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Training a Pitbull to Not Bite

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.

Source: NatGeo Wild, The Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan

By Barbara from Oceanside, CA

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April 18, 20120 found this helpful

Like many others I own lots of dogs. What exactly does it mean that your pitbull puppy is biting? Is it playful or aggressive, drawing blood? All puppies ruff and tumble. Pits are terriers and high energy. Puppies and every dog no matter how old requires exercise including walking, sniffing, running every single day of its life. No exercise every day and you will have "bad dog" that day. It is mandatory to fit daily exercise of your dog(s) into your life.

With this said, pitbulls are tough when they're 1-3 years old. Some aren't very trustworthy with other dogs, even when they're spayed/neutered. For example, when I leave the house to shop or whatever, I put three dogs out side that get along and leave 3 inside.

Last, all dogs should be wearing the proper equipment in public. If your dog is not aggressive with other dogs a pinch collar is acceptable. However if there is any chance at all that your dog will lunge, the proper equipment is the metal spiked training collar and not a pinch collar. Of course, put the rubber tips on the ends. This collar is very humane and works, spreading the tightening around the neck evenly. (The choke collar can break a neck.) The other proper equipment is a plastic muzzle. I would not take my pitbull in public without one to eliminate all risk.

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Questions

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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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September 22, 20160 found this helpful

This is a perfect technique. Say ow and ignore and dog will learn. Very smart. And give all pits a chance.

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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.

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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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May 9, 20130 found this helpful

Contrary to popular belief pitbulls do not have a locking jaw. And they also do not have a very large bite pressure. Matter-of-fact, they don't even have the largest bite pressure of all domestic dogs, that belongs to the to Rottys! You just need to replace what they are biting with a chew toy or a bone, you puppy is still teething so he will need something to chew on.

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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 21, 20160 found this helpful

I had seen pitbulls that were raised for fighting when I was a child. I had grown up with a fear of them. Then I had the privilege of meeting more and more pits that were raised as family dogs. I still will not let ANY dog be left only with a baby or small child, but I have now owned 3 pitbulls myself and have never had them hurt anyone. They (ALL dogs) will bite when they are puppies until they are taught not to (in a positive way).

To judge a dog by its breed is no different than judging someone by their race...maybe people need to think about that before they say anything

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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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September 29, 20150 found this helpful

Joan has a good idea, and I would also suggest implementing a training program now that he is old enough. The idea is to get him to respect humans more.

Do NOT let him eat as you are putting the bowl down. He must learn to sit and wait for a signal.

DO NOT let him take food from your hands, plate etc. or beg for food at or near where people are eating.

(Also, no hanging around the kitchen when food is being prepared.)

Do NOT feed him human food. He will become "bitey."

DO NOT let him take a toy from a human's hand. The human must GIVE, (or throw,) he can't take.

NO jumping up on humans.

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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 19, 20160 found this helpful

I just got a pittbul male and i been working with him eveyday to be around other dogs and kids hes only 11 weeks old awesome puppy whould it be okay to put him in training school so i can learn more about my dog when he pees want should i do

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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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July 29, 20120 found this helpful

I wouldn't risk it. The staff clearly thinks it is a bad idea for you to take this particular dog into your home since you have other pets and children - and after a year they know him well. You need to put your kids first. It may be that he's a sweet dog most the time, but he'd probably do best (and be happier) in a quieter home. If your kids are anything like mine, they get loud and rambunctious - then of course my dogs get wound up, and if this guy plays tough, you're asking for trouble...

If you feel really strongly about this particular dog, I would hire a trainer to come check the dog over with you and get their expert opinion. Then plan to spend a lot on training.

Personally, I've had the best luck adopting dogs through a rescue agency that fosters the dogs in a home environment. It's far less traumatic for the dog and you know exactly what you're getting - which is really important when you have kids. I would really recommend you go that route!

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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.

Answer Was this helpful? 1
June 11, 20130 found this helpful

Aw he is so cute! All of the pit crosses have this teething play biting not minding being snotty problem.

Never roughhouse with a pup it makes them misbehave. Then any hand looks like a play toy to the pup.

