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He may only be a puppy, but your Pit Bull knows how to be the center of attention. He's the first member of the family at the door when guests come in. He knows how to win over the in-laws and how to look cute when food is coming around. He also does well because you taught him some basic tricks, which always get guests giggling. However, your Pit Bull puppy is an intelligent little canine. Therefore, you want to teach them some more advanced tricks.
Training Fido some advanced commands is a great idea for several reasons. Firstly, you will have a fantastic way to mentally stimulate him. The training itself will also make for a great way for you both to bond. On top of that, Fido may become social media famous when he can pull off some fantastic advanced tricks, despite being just a puppy.
Training a Pit Bull puppy to advanced tricks, as the name suggests, may be challenging. However, you wouldn’t be teaching them advanced tricks if they hadn’t already got to grips with basic commands, so you know they are capable. The greatest obstacle is initially conveying to them what it is you want them to do. Once they understand that, you just need to reinforce training with the right motivator.
Because your Pit Bull is just a puppy, they should be receptive and an avid learner. This means you could see results in a matter of days. However, if they are stubborn you may need a couple of weeks before you see consistent results. This type of training is fantastic if you want to lay the groundwork for an extremely well-behaved and obedient Pitbull when they grow up. Furthermore, you’ll be able to make them work for their dinner or to go out for their next walk.
Before you and Fido get to work, you will need to make sure you have a few things. A generous supply of treats or their favorite food broken into small chunks will be needed. You will also require toys and a clicker for one of the methods below. Some peanut butter will also prove useful.
You’ll need to set aside 10 minutes or so each day for training. You will also require a yard or a spacious room to train in, free from distractions. This will also help prevent anything valuable getting broken.
Apart from that, just bring enthusiasm and a can-do attitude, then work can begin!
The ‘Jump’ Method
'Jump' is a fun trick to teach your Pit Bull puppy. The first thing you need to do is sit down in front of the pup and then hold up a treat to capture their attention. Don’t tease them too much, but make sure they are concentrating.
Now issue a ‘jump’ command in a playful voice. Pit Bulls learn best when they think they are playing a game. Note you can use any word or phrase you like for the instruction.
At the same time as you give the command, move your hand up from above their head so they have to jump to get to the treat. Don’t move it too high, otherwise they may give up trying.
As soon as the dog tries to jump, hand over a tasty reward. If you use a clicker when you train, now is the time to click. They don’t have to actually catch the treat the first few times. You just want to encourage any promising signs that they understand what you want them to do.
Increase the height
Now all you need to do is practice for a few minutes each day. However, as you practice, continue to lift the treat higher each time, so they have to jump farther to get to it. Once they get the hang of it, you can cut out the treats and just rely on the command alone.
The ‘Kiss’ Method
Training your Pit Bull puppy to kiss you is fun to teach and guaranteed to get people giggling. All you need to do is put a little bit of peanut butter or something similar on your cheek.
Now call Fido over to you and sit down so you’re at their level. Issue a ‘kiss’ command in a high-pitched voice. Make sure you are animated and it feels like a big game to them. Again you can use any word or phrase you like for the command.
Point & reward
As you give the command you can also point at your peanut butter covered cheek. As soon as they then start licking it off, give them some verbal praise and a tasty treat. Make sure the dog gets the reward within three seconds, otherwise they may not associate the action with the reward.
Practice makes perfect
Spend a few minutes each day practicing. You can apply different items to your face each time. Fido will soon associate the command with the action.
Lose the lure
Once the pup gets the hang of it, you can slowly phase out putting food on your face to tempt them. By this point you will just need to use the verbal command and they will come over to give you a kiss.
The 'Play Dead' Method
Teaching your Pit Bull puppy to play dead is hilarious every time. The first thing you need to do is instruct them to lie ‘down’ in front of you. Make sure you give the command in a playful tone, you want this to feel like a game.
Now gently roll the pup onto their side. Once there, give them some verbal praise to put them at ease. After a few days of doing this, your dog should be comfortable rolling onto their side.
Once your Pit Bull puppy has rolled onto their side, issue a ‘sleep-stay’ instruction. Again ensure this is given in a playful tone. If they lift their head up or move, gently place it back down.
When they lay still for just a couple of seconds, give them a treat and smile to let them back up. Really make sure they know they have done a good job. This will make them more eager to play again.
Extend the time
Now all you need to do is extend the length of time you leave them lying there for. Add a couple of seconds on each time until you can leave them there for a minute. Once they can do that, you can gradually cut out the treats.
Name the trick
Once your pup has the steps down, start the trick with a verbal cue, such as "play dead" or "bang!". Work through each phase of the trick until your dog can go from standing to lying on their side with a single verbal cue and just one treat at the end.
By James Barra
Published: 03/29/2018, edited: 01/08/2021