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Training a Pit Bull Puppy

Pit Bull puppies need the same training and socialization as any puppy. There are some additional steps you can add to your training schedule for these energetic powerful dogs. This is a guide about training a Pit Bull puppy.

Pit Bull Puppy
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January 2, 2016 Flag
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I have a 7 month old Blue Nose Pit Bull puppy. I had just gotten her a few days ago and understand her separation anxiety. Anywhere that I take her, especially when I take her on walks or on a car ride, she whines constantly. The owners that I got her from said she's perfectly fine with car rides when clearly she isn't and the same with bathing, nor is she fine with that. I can tell she is always wanting to play with other people off in the distance or other dogs which is fine, but it's difficult since me and my boyfriend are both disabled veterans. It is also difficult to teach her or train her when her attention is elsewhere and she is whining. Is there any way of getting her to stop whining in a week or would I have to wait another few weeks?

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    January 2, 20160 found this helpful

    Your pup may have a medical problem-please take her to your vet now. She will also need vaccines, etc. so vet can check her for all needs.

    Re training-once your puppy is healthy, perhaps a training school is a good idea-for training by a professional for all three of you.

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    January 6, 20160 found this helpful

    First of all, you point out you just got her. She probably thinks she is just visiting you and is going back soon. The whining is probably, as you say, because of the separation. It will no doubt stop. Basically, the dog is saying, "You're not my REAL mom and dad!" and it will take time for it to realize the situation it is now in.

    I'm a bit puzzled. You say it is hard to train the dog when its attention is elsewhere. That's true, but no dog is born trained. Just like a child, its attention is pretty much always "elsewhere"- that is on something she would rather be doing. It's sort of like saying it's hard to teach a kid math because he'd rather be playing video games. Well, yeah. It wants to run and play and it can't. I'm curious what you consider strange about any of this.

    Well, anyway, the training has to be done. A seven month pit bull is already a pretty big dog and getting bigger all the time. People won't give it any leeway as far as behavior is concerned. Both you and your boyfriend will need to be on board training the dog. This dog breed does require a lot of physical exercise, so even though you are disabled, you will have to provide this. If you or he have electric scooters you can walk the dog just fine. She will need to be leash trained properly. You can also obedience train her. An obedience class is probably available in your area.

    Bonding with your dog through walking, playing and obedience training will probably solve any problems you are having.

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    May 25, 2007 Flag
    3 found this helpful

    Concerning the training of "pit bulls" and other stubborn/aggressive breeds: If you've rescued a pit bull (or any terrier breed), it's very important to recognize this dynamic animal's character. They were genetically designed to be robust, strong, and ruthless in the execution of their intended duties. From the Jack-Russel and the American Staff (pit bull) to the seemingly "cute" long and short terrier breeds, you have a natural born killer on your hands.

    When training these dogs, it is paramount that you remain absolutely ruthless in your own right! They need to know who's the boss from the get-go. However difficult, it is necessary to be very stern with your cute little puppy. A loud "NO!", combined with a decisive but gentle pat on the rear end, goes a long way in establishing your dominance.

    Don't even think about being violent with your new friend because first, it's cruel, and secondly it will create behavior issues down the road. And heck, this is your little buddy we're talking about here! The key is to establish yourself as the alpha male/female at a very early stage of your pet's development. I know it's hard, but it's imperative for the sake of the pet's mental health as well as your own. In saying that, it's equally important to offer love in ridiculous quantities the rest of the time (very easy).

    By jhorn from Vancouver, B.C.

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    January 3, 2011 Flag
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    I have a 8 week old Pit. Is it OK to put him on his back and hold his mouth till he becomes submissive? Or is it OK to put him on his back and continue staring at him till he looks away? Should I not try these at all?

    By Ella from Seattle, WA

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    January 4, 20110 found this helpful
    Best Answer

    I agree with "looneylulu". A Pit Bull doesn't need "special" training, only regular "good training". Even though they are a naturally aggressive breed, (which could be controlled with proper handling) the bad rep that Pit Bull's get is from obnoxious pet owners that train their dogs to be mean and fight for their lives.

    Please check into a local American Kennel Club (AKC) branch or chapter and ask about "Obedience Classes". A reputable club will accept all breeds, mixes and mutts and the skills you and your dog will learn will be a lifetime benefit for both of you.

