How to Train a Hyper Pit Bull Puppy

Medium
1-6 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

It is a sad fact that the Pit Bull breed has a bad reputation, largely through no fault of their own. This is mostly due to a few irresponsible owners who either trained their dogs to be aggressive or neglected to properly train the dog. A well-behaved Pit Bull is a delight and can be loyal and loving to his family. Therefore, it's super-important to train your Pit Bull pup and have him fall into the 'hero' not 'villain' side of the Pit Bull fence. 

However, sometimes Mother Nature deals you a hyper-puppy. Don't despair. This happens with any breed, not just the Pit Bull, and you can overcome that hyperactivity when you know how. Just be aware that a hyper puppy has poor self-control, so this is a skill you need to teach the pup in order that he'll listen during training sessions. 

Defining Tasks

Training a hyper Pit Bull puppy means interrupting his hyper behavior (ideally as soon as he starts to act up). Mostly the pup is likely to be hyper because he is enjoying the game and gets over-excited. When you stop the game until he calms down, he starts to learn the elements of self-control. Of course, nothing is ever that straightforward, but the following methods will give you hints and tips on how to get things going your way.

Getting Started

To teach a hyper Pit Bull you need:

  • The time and patience to be prepared to stop the game
  • Treats, for training and to reward his calm behavior
  • Toys, to engage him in play
  • A collar and leash for that vital exercise
  • Puzzle feeders to provide mental stimulation

The Teach Self-Control Method

ribbon-method-1
Most Recommended
3 Votes
Step
1
Learn to interrupt hyper behavior
You have a hyper puppy, so you give him plenty of exercise and play. Unfortunately, both of these only get him more excited and so the game usually is brought to a premature end because the hyper puppy starts nipping or pulling at clothing. Obviously, the pup needs to expend his energy, but the trick is to teach the pup self-control by interrupting the game before he gets beyond the point of listening.
Step
2
Understand the aim
This method relies on playing in short bursts, say 15 seconds, and then expecting the pup to stop and wait for a reward. This teaches the pup the skill of halting mid-game and waiting, which in turn lets him calm down and prevents him getting over excited.
Step
3
Play in bursts
Equip yourself with a toy, treats, and a stopwatch or watch with timer function. Engage the dog in a game with the toy, but stick strictly to 15 seconds. At which point, put the toy out of sight.
Step
4
Have the pup sit
Now ask the pup to sit and wait. If necessary, lure him into a seated position using a treat. Give him lots of praise, but in a quiet way so as not to overexcite him. If the pup is good at sitting, make him wait a few seconds, then give the treat. If the pup is not good at sitting, lure him into a 'sit' then hold the treat above his nose so he stays seated, then reward him.
Step
5
Resume the game
Restart the game only once the pup is calm. Play for another 15 seconds, then stop and repeat the 'sit'. Follow this pattern for the play session.
Step
6
Extend the length of the play sessions
As the pup gets better at sitting and stopping, you can gradually extend the length of the play. Try 20 seconds, then 25 seconds, and so on. The idea is not to reach the point beyond which the pup is so excited he can't stop. Not only does this method prevent the hyper pup getting overexcited, but it also teaches him to stop and sit calmly, which lets his adrenaline level drop and makes for better behavior.
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The Withdraw Attention Method

ribbon-method-2
Effective
2 Votes
Step
1
Understand the idea
A hyper puppy loves to play, but unfortunately, play makes him so excited that he loses control. This method teaches the pup that he only gets what he loves most (play) when he's under control. Conversely, he learns that when he becomes out of control then the game stops. Thus, he has a vested interest in controlling his over-excitement in order for the game to continue.
Step
2
Zero tolerance of hyper behavior
Recognize the tell-tale signs of your pup's hyperactivity. You want to stop the activity that is making him excited as soon as he shows signs of becoming hyper. As in the method above, let him calm and then resume the game to reward the calmness.
Step
3
Ignore the pup
If you stop the game but the pup keeps coming at you, then cross your arms and turn away from him. This sends a strong message that his behavior is unacceptable and ends the game. The pup should eventually learn that being over-excited ends the game. Once he is calm, resume play.
Step
4
Leave the pup
If you turn away and the pup still launches himself at your ankles and tugs at your trousers, then it's time to leave the room. Again, this is a powerful way of telling the pup his behavior is unacceptable. Only return to continue the game once he is calm.
Step
5
Give verbal clues
In addition, let the pup know his excitement is inappropriate. Say a short sharp "No!" or "Uh-oh!" when he jumps up or nips, then withdraw or have him calm down. This helps him understand precisely which behavior was unacceptable.
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The Do's and Don'ts Method

ribbon-method-3
Least Recommended
1 Vote
Step
1
Don't: Punish the puppy
Smacking or physical punishment only makes the pup anxious or fearful of you. Since anxiety is a major cause of aggression, this should be avoided at all costs.
Step
2
Do: Give the puppy an outlet for energy
Keep the puppy occupied, both mind and body. Use puzzle feeders to give him mental stimulation and stave off boredom. Ensure he gets plenty of exercise, once he is allowed outdoors. When still confined to the house, play games such as fetch, which allow the pup to run around and burn energy.
Step
3
Do: Engage in reward-based training
Use reward-based training methods to teach the pup basic commands such as 'sit', and 'look'. These are both excellent ways of interrupting undesirable behavior and allowing the dog to calm.
Step
4
Do: Consider clicker training
Clicker training is a method where the pup learns that a click means he's earned a reward. You then use the click to mark good behavior, such as the dog being momentarily calm, and help him understand with a treat that this is desirable behavior.
Step
5
Do: Praise calm behavior
A pup doesn't automatically know that calm is good, in his mind excited might be what you want. Make an effort to gently stroke and praise the pup when he's doing good things like resting quietly on his bed.
Recommend training method?
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Written by Pippa Elliott

