a puppy then they should be fast learners. This means you could see results in just a week or so. But if your dog is older, with years of jumping and bad behavior under their collar, then you may need up to six weeks before you fully stamp out the habit. Succeed and you won’t need to worry when you leave food out on the table again. You’ll also be able to relax when a stranger comes over to say hello.
Before you and Rocky start working, you will need to get your hands on a few bits. A relatively short leash will be required. A deterrence collar will also be needed for one of the methods.
You may also want to stock up on mouth-watering treats. Alternatively, you can break the dog's favorite food into small pieces. Try to be as present as possible in the coming weeks to address any jumping swiftly.
Once you have all that, just bring patience and a pro-active attitude, then work can begin!
The Greetings Method
This method will tackle your Pit Bull's jumping when they meet new people and pets. The first thing to do is attach them to a short, training leash when you know they are about to meet a stranger.
Now place them on one side right next to you. You can also put your leg slightly across them like a barrier. By staying in front and in control like this, you are showing them you are pack leader and you will dictate how this meeting goes.
Let the person approach
Now keep your dog securely by your side and have the other person or pet slowly approach. Ensure they remain calm and stroke them gently. You don’t want to get them too worked up. If Rocky does get overly excited and jumps up, slowly pull back and start again.
If your Pit Bull does stay calmly by your side without jumping up, give them a treat or a toy to play with for a minute. If you use a clicker, you can also click now to signal to them that was the right behavior.
Now you just need to practice this several times a week. In fact, if you can do this every time Rocky meets someone they will soon understand that jumping isn’t acceptable. Instead you will have a well behaved Pit Bull who waits calmly with all four feet on the ground.
The Prevention Method
Is Rocky jumping up to try and get to food left on the counter? If so, either put it away or cover it. Leaving it there is simply too big a temptation to resist.
If your Pit Bull jumps up when they greet people, have them turn around and ignore them. If they say hello, giggle and stroke them then they will confuse Rocky. So simply turn away until they calm down.
If they continue to jump, try issuing a firm ‘NO’. While you don’t want to scare them, make sure you get your message across. Holding eye contact with your Pit Bull as you say can also help.
You can buy deterrence collars from a range of online and local stores. Simply hit the remote button whenever you catch them jumping and an unpleasant spray of citronella will be emitted. This will make them think twice before leaping into the air next time.
If they jump up on surfaces or furniture when you’re not around, you may want to consider tethering the dog to something. This will remove their ability to jump up entirely.
The Obedience Method
Rocky’s jumping shows they do not respect you as an owner or as your position as pack leader. So start taking them to group obedience classes. Not only will they see how to behave, but they will also learn discipline.
Spend a few minutes each day teaching your Pit Bull basic commands, such as ‘down’ and ‘wait’. This will assert your position as pack leader and increase your control. Rocky will then respect you more and be less likely to jump up.
Whenever you do see your Pit Bull sniffing around the table or a sofa as if they are about to jump up, call their name and tempt them away. To do that, use a high-pitched voice and hold out a treat.
As soon as the dog decides not to jump up and move away, give them a tasty reward and some verbal praise. This will get them associating not jumping up with positive consequences.
If you punish the dog when you catch them jumping up, you may make them aggressive. This aggression could become dangerous and you may end up with an even bigger problem than their jumping. So remain calm and use positive reinforcements instead.
By James Barra
Published: 03/29/2018, edited: 01/08/2021