    One other point of advice, Ella. I know what you are talking about by trying to get your dog on his/her back for understanding submission, but this should not be tried without you, the human, being adequately trained in this procedure. Again, a puppy or dog (any breed, mix or mutt) with appropriate obedience training probably does not need this in the first place and doing so unnecessarily, causes excessive stress on the dog. Please don't try to implement this type of "training" without the help of a pet training professional.

    Please look into Obedience Classes. You and your pup will learn from and enjoy the experience and they are not very expensive, either. (Mostly they just cover the costs of the club offering the classes.) Take care Ella and puppy! P.S. Your puppy is a cutie pie! Wishing you and the pup the best of a long and happy friendship!

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    June 17, 20160 found this helpful

    I tried both of them with my pit bull and didn't work

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    April 18, 2010 Flag
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    What do I need to know in raising a Pit Bull?

    By cocoa from Augusta, GA

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    April 19, 20100 found this helpful

    First, I would look into the insurance you may have to some apts and some rental places will not allow these wonderful dogs without insurance.

    I have heard the Farmers line of insurance will cover for these types of doggies.

    Go to and read all the free articles, about establishing pack order , and philosophy of dog training, and puppies biting, etc.


    These puppies will draw blood if they are allowed to play too hard, as many others will also do. I like to have a toy and put it in its mouth to distract it..some of the puppies are so intense about this, you actually have to grab their scruff and shake them, not violently at all, but enough of get their attention. This is because when the jump at your face and bite in play they can hurt someone, especially children and they don't mean to.

    IF you have to separate a fight, I would gently grab its back legs and pull it out ...these puppies don't really start fights, but sometimes they will end them..LOL. My moms chihuahua always started fights and once the bully dog got into it, he couldn't seem to control himself. I only had to pull him out of the fight this way two times and then he left the chi along. They are smart,and they seem to look into your soul!

    I love these dogs and the first thing I would do is to target train the dog to come to you and touch nose to your hand. I use a clicking sound with my voice, and then say good boy when it comes to my hand and touches it. You might have to reward just walking toward your hand and then reward closer contact, etc until he gets the idea.

    This is because as a puppy he will be in constant trouble and you want to be able to tell it no, and then the minute is stops, target by clicking and telling it to come to you so you can love on it..this establishes trust..

    No dog parks...No dog parks No dog parks. Dogs a lot of times feel intimidated at a dog park, if he loses trust in your ability to keep other dogs from coming up to him training will be harder than ever.

    If someone tries to play tug of war with the pup, you will have to fall on them like a ton of bricks..this is one breed that doesn't need encouragement to hold on to a hand or arm and pull, that means stitches. No tug games or rough housing.

    I would do the "no free meals" training with the dog.

    This means that before any positive thing, make him sit or have him do, etc. This reinforces your pack order...

    read and see what his opinion is and watch the podcasts on training with markers..this is great..I might even consider buying one of these tapes rather than going to an obedience is cheaper anyway and you can refer to it anytime but there are enogh free podcasts on here to last you a long time..

    Have fun and love love love love love the doggie...

    they are so sweet, my favorite to foster and the most important thing is to socialize them, which means differnt sounds, smells, etc. Get their shots first and then take them to petsmart, to the people park on walks and all this other stuff.

    Get a hot dog and cut it up into many pieces the size of a pea and drop them and click. When the pup realizes that a click means food, you are on your way to having afun way to share time, and have fun.

    Hold a piece of hot dog over its head, and when it looks up and sits click and reward. If it just backs up and doesnt sit, walk off and dont reward but dont complain it and then whenit comes to you ,give the treat..

    Good luck and these are probably the smartest of all dogs...


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    July 16, 20100 found this helpful

    Make sure you spay/neuter, and socialize socialize socialize and train train train! A dog reflects its owner. Show people that pit bulls can be great dogs!

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    August 19, 2013 Flag
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    I have a 9 week old male Pit Bull and he's very hyper. He bites everything, me, my clothes, furniture, everything and when he bites it hurts! When he does this I tap him on his butt and tell him "no", but this is not working. I also tried holding his mouth shut and telling him "no" but all he does is growl and bark at me. He's been getting way too aggressive and I don't know what to do. Can you please help?

