Trying to manage your pit bull’s rambunctious behavior on the fly can feel impossible. If your Pit Bull, also known as a Pitbull or Pit, seems to have endless energy you’ve likely struggled to find ways to calm him or her down. Having a list of proven methods to help modify your pit’s hyperactive behavior can make a big difference.
What are some of the best ways to calm a hyperactive Pit Bull? You can calm a hyperactive Pit Bull in the following ways:
- Ensure your Pit Bull gets up to 45 minutes of daily exercise, and rather intensive exercise at that
- Consider a fenced-in yard or a long leash so your Pit can run around outdoors and exhaust himself
- Wear down your Pit’s energy faster with a weighted doggy backpack
- Ignore behavior you want to curb such as jumping up, whining, and barking when your Pit wants to go play outside
- Engage your Pit Bull’s mind with a hidden treat toy or puzzle
- When your Pit is quiet, reward them for it
If your Pit Bull is running circles around you and your family, then this is one article you’re not going to want to miss. In it, I’ll talk about what causes the Pit Bull to be so full of energy and elaborate on the above ways to calm your hyperactive pit bull. Keep reading!
Why Is Your Pit Bull Hyperactive?
When you adopted your Pit Bull puppy, you probably weren’t too surprised to find he had boundless energy. You figured this was something your new puppy would eventually grow out of as he got older.
As your pet pit bull has matured though, his energetic streak hasn’t calmed down in the slightest. He still wants to run, play, and romp all day and all night, and you simply can’t keep up.
Why is your Pit Bull so full of energy? It’s a trait of the breed. The Pit Bull is close in ancestry to the Terrier. These dogs are much beloved for their tirelessness and tenacity. That drive to move and do things all the time has carried over to the Pit Bull as well.
It’s ideal if you know about the Pit Bull’s tendency for hyperactivity before you adopt your dog. This way, you can ensure you’re offering your pet dog the right kind of environment to tamp down the excessive energy.
For instance, a Pit Bull doesn’t don’t tend to do well in small apartments, as he might feel cramped. Most Pitbulls need lots of space to run around and play.
He also requires daily exercise, which I’ll discuss more in the next section.
Failing to provide space and exercise for the Pit Bull can make him destructive. In his boredom and need to burn off some energy, your Pit will look for whatever’s closest that he can play with. That might be your new pair of leather loafers on the shoe rack, or perhaps it’s the nice couch you bought two years ago.
Your pup won’t really care. He has to do something, so he’ll chew, rip, and wreck your house, leaving it in tatters.
Ways to Calm a Hyperactive Pit Bull
Some Pits get calmer about a year in, others after about two years. Counting down the days until your Pit Bull matures and calms down can take seemingly forever.
Also, there’s no guarantee that your Pit will become more relaxed a few years in; some dogs are just naturally energetic and it would take them entering seniority for a big decrease in energy.
For your sanity and the benefit of your Pit Bull, you need to learn the ways to calm him down today. Per the intro, here are some methods to try ASAP.
Exercise Your Pit Bull Every Single Day
To keep him from ripping up the house, you need to engage your Pit Bull in physical activity daily. Yes, I said daily.
Trust me when I say that even if it’s raining or snowing out, your Pit would still want to go outside. The weather isn’t going to put a damper on his energy like it might yours. If it’s a yucky day outside, then you might wish to play inside, which is another good reason to raise a Pit in a house over an apartment.
When you exercise your Pit, it needs to be for at least 30 minutes, ideally 40 or 45 minutes. Light exercise won’t suffice if you want your Pit Bull to calm down, so think beyond a quick leashed walk around the block. Walking your Pit around the whole neighborhood is more what he needs.
Dogs can get bored with their routine just like we people can. With so many fun activities you can do with your Pit Bull, there’s no need to only walk them day in and day out. Try exercising in these ways as well:
- Playing with other dogs, such as at home in the yard or at the dog park
- Frisbee catching, as the Pit Bull can jump surprisingly high when given the chance
- Agility training, which involves your Pit completing a preset obstacle course that will demand the most of his physical abilities and stamina
- Fetch, a classic game your Pit Bull quite appreciates
- Tug-of-war with a rope toy so you can feel the extent of your Pit’s strength
- Running instead of walking, which is much more demanding and thus right up your Pit Bull’s alley
Exercising together every day will tire your Pit out, but you’ll experience other benefits too. Your relationship with your pit bull will improve and you’ll be healthier as well!
