How to train a one year old male pitbull

by Earline Bower

I am looking for advice on how to train a one year old male pitbull. He is a rescue dog. He was found by some neighbors, I ask them if they did not locate the owner to please bring him back to me.

I also have a 4 yr old boxer. They became friends right off the bat. He loved my kids and took to my home as it was his own. I did turn him over to the shelter to do the right thing. waited the allotted time. No one claimed him. we got him back.

Of all the dog breeds I have had there are only 2 I have never raised and this is one. He is so far well mannered. when we walk him he walks with you.

My concerns are:

1. How do you control the rough play he has? I know he is playing, but he is aggressive.. When I stop him, it hurts his feelings he goes away then he comes back and like nudges me to like say I am sorry.

2. Jumping on people? How to control it? So far it is only on family, i just want to get it now before he gets too comfortable.

Gale's Reply:

Hi Earline:

It sounds like you've rescued a wonderful pitbull who really wants to please you. I think a little basic obedience will go a long way in covering the concerns you've expressed.

Even if you only teach him to respond to the "sit" command--obeying the command would be incompatible with both rough play and jumping up. And, you get to reward him for obeying the sit rather than scolding him for undesirable behavior. Here's an article on teaching your dog to sit with a clicker.

And, here's another article specific to your question about jumping up.

Training can be a lot of fun for you and your dogs. If you want to extend your dog's obedience repertoire, look for an obedience class based on positive reinforcement. Alternatively, if you'd rather train at home I recommend Canis Clicker Training as a comprehensive home study course.

Good luck. Feel free to post back here if you have other questions.

For more information on obedience training, visit our Pit Bull Training page.

For help with behavioral problems, check out our Dog Behavior Training page.

Comments for How to train a one year old male pitbull

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Mar 06, 2011
Training your Pit Bull
by: Joy

Pit Bulls are very intelligent. Training should be very easy. The best command for jumping on people is "Off". Training with a clicker and some treats works great. Another really good command that you may want to use for the rough play is "leave it". This command works great for a lot of things.

Good luck with your new friend.

Mar 06, 2011
new pit to family
by: Anonymous

think of it this way a pit bull is like a child with a.d.d and a.d.h.d be stern with you wants and needs from your friend but always with love and praise when he do's things right love love and more love pit bulls just want to make you happy hes learning your ways but still having the ways of his previous owner those old ways will fall away when he learns what you want so always stay consistent with how you want him to act they train fast praise him with love when he gets things right if he gets hipper or jumps when you praise him stop say no and walk away he will come to u and when hes calm praise him he will learn u fast and your wants fast love love love

Mar 06, 2011
New male pit to family
by: Copper's Buddy

First off congrats on your new family member! He'll reward you greatly for giving him a good home. As far as the rough play goes I use time out for my pit by removing him from the room. Then I give him a quiet toy or treat to play with while he relaxes. When he's calm, I let him go back in the room. When Copper jumps on people I tell him down or floor. Maybe these will work for you. Good luck with him

Mar 06, 2011
What a lucky dog!
by: Cindy

Welcome to the incredibly rewarding experience of sharing your life with a pitbull! My best solution for jumping up is to turn away from them it's worked for my three dogs. I also never acknowledge them when I come home and they are excited, I walk past them and then love them when they have calmed down a bit. I also never rough play with mine, no tug of war that sort of thing. He will ease right in once he gets use to your ways! Give him lots of love!

Mar 06, 2011
Clicker training allthe way
by: Kerri

We adopted a 2 year old female from the shelter last year. Not knowing much about her past we enrolled her at a training class at the local PetSmart. The clicker training was great. She picked up on it immediately and we still practice all the time. It was very much worth it, both for her and us! Now we don't even need to say the words, she responds to the hand signals on their own!

Good luck with your boy!

Mar 06, 2011
by: scott c

i was where you are two years ago with a pit puppy i rescued that was tied to a tree in a neighbor's back yard and left alone... never imagined owning one, and now cannot imagine life without him. my experience with deebo:

smart, incredibly unique dogs - i've never known a dog so eager to please, quick to learn. must be with humans, affection overload, endless energy - i suggest draining daily with walking, back yard play, etc. train when drained. Kong dog toys and rawhides keep mine busy and not chewing anything else. neutering mellowed him out/easier to manage/train. i follow cesar milan's method of exercise, then discipline, then affection, especially with deebo. i gain much insight from his shows re: making sure i'm the pack leader.

