How to Train a Pitbull Puppy to Protect

Hard
1-6 Months
Work

Introduction

Oscar is a bundle of energy. You open the front door and your Pitbull puppy is leaping into the air, desperate to plant slobber all over your face. Despite his tough exterior, you know your Pitbull is full of love and affection. He's brought nothing but happiness and smiles into your life. However, you got Oscar for a specific reason - you want to train him to protect. You may have a family you want to keep safe at night or it may be that you simply want to protect your house and valuable possessions from intruders. 

Training a Pitbull puppy to protect seems like an ideal solution. In fact, Pitbulls naturally possess many of the characteristics needed to effectively protect people and property. This type of training will also instill strict discipline into him, which may make it easier to teach him any number of other commands. While Pitbulls have a reputation for being strong, powerful dogs, with the right amount of control, knowledge, and patience, you can help shape your Pitbull puppy into a loyal protector. 

Defining Tasks

Training a Pitbull puppy to protect isn’t as complex as many owners believe. However, it will require strict discipline on both your part and Oscar's. You will need to take steps to show him that what you want him to protect falls within his territory. You will also need to encourage the sorts of defensive behaviour that will make him effective at protecting, such as barking. To do all this, you will need the right incentive. As you can probably guess, food is often the best way to get your Pitbull puppy dancing to your tune.

If Oscar is particularly receptive, then you could see results in just a matter of weeks. This is because when they are puppies, Pitbulls can soak up information and learn impressively quickly. But if your Pitbull puppy is stubborn with a short attention span, then you may need several months. Stick with training and before you know it, you’ll be able to sleep easy at night as your Pitbull protects you and your home.

Getting Started

Before you get to work, you’ll need to make sure you have a few essentials. A long leash will be required and you may also want to invest in a body harness. This will increase your control while reducing the strain on Oscar’s neck.

You will need a decent supply of treats or his favorite food broken into small pieces. A friend will also be required for two of the methods below. Then, set aside fifteen minutes each day for training. Of course, you will also need access to the space or persons you want him to protect.

Once you’ve ticked all those boxes, just come armed with patience and a pro-active attitude, then work can begin!

The Follow Me Method

Most Recommended
1 Vote
Step
1
Capture interest
Secure Oscar to a leash and then have someone slowly approach in your yard or on a walk. Stand level with your Pitbull puppy and then point at the person, whisper, and do all that you can to get him worked up. This method relies on the theory that dogs mirror their owners behaviour. So be patient, it may take him a little while, but eventually he will get worked up when he sees that you are.
Step
2
'Bark' command
Keep pointing and getting animated until Oscar barks at the person. If he's struggling, start shouting at the person yourself, to show your Pitbull puppy how it’s done.
Step
3
Reward
Once he does bark, you need to give him a reward within three seconds. Any longer and he may not associate the action with the reward. If you use a clicker when you train, click before you hand over the treat or toy.
Step
4
Mix it up
Now you simply need to practice regularly. Have a stranger approach several times a week in a range of different situations. The more frequently you train, the sooner it will become habit.
Step
5
Lose the rewards
Once your Pitbull puppy barks whenever a stranger approaches even with distractions around, you can slowly start to phase out the reward. By this point, Oscar knows what to do and doesn’t need a tasty incentive to behave as you’d like.
Recommend training method?

The Natural Instinct Method

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Step
1
Obedience classes
The first thing to do is start taking your Pitbull puppy to group obedience classes. Firstly, they will teach him a range of useful commands that will help you retain control later on. These classes will also help socialize Oscar with other pets and people, as you don’t want him being aggressive toward everyone.
Step
2
Encouragement
Whenever Oscar takes an interest in a stranger, you must reward him. Give him a treat, a toy, or some verbal praise whenever he sniffs, barks, or heads over to a stranger. Do this every time and it will soon become habit.
Step
3
Morning walk
Secure your Pitbull puppy to a short leash each morning and walk him around the perimeter of the space you want him to protect. If you want him to protect you, keep him with you for a short while. This will help reinforce where his territory begins and ends. He will then naturally want to defend anything within that space.
Step
4
Evening walk
Repeat the previous step each evening. This will further reinforce his boundaries. Before you know it, he will become protective over any stranger that wanders within this space.
Step
5
Never use punishment
Do not use punishment techniques to train your Pitbull puppy to protect. Such methods may make Oscar overly aggressive and incredibly difficult to control, especially as Pitbulls grow up to be both big and strong. Instead, stick to positive reinforcement techniques.
Recommend training method?

