December 24, 2009

Pitbull Training Tips

pitbull training

You can’t expect a Pitbull to figure out what you would like him to do (or don’t want him to do) unless you show him what your expectations are. And your Pitbull won’t be trained properly or be willing to heed your commands unless you use efficient training methods.

Pitbull training can be started at any age, the sooner the better. You can start simple training with your puppy as soon as he or she has settled into his/her new home. Adult Pit Bulls are as well receptive to training,  although several might be less keen or quick to learn than a younger Pitbulls.

Done correctly, pit bull training should be fun, both for you and your pit, as well as exercising his brain and reinforcing the good quality relationship between you.


A Well-Trained Pit Bull Is One Who:

  • Doesn’t beg at the table
  • Comes when called
  • Doesn’t jump on people
  • Doesn’t bother guest
  • Doesn’t pull on the leash


Pitbull Training – Positive Rewards:

In order to be valuable and to achieve the finest results, all pitbull training must be based around positive rewards. Positive reward training works for the reason that if you reward your dog with something he wants as soon as he does what you ask, he is far more likely to do it again. Rewards can be anything that your dog or puppy really wants and may well include; food treats, a favorite toy, playing a certain game or petting. If you are using food treats, you will need to reduce the size of your dog’s regular meals or use his full meal divided up into smaller portions, to prevent your dog putting on weight. Always combine the giving of a reward with verbal praise such as “Good dog”.

As soon as teaching a brand new command, you will need to reward your dog each time that he does what you ask right. When he has the hang of the command, it is a good idea to switch the way you reward by only giving the reward every now and then, because this will make your dog try harder for his reward. All the time verbally praise your dog, even if he is not being rewarded with a treat.


Why Punishment Doesn’t Work:

Punishment must never be used in training. If you punish your dog, it will just teach him to be scared of you and might eventually teach him to be aggressive. He will mistrust you and your relationship could break down. If your dog is being what you consider to be disobedient or badly behaved the greatest thing to do is to take a ‘time out’. You should completely ignore him (and that includes looking at him) or shut him out of the room for 5-10 minutes. This works because dogs crave attention and being part of the pack and so removing this is something that your dog understands far better than being shouted at or hit.


The Basic Commands:

The six basic commands you will need to teach your Pit bull in order to acquire a decent degree of control are:

  • Look At Me
  • Sit
  • Down
  • Stay
  • Come
  • Heel




All the time Practice While Your Dog is Hungry – We’ll be using treats through our exercises and your dog will do best while he’s hungry.

Practice the training before your dog eats. If you’re concerned that your dog will gain mass, you can even use his dinner as his rewards.

• Use phrases such as “Good Sit” and “Good Down” – Use these “specific” phrases instead than just saying “Good Dog.” He doesn’t know our “vocabulary” and we need to teach him what the commands really mean.

• Use the word “Off” instead of “Down” – If you don’t you may well be confusing your dog. If you tell your dog “down” when you want him to “lay down” and “down” when your dog “jumps,” then you probably are confusing him. To decrease confusion, use the word “Off” while your dog jumps.

• Don’t Use “NO” Too Often – Be exact! We use “No” for so many things that your dog possibly will think it’s his name!

•Use phrases like “No Bark” and “No Bite” to help your dog understand.

• By no means Punish Your Dog for running from you – This is very crucial and can potentially save your dogs life.

• More Time Rewarding Than Punishing – 90% of your training should focus on rewarding good behavior while only 10% must focus on punishing bad behavior.

• No Harsh Methods – There are many training styles that focus mostly on punishment. This can have long lasting psychological effects on your dog.

• Every time Reward Good Behavior – If you dog is behaving correctly, be sure to let him know. Even if you didn’t tell him to be good. You don’t have to save rewards for training sessions.


Pit Bull Training – Exercise 1 – Look At Me

This is the simplest and probably the most crucial exercise. I recommend that you practice this exercise to start with since it helps gain your dog’s attention, which is crucial for proper pit bull training.

To execute this exercise:

  1. Have a treat or toy in your hand.
  2. Place it somewhere in front of your dog so his head is facing up and looking towards your face.
  3. Say “Look At Me.”
  4. As soon as your dog makes eye contact, say “good boy” and give him the treat.


Exercise 2 – Sit

Getting your dog to sit is very crucial and must be practiced in many diverse Situations. Make him sit while someone comes to the door. Make your dog sit when He greets you. Make him sit when he meets small children. Starting early on can help prevent “jumping problems” and “safely” create your “rank” within the household.

To perform this exercise:

  1. Hold a treat or toy in your hand.
  2. Place it quickly in front of your dog’s nose.
  3. Gradually move the treat a little up and behind your dog, with his head following.
  4. His head must go up and his butt down into a sitting position.
  5. Say, “Good Sit” and reward.


