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No matter what the breed, all puppies are mouthy by nature, it is how they explore their environment.The name "Pit Bull" is now being used to describe several different breeds, including the Staffordshire Terrier, the American Bull Terrier, and several others. All of these breeds have exceptionally strong jaws and if not properly trained can cause serious injury when biting. While your Bully puppy is teething, biting on anything simply feels good while he is teething, but you can give him chew toys for this. It is when he decides your fingers, hands, arms, toes, feet, and legs make the best chew toy, that you have a problem.
Biting and mouthing is a natural activity for puppies. Not only does it help with teething, but out in the wild, it helps each member of the litter establish their spot in their family and then in their pack. The problem is that in most homes this type of behavior is not only unnecessary but also completely unacceptable. However, it is your job to teach this to your dog. Sound like fun? It can be if you take the time to make the whole training process fun for both of you.
Training your Bully not to bite is not as challenging as you might think. It takes more time and patience than anything. The only things you really need are treats, chew toys, your pup, and a quiet place to work on the training. Patience is going to be your best friend. If your pup sees you becoming irritable and overexcited, he is going to echo this behavior, which will make training that much harder.
The Chew This, Not Me Method
Engage in play
Engage your Pit Bull in play and let him get used to being touched and played with.
When he bites
If he has his teeth, there is going to come a point at which he is going to get carried away and bite you. When he does, start out by saying "OW!" or making a yelping noise.
Give him a time out
Give your pup a time out in his crate or a room with a puppy gate in place.
Introduce the chew toy
When the pup has calmed down and you are ready to set him free, give him a chew toy to munch on. If he takes the toy instead of returning to biting you, be sure to praise him and give him a treat.
Keep reinforcing the concept
It's simple, your pup needs to understand that when he bites you, he gets put in time out. On the other hand, if he takes out his need to bite on the chew toy, he gets a treat. It won't take him long to figure it out.
The I Am the Boss Method
Cuddle or playtime
Engage your puppy in some friendly play or cuddle time. It is highly likely that at some point during this time, that he is going to try and nip you.
Do not condone
At no point should you ever condone this type of behavior.
Stop the behavior in its tracks
When he tries to bite, make a loud yelping noise and stop the activity in its tracks.
If he still tries to bite
If the pup still keeps trying to bite you, grab him firmly by the scruff of his neck and hold him down on the floor. Maintain your hold on him in this position (known as the submissive position, one a pup's mother would use to let him know who's boss). When he relaxes or "submits", you can resume training.
Continue your training
Continue working with the dog using this method until he comes to understand that the enjoyment he seems to get from biting is not shared by the rest of the members of his "pack" or family.
The Time Out Method
When you are playing
If your puppy decides to bite you during play, give out a yelp of pain.
Stop in your tracks
When he bites and as you are yelping, stop playing with him immediately.
Give a time out
Give the pup a time out by placing him in a room with a baby gate or in a crate. This lets him see that biting stops the fun.
When the time out is over
Once the time out is over, go back to playing your game.
If he bites again
If your pup decides he wants to bite you again, repeat the training process. Take your time, repeat this training frequently, until he finally figures out he only gets rewarded when he doesn't bite.
By PB Getz
Published: 04/02/2018, edited: 01/08/2021