Responsible dog owners embrace this with open arms, because they know the effort will be worth it at the end of the day. A friendly Pit Bull is a joy and a blessing, and something to which the owner can make a material contribution in the way they raise their pup.
Teaching the dog to be friendly means that people can approach without the dog feeling threatened and therefore greet them in an appropriate way.
To do this you will need:
My challenge is him not growing up to be mean. My goal is to be able to take him out because we go on small trips to lakes a hiking trails with people. I need him to be okay with people and other dogs. We do have another dog she’s a golden retriever and does great with these things will he learn from her as an example?
Hello Skylar, I suggest reading the free pdf e-book I have linked below: "AFTER You Get Your Puppy", and really working on the socialization and handling exercises that the book talks about to help him develop a well balanced temperament, including finding a great puppy class for socialization, that carefully moderates the puppy's off-leash play and practices the puppies being gently handled in a fun way with treats. Don't wait to socialize. You can carry your puppy places before he has all of his shots to protect him from disease exposure from other animals and feces and saliva on the ground. You can take him safe places like friends' homes. Enroll in a puppy class that takes precautions to keep young puppies safe, like requiring all pups to be up-to-date on age appropriate vaccines, cleaning the floor with something that kills parvo and distemper right before class, keeping all non-class dogs away from the area, and carrying puppy into the cleaned area so he isn't exposed to the ground where older or unvaccinated dogs have been on the way to class. I am not a Vet, but you can read more recommendations on when to socialize on the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior's site: https://avsab.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Puppy_Socialization_Position_Statement_Download_-_10-3-14.pdf Puppy e-book- AFTER You Get Your Puppy: www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads As far as your older dog helping puppy, she will be a good influence, so having a well socialized older dog is great. She will not be enough though. If pup is not socialized really well in a positive way he could still grow up to have issues despite your older dogs help, but combined with a lot of socialization and help from you, your older dog should assist in helping pup to get along well with others. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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I adopted my dog but he is very fearful of lightning and fireworks and is very hard to walk on leash
Hello! I am going to send you some information on how to work with your dog regarding his fears. As well as proper leash walking techniques. Teaching your dog to walk on a loose leash will eliminate leash-pulling during walks, which is safer for your dog and more enjoyable for you. This technique is not a perfect "heel," which keeps your dog strictly by your side, but instead allows your pet room to sniff and explore as long as it leaves some slack in its leash. As you loose leash train your dog, have some tasty treats handy to reward it along the way. Choose a Leash and Collar You will need a 6-foot leash and a collar. If your dog is in the habit of pulling, it may be able to easily slip out of a regular flat buckle collar. In this case, a martingale collar is a good option. This collar is ideal for training a dog to walk on a loose leash. It looks like a regular flat collar but has an extra loop that pulls tight when your dog pulls. This keeps dogs from slipping out of the collar. However, the martingale collar has a stopping point and will not close too tightly the way a choke chain does. Give the Command Choose a word or phrase that lets your dog know what is expected of it. Since this is not a formal "heel," something like "with me" or "let's go" works well. Start out on your walk with your dog at your side, give the cue word or phrase, and begin walking. Stop and Go When your dog pulls at the end of the leash, stop immediately and do not budge. Never allow your dog to move forward when it is pulling or lunging. This way, you are teaching your dog that the only way to get where it wants to go is by leaving some slack in the leash. As soon as there is some slack in the leash, you can begin again. Give your dog the command "with me" and start moving forward. If your dog seems relentless about pulling on the leash even when you stop, try changing directions instead. You may find yourself turning in circles at first, but soon your dog will learn that it's not going anywhere if it pulls. It will learn to pay attention to you to figure out which way to go. Make It Rewarding Once you step out of your house, you have a lot of competition for your dog's attention. You have to make staying close to you more rewarding and fun than running off to explore all the sights and smells of your neighborhood. For this, you can use treats, praise, and a happy tone of voice. To start, any time your dog turns and looks at you, praise it and offer a treat. This is also a good time to use a clicker if you have decided to try clicker training. When your dog's attention turns to you, click and treat. In this way, you are teaching your dog that it is rewarding to pay attention