Pitbull training is in fact very similar to training any other dog. You may say it is quite similar to handling your children as well. The set of tips and suggestions that we discuss can be efficiently applied on pitbulls of all ages. With proper guidance and instructions, your pitbull could emerge into a really lovable and loyal pet.
So, if you are looking forward to training your pitbull puppy, it is essential to understand the broad aspects of his nature and deal with him accordingly. Before you start hands-on training sessions with him, you must learn to recognize his dominance and wants, treating him with love, pampering and rewards to win over his aggression.
Some suggestions for how to train a pitbull
Keep him busy with positive activities: Engage your pitbull puppy in enjoyable exercises that would help him to socialize and gradually accept your leadership. I must remind you that pitbulls usually indulge in wrong behavior when they are bored and seek to get your attention. Hence, never keep the pitbull in seclusion; rather let him have a touch and feel of all the members of the family, surroundings and the other dogs of the neighborhood. When exposed to various situations, the pitbull would learn to stay friendly and calm.
Proper exercise and training routine: A pitbull primarily learns to retain a repetition and hence, the more you practice obstacle training with him, the quicker your dog understands what the challenge is and how to overcome the barriers at your commands. Whether it is a table-top stand, over and under a turn of activities, practice is the key to your pitbull training. Taking your pitpull out for a walk everyday and keeping him entertained with toys and dolls are good ways of exercising him.
Training a pitbull by association: Like most dogs, pitbulls pick up the basics of their training through food associations. You can observe this in common response patterns like the pitbull sitting down calmly when you open the box or refrigerator containing his food. Hence, put your dog through a fixed feeding schedule and a regular diet. At the same time, it is important to make your pitbull feel comfortable and at home. Give him a nice cushion and a cozy crate to sleep in.
Balancing positive and negative reinforcements: Very simply stated, positive reinforcements mean encouraging and rewarding your pitbull pup when it follows your instructions and negative reinforcements are taking away the reward when despite knowing the trick the dog does not act according to your commands. This will teach the puppy to avoid doing or not doing things that bring about a negative consequence like not getting his due reward.
Sometimes negative reinforcements also entail punishing the pitbull for undesirable actions like excessive barking, biting, scratching and eliminating within the household. Remember not to reward the dog immediately after it stops any of these wrong behaviors. In contrast, when he sits, fetches, jumps, walks at your pace, eliminates outside or rolls, you should reward him immediately to keep encouraging a repetition.
Importance of consistency, discipline and timing: The success of the pitbull training depends a lot on you. Suppose you have taken your pitbull out for a walk. It is but natural for the pup to behave aggressively at least initially. If you are wanting it to stop its barking and jumping and sit quietly, then you have to wait until the dog sits down on its own and then reward him.
Now be constant in rewarding him every time he sits down until he learns what is expected out of him. Only this re-training is going to enforce positive behavior. Getting frustrated midway would do more harm than good. Follow a scrupulously designed step-by-step guide even while you are simply training your pitbull to lie down on its mat.
Imagine, you have just sent across a command like ‘Go to bed’ and your pitbull follows and lies down on its mat. However, it decides to get up immediately afterwards. In this situation, what you need to do is, take the dog by the leash, walk him to the mat, make it lay down and then sit by its side 30-60 seconds before rewarding it. This timing is vital for communicating to your pet what you are wanting it to do.
How to train a pitbull using clicker
Clicker training has been associated with the dog training world since the 1980s. It originally derived from the Marine training world. Clicker training for pitbulls is based on upper conditioning and conditioning with reward marker where the clicker is. The first thing you have to do is to load the clicker with a particular clicking sound that means something to your dog. The pitbull must be able to respond to the sound of the clicker.
For this, you must team the clicker with something that the pitbull deems important. Since almost all dogs are food motivated, it is easiest to use a food treat for your clicker training. You have to simply find a food treat, which is a top favorite with your dog. It could be shredded chicken or shredded cheese. If your pitbull is not food motivated, please consult a professional trainer who would help you find a treat that is motivating for your dog.
Now you have to load the clicker or condition it to make sounds that signify to your pitbull that it is about to receive a reward. Remember to use the clicking noises not to seek your dog’s attention but to encourage behavior that is good and is likely to help him win a reward. You have to think of the clicker just like a camera for capturing the exact moment of good behavior performed by the dog.
It is scientifically proven that the sound of the click gets processed in the different parts of the dog’s brain. Just the way your voice is registered in your pitbull’s memory, a clicker makes a faster impression, helping to speed up learning during the course of the pitbull training.