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

Most Recommended
2 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.
Recommend training method?

The Withdraw Attention Method

Effective
1 Vote
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

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?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers and Success Stories

Question
Cali
Rottweiler
6 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Cali
Rottweiler
6 Months

How can I get my dog t stop jumping on people as they come inside my home?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
708 Dog owners recommended

Hello Destinee, Check out the Wag! article that I have linked below and follow one of the methods found in that article. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-australian-shepherds-to-not-jump Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Lucky
Pit bull
5 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Lucky
Pit bull
5 Months

My puppy is super hyper, gets into everything and pees inside, how do i get him to stop and calm down so i can have him inside.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
708 Dog owners recommended

Hello Elizabeth, All of those things can actually improve with crate training. Check out the Surprise method from the article linked below for introducing the crate: Surprise method - introducing the crate: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Check out the Crate Training method linked below for potty training using a crate: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Check out the article linked below - which includes crate training, to deal with the chewing: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-not-to-chew/ Check out the crate manners protocol and the Place command videos, to work on teaching impulse control and calmness: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Place: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-place-command-the-good-dog-training-tips/ Check out the free PDF e-book After You Get Your Puppy for more info on puppy training, crate training - and it's many different benefits: www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Stanley
American bully
6 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Stanley
American bully
6 Months

Hi, so I have a puppy who constantly gets hyper aroused and starts jumping and biting. I have tried the above and he still goes. The trouble is as he is getting bigger my concern is I don't want an unstable and reactive dog. I've started to use a natural calming aid but it doesn't seem to work. Please note I've tried all of the above last thing is changing his food to see if that works. Or then it's potentially meds. It's very stressful and making me partly resent him.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
708 Dog owners recommended

Hello Andy, First, I would start with teaching commands that require a lot of mental energy from pup. Working a pup not only physically but also mentally tends to have the greatest effect on energy and encouraging calmness. This won't be a quick fix. It will take time to create new boundaries and structure for pup and for them to develop the impulse control they need through practice with you. Work on the following structured commands with pup. Work up to pup being able to stay on Place for an hour, walking behind you and focusing on you, learning spacial commands like Out - which means leave the area, and Leave It. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s 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 Off- section on The Off command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-train-dog-stay-off-couch/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Hi Caitlin
Thanks for taking the time to respond. He does know all the commands but admittedly we have not built duration into it. I will use the above and will come back to you. Again truly grateful for taking the time to respond.

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Question
Kaos
American Bulldog
14 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Kaos
American Bulldog
14 Months

He has started barking and nipping at my son as he walks out the front door and has started to show more aggressive behavior with my other dogs.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
134 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Here is information on nipping/biting. Nipping: Puppies may nip for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment. Please let me know if you have additional questions. Thank you for writing in!

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Question
Rocky
American Pit Bull staffordshire mix
12 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Rocky
American Pit Bull staffordshire mix
12 Weeks