I always would take the pup by the scruff gently and raise him up and look at him and say no. His upper feet would be off the ground but his back feet would be on the ground. I have found a firm shake to the scruff and a no with a mean growly voice usually works. Don't praise once he has calmed down, just let the quiet be the praise. Here are some other tips:

Here is a bit of help from leerburg.com

http://leerburg  itingpuppies.htm

Fear Aggression in Puppies Video

http://leerburg  sion_in_Puppies/

Stopping Puppy Biting Behavior Video

http://youtu.be/1dKiaKSEilg

Here is an excellent pit bull resource site on training:

http://www.pbrc.net/training.html

Hope this helps, and if you do rehome him make sure you charge a fee for it!

Blessings,

Robyn

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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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February 6, 20150 found this helpful

Biting is natural for your pup, however, you can provide training to help your pup learn that biting is not acceptable is some situations.

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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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January 11, 20100 found this helpful

Sally, I'm sorry, but I feel you are heading for disaster. Pit bulls are banned breed here in Australia. This is not about pitbulls as such, but no puppy should be allowed to get a taste of biting a baby or child, even in play.

My next door neighbours sadly had to have their beautiful dog (not a pit bull) put down because it bit their 3 year old. They were devastated at having to do it, but the child, any child, has to be the highest priority.

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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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August 30, 20120 found this helpful

It is so hard to say what may have caused this dog to bite you. There is a lot of very irresponsible breeding with pits. Too bad, it has been a great breed and I am sure many still are. You could take a chance trying this or that, but it seems to me the stakes are too high. They would be for me. If your boyfriend has made no effort to protect you by getting rid of the dog, you need to have a tough talk with him. Perhaps Mom would like to get her own place and take the dog with her. Sadly, we can live with and love someone and still not really know them. Your boyfriend has a chance to show you his character. When he does, believe him and act accordingly. Do what you need to do. You are worth it.

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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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November 30, 20120 found this helpful

I'm thinking that your puppy thinks you are playing with him by pushing him away. If he is biting your fingers etc. snap his nose with a flick of your fingers, saying "no" at the same time. By just pushing him away it has become a game. Make him sit before you give him a treat, a treat can be as small as a Cherrio. When he does the "right" thing, reward. Good luck, he'll learn.

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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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August 10, 20130 found this helpful

Part of the problem is her age, but you are wise to get a handle on this early. She is a good age for some obedience training. If that and some growing up doesnt solve the problem, your trainer may have good ideas on other avenues to pursue. Good for you for knowing to nip this in the bud.

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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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March 7, 20140 found this helpful

You need professional training for the dog and your Mom right away. Get some of Cesar Milans' books as he deals a lot with red zone dogs. Don't wait.

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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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September 26, 20130 found this helpful

You have a dog with inbred aggression tendencies. When this breed begins to be aggressive you need to take action immediately. It is guaranteed to escalate. Begin by finding Cesar Milans (the dog whisperer) website and read enough to understand red zone dogs. Your dog needs intensive training immediately and you need to learn to understand what you are dealing with.

If your dog bites a person you are legally responsible because you are aware of the dogs tendencies. Your dog will need to be handled very carefully for its lifetime to avoid someone being badly hurt and you becoming legally responsible for the damage. Get started right away. http://www.cesarsway.com/

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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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June 25, 20130 found this helpful

When the dog is approaching you and you know it's going to jump or the dog is in the process of jumping, step forward, do not back up. Step into the dog's space, give a command like "down" "back"or whatever, use same word every time. Reason you step forward is dogs don't do backward easily.

Don't knee a dog in chest, they think that's fun. For the biting I have used a snap on the bridge of their nose, like you are flicking something off your finger and say "no bite." Don't hurt the dog, get the dogs attention that what they are doing is not acceptable.

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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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November 23, 20110 found this helpful

I would look in to a dog training class. There are reasonable ones in petsmart.you and your dog would take them together. If that doesn't work your best option might be a trainer with pit bull experience. They are lovable and loyal, but are also strong willed and powerful dogs. You may need a professional to get him on track. Good luck.

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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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