How to Train a Hyper Pit Bull Puppy

How to Train a Hyper Pit Bull Puppy
Medium difficulty iconMedium
Time icon1-6 Weeks
Behavior training category iconBehavior

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. 

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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.

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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

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The Teach Self-Control Method

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Withdraw Attention Method

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Do's and Don'ts Method

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

By Pippa Elliott

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

Training Questions

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Training Questions and Answers

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Action

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Pit bull

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9 Weeks

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Question

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Super hyper, bad potty training issues, does listen well when told to lay but previous owner used it as a punishment and I can't get him to learn any other tricks.too rough play with my other dogs.

June 28, 2022

Action's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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Hello Amanda, First, regular training sessions and interactive toys can help with the energy - training tends to wear puppies out even more than exercise. Pup also probably needs occasional quiet/nap times. That can seem opposite, but many puppies get overly rambunctious when tired - like a wound up toddler who skipped a nap.A dog food stuffed kong in a crate is a good tool. Durable puzzle toys, kongs you can stuff, kong wobble, and automatic treat dispensing devices can be used to feed pup part of their daily kibble - keeping pup working to get the kibble and stay more entertained. Check out the article I have linked below. I recommend the crate training method or a combination of the crate training method and tethering method. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside At nine weeks, pup is going to back a super short attention span. I would train in 5-10 minute sessions frequently, instead of one long session. For the pushiness with the other dogs, utilize a crate or exercise pen with toys, a hands free leash where pup can stay closer to you to leave the other dogs alone, and teaching Out - which means move away. Any commands you teach are going to take pup a few weeks to be able to obey consistently. The average puppy class is six weeks long, practicing several times a week at home, so stick with it but also know that it's normal for it to take time, and you can use things like an exercise pen and hands free leash to keep pup out of trouble some of the time until pup learns. Out: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ For any biting, check out the Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite I would start over with the down command. I would even use a different word than the previous owner used for lying down. Like Drop, Down, or Rest. Check out this article and the Treat Lure method. If you still can't get pup to lie down using treat lures, first, try a tastier treat, and if that doesn't work, then use the capture method instead of treat lure method. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-to-lay-down For other commands, check out these videos and Zak George's youtube channel, but again, know that this takes weeks to teach, practicing several times a week, so keep working at it, you will get there. Puppy Class videos: Week 1, pt 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnhJGU2NO5k Week 1, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-1-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 2, pt 1 https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-2-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 2, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-2-part-2-home-jasper-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 3, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-3-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 3, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-3-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 4, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-4-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 4, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-4-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 5, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-5-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 5, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-5-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 6, pt 1: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-6-part-1-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1 Week 6, pt 2: https://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/week-6-part-2-sirius-berkeley-puppy-1-0 Zak George Training Revolution: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZzFRKsgVMhGTxffpzgTJlQ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

June 28, 2022

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Echo

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Pitbull & ????

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10 Months

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Question

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She was a Police Seizure Cruelty Rescue dog. Was found on outside balcany with no water, floor covered in poop with a small amount of dry food. She was skin and bones. Seems to have had little human contact and little or no training. She is very smart and friendly. We have had her about 5 1/2 weeks. She has learned to sit, shake (both paws), stay, down, spinning in circles. Still working on biting, jumping up on people and counters, very hyperactive. She loves swimming. We have a ton of toys but she seems to get tired of them after only one or two days of playing with them. We use treat based training and praise, no Physical correction. She has made vast improvements since we adopted her but just can't seem to get the hyperactivity, biting sometimes nips, jumping on counters and people, oh also pulling while walking on leash. We go on 3 to 8 walks daily, swimming 2 to 3 times a day for 30 to 45 minutes. And she still seems to have energy to burn. Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated!

May 14, 2022

Echo's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jim, First, check out this articles. Jumping: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-australian-shepherds-to-not-jump Mouthing - Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Pulling - Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Place command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Know that you are also in the middle of the puppy teenage period, where energy is the highest and things like destructiveness and rambunctiousness are most persistent. Keep working on your training. It may not feel like it's all paying off, but often with this age the persistence suddenly starts to pay off if you work at it as pup gets older and matures a bit mentally. I would add in more mental stimulation to your walks and games. If you can get pup thinking and having to concentrate a bit hard during physical exercise, you will often find pup gets twice as tired without having to lengthen the walk. This can include adding Sits, Heel, Stay, Watch Me, and turns into walks. Practicing fetch with Sit-Stay, Come, Drop It, ect... as part of the game. Feeding part of pup's meals in kong wobbles, durable puzzle toys, or as treats pup has to earn through obedience command and trick obedience. Teaching new commands a little every day, or working up to more duration, longer distance, or more distractions with current commands are also good ways to mentally exercise. Commands that require self-control as especially good for building impulse control skills, such as Heel, Place, long Down-Stay, long Place, Leave It, Quiet, and practice ignoring distractions - like coming or staying with someone else in the area pup has to pass without greeting - as pup improves. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

May 16, 2022


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