Source: NatGeo Wild, The Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan
By Barbara from Oceanside, CA
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.
By Caitlin C.
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.
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
It is still a puppy and the way that I broke my stafford shire (pitbull) of biting is a firm tone just like you would a child. There is no need to physically discipline the animal. They are great companions and are loyal animals. I would suggest getting tennis balls and other chew toys for it to chew on. It is a teething thing just like with a child when they are teething they want to chew on anything to make their gums feel better.
When the animal gets older then you will have to mount it to show dominance. I would suggest getting it fixed unless you plan on breeding and if you plan on doing that I would strongly suggest doing a lot of research on them. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask.
I have been breeding and raising these docile animals for about 15 years. here is a helpful site to get some more information. I hope that it helps.
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.
Possibly, you are seen as master but your daughter may not, so pup thinks it can play rougher with her. It might be a good idea to have your daughter take it to a puppy class to assert her role in the family.
*fot the haters* I was mauled by a cocker spaniel when I was 8. Cocker spaniels aren't bad, his owners were. I repeat - HIS OWNERS were to blame - as in - it was their fault.
Take responsibility, dont blame the dog, train it.
There is some great advice in this thread, but please please don't listen to the haters. Scary stories about "I knew a guy who knew a guy who got bit" don't belong here, honest advice about how to train a perfectly good puppy does.
Good luck with your pup and give it a cuddle for me.
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
Sally I come form Australia and own a Pit bull and over my life have owned many other dogs. Also pit bulls are not banned. Having children of my own who have grown up with dogs. The golden rule is never allow a small children to play with a dog or puppy because small children unknowingly hurt of stir natural play instincts which a small child cannot handle. But another dog would enjoy. With the chewing run intervention tell the pup No! while holding your finger up you may have to do this a lot and offer other things to chew on toy ropes chew food etc.
Always correct behavior and offer praise Good dog. I would highly recommend dog training as soon as possible as Pit bulls need kind but very firm handling. Pit bulls love to chew so offer as many different things as you can. Also please never leave your dog alone in the yard with children or even with adults they do not know. I have done this with all the dogs I have owned it is a good safety precaution and can save heartache.
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.
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.
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
I don't agree with punishing the puppy, other than saying "NO!" firmly. Gently put her in another room for a few minutes when you can't get her to stop, just long enough for her to calm down. When you get her out, ask her to sit, and reward her with little training treats. It will make you crazy at first, but soon she'll understand that when she does that, she is deprived of the one thing she wants most: your company.
Take her out for walks, play with her in the back yard, take her to the dog park. She'll become the dog you knew she could be. And think about hiring a trainer.
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
First of all, stop treating him like your "baby." If you treat him like a baby, he will think he is your boss and try to boss you around by biting you. You must make him understand that YOU are the boss. Don't let him sit in your lap, keep him off the furniture. Keep his head below yours. Don't talk baby-talk to him. Make him wait to eat. It sounds harsh, but it is a system that dogs understand. You must stop treating him like a baby. He's a dog.
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
As an add on to my last post. The puppy is not being spiteful. When he pees in his house after being yelled at, which is not the way to train a AST, he is showing fear and submission from your yelling at him AST's love their humans and want to make them happy.
Make sure you make sure the wire crate is huge and has a soft mat. Put lots of new chew toys and treats in there. Never never, never put him in his den for punishment at all ever ever ever ever. The wire den crate must be a place of fun and joy and rewards, a place to go and calm down, etc. but not ever a punishment.
Look at your dog as another child who speaks a different language. He is not trying to act bad, he is just a pup and thinks your son is another pup also. It is a good idea to spend lots of loving time with the pup and take him out to potty every fifteen or so minutes until he is housebroken. Make it fun, housebreaking should be fun.
It takes a lot of work but you will get nothing but an untrustworthy pet if you keep punishing. You need to build up rapport and the dog will be able to start trying to please you, instead of looking at you as a punisher.
