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Training

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2 min read

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1

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How to Train a Pit Bull Puppy Easy Tricks

Training

|

2 min read

|

1

Comments

How to Train a Pit Bull Puppy Easy Tricks
Easy difficulty iconEasy
Time icon1-5 Days
Fun training category iconFun

Introduction

If you have a Pit Bull puppy then you probably already know they are smart and eager to please. This loving breed is known for being affectionate and playful. In fact, they can be downright rambunctious! Taking some time to train your Pit Bull puppy easy tricks will get your training program off to a great start while helping to build your bond.  

Tricks give you a chance to sharpen your training skills as well. The general principles for training tricks will also apply to training new behaviors to help your Pit Bull puppy learn to be appropriate and confident in a world built for humans.

Another advantage of teaching your Pit Bull some cute tricks? We all know that a lot of folks are intimidated by this breed that often gets a bad rap. Giving your pup a bag of adorable tricks to do on command will break the ice and give them positive reactions from people so that they can be ambassadors of this beautiful breed.

This guide will show you three easy-peasy tricks to train your Pit Bull puppy. Grab your treat bag and let’s get started!

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Defining Tasks

Training time should be one that is enjoyable for you and your puppy. Make sure you start training any new behavior in a low-distraction environment. Keep your sessions short and fun so that you can keep your pup’s attention and make sure that neither of you gets frustrated.

Focus on rewarding success when training. If your puppy is failing, it is probably because he does not understand what you want. Keep the bar low and raise it only as he is ready to follow your lead. Save punishment for something serious and just ignore mistakes during training sessions.

Most Pit Bulls are highly food motivated – meaning they are very happy to work for food. You do not even have to use special treats since most Pit Bulls are happy to work for kibble and some praise. Our methods use food as a reward to train new behaviors because that is the fastest method. However, after your puppy has a trick down pat, you can use other forms of reward to reinforce the behavior down the road. 

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Getting Started

Only one of the tricks offered here needs anything special. the 'Kisses' trick will need a little bit of peanut butter to get started. Other than that, just some kibble or treats for rewards is all you need.

You may want to spend some time deciding what cues you want to use for these tricks before you get started with your training. What we have listed are suggestions but, of course, you can use any verbal or non-verbal cues that make the most sense to you.

After you have trained a new trick in the context of a training session, be sure to randomly practice it several times a day. In addition, whenever you take your puppy to new places, run her through her tricks. Every time you practice behavior around distractions, the behavior gets much stronger. In addition, this will greatly improve your her focus on you when around other people and dogs. 

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The Handshake Method

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1

Starting position

This is a great easy trick to train your Pit Bull puppy that also gives her a greeting that will come in handy as she grows up. Instead of letting your Pit Bull jump up on new people, teach her how to shake hands like a well-behaved lady!

2

First shake

Start by sitting in front of your puppy while she is in the sitting position. Gently hold her front paw for just a second and then say “Yes!” and give her a treat. Repeat 5-10 times, slowly adding a second or two before marking and rewarding the behavior.

3

Mark and reward

Start to lift her paw a little bit, adding a gentle shake. Just progress with this slowly, making sure to praise and reward for success. Use your marker word (or clicker) while holding her paw, followed by the reward.

4

Add verbal cue

This trick has a natural non-verbal cue built in. Your puppy will learn to shake when you reach for her paw. However, you can also add a verbal command like "shake" or "nice to meet you" by saying it before you go to reach for her paw while practicing this trick.

5

Final step

Once she has some practice, start to wait for her to put her paw in your open hand before praising and rewarding. It usually only takes a few sessions to teach this easy trick. However, start to practice this calm behavior as a way to greet new people for a great alternative to problem jumping behavior.

The Kisses Method

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First kiss

Start by putting a tiny bit of peanut butter on the palm of your hand. Open it to your Pit Bull, point to it with your other finger, and say “Kisses!” in a fun tone. When he licks the peanut butter off, say “Yes!” in an excited tone and then give him a treat with the other hand.

2

Repeat

Repeat the first step 5 times. Then stop putting on the peanut butter and repeat. It might take a few times, but as soon as he licks your hand, say “Yes!” in an excited tone to mark the correct behavior, then follow it with a food reward. Repeat 5-10 times.

3

Move the target

Start to move the kiss target. Point to a place further down your arm a little bit and say “Kisses!” and take anything close to a kiss on that spot. Mark the success with your “Yes!” and then reward.

4

More kisses

Continue to slowly try the trick in new places on your body by pointing to new places and offering them to your dog with the command. If you are comfortable with kisses on the face, feel free to add that to your 'kisses' practice.

5

New people and places

Once your train your Pitbull puppy this easy trick on you, make sure to practice with new people so that he learns that he can give great kisses, when asked, for whoever needs them. Make sure you do not reward kisses that are not invited unless you want your Pit Bull to grow up thinking it is okay to kiss whenever he pleases (not recommended!).

The Spin Like a Top Method

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Lure

With a treat in your hand, lure your Pit Bull puppy around in a small circle. As soon as she is all the way around, say “Yes!” and give her a treat. Repeat in the other direction. It is important to teach both counter clockwise and clockwise at the same time so your canine can learn the difference. Repeat 10 times each way.

2

Mark and reward

Stop using a treat in your hand but pretend to hold a treat while you repeat this trick, remembering to mark the behavior with your clicker or a loud “Yes!” when she does a full circle in the right direction. Repeat 5 times.

3

Fade hand signal

Start to fade your hand signal so it is not so big as you continue to practice. You want to transition down to a small non-verbal cue that is as simple as pointing your finger in a circle in the direction you want her to spin. Continue to mark and reward success.

4

Add verbal cue

Once your puppy seems to understand the trick both ways, and you have the hand signal where you want it, you can add a verbal cue. Be sure to make a difference in your cue depending on how you want her to turn. For example, "spin right” for clockwise, and “spin left” for counter clockwise.

5

Practice

Practice this trick inside before taking it outside to work on it some more. Be sure to have your friends practice this trick with you and your dog so that it will become a trick you can rely on.

Written by Sharon Elber

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 03/09/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Training Questions

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Training Questions and Answers

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marcy

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Pit bull

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6 Months

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marcy knows her basic camands sit, shake, lay down, iv watched so many videos to teach her to roll over but she just doesn’t roll over she get back up when u try to teach her please help

April 11, 2021

marcy's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Timothy, Many dogs will jump up when they get a certain point into the roll, even at the beginning of one. I would do two things. First, gently hover your the hand that doesn't have a treat over pup's lower back while you lure them with the treat, so that if they try to jump up they will feel your hand and be a bit discouraged from getting up yet. Second, reward pup sooner at first. At first just reward lying down. Next, reward pup for being on their side. Next, reward pup for turning their head to follow your treat. Next reward for turning their head more. Gradually reward pup for moving a leg, a little of their body, for rolling onto their back, then for the full roll. A lot of dogs get confused and discouraged when they don't understand that you are trying to get them to roll, so they need to be rewarded for baby steps in the right direction along the way, instead of trying to get the full roll at first, working up to pup being able to roll. Practicing this on carpet or a rug can also help some dogs. Move your treat slow enough that pup can keep sniffing it or licking it as you move it to keep them focused on it so their body will follow it. Zak George on Youtube has a couple of videos on teaching roll over you may find helpful if it's not clear how to slow the training down from the information above. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

April 13, 2021


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