Contrary to the usual image of an aggressive breed that these dogs have they are actually very social. They love people and pleasing their owners is their top priority. Not just the pitbull, but any animal if not handled properly by its owner can become ill behaved and difficult to control. The pitbulls are however at a disadvantage when it comes to reputation with respect to their behavior. Not long ago, they were used as war dogs. Before that, they were used to herd buffaloes. Years of breeding for such duties has made them more aggressive than many other breeds. However, it is a bad owner and not the animal that is to be blamed for the reputation of 'killer machine' that this dog has earned. On the contrary if trained properly these brilliant and fearless dogs can become an asset for any family. Hence, it is very important to know how to train a pitbull so that it can be the gentle and loyal pet that it actually is.
Tips to Train a Pitbull Puppy
Choosing the Breeder
These canines are very intelligent and highly energetic dogs. Hence they need proper training which should start since an early age. Always ensure that you are getting your pitbull from a good breeder. If it is an older pup then this aspect becomes all the more important, because if the pup is not treated well by the breeder then it might be quite a task for you to train it once it is brought home. A good breeder also ensures that you are getting a healthy pup.
Setting a Good Foundation
Now that the breeder question is sorted, the next step is ensuring that your pup is comfortable and taken proper care of at your home. Get a crate with a blanket or a dog bed in it for the puppy to sleep in. Keep this crate in a quiet room and allow the pup to get familiar with the place. Next, set him on a regular feeding schedule. If you keep a close eye on your pup you would know its feeding cycle and be able to understand other behavior as well. Once you have done this, you have already laid a firm base for future training sessions.
Be Firm and Consistent
Now let's come to the method of handling these intelligent animals. Pitbulls are very loyal and would do anything to please their owners, and this is where the trouble starts. The owner must be efficient and have good management skills. He should be able to give clear commands to his pet. Most of the time, an ill behaved pet is a confused one because his owner has not been able to give him clear commands. Be consistent throughout your session. Let your dog know that you are not happy every time he makes a mistake. If you miss showing him your displeasure even once, then the next time your pet fails to obey you and gets reprimanded, your dog will be confused. Carry out your training at the same place everyday. Do not change your behavior too often or abruptly. Staying firm and consistent throughout the session is the key to a well-trained pitbull.
It's important to remember that it is a dog that you are dealing with and not a human being. So, expect him to make mistakes again and again. While training one should have a lot of patience. Though quick learners, it may take you long to train your pitbull. Use a lot of positive reinforcement, like praising and giving treats. These dogs are very durable, but if you are harsh with your dog, then it might trigger aggressive behavior in him. They are hardy and headstrong dogs and you need to communicate very clearly, early during training that you are the boss.
Be sure to teach your pup the obedience commands early on. Start with the easiest 'Sit' command then move on to the others. Give your pup time to master one command and only then begin with the next one. Other than dog obedience, proper socialization is another important aspect. If this phase goes well, then your pitbull will become your pride. For this, invite your friends and their children home and let your pup interact with them. Encourage your friends to get their pets as well. The more your pup will interact with other people and animals, the more sociable it will be. However, it is important that you monitor and guide your pup through the initial encounters so that any unpleasant incident can be avoided.
How to Teach a Pitbull to Attack?
I am sorry for being harsh but I haven't heard anything more mean than people wanting to know how to teach a pitbull to attack. Why would you want to train your dogs to attack? Is it because you want to show off that you have an aggressive dog, or is it that you want to use the dog as a guard against intruders into your house? Well if the latter is the case, then if you have trained your dog properly you don't have to worry about it standing up to protect you against danger, because it will do so with its life. You definitely don't need to train him specifically to bite at every unknown face. Those which are aggressive are a case of mishandling by the owners which is the most disheartening thing to witness.
So, these were a few points of training to be kept in mind. Just wipe that picture of a blood thirsty ill-tempered dog which flashes in the mind of most people when they think of a pitbull. Treat it with love and patience and the loyalty and care that you will receive from this pet of yours will be worth every bit of effort you took to train him!