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Training a Pitbull to Not Bite

Black and white Pitbull puppy.
Puppies love to play rough and tumble and biting is a part of that play. However, when they grow up biting is no longer acceptable and potentially dangerous. Training your Pitbull not to bite is a process you can undertake successfully at home. This is a guide about training a Pitbull to not bite.
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December 22, 2011

I would suggest getting information about The Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan. He is in Los Angeles. He has many Pits and would certainly know what to do. He has books and DVDs, also. His show is on NatGeo Wild every day. I hope this will help you.

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Source: NatGeo Wild, The Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan

By Barbara from Oceanside, CA

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January 7, 20081 found this helpful

I have a 7 month old Pit Bull. She keeps play biting my 14yr old daughter. I have tried everything to stop her but she won't stop. My daughter is the only person she does this to.

Christine

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January 7, 20080 found this helpful

You won't like my answer. I would get rid of the dog. I went to school with a girl who has lost a child when their dog turned on the child while the child was sleeping. Such behavior can be deadly. Its not worth the risk.

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 7, 20080 found this helpful

There is a choice to make

your daughter

or your dog.

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January 7, 20080 found this helpful

i am sorry i agreee my son was 5 when he was mauled by a neighbors pit bull and it was awful i will not go into details but i made sure that dog was put down i dont like them i dont care what people say they are and can be mean my son and i were riding a bike when a group of 4 unchained dogs came after him and one would not let go of him i was terrified!!!!!

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January 7, 20080 found this helpful

At one time my own dog always play bit my daughter. I then explained to my daughter that the dog thinks of her as a litter mate. She has to show the dog that the behaviour is not acceptable and to make a very loud noise when the dog tried to nip at her and say no, then walk away. After a short time, my daughter then had control of the dog as the dog learned that she was in fact not its litter mate.

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Our dog is a beagle.

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January 7, 20080 found this helpful

I heartily agree with mom, missy, and kimmy....

The dog should go now. Those things are dangerous and should never be allowed near children

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January 7, 20080 found this helpful

My neighbor had a pit bull. I knew this dog since it was a tiny puppy and it was very loving and playful with me. Then one day it suddenly attacked me out of nowhere. An animal control officer told me that's the way pit bulls are. For centuries they were taught to fight to the death and developed some kind of enzyme in their brains, they can not control their behavior. Please get rid of the dog before it causes real harm to your daughter.

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 7, 20080 found this helpful

please look at your daughter's lovely face and then imagine her enduring a lifetime of trying to disguise scars that a dog who is a known "BITER" caused. or maybe worse.

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January 7, 20080 found this helpful

please look at your lovely daughters face, and then imagine her enduring a lifetime of having to disguise scars caused by a known "bitter". he will bite her one day and her reaction could send this breed into a frenzy. please get rid of the dog before you regret it.

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January 9, 20081 found this helpful

Get your daughter a can of breath freshner - you know, the palm-sized little cans you can find when checking out at the grocery store. Everytime the puppy - and he's still a puppy and can be corrected - tries to nip/bite her, she should squirt him right in the face/mouth. Get a strong flavor. This should startle the puppy and it should not take long before he ceases the bad behavior. I also strongly recommend that you get your puppy in obedience classes asap. He needs to learn that the humans he lives with are the "alphas" in his life, and he needs to be well-behaved. Pit bulls have the bad reputation they have because they are well built dogs for bad activities promoted by bad people. But they do not have be bad - it depends entirely on the owner. This is true for any dog. Even a chihuahua can be vicious if not properly raised. As a responsible dog owner, you should definitely put the dog in obedience school, and it is so much fun, you might want to continue with agility training and other schools to keep the dog active, interested, and out of trouble. Good luck!

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January 9, 20080 found this helpful

I cannot believe the feedback given here. Every dog deserves to have a life and a family. Pit Bull's are NOT born evil, or born agressive. If the dog is trained correctly and given love and affection, it will NOT maul anyone in your family or around you. You do NOT -again- have to choose between your daughter and your dog.

Simply correct the behavior. If you already established yourself as alpha when the dog was a puppy, he/she should understand. If the dog considers your daughter as lower than itself in the pack, that could explain the biting. I suggest being there when the dog tries it again, and in a stern voice say 'NO'. Test if the dog tries it again, if not than it understands the pack-leader, if so than continue the treatment.

