By Nicholas from Rochester, NY
My pit mix didn't learn potty training until we got her a kennel. We got a pretty big kennel since we knew she would grow a lot, and only kept her in it when we were out running errands or over night in the bedroom, and she was smart enough at that point to figure it out. We were doing everything else we could think of, but somehow the kennel helped it click into place.
I have found what is called umbilical training. You can Google this. It is a great way to housebreak any dog.
Puppies will wrestle with each and play bite. No matter what breed they are. I also think that when you begin umbilical training you will have more control over their chewing on things and playful biting of humans. I am a strong believer in crate training especially when you will be away at work. If the crate is the right size the puppies will not potty in it. Be sure to take them out to potty before you leave and as soon as you return.
Whenever my pits would bite me and cause injuries as pups, like scratches or holes in my hands, or scars as they do when they are teething unless they are corrected, at least mine did, I would scruff them with a harsh no loud and serious, but not yelling and then get up and ignore them for a bit.
After the dog has calmed down always rejoin them with a kiss and a pat, depending on how the animal is when I scold a doggie, after I see it has stopped I immediately call it to me and praise and love on it, otherwise they become sneaky and do things behind your back or aggressive, this teaches them to stop doing things and gets the idea of coming to you connected with love.
Scruffing means to grab their scruff, only on puppies, like their mom would bite them t here, and shake them, once or twice, not rough and not enough to hurt them, but not too soft either, sometimes just lifting them off the ground but their back legs still on the ground is enough to stop them, and stare at them and tell them no.
The shaking part, gently, but with a really mean voice.. is only for serious play biting that might require weeks to heal, otherwise I would end up flipping some of them on the nose gently but firmly and saying no in a mean sounding voice, like a growl.
If the dog is really sensitive, then just say no and walk away. It all depends on the dog. If you scruff a really soft hearted animal, it can ruin their trust in you as their pack leader, and if you are too easy on a hard animal they can become too rough for the house or to be around any kids or old people.
Some people get the large wire crates and the dogs go into them one at a time out in the house until they get along better. I would also take them out every twenty minutes, with a sing song voice saying "Going to the potty, going to the potty" etc. When they do, praise and tell them they are great and clap and all that.
If they don't, just go back in the house, after every meal and exercise and after waking up and in the morning and afternoon and evening, they need to go out and go to the bathroom. Spinning and smelling on the carpet is a sign of a need to go out.
If you catch them in the act, grab the half leash on them and guide them out or pick them up and take them out, even if you string doo all over the house, they have to learn not to finish on the carpet. Put the dog away in another room while you clean up a mess if you missed it and he did it behind your back. The only time you should even act concerned about this is if you catch them in the act and then act all hurried and take them out with the admonition We go outside to potty!
Also spend a lot of time on the floor or wherever with them not training or just down time, just hanging with them puppies make so many mistakes in an ordinary day they need a no lecture time just to share bonding time. LOL
I have a schnauzer that is a hard headed puppy and it has taken me forever to train him but every second has been worth it and I have to put a leash on him when he gets wild, he graduated from the half leash, and is now only on a leash when he is hyper, he drags it around where I can watch him but it changes his attitude.
I have had dogs so awful in the house they have had to be on lead all day so I can watch their every move.
I would go to leerburg.com database and research things you have questions about there. There are free e books and podcasts on training.
I love pit bulls. They are so sweet, but they do play bite a lot, and they love to rough each other up.
First I would put a little training half leash on them without a loop at the end, which means cutting a leash from the dollar store to where it is just long enough for you to grab hold of to help them around the house, or to lead them out of the house or to pull them off you, etc. It is a gentle way of teaching a dog how to do things.
Secondly, I would start to clicker train them whether they are house trained yet or not. Take them outside and do this in the house.
Then I would use hot dogs cut up into small bits as a reward, that they can snap up within a second or two. Any longer taking them to eat it will distract them from learning of this game.
Here is a good site on pit bulls:
Here is the link of leerburg podcasts that are free but I like the articles as well, and if you go to the home page you will find them.
Good luck and remember never to grab a pit by the collar when they are fighting roughly or such but to pull them back and up if necessary by their back legs, and if they are too aggressive to hold them up for a few seconds... this sounds mean, but it shows the dog you can control it's outburst. I would only do this with a puppy though not a grown dog.
I am getting a pit bull puppy and i just want some advice on training her. Advice about potty training, chewing, biting, etc. would be great.
Loretta from Calgary, AB
The exercise and activity are good for us and essential for her! Remember that her genes gave her very strong jaws, body, legs, etc. In the excitement of playing fetch, if she gets a finger or hand by mistake, it hurts! Be patient, kind, and gentle and she will be a wonderful pet. But always remember the pit bull genes are for incredible strength, lightening fast reflexes, including chasing a neighbor's cat or child. You have undertaken a great responsibility and must provide the best protection of her and people and property around her as possible. (10/12/2005)
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