to you. You can also speak to your dog in a high, happy tone to keep its attention on you. You may need to use a lot of treats in the beginning to get your dog's attention. Keep your hand by your side and give it treats continuously, as long as it is walking near you with some slack in the leash. As your dog gets the idea of what you expect, you can slowly phase out the treats by waiting longer between treats. Problems and Proofing Behavior Leash training can take time; you will probably not have your dog walking on a loose leash the first time. There may be times when you simply cannot get your dog's attention. It might find what's going on elsewhere more interesting than your treats or happy talk, and stopping and starting may not be enough to distract it from whatever is holding its attention. In this case, it's best to move away from the distraction. Walk in the opposite direction, saying "let's go." There's no need to pull your dog; simply walk away while holding the leash. Your dog will have no choice but to follow. Once it is walking with you, offer a treat and plenty of praise. To "proof" your dog's ability to walk on a loose leash, take frequent short walks, varying your routine and direction. Once your dog is comfortable with your local neighborhood, practice loose-leash walking in locations where distractions are likely. Be consistent and positive. In time, your dog will learn how to walk properly on the leash. Now onto fearful behaviors... Teaching a dog to stop being fearful can only be done by building his self-confidence. This means changing how his mind responds in certain situations and turning negative associations into positive ones. To do this requires great patience and a series of controlled exposures to the feared event or object, but at sufficient distance that the dog doesn't feel anxious. You then reward his brave behavior, and gradually step a little closer, but stopping before the dog's fear is aroused. In addition, it's important to avoid actions that will make matters worse. This means never forcing the dog to face up to his fears, but counterintuitively it also means never soothing or petting the dog in a fearful situation. Getting Started Socialization is a vital part of a puppy growing up into a well-adjusted and confident adult dog. Young puppies under the age of 18 weeks of age are most open to accepting novel situations, but once this time has passed they become more closed minded. Know that adult dogs can be tough to retrain, but with knowledge, patience, and understanding you can bring things under control. You will need: Training treats A treat pouch to wear on your belt A collar and leash A soft muzzle for potential fear biters A stooge item or person with which to make the dog familiar Plenty of time, patience, and understanding. STEP 1 Understand the idea By giving the dog something else to think about, this helps distract him from the situation he is fearful about. A good example is the dog who is fearful in the waiting room at the vet clinic. This is the ideal situation in which to distract the dog with some basic obedience exercises such as 'sit', 'down', and 'stay'. This has the dog focusing on you, rather than anything that's about to happen with the vet, plus it sends out a powerful message that you are in control - which in a scary situation is comforting for the dog. STEP 2 Carry a distraction with you If you know your dog is fearful of large hairy dogs, then it's helpful to plan what you'll do when you meet one on a walk. Instead of pulling your dog away (which reinforces the idea there's something to be concerned about), keep a squeaky toy in your pocket and use it as a distraction. Pull the toy out and squeak it vigorously. Once you have the dog's attention, praise him, and in a bright happy voice have him walk to heel as you walk in a different direction to the perceived threat. This avoids reinforcing the fear and dodges the sticky situation. STEP 3 Teach the 'look' command Train the dog to look at you and you can stop him looking at the object he's fearful over and keep his attention while it passes. Teaching 'look' is simple. Hold a tasty treat near the dog's nose to get his attention. Stand tall and travel the treat from the dog's nose to a place between your eyes. As the dog's gaze follows the treat say "look" in a firm but happy voice. Practice this at home, and then out on walks. The idea is to have the dog look at your eyes on cue, in order to receive a treat. With enough training, the dog will 'look' on command, regardless of whether you are holding a treat or not. STEP 4 Work on basic obedience Spend 5 - 10 minutes, twice a day working on basic commands such as 'sit', stay', and 'down'. This gets the dog in the habit of paying attention to you, and can be used in situations where the dog might otherwise focus on something he fears. This gives you long enough to distract the dog and walk away from the situation. By building up the number of times the dog encounters a fearful situation but it is dealt with calmly, he will gradually become more confident. STEP 5 Work on more advanced commands Teaching a rock solid recall is a great way for keeping control. Fearful dogs are prone to bolting and running out of control, whereas when you work on a solid recall, you can bring the dog back to your side and out of danger. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thank you for writing in!
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