Deebo tends to play rough if i don't nip it in the bud - timing is everything with training - the second deebo gets too rough, i give him a "no rough!" command and now he obeys without further roughness. it's always there though - this is the strongest, most powerful dog i've ever known...but their innate desire to please facilitates training and proper behavior. overall, lure training has worked the best for deebo.

to keep deebo calm around visitors coming to my home, i practiced with friends many times, having them ring the doorbell/knock and enter over and over. i made sure deebo was calm/submissive before the doorbell and sitting far from the door, with me between him and the door. if he got excited or stood up when doorbell rang/friend entered, i'd correct immediately and start over. if he behaved, he received a training treat. two years later and we're still working on it sometimes.

watch the interaction with your boxer - i have a dobie, yellow lab, and pom mix - deebo joined the pack successfully as a pup and after 9 months, he decided he would scrap with my dobie over a Kong toy when we were playing in the back yard and i've had to keep them separated ever since. ugly, bloody fights. separating a pit from another dog is hard work. i had to research this thoroughly. dogs usually fight over food, toys, their master. i regret not thinking and involving the toy that day. many experts suggest never leaving a pit alone with other pets - i concur.

many pits are not dog friendly but, like deebo, they never meet a human stranger. he goes to work with me and loves riding/meeting folks - exposing him to as much as possible so nothing excites/frightens him. other than the problem with dobie, deebo is one cool, laid back kid at two years old with some training, socialization, and a few tricks under his belt. but it's been a daily, involved challenge... and it's worth every moment.

Mar 06, 2011
by: Bully Breed trainer

First off, THANKS!
Surely this dog would end up dead at the shelter without you.
Shelter life for pits:

He will love you and your family to the bitter end.
It's OK if he walks off feeling/looking sad.
Give in to this and he will learn to manipulate you, just like a child who manipulates with tears.
Accept his apology, though =)

Watch Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer correct his big dogs, he "shuush"s them with a quick nudge -correction.

Most people make the mistake of backing up when they get jumped on. In the dog world, this is a submission and makes the dog the leader. YOU be the boss.
Walk into his jump, knocking him down.
With my 2 yr old female, I add the following;
I grab her by the collar and say, "NO JUMPING."
Gauge whether this is needed with your new boy, or not, by how he responds to you walking into his jump.

Regardless of breed, in every litter of puppies, there is an array of personalities. For me, I am guessing I rescued the Alpha pup. She probably bossed her litter mates around.
She is dominant with other dogs, and won't back down from a challenge. (The Dog Whisperer can show you the subtle communication of dominance between dogs on his show, on the national Geographic channel. Or, you tube some Dog Whisperer videos.)

In every litter, you have the Alpha, the runt, the playful one, the submissive one...etc. I don't know which one your pit-boy is.
Where the Alpha pup needs a stern correction, the submissive pup would only need a slight look of disapproval and they'd shape-up at the mere sight of dissatisfaction from their owner!

Hope this helps.

Aug 30, 2011
what worked for me
by: troubles mum

Hiya, this is just a short answer to the pit jumping up on your family untill the dog learns obedience, put yourself inbetween your pit & the person and say a stern no, that way you are letting the dog know that you are in charge & will protect anyone who comes into your home, also the best thing for the person to do is while you are inbetween them stop when the dog is down you leave from inbetween them the person should then ignore the dog while talking to you on the way to sit down, but each time your pit jumps up you get inbetween them and say no then go on keep doing this for as long as it takes even if its all the way from front door to seat also when the dog does get down when your inbetween after saying no and walking away say good boy/girl & good on you for taking the dog in you won't regret it, just read up on the breed, on sites like gales which is amazing, welcome to the wonderfull world of pit bulls :). I got the method of getting inbetween dog and visitor from watching cesar millan.

Feb 02, 2012


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