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Pitbull Training In 7 Easy Steps

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Dog training Information / Pitbull Training In 7 Easy Steps

There are a lot of different methods and philosophies for pitbull training. Choosing the right method and feeling confident that your training will be useful can be tough. Despite the Pit Bulls reputation and mean-mug, they’re incredibly loving and soft-hearted. Through positive reinforcement and rewards, you can build a strong bond with your new Pitbull puppy and give them all of the good manners they’ll need to socialize with other dogs and people happily.

Basic Commands

A Pitbull puppy can learn to sit as soon as they reach eight weeks. Other basic commands, like lay down and come, will also help raise a well-mannered pup. The basic controls are taught through positive reinforcement and often incorporate a technique called “luring.”

Sit

To teach your puppy to sit, bring them to an area with no distractions using a treat to lure them where you want them to go. Hold the treat over your pup’s nose to encourage them to lift their nose upward. Move the treat backward over their head. Their shoulders will automatically lower, putting them into a sitting position. As soon as the rear-end hits the floor, give verbal praise, and allow them to eat the treat. Repeat this procedure several times and begin using the command “sit,” so your puppy starts associating the verbal command with the act of sitting down.

Lay Down

Your puppy must master the sit command before moving on to the laydown command. Start by commanding your pup to sit. Next, bring a treat to the nose and then pull the treat straight down, landing between the puppy’s feet. From there, pull the treat forward. Your puppy should lay down as they attempt to follow the treat. As soon as your puppy is entirely on the floor, give praise, and offer the treat. Follow the same procedure repeatedly and begin incorporating the lay down verbal command.

Come

Teaching your pup to come when you call them—the recall command—is critical. Not only will it help you control where your puppy goes, but it can also end up saving their life if they run toward a bad situation. Find an ample, quiet space, like the hallway of your house. You’ll need a friend to hold your puppy at one end of the hallway for this training. Start by standing in front of your puppy with a treat. Begin walking backward while calling their name. As soon as your puppy shows that they want to run toward you, your friend should let them go when your puppy makes it to the other end of the hall, praise, and offer a treat. Gradually increase the distance as Dog Training progress and add distractions to really challenge your puppy.

Loose Leash Walking

Loose leash walking is best taught in a dog obedience school where distractions like other dogs are present. This ensures that your puppy can behave on a leash even when there are many other things to grab their attention and cause them to pull. You can begin teaching some basics of leash walking at home by taking your pup for a walk and coming to a stop when your puppy gets in front of you. This will cause the leash to become taut. Use a treat to bring your puppy next to you again and repeat this process over and over.

Stay

The stay command requires a fair amount of attention from your puppy, so it may be difficult to teach this command when they’re very young. To teach the stay command, instruct your pup to sit next to you. Hold up your open palm and say the word “stay.” Take a step forward, keeping your hand up. Please return to your starting position next to your puppy and praise them for staying still. Gradually increase the distance and length of time you ask your puppy to stay.

Remote Collar Trainers

A remote dog collar trainer can be an effective puppy training aid. By simply pushing a button on the small handheld device, your puppy receives a mild stimulation from their collar. Remote trainers help reinforce positive behaviors and adherence to basic commands. They also help you decrease digging, chasing, and other undesirable behavior, but you need to choose the best dog collar for a pit bull. Remote collar trainers are good for:

  • Basic commands like sit, stay, and come.
  • Preventing dangerous or nuisance behaviors
  • Off-leash training up to 1,000 yards
  • Training two puppies at once

Early Socialization

Like other similar breeds, Pitbull Terriers could potentially develop aggression toward other dogs as they grow and mature. Your Pitbull puppy will grow up to be quite powerful, so proper training and early socialization are key to their healthy development.

Veterinarians may recommend that you don’t expose your Pitbull puppy to other dogs to prevent dangerous diseases among puppies. However, complete isolation is not an ideal situation for your puppy.

It would help if you tried to socialize your puppy with other dogs in a controlled environment—preferably among dogs you know have been vaccinated. At a public dog park, you might not be aware of the health history of every dog. It might be safer to try an obedience class setting for socialization instead.

Socialization with People

Despite the Pitbull’s not-so-nice reputation, aggression toward people is uncommon and depends largely on the dog’s upbringing and training. The American Temperament Testing Society tests dogs for traits like shyness, aggression, and friendliness. Recently, the organization gave the Pitbull Terrier an impressive score of 87.4%—more than passing.

If you just got a Pitbull puppy, your first step toward proper training would be to socialize your new puppy as much as possible. Think of your puppy as a blank canvas. They know very little about the world, and the things that you teach them will shape their attitude, actions, and personality.

With puppies, there is a small window of time during which they are highly impressionable. This critical window starts to close around 12 weeks of age.

Socialization with Dogs

While you can teach many of the basic commands yourself, it is vital to expose your puppy to other dogs outside of your home, helping them learn how to obey commands in the face of massive distraction. Taking the time to train your puppy at a young age will help you control them when they become large and strong. For more advanced training, you may want to seek a reputable dog training facility in your area.

Training and socialization shouldn’t stop as your puppy grows up. Once your Pitbull reaches maturity, they may become selective about which dogs they want to socialize with. Puppy socialization helps promote bite inhibition and keeps your dog safe and friendly around other dogs at any age.

As with any breed, a Pitbull’s temperament and tolerance for other dogs depends on several different factors, including genetics, training, socialization, and resilience.
Responsible ownership of a Pitbull puppy is so important, given the breed-specific legislation currently in place across many areas of the country. Raising a well-behaved Pitbull puppy helps reduce the negative stigma around the breed. You want people to see your puppy for the amazing dog they are, rather than deferring to the breed’s negative representation fueled by the media and irresponsible dog owners.

Tips and Tricks

• Do not play rough or wrestle with your Pitbull puppy. Rough play or aggressive training with a puppy can lead to aggressive adult behavior.

• Let your Pitbull puppy interact with as many different people and dogs as you can, especially during ages 8-12 weeks.

• Play tugging games, but make sure you don’t use a toy that’s easily destroyed. Try a sturdy rope instead.

• Perform a lot of handling and restraint exercises before your Pitbull puppy reaches 16 weeks of age. This teaches the puppy that being touched and handles is perfectly ok, leading to smoother interactions with people and veterinarians.

• If you notice that your pup is continually bullying other puppies, introduce them to some confident, non-aggressive adult dogs who can put your puppy in their place. Allowing your puppy to bully other puppies will only encourage them to get more aggressive.

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