Your daughter isn't a child, she can defend herself like any adult. She should have also established herself ahead of the dog when it was a pup, this might not have happened. Please read up on what you are getting into before taking an animal into your home, it will save you and the dog grief later on. Pitbulls are especially good to study before taking one, as they require owners that usually had a dog previously.

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 9, 20080 found this helpful

I have read to many stories where pit bull's for no reason have gone crazy and attacked people.Since he is biting your daughter she comes first and I would get rid of the dog before he really hurts her and then you will never forgive yourself. I know its not easy but do what is the right thing for your daughter. LOL!

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January 9, 20080 found this helpful

Get rid of the dog! We had a poodle that bit my daughter on the mouth. Thank god she didn't need surgery. The dog was given back to the breeder who gave the dog to a family that had no children. The dog then attacked the new owner and bit a chunk of his nose off. The man went to the hospital and the wife took the dog to the vets where he was destroyed. You do not have a pet you have a incident waiting to happen. Please don't put your family at risk get rid of the dog now. You can always get another pet.

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January 10, 20080 found this helpful

Sometimes it just doesn't matter how the dog has been treated,

have you called the vet? has this pup had its distemper shot yet,

I had a six month old pup that was born from a litter from my pitt bulls,

he crawled in bed with my 2 year old daughter and bite in to her neck,

my daughter would have been 18 this year

HAve this dog laid down

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January 10, 20080 found this helpful

The dog is aggresive. Put it down now before it hurts your daughter

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January 12, 20080 found this helpful

You do not need to have your dog euthanized you can easily correct it by having a toy in your hand and when it begins to bite give it the toy and if it continues to bite pluck the dog on the nose. if that does not work contact a professional dog trainer and ask him what else could work. just because its a pit bull does not mean its gonna automatically be aggressive. i have 3 pit bulls and none of them are aggressive in any way so for the people who believe that they need to not criticize 1 breed of dog because a lab or golden retriever could be just as viscous as a pit bull. and its peoples ignorance that continues to make this breed have a bad rep.

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 13, 20080 found this helpful

Forgive me, but I too agree that you should remove the dog from your house. We recently moved from a house because of the pit bull across the street. It was constantly getting out of it's fenced yard. Every time it saw my kids and I it would charge towards us. We were always able to get from the car to our house, but some times just barely. My husband though was not so lucky. He was attacked a few times. We did not want to put our kid's lives at risk.

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 23, 20080 found this helpful

How about training? If the pup has been taught not to play bite with others, it more then certainly can learn this from your daughter. If the biting is more then play disregard the following, but its simple if it is all that must be done is training. The owner must teach the daughter how to force the pup into obedience. My 7 year old had this issue with our 12 week old pup and now with the SIMPLE command of OFF, he listens just fine. You might want to be sure that he is neutered as this may help with aggression.

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 23, 20080 found this helpful

Here is a great article... http://www.laan  ani_pitbulls.htm

Give that pup a chance! APBT's get such a bad wrap :o( I'm sure she loves your whole family! :o)

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 26, 20080 found this helpful

Buy a book on dog training and puppy care. Teach the dog proper manners concerning your family and your property. My pitbulls have NEVER bit anyone in their entire lives.

All dogs can be trained to be "good" or "bad." If the breed mentioned in the original title was "Golden Retriever" or "American Eskimo", there would be very few demands to destroy the dog or get rid of it.

Train your dog, and if possible ( depending on age ) train your own children how to show their dominate status. Hold the puppy down until it stops struggling, remove it's food at times the puppy is eating( giving it back, of course, soon after ). As I said, buy a book - but these are simple examples of showing the dog you are in charge. Do NOT play tug-of-war games, nor allow it to "nibble" on the tips of your fingers. Be clear it is not allowed with a loud clap of your hands, and if necessary, a pop on the nose or rear. Don't hurt your puppy, but make sure it understands "NO!"

However it turns out, whatever it's behaviour - it is because it's been either "allowed" to behave that way, or distinctly "taught" to behave in such a fashion. Do not destroy that dog - you have no right to end a life. Find a No-Kill shelter if you feel that training a puppy not to bite is beyond you.