• If your dog moves back instead than sitting down, start over.

• If you feel your dog just isn’t getting it or getting frustrated, break the training down into lesser parts. For example: Reward him just for moving his head back.

Remember that pit bull training takes patience and devotion.


Exercise 3 – Down

To perform this exercise:

  1. Place your dog in a sit.
  2. Holding a treat or toy in front of your dog’s nose, gradually drop it from his “nose to his toes.” (his head should follow as you go)
  3. After your dog’s head is close to his toes, little by little pull the treat away from his feet (at
  4. Ground level) until he routinely lays down.
  5. Tell him “Good Down” and reward.


• Again if your pit is make an effort or is feeling frustrated break the pit bull training into smaller pieces.

• Remember to use the word “Off” when your dog jumps so that he won’t be puzzled about the meaning of “Down”


Exercise 4 – Stay

To perform this exercise:

  1. Place your dog in a “sit” and stand on his right side.
  2. Grasp the leash at just about half way and hold on top of the dog’s head so there is a “slight pressure”.
  3. Take “one” step in front of your dog, so that you’re facing him.
  4. Say “Stay” while hold your palm outwards and up.
  5. Return to initial position. Say “Good Stay” and reward.


• If your dog doesn’t stay, start over and keep practicing. Eventually your pit bull training will pay off.

• As soon as you can take one step, take another and so on. (You only need to hold the leash higher than your dog’s head until he understands what you want him to do after you tell him to “Stay”)

• Please all the time practice on a leash when outside.


 Exercise 5 – Come

To perform this exercise:

  1. Ask someone to hold your dog by the collar while you show him a portion of his food.
  2. As he is released, call his name and command him to “come”.
  3. He should come to you for his food. Praise him and put his food down so he can eat it.
  4. After a couple of days if your dog is coming to you on command, start to make him sit before you give him his food portion.
  5. This will give you extra control for when you are outside.


If he does not get nearer to you straight away, do not pull him to you but hang on until he eventually decides to come to you. When he does come, praise him, no matter how long it takes. Punishing him, no matter how cross you are, will only make him scared of you and less likely to come.


Exercise 6 – The Heel

To perform this exercise:

  1. Have a bag or fanny pack filled with treats.
  2. While walking, hold a treat right away in front of you so that he is on your left side without pulling.
  3. While walking give him treats and praise him by saying “Good Heel.” You can
  4. Even let him nibble pieces of the treat while you’re walking.
  5. Be sure to keep on saying “Good Heel” so he can understand the command.


pitbull training


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5 responses to “Pitbull Training Tips”

  1. Mary Ybarra says:

    Hi, I have a question about training a white pit that also happens to be deaf. He already knows sit, down, stay and shake. He still show aggression towards visitors and I can’t seem to comuncate what I want. I also could use some suggestions in how to get his attention.


  2. Nancy Stephenson says:

    Hi I have a question about retraining a pit that was allowed to bully children. It was my daughters dog, needless to say I ended up with him so he would not be put down. He is severely jealous of my grandson. He growls at him and nips. I have trained him that when he is in trouble or irritated he goes into the crate for a time out. He grew up on a chain and locked in a room. So now he has a huge yard to play in and is allowed full run of the house. I have trained him to sit, stay, fetch, down, not to jump on people, but, I find myself at a loss when trying to break the bad habit of bullying the baby. I also am having a hard time with the come command when he is outside. I dont like him charging the fence at people walking riding bikes or jogging down the street. As he was allowed to do this from the previous owners. Any ideas on how I can alter these bad behaviors? The dog has come a long way in a few months and I really love him but I hate locking him up when the child is around. It is not fair to him. And chasing him across the yard when people walk down the street has got to stop. Any ideas? He is a much happier dog now. But I need to alter these behaviors so that he does not hurt someone. My grandson grew up around the dog so I just dont get why he is so aggressive towards him.

  3. Amy Bynum says:

    My question is I have a blue pitbull named Kino and we are currently trying to train him to be a service dog for my grandfather who is in a wheelchair 100% of the time, how do I get him to walk beside the chair with out pulling him crazily somewhere into danger?

  4. Jen says:

    I recently rescued a pitt bull. She is the sweetest thing but we have one big issue. Every time my boyfriend and I touch each other (hug or kiss) she goes crazy. She barks uncontrolably and won’t leave us alone. What can we do to break her from doing this?

  5. debra bozman says:

    Hi, my puppy is a year old red nose and full of fun, but now the puppy bites are starting to hurt and play time is becoming a little aggressive. when given the commanded to stop follow with the bad puppy, it no longer stops him. I reward him with treats for good and lots of praise. what am I doing wrong? diesel’s mom

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