The Verbal Cue Method

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Step
1
Watch closely
Spend a couple of days watching your Pitbull puppy. You’re looking for situations which trigger a bark. This could be when he's excited for an imminent walk or when you’re preparing his food.
Step
2
‘Bark’
Once you’ve identified a situation that makes him bark, put him in it. Just before, or as he starts to bark, issue a ‘Bark’ command in a clear voice, just once. Don’t keep repeating the instruction, as you want him to respond to your command the first time, every time.
Step
3
Reward
As soon as he does indeed bark, swiftly go over and shower him in praise. You can also chuck him a treat or play with a toy for a minute. Now simply practice this for ten minutes each day in a variety of situations.
Step
4
Stranger approach
Once he barks whenever you instruct him to, even with distractions around, it’s time to put your work to the test. Have a stranger slowly approach the house. Have them knock on a window or door. Then point and give Oscar the ‘Bark’ command.
Step
5
Reward and practice
Once Oscar barks, have the friend yell and run away. It’s important your Pitbull puppy knows to keep barking until the intruder vacates the vicinity. Now you simply need to practice a few times a week. Try and use different people each time and before you know it, Oscar will automatically bark whenever a stranger approaches.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Kyle
Brown pitbull
2 Years
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Kyle
Brown pitbull
2 Years

Is it possible to train a 2 year old pitbull

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
842 Dog owners recommended

Hello Joshua, It is not too late to use the "Verbal Cue" or "Follow Me" methods. I suggest only doing this if your dog was socialized around people whole young though so that he has an understanding of what is normal human behavior and does not simply become overly worried about everyone,. You want him to learn to confidently alert you to people. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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King
Pit bull
5 Weeks
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
King
Pit bull
5 Weeks

How do I train my dog to attack when a stranger breaks in or when a stranger attacks me?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
842 Dog owners recommended

Hello Nathan, First, work on thoroughly socializing pup around strangers - this may sound counter intuitive but pup needs to understand what is normal human behavior and suspicious/not normal so pup needs to know what people should act like. Second, pup needs to be bonded to you and respectful of you. Practicing structured obedience consistently with pup is one of the easiest ways to form that bond. At that point most naturally protective dogs would react to an intruder by trying to stop the person from getting to you. For more assurance of that you would need to pursue formal protection training with a qualified trainer - this is someone that ONLY a qualified trainer should do. Never something I recommend people teach on their own because if you do it incorrectly you will create agressiona and fear in your dog. Protection training involved utilizing a dog's natural defense drive, using positive reinforcement to teach bite work via tug with a bite bag - which teaches confidence and not fear, and teaching high level obedience so that you have command of a dog when they are highly aroused to prevent them from being a danger to your friends and guests who should be there. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Coco
Pit bull
1 Year
0 found helpful
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Coco
Pit bull
1 Year

He got knocked down while on the road 6months ago and everytime he's out on the road he runs back towards our gate and he doesn't wanna walk while using a leash,he rather walk freely without.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
842 Dog owners recommended

Hello Brently, Pup needs his confidence in that location rebuilt. To do so, I suggest bringing some favorite treats and toys and spending time simply sitting with pup on leash, in various locations along the walk. Once location each session. Simply spend an hour or so hanging out in that area. Relax, sit and read - making it boring. Practice tricks and reward calm responses. Play close quarter games on leash with the toys there. You want those locations to become normal, fun and even a bit boring again. Practice this in various spots along your walk, instead of trying to get far - until pup is comfortable being outside along that route again. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Diego
Blue pitbull
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
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Diego
Blue pitbull
1 Year

Long story short this is my step son's dog I kind of inherited in taking care of it is the most loving and very caring but he doesn't protect me like you should I don't know if he's confused I know he loves me

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I think that having a dog that is loving and caring is most important. If Diego is loyal and a well-behaved dog, that is more valuable. It is nicer to be able to take a dog for walks and have him calm and socialized so that you can enjoy him all of the time. It's better for Diego to be content and friendly, too, so that he can have human and canine friends. Training a dog to be protective is only something that a professional can do, in order to keep everyone safe all around. Enjoy your dog, that's most important. All the best!

