Is her biting on us and practically everything else normal? I would also like to potty train her. She is destroying our carpet! Please help. Thank you.
Xena from San Diego, CA
Use a crate to solve both problems. No puppy should ever be free to roam the house at night and cause chaos and trouble until it is older and proves its manners, lol. The crating will help it learn not to go to the bathroom at night, and it will keep you from being bitten at night. It sounds like the usual mouthing that comes from being taken from the litter at about six weeks before the mommy can teach it to not mouth too hard. I would make a shocking sound and make eye contact until it stops biting you.
It might take some time, but the noise, and the eye staring will tell it that you are not happy. Act like this is a shocking development that you will not put up with at all. Use a disgusted tone of voice, but do not yell. When it gets in a biting mood and will not stop, put it in its crate to calm down for a cool off time. I like the wire crates versus the carrier crates but that is just me. Remember their teeth bother them and they need things to chew to make them feel better, and pits are just as smart as they can be. I love them, they are so cute. Let me know how it goes. (03/06/2009)
By Robyn Fed
Crates are a lazy way of caging an animal; not solving a problem. The pup should have been with her mom and litter mates until at least 8 weeks of age to learn good early social skills, like not to "mouth" or chew as you describe. A brief, firm correction with whatever sound you prefer will work when applied by everyone.
She also needs lots of chew toys. She is a baby and teething after all. She also needs to be spayed ASAP and have all her vaccinations at the same time. Spaying will really help her keep any over the edge behaviors and reactions in check. There is no substitute for spaying and neutering so if funds are an issue; start looking for subsidized spay/neuter clinics in your area.
She also needs TONS of exercise. At least 2, 30-45 minute fast walks or runs with you, sometimes after her two main meals, will have her pooping outside like clockwork. Start waiting 5 or 10 minutes after she eats and then do the long fast walk. You can fine tune from there as some dogs need to start walking asap and some can wait an hour or two after eating.
Praise her briefly whenever she goes outside. A positive, genuine "good girl" is fine. Don't do lots of high pitched squealing as it only super excites the dog and will be hard to refocus her.
The longer the walks, the more sights, sounds and smells she encounters and the more places she will stop to pee and poop. She can NOT get this in your yard no matter how big it is. If it's within a few miles; take the family and walk to the store so you can get a little shopping in while someone keeps the dog outside and does some training. Combining tasks saves you time and money since you won't be taking lots of little trips to the store. It gets the dog properly socialized at the same time.
This really works 100% if you apply yourself, keep on a very regular schedule, and do enough quick pee walks in between. Take the dog for a quick walk a few more times than you use the bathroom during the day. She's only a baby and you can decrease the quick pee breaks as she adjusts and grows. Pits in particular are determined to please and do whatever you communicate to them. The problems come in where people aren't communicating in a way the dog understands.
LOTS of running and exercise will also curb unwanted releases of energy in the house, like her jumping and biting/mouthing everyone. Tired dogs are happy dogs and they sleep.
Combine some training on your long walks (always scoop) so she learns to behave naturally in all situations. People who train only in their living room often have big problems because the dog doesn't listen to them outside. Take a little baggie of treats to reward your adorable pup as she progresses. (03/07/2009)
She is just a baby. She needs to chew, so make sure she has a variety of chew toys. She really doesn't have enough self control for potty training yet. Take her out on a regular schedule and praise her a LOT when she goes. Try crate training - but make sure you get a large crate. She will grow quickly. The best thing you could do is to enroll both you and puppy in a puppy training class. Try your local Petsmart or animal shelter. BTW, she is darling! (03/07/2009)
Your puppy definitely needs chew toys because she has baby teeth. And, yes, you really should get some professional advice since your baby was taken away from her mom too soon. I disagree with dh8 that kennel training is being lazy and not solving the problem. The dog learns much more quickly proper potty procedure because they don't like to sleep in their poop and pee pee. Not kenneling is like not keeping training pants on a toddler before they are toilet trained. (03/07/2009)
Oh yes, I agree with the kenneling up! I'm the proud momma of two, 3 yr old pits. They are house dogs. We started them in their kennel when we got them and they still use it. I can't remember them using the bathroom in it too many times. When we would put them in we would say "kennel up" so now all we have to say is kennel up and they do, we don't even have to shut the door anymore. And the chewing, wow! Those teeth can tear up some stuff, we must have went through a million flip flops. As for the chew toys, go on and spend those few extra dollars to get the thicker rubber ones. They still have 2 solid rubber bones from puppy hood. Pits are so full of love you can just see it in their eyes, it's all in how you raise them! (03/07/2009)
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