Pit bulls get a bad rap sometimes. perceived as brutal and ‘killer’ guard dogs, this combined with their size and appearance leads to general apprehension in public. The truth is that Pit Bulls can be just as cuddly and friendly as any other dog. If your dog is a rescue and is a little aggressive or if you have a pup that you want to make sure joins ‘the cuddle side’ of Pit Bull existence then you are in luck. Today we are going to discuss how to train pit bulls not to bite!
Pitbull puppy biting behavior
If your Pit Bull likes to bite (and sometimes bites a little too hard), the first thing to consider is how early they were weaned. Dogs weaned at around 10-12 weeks of age tend to be better socialized. So what does this mean? This means that they have spent enough time playing with mom and with other puppies. This is important because at this age your dog is learning things like getting along with other dogs, that people are friendly, and importantly, how hard is TOO hard when biting. A dog that is weaned too early can not only miss these lessons but is at risk of becoming codependent on you for all of its socialization. So if your pup was weaned a little bit earlier (or especially at around 7 weeks) then this may be what you are dealing with.
Pitbull puppy biting training
Dominance is very important for Pitbull pups and, as such, you should assert your own dominance fairly quickly. A great way to do this without overly stressing your puppy is to simply pick them up and turn them upside-down. Hold them there for a little while. You see, pups of all kinds will roll over and show their belly to communicate submission to another dog. By picking them up and rolling them over, you’ve forced them into the submissive posture without resorting to shouting or aggression.
How to break a Pitbull puppy from biting if this is not enough
One method that you can employ is great for Pitbulls that have been weaned too early. If you are playing together and your puppy gives you a nip that is TOO hard, then mimic the cry of another puppy. A quick ‘yelp!” followed by pulling your hand back and stopping the play will get the message to your pup that they are biting too hard. Wait a few minutes before resuming playtime and repeat as needed. Over a little time your pup will learn the difference between what kind of bites are acceptable for play and which ones stop the playtime immediately.
What if your Pitbull puppy is biting other dogs?
A slight variation of the previous technique can help if your Pitbull is biting other puppies. Making a ‘yelp!’ sound and pulling your puppy away from the other dog for a few moments before letting them play again can help your puppy to learn when they are biting too hard. Poking the puppy firmly but lightly in the neck when they bite can help as well (note, not hard. Just apply enough pressure to get their attention, that is the goal of this, the intent is not to harm the puppy). After you poke say ‘no’ and repeat this every time that your puppy bites. Repeating these cycles of gentle reinforcement through pokes or timeout will eventually give your dog the message that this behavior is not to be tolerated.
Training your Pitbull not to bite: For older Pitbulls
If your Pitbull is a rescue then some of these options are not going to be adequate. You will want to consider some professional training options if your dog is a problem biter and is not responding well to these methods. The advantage of employing a trainer for
” In some cases you can attend the training as well.”
this is that they have access to many diverse techniques that are tailored exactly to the end of helping an older dog to trust. In some cases you can attend the training as well and this can offer an excellent educational experience while helping you to bond with your dog. Rescue dogs can sometimes have trouble adjusting to a new environment at first so you will need to be patient but if the strategies that we have outlined here are not working for you then you should definitely consider a professional.
Crate training should be considered
With a Pitbull you will want to make sure that in training them you never employ any training measures that will bring pain to your dog. Some people will tell you that you need to be firm with your Pitbull and this is true, but that does not mean that vioence is required. You can communicate your displeasure with gestures, firm ‘no’ , and with time-outs in a crate. If you are not familiar with crate training then we would highly recommend researching this subject a bit. In a nutshell, crate training offers you techniques doe potty training or more importantly in this case, for creating a ‘time out’ spot where you can place the dog when they misbehave. By placing the dog there for 3-5 minutes and then removing them from ‘puppy prison’ you have a way to show your displeasure that doesn’t harm either of you in the slightest. Be sure to check it out, as crate training is an excellent way to teach your Pitbull some manners!
In this article we have discussed a few simple techniques for how to train your Pitbull not to bite. Keep in mind that there are certainly more techniques so if your doggy is acting up or playing a little rough so NOT give up on them. With a little patience and a lot of love your Pitbull can be a loving member of your family with good manners to boot! Don’t take our word on it, though, just keep reinforcing positive behavior and you can see for yourself!