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Rocko
American Pit Bull Terrier
3 Months
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Question
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Rocko
American Pit Bull Terrier
3 Months

He knows sit, down, no & kennel. He's very aggressive when teaching to be & locks on to anything he bites while in that training session.
He also barks & growl at any small noise or movement he hears while im asleep. Im looking for the best advice on getting him to bark when someone approaches the front door & when someone attempts to get to close to me, we are also working on learning attack.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I assume that you are working with a professional trainer - if not, please consult one right away. To teach a dog to attack you have to know the proper way. After all, Rocko needs to be able to discern between friend and foe. And you need to be able to have excellent control over him for everything (heeling when he is out for a walk, playing nicely with other dogs, etc.). I would be focusing more on obedience training than on attacking. When a dog goes to obedience classes, he forms a strong bond with his owner and an innate protective nature is present. Before you start obedience lessons for socialization and commands like heel and stay, start with the basics: https://wagwalking.com/training/obedience-train-a-great-dane. As for the barking at the door: https://wagwalking.com/training/bark-when-someone-is-at-the-door. All the best.

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Winter
Pit bull
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
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Winter
Pit bull
2 Years

We would like to try and train her to be a protection dog for my 2 year old son and my wife and were unsure of where to start

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
842 Dog owners recommended

Hello Alejandro, First, pup needs to have a high level of obedience around high distractions. Start by teaching basic commands like Sit, Stay, and Come. Work up to pup being able to perform those commands around any distraction. Once pup has a high level of obedience, for the protection specific training with bite work, I don't suggest doing that part on your own. Done wrong and pup can become aggressive toward family and friends. Good protection training utilizes pup's defense drive and is mostly based on positive reinforcement, with pup getting to tug as a reward and learning to target a sleeve or bite bag first, before learning holds on people. You need proper equipment and training help for this part, for pup to develop confidence, learn control, and practice with people with the right padding. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Ambitious
Pit bull
11 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Ambitious
Pit bull
11 Months

How to get my dog to protect me? She walks up to strangers and allow anyone to pet her. I want her to be on guard but don’t know how

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
842 Dog owners recommended

Hello Raquel, You can either hire a professional protection trainer to train pup formally, or you can work on teaching pup to bark when someone comes toward you and generally be more alert of surroundings, on your own. For any bite work, you will need to hire professional help though. To teach pup to bark and be more alert, first, teach pup the Speak command. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-to-speak Once pup knows the speak command, recruit friends pup doesn't know to approach you while pup watches. Command speak and reward with a treat when they do. Practice with telling pup to speak each time the person approaches, until pup barks on their own when the person comes near without saying speak. At that point, have the person approach, wait seven seconds to see if pup will bark on their own, reward if they do, and command speak if they don't - then reward but give a smaller reward when you have to tell pup to bark opposed to when pup does it on their own. Practice until pup will bark each time someone approaches. Practice with different people you can recruit that pup doesn't know so that pup will learn to do this with anyone who enters comes near you and not just bark at one or two people. Draw pup's attention to people outside or people on your property, and reward pup when you see them watching someone in general - so that pup will begin watching people and staying more alert as a habit. Pup doesn't have to bark to reward this one - just reward when pup is watching someone and you notice that. I also recommend teaching the Quiet command, so that you can tell pup when to stop barking after they alert. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark The above doesn't teach true protection with bites, but it can deter a lot of unwanted strangers by making pup appear protective. It also teaches pup to be more alert of strangers and many dogs will naturally become more protective as they approach two years of age and hormones and mental maturity change. Good socialization is actually an important first step - which it sounds like pup has, because a dog needs to be familiar enough with people to be able to tell when someone is acting normal versus suspicious. For true protection that involves a bite or hold, you need to hire a professional protection dog trainer. Done wrong, you can create a dog who is fear aggressive and will not be under voice control and will be more of a liability to you than protection. True protection training requires a high level of off-leash obedience around high distractions, working with a dog's natural defense drive using positive reinforcement - via bite bags and the tug response, and building a dog's confidence rather than instilling fear. This should only be done by a professional who knows how to accomplish those things without creating unwanted issues and has the equipment and staff to practice bites with safely. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Layla
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
2 Months
0 found helpful
Question
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Layla
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
2 Months

Does not sit when told to .
Does not listen to commands
Does not walk when on the street

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

Hello. 2 months is still very young. It takes a few months of consistent training for a dog to start performing the commands you give, regularly. Once he is around 6 months of age, he should be nearly 100% with his commands, as long as they are practiced on a regular basis.