If you keep this kind of relationship up, you will ruin his spirit and lose his confidence and he might become a fear biter in which it will be hard to turn him around from that. So remember he is a baby too. Show lots of love and firmness but no yelling and hitting, etc.
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
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!
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.
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.
I have a 4 month old pitbull puppy. I read that I should use positive reinforcement when raising and disciplining. So when she pees on the carpet, I pick her up and bring her outside. I just got her about 2 weeks ago, so I am trying to train her. I never strike her or pop her nose. One of my challenges is... she gets excited and jumps and bites. I know she is a puppy and she is excited, but it hurts, I don't want her to continue biting. I have heard all the bad rumors about this breed, so I want to make sure I am doing this the right way. If anyone has suggestions about raising a pit... I am all ears.
shawnkd from Lafayette, LA
By Melissa and Ju;io
The bitting behavior exhibited itself in all the breeds through the various puppy stages. It was up to me as the master/dog owner to correct this behavior or any other unwanted behavior. In all the breeds that i owned i found that just establishing yourself as the pack leader/master in a no nonsence manner quickly helped me gain control of the puppies attention. No beating or pain stimulation was required. Firm strong commands along with deep eye contact is extremely effective.
A tug on the nape of the puppies neck as a mother dog would do to get the attention of a stubborn pup along with the voice commands where the extent of any physical contact with the dog. This by the way was done not in a manner to induce pain.
Sometimes when the puppy still didn't get the point that the biting was unwanted i would give a loud yelp to let the puppy know that it applied too much pressure. They don't know what there limit is until they are taught. This would startle the pup and also gain his attention. This should quickly be followed with a corrective verbal command. At all times stay firm with the voice and eye contact.
My current pitbull who is 8 months can be corrected with a glance and subtle change in voice. And keep in mind with all this, make sure to give lots of love, positive reinforcement along with a stern discipline will quickly get your dog in line. The dog wants to please you and you will find that the sooner you take a no nonsense approach to training your dog, the sooner the dog will be a able to co exist with you and be what you need him to be and enjoy each other's company. (06/30/2006)
As to her biting: it was only a problem twice. After she bit me (it hurt), instead of showing her aggresion I said "ouch" and completely ignored her. I did this by playing with the other dogs and not even looking at her. She was completely devastated! Tequila did it again within a few days and I practiced this "discipline" again. We have not had one incident since.
I also do a lot to socialize her. She is put into different situations ever day. She goes where I go, Period. She's always around other animals and different children. Kids are definately her favorite, although, she doesn't quite understand that she has trippled her weight in a month so I keep an eye out for her clumsyness... :)
There are so many different things you can do to help the temperment of this breed. It just requires some research. Simple things like playing with her food while she's eating or taking it away and giving it back or hand feeding her at times will help. This all takes time. There are some really great websites and books out there. You just have to want to learn and look for them. (07/07/2006)
They love a pack mentality, because that is how it is in nature. You have to assert that you are the "leader of the pack". Your dog won't "resent" you or act "abused", they'll be thrilled.
Having a dog as the "alpha" in the house usually results in an aggressive, noisy, stubborn dog that is almost impossible to train because they won't do anything unless they want to.
For chewing, if she jumps, what I do is clap at my dog, and she's associated that with "no". When she jumps, step back so she falls back on all fours and say "No!" very sternly, or clap, or both.
Over time I stopped using no, and just clap, and she associated that with "no" no matter what she's doing.
They are frighteningly smart dogs. I've had 5 danes, a dachsund (downsizing, haha) a doberman, and a lab- this is my first pitty, and as much as I am in love with danes, I find them to be a lot quicker to pick up things, and out of all the dogs I've owned, met, or experienced, I find this to be the smartest breed I have ever encountered!
Pitbulls are *verY* loyal and love to please. The first thing I would do is to make sure she understands that you are the head of the pack- this doesn't entail anything mean, but one thing I urge you to look up is the "Nothing In Life Is Free" training method.