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 27, 20080 found this helpful

For all them people who are saying, get rid of my dog is not going to happen. The reason she is doing this is because she thinks my daughter is a play thing! She is a lovely dog, and she does sometimes not play bite with my daughter. She is a lovely family pet!

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 28, 20080 found this helpful

There is NO NEED to get rid of your dog! NONE. Your dog needs some basic training and more exercise. Is the "biting" at all aggressive or is it more of a pulling secure type of motion?

Mouthing is common for puppies to do when they are stressed or feeling insecure. They pull on whatever's in sight like a baby using a pacifier. If your daughter at all appears nervous around the dog; get them both into training together. A basic obedience will be fine. You don't want your daughter to develop a fear of dogs. The only way to avoid that is for HER to be able to confidently control the dog.

Has the dog ever broken the skin? It's easy to do with puppy teeth but you can tell if it's intentional or not. How does your daughter play with the dog? You need to watch for the clues with an unbiased eye to see what's really going on.

Things that seem harmless when puppies are very small become a great nuisance when the dog grows. Did you ever play with the dog in a fake pulling or fighting type manner? The dog could just be following what they believe to be normal play for your daughter because that's what they were taught to do. They don't know it's wrong now unless you tell them...calmly and confidently without anger or fear.

If the dog doesn't get enough exercise (at least 30-45 minutes of a very brisk walk every day, minimum) the dog could be picking up on some excitement of your daughter and letting out their playful side and nervous energy.

The dog also needs to be have consistent and calm discipline when they do something wrong like nipping at a family member. How is the dog doing now?

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By guest (Guest Post)
June 10, 20080 found this helpful

I had a pitt who kept biting my little cousin and this was the only person she would bite. I found out that my cousin was hitting and teasing my dog. Tthere is a reason why your dog keeps biting your daughter, she has to be doing something to make the dog bite her.

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By 4 found this helpful
February 18, 2011

Is it common for my nine week old bluenose Pit Bull to be biting? What is the best way to help him to stop?

By Kate from Sandown, NH

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January 13, 20134 found this helpful

We rescued 2 Boxer mixes when they were 3 months old; a female Teaya, that is 3 years old now and less than a year later a male Tyce, who is 2 years old now. Taeya has severe separation anxiety for which we thought getting her a brother would be a great idea, so we adopted Tyce. Taeya is very motherly and they are two peas in a pod; never had any problems with them.

We recently came across a homeless family with Pitbulls living in a park and found out that two of the litter died. Our heart went out to them and we adopted 1 male (Titan) that was 6 weeks old and is not fixed yet. He is now 4 months and we plan to get him fixed, but he has been showing major aggressive behavior recently.

First, he would start playing with Taeya, and she can handle it, but then he would start to bite her mouth and we could not pull his mouth open; which terrifies us.

Now, he leaves Taeya (female) alone, and has been going after Tyce (male). He bites his mouth and does not let go, whenever we take them on a walk or if we give Tyce attention. Our only methods have been putting him in the crate to calm him down, which works, and then he goes up to Tyce and gives him kisses. But once we walk them, it starts again. We got to the point where we can't walk them together.

I can only imagine he is trying to establish dominance, but Tyce is a submissive dog. Taeya and Tyce do not defend themselves and I believe they are terrified of his lock jaw.

I plan to get him fixed this week and see how they may change; but in the meantime, I need a solution for them to co-exist without my older dogs getting their face bitten off. Then we will most likely find him a new home; our intention from the start was to foster him.

Any advice?

By Caitlin C.

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December 16, 20110 found this helpful

I just got a Pit Bull/Boxer mix pup. He was 6 weeks old. I have had him for about 3-4 weeks now and his aggression and biting is getting to be too much, especially with my 5 year old son. I have tried smacking his mouth, giving him a firm NO, newspaper against my hand to make loud noise to stop him, putting him in his cage after disciplining him, he just doesn't stop. He goes right back at it. He also gets spiteful when you yell at him for the biting and put him in his cage. He goes in and pees. Any suggestion how to calm his aggression?

