Training your Pitbull puppy is essential. A well behaved Pitbull can take part in more activities of your life, is not a threat to himself or others and is a pleasure to be around.
Fun, reward-based training can start as soon as the puppy turns 10 weeks old. It is important to remember that at this stage their attention span is very short: after around 10 minutes, your dog will get bored. Most trainers recommend allocating small training sessions throughout the day to achieve the best results.
What you need to get started
- Environment without distractions: it is strongly recommended to teach basic commands in a quiet and calm room where the puppy will be able to focus his attention on your voice and body language.
- Clicker, an object that makes a sharp clicking sound when you squeeze the button. It is a very powerful tool, used by dog owners and trainers alike to “mark” a desired behavior the instant it is happening.
- Treats: whether you use a clicker or not, it is important to follow up a good execution of a command with small bits of tasty treats or dog food to reward your Pit Bull puppy.
You are now ready to learn more about simple, basic commands that you can teach your Pitbull puppy!
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Basic commands to teach your Pitbull puppy
Before we start, we would like to stress how important it is to use positive reinforcement. By keeping your training sessions light and fun, your puppy will like them more and look forward to it. Avoid punishing the dog and simply ignore mistakes.
1. Basic command: “sit!”
Teaching your Pitbull to sit is quite simple and fun. Here’s how to do it:
- Hold the treat over your puppy’s nose: it will encourage them to lift their nose upward.
- Keep holding the treat high and start moving it backward over their head.
- As the dog follows the treat with his nose, his shoulders will lower and he will find himself in a sitting position.
- The moment you see their rear-end touch the floor, give them verbal praise and the treat.
- As you practice, begin using the command “sit” and the dog will associate the command with the act of sitting down.
2. Basic command: “lay down!”
After your puppy has mastered the “sit” command, he might be ready to move on to the “lay down” command.
- Tell your Pitbull puppy to sit.
- Bring a treat in front of their nose and then pull it down until it sits between their feet.
- Pull the treat forward: in an attempt to follow it, your pitbull should lay down
- As soon as the dog is entirely on the floor, offer them the treat and verbal praise.
- As you repeat the exercise, start saying “lay down”.
3. Basic command: “come!”
This basic command is best taught in a quiet and big space. An ample room, your garage or a hallway will be perfect for this exercise.
- Ask a family member or friend to hold your dog at one end of the space.
- Stand in front of the puppy with a treat.
- Start walking backward and call their name.
- When the dog shows that they want to run towards you, ask your friend to let go.
- When your dog reaches you, praise and offer a reward.
- Gradually increase the distance and difficulty of the exercise (you can add distractions, for example).
4. Basic command: “stay!”
This is by far the most difficult command among the ones we listed in this article. It requires a fair amount of attention on your puppy’s part, so don’t get frustrated if they don’t seem to immediately respond to your instructions.
- Tell your pup to sit next to you.
- Hold up your open palm and say the word “stay.”
- Keep your hand up and move forward – one step is enough in the beginning.
- Return next to your dog and praise them for not following you.
- You can gradually increase the distance between you and your dog and the length of time you ask him to stay.
Some useful tips to remember when training your Pitbull
- It is essential that you do not wrestle or play rough with your puppy. These activities can lead them to develop aggressive behavior as adults.
- Get your Pitbull puppy used to being handled and restrained. This will prove useful in situations such as vet appointments.
- Socialize your Pitbull puppy to as many different people and dogs as you possible: it is a crucial step in their development as balanced and well-mannered pets.