As fans of the Pit Bull breed already know, these loving dogs are often a little bit overly excited about letting everyone around them know how happy they are to be alive. This can often translate into what seems to people as overly aggressive. This is made worse by the reputation that the breed has in the public eye.
Although gentle behavior is important for all breeds, it is especially important for Pit Bulls since they can be frightening to people when they are overly rambunctious.
If you have a Pit Bull puppy on your hands, there is no time like the present to start teaching him that he will get more praise, attention, and rewards when he chooses to behave with a gentle and calm demeanor. This guide offers three simple methods along with tips for success so that you can make sure your Pit Bull isn’t over the top with enthusiasm.
It is important to start any training with your Pit Bull puppy by identifying what motivates her. That is, what counts as a reward for your puppy?
Since you are dealing with a Pit Bull, odds are good that you can count food as a major motivator. Most Pit Bulls are more than happy to work for small bits of food like chicken or cheese mixed with their regular food rations. This is your “go to” for formal training sessions because it is easy to repeat and lets you reward at a very fast rate, which makes training faster.
However, since training your Pit Bull puppy to be gentle is an ongoing and continuous process, think of “spur of the moment” motivators that are not related to food; for example, praise, petting, a toss of the ball, “Good Girl!”, or a tug with her favorite tug toy.
Start to become aware of when you give your dog these non-food rewards and choose times when she is most calm. Although it will take some time, in the long run, the state of mind that you reward most will be the state of mind you get most from your puppy. If you are good at catching and rewarding behavior you love, then you will end up with a full-grown dog that has a gentler disposition.
In addition to a good training plan, set your puppy up for success by making sure his or her needs are being met.
Make sure your puppy is getting plenty of exercise.
Puppies have a lot of energy and they need to burn it off. You cannot reasonably expect a puppy to be gentle all of the time. Make room for plenty of play such as fetch, follow the leader, or recall drills. Your puppy needs appropriate outlets for physical activity before you can expect calm behavior.
Mental stimulation is important for puppies.
It is not enough for your Pit Bull puppy to get her run time in each day. Keep her mentally fit by doing several short training sessions a day. In addition, consider doggy Einstein toys which bring a mental challenge to the table without needing your supervision. Puppies, just like children, need to be challenged to learn or they can become anxious and destructive.
Coco is always trying to bite everyone and alis always rejecting her toys
Hello Rocco, Is Cocoa biting aggressively, like in response to discipline, being touched, approached, taking a toy, or another situation, or is Cocoa mouthing like she did as a puppy, trying to instigate play? Mouthing and aggressive biting are addressed very differently. If pup is biting due to aggression, I highly recommend hiring a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues like aggression and fear, to work with you in person through private training. Look for a trainer who comes well recommended by their previous clients who had similar training needs as yours. You can make toys more appealing by playing with them yourself with pup, or by using durable rubber type toys that are hollow, like Kongs, and stuffing them a couple of different ways with pup's dog food, either by itself or mixed with a bit of liver paste or peanut butter (avoid Xylitol - it's toxic to dogs and in some peanut butters as a sweetener substitute!). Regularly stuffing pup's chew toys with kibble can help teach pup to enjoy chew toys in general more if done often enough. Since pup is biting, the biting will need to be addressed before it can be determined how and if you can play with pup with their toys to increase interest in toys. If the biting it pup trying to play, and they are biting you during play instead of biting the toys, I would work on the commands like Leave It mentioned above, and games where pup can earn treats by being better self-controlled - like the Jazz Up, Settle Down game. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
Was this experience helpful?