By Mimi from east coast

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July 22, 20120 found this helpful

I wanted to adopt a 18 month old Pit Lab mix from a rescue. The dog seems friendly towards people. I was informed by the owner of the rescue that the dog was more than mouthy. He bites and doesn't let go and he jumps all over. He has been in this shelter for a year and hasn't had much training. I certainly appreciated her honesty, but for some reason I really would like to give this dog a chance to live in a home. However I also have 2 Labs at home, a 12 yr. old and a 10 yr old. I certainly don't want to jeopardize them. Do you think this rescue is a good idea? Do you think this dog could ever be a normal part of a family?

By Kathy L

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By 0 found this helpful
January 7, 2010

How do I get my American Pitbull five week old puppy to stop biting my two year old when she tries to play with it?

By Sally from Austin, TX

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June 10, 20131 found this helpful

I've had my Shar pei/Pitbull puppy since he was 8 weeks old and from then on I stressed how important it was to not let him bite. My fiancee and I went out and got him ropes and treats because he was starting to bite. He is 14 weeks now and he is starting to draw blood and bite harder and bark at our hands.

My mom's friend came over and was rough housing with him and letting him bite and bark. I'm afraid I'm going to have to get rid of him. He was a wonderful when he was younger and was good. Now he doesn't listen, he barks, he bites, and he is scratching now. I've tried saying no sternly, avoiding him til he behaved, put him in his kennel til he settled down, and my mom doesn't know what to do so she grabs his jaw spanks him and says no biting.

I love my puppy, but this biting thing may lead me to giving him up or my mom just taking him to the pound. My fiancee wants to get him a muzzle and I want to be able to trust my puppy especially because I may be pregnant and I have a 6 year old nephew. I need to know how to get him to be good and stop biting.

By Samantha B.

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By 0 found this helpful
September 29, 2015

I have this baby Pit Bull and he is about 8 months old now. He is snapping and biting, but only at kids. He use to never do that to the kids as a baby. We have been putting him outside on the chain or in the room when he does and/or spanking him. He has bones and stuffed toys that he plays with. This is the third time he has done this. I love him dearly and if I can't find a way to help him stop then we will have to get rid of him. I really don't want to cause he is my baby.
Help?

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August 29, 20120 found this helpful

My boyfriend and I have had this blue nose Pitbull since he was a baby. Now he is almost 4 years old and he has bitten me twice within the past 2 years. The last bite almost caused me to lose my arm. I still want to be with my boyfriend, but I don't like the dog anymore and he's' still in the house.

His mom lives with him and she spoils the dog like a child and he stays in the house. I cared for him while he was a baby and I don't understand why he bites me when I cared for him more than my boyfriend during his younger years. And I don't understand why the police did not put him down. I want to remain in a relationship with my boyfriend, but I don't want the dog.

By CB

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November 28, 20120 found this helpful

I am at the end of my rope. This is our second Pit (our first was hit by a car at 1 year). BeBe is 14 weeks old and I can not get her to stop biting my hands, feet, legs, and she pulls on my pants leg. I have tried "NO", I have pushed her away, tried to ignore her, tried to give her chew toys when she tries to bite me or chew on my clothes. She has gotten where she barks at me and is getting to be aggressive toward me. I am the primary caregiver and I love her and want her, but she is really getting to be a handful.

By Bonnie W. from La Grange, NC

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February 6, 20150 found this helpful

I have a 5 week old Pit Bull puppy. How do I stop her from biting people?

By Sally H. from Elkhart, IN

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By 0 found this helpful
August 8, 2013

My APBT is currently 8 months old and I have had her since she was 6 weeks old. During this time we have moved three times. Initially, we lived in a situation where she got to play with a few different dogs and see various people. While playing with these animals, she would play normally and occasionally act dominant but never aggressively or too rough. She would not jump or nip at people except my 10 year old nephew who would play roughly with her.

Soon after this, we moved in with my parents. My parents spoiled her by not enforcing rules and letting her play roughly with them. After discussing this with them, they stopped for the most part but it seemed the damage was done because she now thought it was okay to jump on people and nip at them.