You can find stuff about it all over the place on line, depending on how stubborn your puppy is and how out of hand, it might take awhile, but if you have a bit of patience,
fixing the problem now will be MUCH easier on both you and your dog if corrected now, rather than when she's big enough to cause some accidental damage with those teeth of hers!
Thanks, and good luck! (07/09/2006)
By Stephen Hinnant
I would really like some information about Pitbull puppies and whether their early puppy-hood habits, such as biting, are going to be the same when they grow up? Chino (my puppy) Is very well behaved but bites a lot just to get what he wants!
Whitney from Auckland, NZ
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?
Otherwise, please enroll her in obedience classes. Good luck & thanks for adopting an adorable Pit Bull (the breed definitely has an undeserved bad rap).
Toe biting is a little more tricky if they like to bite your toes, feet, ankles as you're walking. A firm NO is more effective than just stopping and ignoring them. They will discover too quickly how to get you to stop.Dogs are a lot smarter than most people give them credit for. Any time you hurt a dog, they remember for ever. They are extremely forgiving and loving, but like us, they remember pain.
Aggressiveness in dogs is often a sign that the dog doesn't feel completely safe. When meeting people, always be sure to let the dog meet them on his terms. If the dog is a little shy, let him hang out behind your legs, let the dog sniff the person first before the person reaches out to pet them. Petting on the head just looks so cute, but a dog may be concerned about why someone is raising their hand over their head, especially when they can't really see the hand. Let trust build rather than just assume it should already be there.
Pit Bulls are very muscular and strong and may be more prone to attacking than running out of range. As a Pit Bull companion it is your responsibility to discover his special needs concerning interacting with humans. For anyone else seeking formal obedience training do some serious research of the club or organization you will be using. Sit in on a few sessions before enrolling your dog. Trust your instincts.
Now, I am definitely the pack leader, and Rex respects my commands. He knows about 23 different words and commands such as sit, wait, leave it, down, potty, walk, ride, get it, toy, etc. I find that if I use a specific word for the behavior I want, Rex responds almost immediately. When I am finished exercising or playing with him and he continues to want to be excited or mouthy, I use the word "enough" in a firm tone. He knows to quit the behavior.
To stop puppies from biting, you can use a high pitched squeal and turn away from the dog and ignore it for a period of time. This will teach them that if they want to play, they can only be as excited and mouthy as you will let them. Consistency is the key. If you train your dog 2 or 3 times a day for 10-15 minutes, you will see your dog transform before your eyes.
Training, for me, was fun. You can use a treat as a reward or your dog's favorite toy. Rex is now a year old and is the love of my life. He still has a lot of puppy left in him, but all that training was well worth it. I now have an obedient dog that is an example for his breed. (06/21/2008)
My contention is a pitbull is a special breed, they deserve a lot of attention and care. The more you give to them the more you will get back, don't get frustrated, be patient, it will pay off. I strongly suggest doing a great deal of reading on the specifics of training a pitbull. This will pay off in the long run. Love is a key factor. You have to deal with one issue at a time, resolve it, reinforce the training and if necessary solve the next issue in the same manner. Never give up, time will cure all problems you may encounter with the breed. Lots of hugs and kisses never hurt! (01/21/2009)
By christina l.
I have just recently adopted a Pitbull puppy from our local rescue facility. I was not informed that it was a Pitbull but a Boxer mix. She is very playful and I would say could be a good dog. It is hard to explain her behavior.
I have just recently adopted a Pitbull puppy from our local rescue facility. I was not informed that it was a Pitbull but a Boxer mix. She is very playful and I would say could be a good dog.
I have a 9 week old Pit Bull Terrier named Chaos. She is the sweetest puppy, but the constant biting is starting to build up a wall between us.
We have a 10 week old Pit bull puppy. She has a very sweet temper, but she is starting to bite all the time. How can we train her not to bite before she gets bigger and it hurts?
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.
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.
My Pit bull is 6 months old and jumps on everyone and bites. Why?