    By Emily

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    June 26, 20161 found this helpful

    Please do not hit a dog or puppy on the nose, you will end up messing up his sense of smell according to my vet. I always tap the rolled up newspaper on a table, or the like, making a loud noise and this seems to work fine. Now if I even pick up the rolled up paper he behaves! :)

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    June 26, 20160 found this helpful

    The time to decide whether a dog has the right energy level for your family is BEFORE you bring him home. Visit your puppy a few times before bringing him home and watch how he behaves under normal circumstances.

    Don't bring home a hyperactive puppy, unless you plan to make an agility champion out of him. Don't bring home a strong or powerful breed of dog unless you plan to climb Mount Everest with him, and don't bring home a very athletic breed unless you plan to train him to run the Iditarod.

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    September 28, 2011 Flag
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    My daughter was given a 4 week old Pit Bull puppy. Will he learn from her what to do and not do? I have heard puppies learn a lot from their mothers and siblings. I don't want him to be mean and aggressive.

    By Fay

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    October 1, 20110 found this helpful


    4 weeks old is very young and he should still be with his mother. Please take your new fur-baby to the veterinarian for an exam and ask questions when you go. Your vet can advise you.

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    October 1, 20110 found this helpful

    I think the puppy is too young for sure! He will need to be around other dogs, and puppies, so he will learn how to interact with dogs! Also I recommend watching the "Dog Whisperer" TV program, it is extremely informative, and there is a website too. Good Luck!

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    October 20, 2012 Flag
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    I have a female Pit. I want to know how old she should be before I start training in the basics? Also I was at the park and a male Pit came to visit us. He was 12 weeks old, mine is 10 weeks, but she laid him out flat. I want to know what I should do about this behavior?

    By Tiffany

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    October 22, 20120 found this helpful

    I suggest you join your nearest Puppy Obedience Club as soon as possible. This is totally unacceptable behaviour and why were both Dogs not on a leash controlled by their owners.?

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    October 22, 20120 found this helpful

    She sounds very territorial, very. You should be looking at websites and library books for help training her to hold back on that-there are several good books available now regarding training the (American) Staffordshire Bull Terrier (the official breed name of the pit bull), look here for some information on the breed:

    Look here for some recommendations on training clubs:

    I Googled using the search term 'training a pit bull to be a good neighbour' and am pasting in the search results, there are a lot of excellent resources there for self-help: ... cl=35466521&biw=1024&bih=654

    One of the resources is an online forum geared towards owners who are working towards training their Staffies to be good neighbours who are welcome in their communities, you may want to look into that:)

    My cousin raised ASBTs for over 40 years (recently retired, he and his wife now have just one at home) and always started his puppies training from DayOne. The main thing was to always stay calm yet firm, and let the pup know he was in the Boss, not the pup. He would gently but firmly take the aggressive pup to it's crate, for example, should the puppy growl or nip, speaking calmly and firmly 'No Rover, not good!'. He never called any dog 'bad', btw, always said 'Not good!' in a firm voice.

    My cousin used gentle methods like longer walks wearing a Halti style muzzle and harness, more crate time for the pup, and was always very careful to restrict and supervise any interaction with other dogs of any breed, size, or condition.

    You can find out about the Halti here:

    Be sure to Google and search info regarding laws about your dog in your state and county. There are several locales both in the US and across Europe (I live in the UK where Staffies and other similar breeds are highly regulated) to be sure that you are in compliance. This can include purchasing insurance for owners of dangerous breed dogs, strict control via use of leash/harness/muzzle, and registration with local authorities. My cousin had to register all his dogs with the local police after the laws changed in his county (mid-late nineties); he lived in LA County.

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    March 18, 2014 Flag
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    I have a 10 month old Pit Bull that I need to train badly. How do I make her sleep at night in her kennel? How do I make her stop growling/barking at every noise she hears? How to make her stop jumping on me?

    By Jordin

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    March 20, 20140 found this helpful

    The one thing that I can think of, besides continuing your training, would be lot of walks. Puppies have a lot of energy they need to burn off. When she jumps up on you tell her down and step very gently on he hind feet with your feet(if you can). Obviously not with your shoes on. You just need to touch the top of her feet and she should get down.