Since then, we have moved into a complex with a roommate. The complex contains many people and animals. She will listen to me when we are alone with only the occasional challenge. However, when we are walking and she sees a person or another dog, she gets really excited, stops listening to me, and tries to pull to get to the person/dog. On the occasions that she does meet someone new (or old for that matter) she will jump on them and nip at them. She does not do this with me, but she does it with everyone else! It makes me nervous that she may hurt someone because she does not realize she is being so rough. She also now plays too roughly with the dogs she was initially socialized around. I just want her to act more calm around everyone else like she does with me. Any advice?

By Mary C.

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March 7, 20140 found this helpful

My mom has a Pit Bull and two other dogs. We got him five years ago from a shelter and he was underweight and not healthy. He now is happy and healthy and loves my mom. My brother and I have moved out for college and he now lives with my mom. He follows her around the house and he is getting very protective (possessive) of her. Now whenever she has any friends over he stares at them and watches their every move and if they move a chair or get up too fast he will nip them. No one wants to come over anymore and we don't know how to make him stop. He is never aggressive towards me or my brother, but he intimates everyone else who comes over and he takes full advantage of it. What should we do?

By Lily D

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September 22, 20130 found this helpful

I have a 1 year old female Pit and recently she has been going after my roommate and his dog (which is a male pit) when they come in our room or by us. My roommate came in my room and she bit him and then went and stood over her food and then she went after him again. She also has bitten my boyfriend. What can I do to get her to stop?

By britt.b

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June 22, 20130 found this helpful

How do I teach and train my 7 month old Pits to not bite and jump all over people?

By Nicole A

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November 21, 20110 found this helpful

I just had my Pit Bull bite my neighbor. He is 1 1/2 years old. I got him from a guy when he was 8 months. How do I get him to not bite other people? I don't want to put him down either. Thanks.

By Anthony

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By 0 found this helpful
November 21, 2010

We have a 5 month old Pit/Lab. We got him a month ago. He had no training. I've gotten him house broken, but we can't get him to stop biting us. He draws blood and is barking at every noise. I need hep fast. He is my baby.

By Judie from Clinton, IL

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February 7, 2014

Jewels (10 wk old Pit) has a bad habit of biting us and our smaller dogs. We want to break her of it before our child arrives so our son/daughter does not get bitten. We have tried chew toys for her to chew on and treats between meals, but nothing is working. What can you suggest to me?

By theresabarrientos13

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By 0 found this helpful
August 11, 2013

I have a three month old Pit Bull, that is just biting like crazy. How do I get my puppy to stop biting?

By francisjesilva20

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February 18, 20110 found this helpful

My Pit bull is 6 months old and jumps on everyone and bites. Why?

By Dianna from Lubbock, TX

Answers:

Pit Bull Puppy Keeps Biting Us

He's doing what all puppies do. It has nothing to do with the breed he's just being a puppy. I will suggest you try and stop this now though before he thinks it's OK. The best way to do this is to keep a leash on him at all times. When he goes to jump jerk the leash and tell him "no". Then get him to sit, when he does praise him. I find cookies work good for my guys. If you keep this up he'll start to learn that being good and sitting instead of jumping will mean cookies.

Good luck! (04/08/2010)

By bunnylady

Pit Bull Puppy Keeps Biting Us

I have fostered three of them and they each did the same thing. I think it is just because you are his/her pack members and that is what he thinks of in his mind when he wants to rejoice and play and get all happy. The thing to do is to educate him by giving him or her new pictures in his mind to have regarding this sort of thing.

Here are some tips:

Keep soft and hard chew toys for him to have. It is best to have a chew toy to really get serious with, like a Nylabone and other softer ones he can't tear up, like plastic Coke bottles minus the plastic top. I squish them down to where they can gnaw on them. I take a kitchen towel or rag and tie it in a knot for a soft toy.

Place a toy in his mouth when he goes for an arm or a leg. He is asking to play when he grabs an arm or nips at a leg. You are supposed to give chase. Just gently place a toy in his mouth.

If he is really bad, and is awfully rough, I would grab the scruff, without picking him up off the floor and give a shake, not enough to hurt and then say "leave it" or "no". After you are done and he has looked away put him down, put the toy in it's mouth and say "yes" or "good boy" and pat him. At first when you pat him don't overexcite him and make it easier for him to learn to settle down.

I have had to pull pups that didn't start fights apart by pulling them by their back legs from the other dog.