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Zeus
Pit bull
13 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Zeus
Pit bull
13 Weeks

Zeus has problems chewing things he shouldnt. He is also very undisciplined. I would like to train him to be a protective family dog but his attention span is short.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
842 Dog owners recommended

Hello Demetrius, First, know that a short attention span is completely normal at this age - keep training sessions fun, your energy high and exciting, and sessions frequent but short to help pup still learn while their attention span is shorter at this age. Also, remember that training is progressive and builds on itself, start with the very basic things first - like sit. Over the next year, work on commands that build impulse control and respect for you in gentle ways at this age - that will lay a great foundation for more formal protection training later. Continue to pursue socialization with pup even though that can seem counter-intuitive, because a good protection and guard dog needs to know what's normal in the world, especially around people, so that they can tell when something is wrong correctly and not just react to everything and be unreliable. Good socialization also boosts confidence. Getting pup around a lot of people and places is great, but also work on pup's manners and obedience in those settings so pup is learning to focus on you around those exposures - like practicing heeling past people at a park, a Down-Stay at an outdoor shopping area, sitting for being petted, ect... To help pup learn better self-control and focus, practice the following commands over the next few months. Work up to pup gradually being able to do these things around distractions and for longer periods of time. For example, work up to an hour long Place command, heeling past people at the park, holding a Down-Stay while you walk away at the park while pup is on a long training leash and harness. Those types of commands can also help with respect and trust for you - which is important for guarding work later. 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 - good for the mouthing too: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite 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/ Come - Reel in method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall Check out the article linked below for good respect building tips: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Many dogs will naturally guard if it's in their genetics and you have laid a good foundation of respect and obedience, once they mature mentally between 1-2 years of age. If pup doesn't, you can also teach pup to bark automatically when someone enters the property and be more watchful in general using reward based training. For anything that would involve bite work, you would need to pursue training with a professional protection trainer who knows how to utilize pup's defense drive, build confidence, utilize rewards like a bite bag and tug, and have the right staff and equipment to practice things like arms holds - this training should only be done with a professionals help and should not encourage fear or true aggression when done correctly - it's more like teaching pup a task, teaching alertness, obedience, building confidence, and encouraging a natural defense drive - opposed to poorly done training that encourages suspicion and fear to get a bite from the dog. Remember, pup is just learning so start with the basics, the harder commands will build on things like Down and Sit and responding to their name (give a treat each time pup looks at you when you say their name to help teach that) as you continue training over the next year. For the chewing, check out the article linked below. Know that chewing is also normal during the entire first year, coming and going a bit with chewing phases at this age and again around 6-9 months when jaw strength develops. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-not-to-chew/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Pebbles
Pit bull
8 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Pebbles
Pit bull
8 Weeks

I'm new to this and having problems potty training my female pitbull. Please what is the easiest way to potty train her?

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
227 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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Jackson
Pit bull
10 Months
0 found helpful
Question
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Jackson
Pit bull
10 Months

is it possible for me to train my pitbull to become a guard dog he already knows obedient training and he barks when i give a command and barks at strangers when there not onour property

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I always recommend that a person looking for a dog who will protect or guard make sure that they have taken their dog to training. I know you said that Jackson knows obedience, but to have him trained in advance techniques will cement your bond further. This allows Jackson to understand that he needs to behave with manners as well as protect. For guarding, the safest thing to do is take him to a trainer who can teach him some commands but still ensure that Jackson doesn't go too far or become overzealous with protection. The safety of everyone involved, including your beloved dog, is the most important thing. Good luck!

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Tank
Pit bull
6 Weeks
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Tank
Pit bull
6 Weeks

How do I train my pitbull to only protect me?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
842 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jonathan, If you are the one who takes care of pup and is teaching pup commands and practice all types of training - including socialization, obedience commands, and just general puppy training, that should help pup bond closely with you. It pup views you as their family, most dogs with a natural instinct to protect will protect those they view as family. If you don't want pup protecting others in your household, you be the only one to care for pup and train pup. Pup shouldn't be taught to be aggressive toward others, others should just ignore pup. When pup learns more formal protection work later, you should also be the one present while pup is practicing receiving commands and responding to training - even if a trainer is working in combination with you to help you give the commands and manage pup's training. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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max
pitbull
8 Months
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max
pitbull
8 Months

