Having a Pitbull as the first dog is never easy, especially if you’re a first-time dog owner yourself. The “How do Pitbulls become aggressive at new homes” dilemma is not that uncommon as these medium-sized canines are often misunderstood, mistrained, and inadequately parented.
The truth is no Pit puppy will display aggression as its primal behavioral pattern. Despite their vigilant looks, all types of Pitbulls are kind, owner-oriented, and affectionate towards their family.
Still, a lot of consecutive parenting mistakes can turn this pooch into a dangerous beast that is unpredictable and dangerous, even towards their owner.
Here are a few rationales that might help you understand why and how these purebred dogs become aggressive, as well as how to get them back on the right track.
How Do Pitbulls Become Aggressive?
Despite the fact that American Pit Bull Terriers, as well as other types of Pitbulls, are qualified among aggressive dog breeds, these canines are not hostile by default.
Quite the contrary – Pit puppies are extremely affectionate, loyal, and devoted towards their owner. It is the circumstances that make these dogs so aggressive and dangerous.
The reason why Pits are so misperceived among dog lovers is because they were initially used for blood sports, such as bull baiting and dog fights.
Nowadays, the vast majority of PIts are bred for companionship and family purposes as blood sports are illegal in most countries of the world. But, that’s only one thing that works in their favor.
The major answer to the “How do Pitbulls become aggressive” question is the fact that these pooches are inadequately raised and trained by their owner. But, what are the other reasons? And, is there any cure for their aggressive behavior?
These are the questions that we’re about to address in the further part of this article. Let’s cut to the chase!
Lack of Socialization
The worst thing that you can do for your Pitbull puppy is neglect its socialization needs. Just as much as all dogs that are bred for family purposes, these canines require early socialization training, too.
In fact, the reason why so many Pits are mistrained and aggressive is rooted in their poor socialization.
But, how do you socialize an aggressive dog in the first place? It’s simple… start small, and start as soon as you pick up the puppy from the breeder.
Generally, these pooches will need a week or two to adapt to their new environment, which is why you should not overwhelm them with new people right away.
Once you make sure they feel comfortable in their new home, slowly start introducing them to the rest of the family.
After at least a month of intense socialization with family members (and/or other pets), these canines will be ready to meet new people. This is an extremely important process in which Pits learn to distinguish enemies from friends.
Inadequate Parenting Skills
One of the major problems that first-time Pit owners face is lacking proper leadership skills. The Pitbull breed requires strong, firm, but loving leadership from its owner. Otherwise, it will take over the role of leader, which creates a plethora of problems in the long run.
It is important to understand that firm leadership doesn’t imply any harsh training methods. Hitting your dog is never allowed or encouraged, nor is yelling or screaming at him.
Instead, try using positive reinforcement techniques, such as praising or encouraging him with treats and petting.
Stress And Trauma
Healing a traumatized pet is a complex process, which is why you need to make sure it doesn’t come to that in the first place. The reason why Pitbulls become aggressive in new homes is because they go through certain stress or trauma.
Stress in dogs can be triggered by various things, such as a loud environment, a phobia, an inadequate daily routine, neglecting your dog’s exercise requirements, or even inadequate food.
Pits that are stressed out use aggression as some sort of self-defense mechanism. Other than that, you can identify stress by other accompanying symptoms, such as hiding, escaping, panting, shaking, growling, or lack of interest in any sort of activity.
They may not be as clingy as Huskies, Chihuahuas, and Labradors, but the truth is Pitbulls are extremely dependent on their owner. In this regard, there are two things you should never do.
First, you should never keep your Pit as an outside dog. This is just not who they initially are. Pits that are kept and raised outside tend to be overly aggressive, even towards their owner, as they develop major separation anxiety.
Pits that cope with severe separation anxiety are often aggressive, self-destructive, and dogs with the worst traits on display.
Second, you should never get a Pit puppy if you have a busy working schedule. This breed requires commitment, devotion, and a lot of presence, which is simply something that a busy person cannot do.
If you have many places to be during the day – try either getting a different breed, or don’t get a dog at all.
Lack Of Exercise
Both male and female Pits require at least one to two hours of exercise during the day. Anything less than that or no exercise at all can turn these kind athletes into the worst beasts.
Three things are important for your Pitbull’s mental health: proper dieting, a standardized daily routine, and regular exercise. Think of these three as a tripod that cannot be at balance if one leg is missing.
Canines that don’t burn off their energy during the day are highly likely to growl, bite, scratch, and become overly aggressive towards anyone they meet.
How To Calm Down An Aggressive Pitbull
Avoid Stressful Situations
Even though full-blooded Pits are hardly scared or intimidated by anyone or anything, these pooches can also be stressed out by certain events.
Loud environments, fireworks, big crowds of people, and other dogs are things to be avoided. This way, you will prevent your dog from dealing with stress and trauma, and consequently, developing aggressive behavioral patterns.
Create A Safe Environment
Getting your dog appropriate chew toys or creating an interactive playground is simply not enough for a stress-free life. Therefore, you need to make sure your dog gets a safe, nurturing space where it can feel relaxed.
A low-key, disturbance-free home with a comfortable bed will do it.
Visit A Dog Behaviorist
If you are a first-time Pit owner, and you just don’t know how to train your Pit dog not to bite or not to be aggressive – getting professional help is the right choice for you!
There are a plethora of certified and experienced dog behaviorists who might help you in this regard.
Sometimes, all you need is a good piece of advice to continue where you left off. Many first-time Pit owners lose themselves in the constant misery of their dogs’ bad behavior, and they don’t realize the problem they have is easily resolvable.
Lots Of Socialization
Just like any other dog breed – these canines need socialization training, too. That being said, you should start with the process of socialization as soon as you pick the puppy up from the breeder or a rescue.
The use of interactive dog toys, dog treats, and chew toys is highly encouraged during this process.
Avoid Harsh Methods
Disciplining a Pitbull should never be done with harsh methods. Instead, try using positive reinforcement techniques such as petting, praising, and rewarding.
Pit puppies are quite intelligent and intuitive dogs that respond to positive reinforcement outstandingly. Why not try it?
“How do Pitbulls become aggressive” is a misery of many Pit owners. The first thing towards resolving it is actually revisiting your parenting methods.
These pooches, despite being an aggressive breed, are not violent by default. That should be the first thing to bear in mind when raising a Pitbull puppy.
Hopefully, the aforementioned reasons for Pit aggression will be a sufficient guideline in your future endeavors. Good luck!