When he jump nips towards faces, grab scruff and shake with a nasty sounding "no" that sounds like the devil is after him and act all disgusted.

It kind of depends on how his personality is. Go to leerburg.com and see if you like any of the free articles and start marker training and doing training for fun. I like to teach them to expect a treat when you click with your mouth, it is great. Then you can base further training later on with that, click with your mouth, and then drop a really small piece of hot dog or bacon or whatever, the size of a green pea or so. Do it about ten or twenty times a day, just for fun. He or she can't mess up, it is all for bonding.

leerburg.com has lots of articles and podcasts and ebooks and such for free, even though I am going to save up for the puppy training DVD because I foster a lot of animals. Click on contact by my name on this post and I will help you with any other issues that arise. I just love this breed, but their little mouths are so strong you kind of have to teach them in a hurry that something is not right without hurting their spirit. I truly believe these make the best pets in the world with the right person.

I had a "Pibble" that had never been trained. He was a "complete" stinker. My arms were bleeding the first day I had him and that was just playing, lol. What a perfect baby he was the day he went to his permanent forever home, just from the tips above and bonding through clicker training and lots of love. He was so well behaved. I was so proud.
Yours will be too! (04/08/2010)

By Robyn Fed

RE: Pit Bull Puppy Keeps Biting Us

Pit Bull Puppy Keeps Biting Us

It may be because he is teething! Lock up everything you don't want chewed up! Tell your dog "NO", firmly, and give him a bone (bully sticks are great) instead and praise him when he chews it. All puppies teethe and chew up things because their teeth are growing in and their gums are sore. (04/10/2010)

By JenlovesChocochip

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November 21, 20100 found this helpful

I just got a 12 week old, red nose Pitbull. The potty training has been going well and she is doing very good. My major problem is I cannot get her to stop biting. It does not hurt now but I am afraid that when she gets older it will and I need to get her to stop biting now before it gets any worse.

I went to the vet and they told me that when ever she bites squirt lime juice in her mouth, but this has just got her really mad at the lime juice bottle when she sees it. The vet also told me that when she bites, put her on her back and hold her mouth closed until she relaxes. I have tried this also, but sometimes when I let go she still snaps back. What can I do?

Answers:

Training a Pitbull to Not Bite

In response to yoshabelle's comment. This dog is the most loving, willing to please, affectionate dog on the planet, hands down! They are eager to please their owners and will do whatever it takes to make them happy, even fight to the death! The only time they are dangerous is when irresponsible and heartless owners train them to kill. They are people-loving dogs, and would prefer a room of people over a room of dogs any day. They are extremely brilliant animals and are very easy to train with positive reinforcement, patience, and overall, consistency.

Yes, unfortunately they do have it in their DNA from decades of breeding to be a bit more aggressive than other dogs. But from a recent study in temperament, the American Pitbull Terrier passed with a better score than the collie and even the Golden Retriever. They are not mindless, dangerous killing machines. If your bully is biting, keep in mind she is a puppy. All pups bite. It feels good on their little teeth. Give her the proper toys, treats, teething tools, etc. to chew on. Ignore her when she bites, letting her know that biting= no more play mate.

It helps to let out a loud high pitched yelp, as a puppy play mate would make if your dog were to bite too hard. Reinforce her good behavior with a treat when she listens to anything you want her to do. Be patient. And overall, be consistent! I trained all my pups at 8 weeks to sit, stay, lay, down, come, roll over, and not to bite within a month. Yes, all of those commands! I am no trainer, just a responsible, patient owner. I am not promising the same results.

Remember, all dogs have different personalities and even more important, different owners. Just remember, Pit Bulls were bred to fight, yes this is unfortunate. But they did it to please their owners. They would fight till they were nearly dead just to make their owners happy. They will do anything to please you. So love and respect them and they will do the same.

Editor's Note: Yosabelle's feedback has been deleted as inappropriate for ThriftyFun. (10/04/2009)

By bullylover09

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April 8, 20100 found this helpful

We have a beautiful pit bull puppy, her name is Latika. We are not sure how old she is, we believe she is about 10 weeks old. Our problem with her is that she can't stop biting.

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Crate Training a Puppy, Young Papillon in a crate.
Crate Training a Puppy
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