i want hime to protect me and my kids

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
842 Dog owners recommended

Hello Leah, Protection training requires a high level of obedience, socialization, off-leash reliability, trust and respect. Protection training - where the dog is trained to actually bite in a dangerous situation is something that I only recommend a professional with years of experience with such training do - if done wrong by someone less experience you can actually ruin a dog and create terrible aggression instead. Protection dogs are typically trained using drive training - which is like a form of positive reinforcement, where the dog is rewarded with tug of war type bite bag for biting an assistant in a padded body suit who is pretending to attack, not through fear or intimidation to get them to bite. Protection dogs are actually socialized extremely well around people prior to the training so that they are friendly and confident around people when not working, and not spooky or mean. This allows them to tell when someone is acting normal or suspicious - because they understand what normal human behavior looks like, and for the owner to bring the dog places with them safely to protect them instead of being a hazard in public due to aggression. Look for a trainer who understands these things and has a lot of success working with dogs such as Police Dogs and privately trained protection dogs - training protection work. As far as barking, a trainer can help you with this part too, but this is something that can be taught more easily on your own than bite work. Are you wanting to teach pup to bark at all strangers, strangers who come onto your property, strangers who are acting "suspicious", or just strangers that approach you in general. There are a lot of specifics that you have to decide about when and how often you want pup to bark. The training is then practiced in those locations around people, commanding the dog to "Speak" in those situations, then rewarding pup. After lots of practice you slowly phase the Speak command out and just practice that situation, waiting for pup to bark on their own, then rewarding, giving a Speak command hint if pup doesn't bark after a few seconds (you will need volunteers to help with this part most likely - such as someone to practice walking around your yard suspiciously while you command your dog to "Speak!" and reward him for barking). https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-to-speak For the heeling, check out the article and video linked below: Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo You can also reward pup any time you catch them quietly keeping an eye on people and being alert, to encourage more of that awareness of what's going on around you. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Icey
pitbull
8 Weeks
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Icey
pitbull
8 Weeks

I never trained a dog to be a good protector for my home

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, training of this sort has to be done under the direction of a professional. You want Icey to be able to distinguish between friend and stranger. Having a well-rounded dog that is socialized with people and with animals is important for the safety of your dog and those who visit your home. I would start off with basic obedience classes. This will cement a bond between you and Icey, and allow your pup to gain confidence and knowledge. To start training at home before classes, take a look here: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-pitbull-puppy-to-be-obedient. Read the entire guide for excellent tips. Work on training Icey 5-10 minutes a day. Once basic commands are learned and your dog is properly socialized in class, you can ask the trainer for advice on protection. Good luck and happy training!

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Beauty
Pit bull
7 Weeks
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Beauty
Pit bull
7 Weeks

Basic training for now heading towards guard dog in german language

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
842 Dog owners recommended

Hello Candice, Check out the article I have linked below for a list of several commands with their German words. I would start with the same basic obedience commands that most puppies are taught - but their German words instead: Come Sit Stay Down Come Leave It Out/Drop It Okay No Good Fetch Heel Most of the commands on the list in the article I linked would be useful to teach over the next 6-9 months too though. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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koda
Pit bull
8 Weeks
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koda
Pit bull
8 Weeks

how can I start attack training on my 8 week almost 9 week old puppy? I’ve got him to do some basic commands I just wanna know how I could start attack training with him

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
842 Dog owners recommended

Hello Chloe, Generally protection training is not started until a dog is at least 10 months old. First, you need pup to gain an advanced level of obedience with commands like Come, Leave It, Heel, ect...Continue with Basic obedience commands, work up to Intermediate obedience commands, then move onto Advanced to give you the level of reliability in training a protection dog must have. You also need to thoroughly socialize pup even though that can seem counter intuitive, so that pup grows up to be confident and not fear aggressive, timid, or unable to tell a true threat from something normal. A protection dog doesn't attack out of true aggression, they are confident, skilled through training practice, and responding to your commands or situations they have been taught to react to, making pup safe enough to bring with you places when it's not time for pup to attack, while also being calm and alert in general. If pup is not socializes well pup likely won't be stable enough temperament-wise for you to bring them with you places, and thus pup won't be able to protect you. An advanced level of obedience and thorough socialization often takes several months to accomplish, giving pup the time needed for them to mature mentally and sexually, allowing natural instincts like a defense drive to manifest, so that protection training can be started around a year. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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