By Ketan Panchal*

The American Pit Bull is medium-sized with short hair. They are very friendly in most cases. However, they have an unfair reputation for aggression. Some American Pit Bulls can be aggressive due to improper raising. Pit Bulls can lack discipline if they are abused, just like any other canine. That doesn’t mean that the breed as a whole is aggressive. Instead, most American Pit Bulls are sweethearts. Despite their reputation, many Pit Bulls never lose their trust in humans. 

Being a Pitbull parent and enjoying the love of one of the canine world’s most devoted dogs is a distinct privilege, but it also comes with unique responsibilities. With so many factors working against them, Pit Bulls need significant help to change public opinion and gain acceptance. It all starts with you, the pet parent. With diligent training, socialization, and love, you can defy stereotypes and raise a model ambassador for the breed. This is what you can do:

Start Socialising Your Puppy Early

Make socialisation a key priority if you have a young pit bull puppy or plan to get one soon. From a young age, your pit bull puppy must learn to feel comfortable around a range of people and settings. Training your Pitbull to obey children, men, women, and other animals should be prioritised. Maintain a cheerful attitude and give your pit bull puppy time to adjust to new situations. The most crucial aspect of your puppy’s training regimen is early socialisation.

Discourage biting behaviour 

Mouthing is a natural habit for puppies and a vital way of exploring their world. While you don’t want to stop a dog from chewing entirely, discouraging biting at a young age is particularly crucial for Pit Bulls.

How to discourage biting:

Since Pit Bulls have a powerful bite and rarely get the benefit of the doubt, one wrong nip can spell disaster for them and their owner. The following are a few tips to show your dog when mouthing is acceptable: 

Shout loudly and pause playtime if your puppy bites you hard. Give your dog a time-out for 30–60 seconds if shouting doesn’t stop the biting. Don’t roughhouse, especially in situations where your dog normally mouths. Don’t give your dog attention when they bite; bring play to a stop and ensure you don’t reward the behaviour. Monitor what states cause mouthiness (e.g., hunger, tiredness) so you can anticipate and prevent it. Keep chews and your dog’s favourite toys handy to redirect them when they get too mouthy. 

Teach Your Pit Bull to Behave Properly With Other Dogs

The first step in how to train a pit bull is to understand their strength and vulnerability. Pit bulls are not always tolerant of other dogs due to their history of being bred as fighting dogs. Teaching your dog to focus on you in the company of other dogs, would be helpful. The “look” command is useful in this situation. Stay, come, and recall are all useful instructions. While training a pit bull, take time to practice commands in a variety of locations and scenarios to guarantee that your dog will respond to them even if they are distracted by other canines. When you’re in the park, your dog must respond to your commands just as well as they do in your living room. 

Use Positive Reinforcement to Train Your Pit Bull

 Positive reinforcement strategies such as clicker training or training treats are likely to produce greater results when you train a pit bull puppy. The majority of pit bulls in training are eager to learn and would gladly work for a reward. Make sure you give your pit bull treats or toys as rewards.

Teach Through Advanced Training and Dog Sports

Pit bulls are usually full of energy and enjoy training. Many of them excel at advanced obedience and canine sports like agility and rally obedience. These games are a terrific way to have fun with your pit bull while also reinforcing excellent behaviour. Advanced obedience and dog sports also provide the ideal balance of exercise and mental stimulation that these active and bright dogs require. An aggressive pit bull will also change its behaviour slowly if exposed to other dogs in moderation. Just be patient with them because like everything else, training a dog takes time. 

Consulting when required

Instead of reacting to the presence of another dog, a well-trained dog will take its cues from you. Consider consulting with a trainer if you’re having problems with keeping your aggressive pit bull from other dogs. This is the main reason why I recommend starting training your dog at an early stage.  

When it comes to training, Pit bulls are no different from any other dog. The distinction stems from how pit bulls are viewed by the general public. Make sure you keep your pitbull happy by training them using rewards. Take the time to train your pitbull, and you will have a happy, healthy family member who is a true representative of the breed. 

Listed below are the myths about Pitbulls. So please don’t mind if you hear it from anyone who has no knowledge of Pitbulls and who hasn’t raised one.

Myths:

Pit bulls are not friendly. 

Pit bulls are more likely to bite.                                          

Pit bulls have locking jaws.      

Pit bulls are more likely to injure humans.

They are not trainable  

* Certified professional dog trainer & dog behaviourist

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