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    April 4, 2008 Flag
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    I am going to get a very young pit bull pup because the mother won't care for it. It's maybe a couple of hours old.

    Cesar from Arizona

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    April 5, 20080 found this helpful

    I live in Arizona too, and I would suggest contacting the AZ Humane Society in Phoenix for helpful hints. I believe they even have a free spay/neuter program for all pit bulls and/or pit bull mixes. Their site also has tons of great pet tips, the main page is at

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    April 6, 20080 found this helpful

    Try goat milk - in the health food store if there are no goat keepers around you. Try the ADGA website, the American Dairy Goat Association, and they have listings of goatbreeders in all states. Arizona has plenty. Good luck! Take your puppy everywhere but make sure she can sleep with peace of mind! While she's sleeping is when she fights disease and grows.

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    January 3, 2011 Flag
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    Training a Pitbull Puppy
    I have a 7 week old blue nose Pit Bull puppy. He likes to sleep, but when he does awake he loves to play. My main concern is that he will grow up to be aggressive. He does bite a lot when I play with him and I shove his toys on his face so he bites that instead of me. When that doesn't work I close his mouth and tell him "no!".

    That seems to be working, but I don't want to punish him the wrong way and have him still be aggressive. So how should I train my puppy?

    By Erin from Hemet, CA


    Training a Pitbull Puppy

    Don't give him a biting substitute (the toy) teach him not to bite, period. It's not mean to shut his mouth and say "no bite" - Say "No Bite" not just "no" so he knows specifically what not to do. If he stops only to try again, repeat the process and then turn your back to him for about ten seconds. It really breaks their hearts to be ignored and they will find a way (learn what you are trying to teach) to make you happy. He really just wants to please you, but you have to be clear about what is and isn't acceptable. If you are consistent, he will learn that biting is not acceptable.

    I highly recommend you find a local branch/chapter of the American Kennel Club and ask about their "Puppy Classes". A good chapter will accept all pure breeds, mixes and mutts and will be a great opportunity for you to bond with your puppy and begin the process of socializing him with other dogs and people.

    From your posts, you sound very eager to be a wonderful pet parent, but you do seem a little nervous about it. The staff (most are volunteers) at local kennel clubs will be a great support system for you. There are plenty of people on this site with lots of information and advice to share with you so keep coming back when you need help, but there's nothing like actually meeting, mixing and mingling with other fur pets and their skin parents. Good Luck! (11/30/2010)

    By KansasCindy

    Training a Pitbull Puppy

    Thank you so much! This really helps, and I will keep coming back with questions. (11/30/2010)

    By Emonster12

    Training a Pitbull Puppy

    You have a very cute little puppy!

    I agree, teach him "no bite!", say it firmly and set him away from you as you do. If he stops, fine, if he comes back and bites again, repeat it,if he does it again, stop playing with him for awhile, he'll get the picture eventually. You may have to hold his muzzle as you tell him no if he keeps pulling his head away and coming back at you. We did this with our dog and she thought she was so smart when she figured it out, she'd stop biting, but very gently take our hand into her mouth and hold it as if to say "see, I'm not biting!"!

    Don't give him a 'bite substitute', but he definitely needs something to chew on. Puppies go through teething just like babies and their mouths hurt. They will chew and bite to relieve it and sometimes seem desperate. My dog had 2 favorite toys that were virtually indestructible! Her 'binky'(puppy pacifier) and a piece of bone-shaped black rubber that looked like tire tread. She chewed and chewed and chewed.

    Also, when my mom was raising her German Shepard, we learned that with breeds that could have a tendency to be aggressive , you should never encourage games like tug-of-war , 'keep-away'(where you hold a toy out of reach for them to try to get) or anything else that turns it into a struggle/control issue between you and the dog. (12/01/2010)

    By lyonpridej

    Training a Pitbull Puppy

    Kudos to "lyonpridej" for mentioning something I forgot to mention. A puppy definitely needs chew toys but a chew toy should not be used as a "bite substitute." Sorry I didn't say so, too, but I agree that your pup is a cutie pie! (12/01/2010)

    By KansasCindy

    Training a Pitbull Puppy

    Watch the dog whisperer. It might sound silly,but, you will learn a lot. I have 2 pit girls, one 4 months and one 3 months. My girls are the sweetest. (12/27/2010)

    By icy/zoey

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