Give Your Pit Bull Plenty of Space to Play
Listen, some days you’re going to be on the brink of exhaustion, barely able to keep your eyes open for your professional responsibilities, let alone your personal life. I get it, as every pet parent has been there.
On those days when you don’t want to engage in physical activity with your Pit Bull, you still have options to help him burn off some of his energy.
You can buy a 50-foot leash for your Pit and let him roam and explore while you stand in generally the same area. He’ll love the sense of freedom he has, even though that freedom is just an illusion since he’s still connected to a leash.
Your other option is to take your Pit Bull to the dog park so he can play with other canines. The fellow pups at the park will surely help tire him out so you don’t have to!
Put a Weighted Doggy Backpack on Him
Here’s another smart solution for those days when you’re lacking the stamina to walk miles with your Pit. He can use up his energy going a shorter distance if you put a weighted doggy backpack on him. Try this Cesar Millan dog backpack for medium-sized dogs on Amazon.
I would recommend consulting your vet before using a weighted backpack on your Pit Bull. You also want to check the weight requirements of the backpack to ensure it’s a good fit for your dog’s size and weight. Don’t weigh him down too much or you could cause injuries.
Don’t be surprised if your Pit wants nothing to do with wearing a weighted backpack at first. To help him acclimate, put the backpack on for five minutes, then 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, and so on.
You don’t want to rely on the weighted backpack too often, but a few times a week shouldn’t hurt.
Ignore Hyperactive Behavior
Here’s a situation that I’m sure is all too familiar to you: you’re busy at home trying to get a dozen things done. Your Pit Bull comes up to you and begins subtly whining.
When that doesn’t work, he starts barking, then maybe pushing at you or jumping up at you just so he’s sure you know he’s there.
You get annoyed, and so you leash up your Pit and take him out. Well, guess what this teaches?
That if your Pit aggravates you enough, you’ll give him what he wants. So of course he’ll continue with his bad behavior because it gets you to stop what you’re doing and take him out!
The next time your Pit starts misbehaving like this, just ignore it. If it helps, you can turn your back to your dog. He’ll probably start whining or barking harder for a moment, then he’ll be quiet as the realization dawns on him that his old tricks aren’t working.
If your Pit is jumping up on you to get you to take him out, ignore the jumping. Don’t even look at your dog. He’ll get down and won’t leap up again because it’s not producing the desired effect.
Once your Pit Bull has quieted down and is on all four feet, you can address him again. If he starts right back up, ignore him until he’s calm.
Although hyperactivity is in his nature, the unwanted behaviors that can accompany your Pit Bull’s need for exercise do not have to stick around. By curtailing them as they crop up, your high-energy Pit becomes easier to manage.
Use a Hidden Treat Toy to Buy Yourself Some Quiet Time
The Pit Bull, like many other dog breeds, needs not only physical stimulation but mental stimulation as well. A hidden treat toy that requires some doggy smarts will keep him occupied for at least a little while.
You can try a puzzle game toy where your Pit has to open different compartments and use his super-sniffing nose to figure out which compartment holds the treat. He’ll have fun for a while trying to determine where the treat is.
A treat dispenser ball toy only releases the treat if your dog can figure out how to open the ball, so that’s another good option to consider.
Check in on your Pit every now and again to make sure he’s still actively trying to figure out the toy. If he’s on the verge of quitting, then play with him for a bit with the toy to reinvigorate him.
Reward Your Pit Bull for His Calmness
You know now to ignore it when your Pit Bull gets a little too hyperactive, but what do you do when he begins quieting down more often in reaction to your ignoring him? Reward him for it!
I mentioned this in my post about potty training Pits, but rewarding your dog when he does something good teaches him that by repeating that behavior, he’ll get another reward.
The reward, by the way, should not be food all the time. A few treats here and there are fine, but you also want to verbally and physically praise your Pit for a job well done.
Pit Bulls are naturally energetic, even hyperactive. Your particular pit bull may calm down at a year or two or his energy might keep trucking along for years more to come.
To prevent your Pit from destroying your house when he’s alone home and bored, you need to ensure he gets at least 45 minutes of vigorous exercise every day.
If that alone doesn’t work, treat toys, trips to the dog park, and long sessions playing fetch or tug-of-war ought to tire him out. Best of luck!