How to teach your pit bull to stop jumping on people

Video: Stop Dog from Jumping on People

Pit Bulls are notorious for being exuberant greeters! They love people and can’t wait to get lots of love, which usually means those front legs leave the ground in attempt to get as close to you as possible. They also may do this when they are excited about the food or toy you have in your hand. Unfortunately this behavior can not only be obnoxious, but also cause injury. So your Pittie needs to learn to greet people and ask for things he wants appropriately, and that means no jumping. Luckily, there are some easy ways to get your Pit Bull to stop jumping on people.


Why Your Pit Bull Jumps On People

Dogs are opportunistic creatures. This means if they can do something to get what they want, they will. And then that behavior will be reinforced and they will be more likely to do it again. So unless your Pit Bull is jumping on people out of fear or aggression (in which case you should seek a professional dog trainer for help), he is doing it because it gets him what he wants – attention, a toy, food, etc. The good news is that this makes it easy to stop the behavior. All you have to do is make sure your Pittie is not being rewarded for it. Then, give him another behavior to do instead that gets rewarded. Problem solved.

3 Steps To Getting Your Pit Bull To Stop Jumping On People

#1 – Stop Rewarding The Jumping

Every time your Pit Bull jumps on someone, that person needs to not give him attention! The best thing to do is turn around and walk away. Even if you shout “down,” “no,” and/or push him away – negative attention is still attention. The trick is that every single person, 100 percent of the time, needs to do this. One person saying “Oh, I don’t mind!” will make the behavior stronger. So insist upon your rules.

Video: How to Train Your Dog Not to Jump on People

#2 – Ask For A Conflicting Behavior

Most people ask for a “sit.” Your Pittie can’t sit and jump up at the same time. Then reward him for sitting by giving him the attention he was looking for. This can be petting, a toy, a treat, even his food dish! Anything your Pit Bull normally jumps up on you for, he now only gets if he is sitting. Pitties tend to be “squirmy,” when they are trying to be good but are having a hard time holding that excitement in. This results in whining, shifting the legs and maybe even raising a front paw while trying to stay seated. Be sure you wait for a calm, quiet, and still “sit” before rewarding. This takes some training and patience, but it will work because, as mentioned above, dogs repeat behaviors that get them what they want. For some really excited young Pitties, you may find a “down” works better than a “sit” because it’s harder for them to “spring up” from a lying down position.

#3 – Management

This is the last piece of the puzzle and it’s what you have to do while your Pittie is learning to sit for things, which won’t happen overnight. Since you can’t control everyone that meets your dog, some may pet him as he jumps up anyway. Or, your dog may end up in a situation that is just too exciting for him to remember his newly learned skills. In these cases, you need to manage the behavior. Keep your Pit Bull on leash so you can walk him away, step on the leash to prevent him from jumping, or put him in a different room to calm down and try again in a bit.

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