Published: 03/05/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Frankie
Pit bull
8 Months
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Question
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Frankie
Pit bull
8 Months

I’m crate training him. He is so wired! He never sits still. He is a rescue that was tied to a leash in a yard with very little human contact, but he is cery loving and friendly. My two biggest challenges are that he jumps on everyone constantly and the nips and bites when he is playing. I don’t physically punish him at all. When he acts up, I tell him to get in the crate, and he does it. I keep him in there for a half hour, then let him out, but he starts all over again. I love him dearly! Please help me!!!

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Question
Venus
American Bandogge
5 Months
0 found helpful
Question
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Venus
American Bandogge
5 Months

Venus is very hyper when we come home and refuses to go in pin amore

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
946 Dog owners recommended

Hello Heather, If pup can hold their bladder long enough, I recommend ignoring pup for the first 5 to 10 minutes when you get home, leaving them in the crate for a few minutes to calm down before letting them out, so that they begin to associate you coming home with something calm and get less worked up. Depending on how long you have been gone, you may have to rush pup outside to go potty at times to avoid an accident until older though. When you do let pup out, practice opening the door part way and closing it again whenever pup tries to rush out. Repeat this until you can open the door all the way and pup will wait inside, work up to you being able to take a couple steps away and pup stay inside - teaching them to exit calmly. When they are being calm, tell them "Okay!" and encourage them out with permission. Expect this to take frequent practice before they can come out calmly consistently and wait until you say. For going into the crate, check out the Surprise method from the article I have linked below. Practice at times when pup won't have to be crated for long. Right now pup knows that going into the crate means having to stay there for a long time so it makes since they don't want to go in. Practice pup going in just for short practices and receiving treats for their patience while in there, and giving pup a dog food stuffed chew toy in there. Also, give pup a command when they enter, like Room, and praise pup, keeping the tone happy and calm. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Lucky
Bully Kutta
10 Months
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Lucky
Bully Kutta
10 Months

My pet get very excited when I meet in morning for walk and when it's about its time to play in afternoon.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
946 Dog owners recommended

Hello Shobhit, I recommend working on some commands to help with self-control and calmness, and once pup knows those commands well, they can be used to redirect pup and help them calm down when highly excited. Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Place command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Heel- Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Jumping - Sit method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-australian-shepherds-to-not-jump Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Yona
Pit bull
6 Months
0 found helpful
Question
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Yona
Pit bull
6 Months

Jumping all over 247, I try to play mind puzzles with her but she's so hyper active it never works when i try to clean or cook she constantly is jumping to see whatI'm doing. She's still having potty accidents an has outside options 247. She trys chewing on my harms an hands constantly no matter how many times i redirect her to a chew toy or correct her to stop she'd rather chew my hands. An starting to have trouble with barking An the leash an I wanna take her to the parks an on walks so bad please help me

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
946 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kelsey, Check out the articles I have linked below to help address the various things pup needs. Jumping: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-australian-shepherds-to-not-jump Leash manners: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Biting - Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Kai
Pit bull
7 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Kai
Pit bull
7 Months

How do I get him to stop jumping and chewing on my clothes and me! Stop chasing the cats?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
946 Dog owners recommended

Hello Dawn, Check out the articles and videos I have linked below. Jumping: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-australian-shepherds-to-not-jump Chewing: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-not-to-chew/ Mild cat issue - teaching impulse control: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWF2Ohik8iM Moderate cat issue - teaching impulse control using corrections and rewards: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dPIC3Jtn0E Work on impulse control in general with pup, by teaching things that increase impulse control and calmness - such as a long Place command around lots of distractions. Practicing the command until you get to the point where pup will stay on Place while you are working with the cat in the same room. I recommend also back tying pup while they are on place - safely connecting a long leash attached to pup to something near the Place just in case pup were to try to get off Place before you could intervene. Make sure what the leash is secured to, the leash itself, and pup's collar or harness are secure and not likely to break or slip off. This keeps kitty safe while practicing and reinforces to pup that they can't get off the Place. The leash should be long enough that pup doesn't feel the leash while they are obediently staying on the Place because it has some slack in the leash. You want pup to learn to stay due to obedience and self-control, and the leash just be back up for safety. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Below are some other commands in general you can practice to help pup develop better impulse skill/self-control - impulse control takes practice for a dog to gain the ability to control herself. Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Leave It: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out - which means leave the room: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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