How do I teach my pup not to pee and poo in the house. When we go outside she seems too excited to actually do her business and then comes inside and will pee on the pee pad or poop somewhere.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
134 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Here is information on potty training, as well as crate training just in case you decide to use a crate to help with potty training. Potty training: Know Your Pup. As you spend time with your puppy, learn your puppy’s love language. Just as some people prefer gifts, touch, or time spent together, puppies can be the same way. Some puppies love praise or pets, while others prefer treats. As you get to know your puppy, consider what reward your puppy loves the most. Create a Daily Schedule. It is best to have a routine for your puppy. A schedule helps them understand when to eat, play, and “go to the bathroom.” Your puppy should go out frequently and the routine should be the same every time. When? Start the day by taking your puppy outside, and repeating based on age and ability. They should also go out after napping, chewing, playing, and within 10 to 15 minutes of eating. Although some puppies can sleep for seven hours, it is important to set an alarm and take your pup out during the night. When you do, don’t make a fuss about it. Quietly take them outside with minimal stimulation and light. Praise them if they go to the bathroom and gently return them to their bed or crate. You don’t want them to get stimulated and ready to play in the middle of the night! As you get to know your puppy, you will become aware of their individual habits. Click here to learn more about house training schedules for puppies. Where? Take your puppy to a specific area to urinate or defecate. Be consistent. You can create an area by using urine-soaked paper or bowel movements to help create an aroma to stimulate your puppy. How? Take your puppy out on a leash so they can focus on the desired activity. This will help prevent them from wandering off to play. Once your puppy is in the selected area, use your verbal cue, such as “Hurry Up,” “Poopies,” “Go tinkle,” or any phrase your puppy responds to. What? Know the signs that your puppy has to go to the bathroom. Every animal may have a different “I gotta go” gesture, which often include restlessness, sniffing around, circling, scratching at the door, barking, and, eventually, squatting. At the first sign that your pup has to go, calmly and quickly take them outside to their bathroom spot. Deal with Accidents. Accidents are a normal part of house training a puppy. What to Do If you see your puppy in the process of urinating or defecating inappropriately, calmly and quickly interrupt them in the act. Tell them to stop (either by a jarring sound or command), and immediately take them to an appropriate location for elimination. After your puppy goes to the bathroom, lavishly praise them and offer a treat. Thoroughly clean up accidents, so your puppy is not attracted to this area again. Create a consistent feeding and watering schedule. Depending on the age of your puppy, they will eat three to four times a day. A consistent feeding routine can create a regular bathroom schedule. Take away water about 2 hours before bedtime. Learn more about ideal dog schedules here. What NOT to Do Don’t punish your puppy when they have an accident. At that point, it is too late. When a puppy has an accident in the house and they walk away, within seconds they have already forgotten about what they did. Taking them to the scene of the crime and yelling and/or rubbing their nose in it does not help and, in fact, can harm your puppy! Supervise. The best thing you can do is to prevent accidents and the best way to do this is to supervise your puppy at all times. You can tether your puppy to your waist with a five or six-foot leash and carefully observe them for signs that they need to go to the bathroom. If you can’t supervise, then crate or confine your puppy. The more accidents your puppy has in the house, the more confusing it will be for them and this can delay house training. Reward, Reward, Reward. It is important to give your puppy a reward for their good behavior. This can be for commands such as sitting and coming to you, or for appropriately eliminating outside. In a puppy, a reward can be a couple kibbles of puppy food or a treat, such as a small piece of meat. The treat should be exciting for them and only available as a result of good behavior. Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog's age, temperament and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training: The crate should always be associated with something pleasant and training should take place in a series of small steps. Don't go too fast. Step 1: Introduce your dog to the crate Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at their leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away. If yours isn't one of them: Bring them over to the crate and talk to them in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten them. Encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If they refuse to go all the way in at first, that's OK; don't force them to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If they aren’t interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days. Step 2: Feed your dog meals in the crate After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding them their regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If they remain reluctant to enter, put the dish only as far inside as they will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed them, place the dish a little further back in the crate. Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat their meal, you can close the door while they’re eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as they finish their meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until they’re staying in the crate for 10 minutes or so after eating. If they begin to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving them in the crate for a shorter time period. If they do whine or cry in the crate, don’t let them out until they stop. Otherwise, they'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so they'll keep doing it. Step 3: Practice with longer crating periods After your dog is eating their regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine them there for short time periods while you're home. Call them over to the crate and give them a treat. Give them a command to enter, such as "crate." Encourage them by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise them, give them the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to 10 minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time and then let them out. Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them in the crate and the length of time you're out of sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving them crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting them sleep there at night. This may take several days or weeks. Step 4, Part A: Crate your dog when you leave After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving them crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put them in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave them with a few safe toys in the crate. Vary the moment during your "getting ready to leave" routine that you put your dog in the crate. Although they shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate them anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give them a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to them in an enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low-key to avoid increasing their anxiety over when you will return. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so they don't associate crating with being left alone. Step 4, Part B: Crate your dog at night Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when they whine to be let outside. Older dogs should also initially be kept nearby so they don't associate the crate with social isolation. Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with the crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Potential problems Whining: If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether they’re whining to be let out of the crate, or whether they need to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from their crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, they'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at them or pounding on the crate will only make things worse. If the whining continues after you've ignored them for several minutes, use the phrase they associate with going outside to eliminate. If they respond and become excited, take them outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore them until they stop whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what they want. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again. Separation anxiety: Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won't solve the problem. A crate may prevent your dog from being destructive, but they may get injured in an attempt to escape. Separation anxiety problems can only be resolved with counterconditioning and desensitization procedures.

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