Teaching a Beverly Hills Pit Bull to Stop Jumping on People

By: David Codr

Published Date: November 2, 2017

For this Beverly Hills dog training session we helped a handsome 1 year-old Pit Bull named Pablo stop jumping on people and pulling on the leash.

Pablo had a few unusual quirks we chatted about along with dog training tips to help with them. We also went over the importance of providing rules and structure to help the dog feel comfortable and confident with his new family’s leadership.

Many people think a lack of rules is a way to show love or remove stress. But if a dog doesn’t have any rules, it can get the impression it needs to contribute to the group or lead it. Many dogs nominate themselves as the head of security. But as a dog behaviorist, I have learned that if the dog hasn’t been trained to be a guard dog, this usually leads to a number of dog behavior problems.

After showing the guardians how to add a small amount of structure or delayed gratification to daily activities, I wanted to address one of the main problems; jumping up on people.

Just like taking a car to a mechanic, Pablo decided to not display the problem when the dog behavior expert was present! If the family uses this technique the next time he starts being a jumping dog, it should greatly reduce or stop this dog behavior problem.

A few other things the family can try if Pablo continues his jumping behavior;

  • Turn their back to the dog immediately as soon as he jumps up.
  • Immediately leave the room the instant Pablo jumps up. Close the door behind them and wait for a few seconds before returning to the room.
  • Make sure no one in the family pets or rewards Pablo any time he jumps up.

His guardians can also put Pablo in a position to succeed when meeting new people by getting him a sufficient amount of exercise before he’s introduced to anyone new or asking him to sit first. Earlier in the session i shared a few different strategies to help Palbo practice sitting in various situations; petting with a purpose, passive training and rewarding the family’s longest child with an M&M every time she interacts with the dog in a positive way.

Teaching Pablo to sit for attention is easy but it will take time and practice. If the family encounters anyone on a walk in the mean time and are unsure how Pablo will react, they should redirect his attention or increase the distance between dog and human.

The Focus is a great exercise that will help them redirect Pablo’s attention. You can see how I teach a dog to focus by watching the video below.

Teaching a dog to focus is easy, but it also requires a lot of practice in short 45-90 second sessions sprinkled throughout the day. If everyone in the home can practice this exercise with 10-12 treats once a day, it shouldn’t take long before they get up to 20 seconds of focus on command. Once that is the case, they can give him the command any time they think he is about to jump or displaying any signs of stress or distress:

  • Staring (often with a lowered head)
  • Holding breath or breathing heavily
  • Freezing in place or suddenly moving slowly
  • Licking of the lips
  • Tail straight up
  • Hackles (hair along the spine) standing up
  • Yawning
  • Bearing lips or growling

Now any of these signs by themselves can just be coincidence. But if the humans see a combination or them or feel in their gut that something is wrong, immediately redirecting Pablo’s attention or increasing the distance between him and anything he is looking at can help stop jumping before it happens.

Its also a good idea to stop and ask the dog to sit instead of letting it pull on the leash towards anyone or anything. Putting Pablo into a sit, then waiting for him to settle before trying to walk forward again can help him develop better impulse control.

Id also like to see the members of the family take turns teaching Pablo new tricks and commands to help him see and respect their leadership even more.

We finished the session by doing some leash training.  Because we spent so much time inside going over basic behavior tips, we didnt get a chance to do as much work on walking with a loose leash as I wanted to. But I promised to share a link to a video that should help them get Pablo to stop pulling on the leash. You can find that video here.

Because we covered so much in the session, I had one of the members of the family film me summarizing things in a roadmap to success video you can find below.

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