Pit bulls have been labeled as vicious and aggressive beasts. Any dog can exhibit these behaviors; however, due to this breed’s strength they are often chosen for dog fight arenas and therefore have a bad name. There are many misconceptions about the pit bull. In reality, however, a pit bull that is properly trained and socialized early in its life is a loyal and loving family companion. Understanding how to train your pitbull is an essential part of raising a dog that is obedient and trustworthy.
How to Train Your Pitbull
Pit bulls are powerhouses of strength and energy. Training is especially important in such breeds in order to maintain control of the dog at all times. A fully grown pit bull that has not undergone training will be nearly impossible to control when it is pulling on a leash or jumping on people. Pit bulls can also be stubborn, and they will challenge for dominance if the opportunity to do so presents itself.
Consistency and positive reinforcement are the keys to training any dog. Each time that the desired behavior is exhibited, praise the dog and reward it with a treat. Do not reward the dog when it is in an excited state. Do not ever use physical punishment or intimidation tactics when training your pitbull.
Pitbull training should begin with basic obedience commands, including sit, down, stay, heel and come. Start training your pitbull puppy right away. Pit bulls need to be trained by a firm individual who can establish and maintain dominance over the dog. Such means will only encourage fear aggression. Pit bulls are intelligent and eager to please once they understand that they are not the leaders of the household pack.
Socialization Starts Young
Another task to start as soon as your pit bull puppy joins your household is to socialize it. While keeping the pit bull on a securely held leash, gradually introduce it to other people and pets in the household. Get the dog used to be handled by everyone in the home. As soon as your pit bull has completed its vaccination series, bring it to group obedience classes, dog parks and village neighborhoods to meet other people of all ages and other dogs. Reward your pit bull when it interacts with others in a friendly manner.
Expend That Energy
In addition to mastering the basic commands for obedient behavior, pitbull training needs to include outlets for expending energy. The intelligence and energy level of a healthy pit bull will quickly become allocated toward destructive behavior, such as chewing things and digging.
Teach your pit bull not to chew inappropriate objects by redirecting its focus to acceptable things to chew. Remember that pit bulls have powerful jaws. Select durable chew toys that are made to withstand the harshest chewing and head shaking that a large, strong dog can dish out.
By engaging your pit bull in daily interactive playtime that involves running, you will drain some of the excess energy. A long, brisk walk each day is also helpful. In addition to the physical exercise, consider teaching your pit bull to participate in dog sport activities for mental stimulation. By tiring out a pit bull, you will minimize its need to engage in destructive behavior.
Discourage Biting Behavior
When a young pit bull puppy bites at your hand while playing, it is showing dominance aggression. This behavior must be discouraged. When this biting occurs, tell the dog no in a very loud and stern tone. Stop playing with the dog immediately, and give it a time out. When the dog has calmed down, resume the play session. Do not reward the dog at this point, or it will quickly associate biting behavior with receiving a treat. Consistently apply this lesson each and every time the dog bites, no matter how gentle the playful nip may be.
A pit bull that successfully graduates from an obedience training program, is socialized at an early age and is kept physical and mentally occupied will present a stable and well-behaved companion.
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