Congrats! I’m super thrilled for you because you’ve decided to get a Pitbull! But, one issue still hangs in the air: How do you get a Pitbull to obey you?
Don’t worry – pretty much every fresh Pitbull owner asks the same question. I mean, that is the point: to have an obedient dog.
Pitbulls are often criticized for being aggressive and not obedient at all. But, I’m here to bust the myth, and prove once and for all that a dog’s behavior depends only on its owner.
If you’re a good owner, and respectful to your dogs, your dogs will be respectful to you, too. It’s really a quid pro quo situation here.
Obedience training requires lots of devotion and time, as well as delicious treats and praises. Do good in order to have them behave well. It’s as simple as that!
Or, is it really?
Yes, it really is because with these five simple rules and tested tips, your Pitbull will obey you for real.
How To Get A Pitbull To Obey You
Believe it or not, we can squeeze in a Pitbull’s obedience training in five simple steps. Don’t worry – you won’t skip on anything. These short lessons will help you make a proper dog out of your Pittie!
Step #1: You’re The Example
Like many other dog breeds, your Pitty is an observant dog. When you start obedience training, your puppy is still young… still a blank canvas. So, naturally, you can shape it any way you want. But, there is a catch: you must be the example.
I know, you might wonder how you, a human, can be an example for a dog. There’s actually a legit explanation for this.
Every dog owner must assume the role of the alpha – show his dominance. Your dogs think of you and your family as a pack. Well, that’s a family for them. And, every pack has a leader… the alpha. When living with a dominant dog like the Pitbull, the alpha must be the human.
If you allow your Pitbull to be the alpha, you’re looking at a catastrophe.
The easiest way your Pitbull will realize you’re the alpha is during your walks. You should always walk proudly and act all dominant. Your dog will watch you and sense if you’re not feeling confident enough.
Hold your guard and don’t lose it, especially when you’re walking past other dogs. Your Pitbull will observe your behavior, and if you act all scared around other animals, he will think he’s better than you. Thus, your Pittie will assume the role of the alpha.
I want to remind you that you, as the dog owner, must always do things before your dog. This means you must walk in front of your dog, sit down first, and even have a meal first. Such behavior teaches your dog to accept your dominance.
Step #2: Socialization Is The Key
Dogs like Pitbulls must be socialized from early puppyhood. Okay, every dog must be socialized, but owners of this breed must be absolutely focused on getting their Pitbulls pawfectly capable of fitting into society.
People make assumptions about Pitbulls. They believe these dogs are born dangerous and aggressive. But, the truth is that no Pitbull is born with a single bad bone. Aggressive behavior is purely a result of poor socialization and bad treatment by the owner.
Make sure you go through socialization one step at a time. Pitbulls will comprehend the situation better if they have only one thing to focus on. So, introduce different sounds, situations, people, and animals gradually. Only then will your Pitty be a good fit for living with people.
A dog that’s dominant and not properly socialized will attack new people coming his way. He won’t get along with other pets in the house either. Also, aggressive behavior could come up to the surface once your Pit finds himself in unknown surroundings, i.e., in a new park.
Remember, aggression is often a result of fear of new things. Getting an aggressive dog socialized will be tough.
Step #3: Working Out
If you’re not a fan of working out, this might come as a surprise. Dogs, including Pitbulls, love exercising. It relaxes them!
How many times have you heard someone mention, “he’s out for a walk to tire his dog and make him more relaxed”? Probably a bunch of times. But, that’s really the truth. While exercising, dogs get to relieve themselves of their accumulated energy.
If a dog has too much energy, he becomes restless. Simply put – he doesn’t know what to do with himself.
A well-exercised and tired Pitbull will obey you better, and focus easily on your commands. A dog with too much energy won’t even focus on you. Instead, it will look for a vent to get relieved and tire itself out.
So, don’t skip daily exercises. Your dog is truly looking forward to them. Not only do they bring benefits for your dog like a healthy and fit body, but they also help you establish your dominance and make your dog obey you.
Step #4: Persistence
Canine training is something that takes time. It can’t be taught overnight. Teaching your dog to obey your commands should start immediately when your new puppy arrives at its furever home.
I’m aware that lots of dog owners will ignore the training until the puppy gets used to the new surroundings, but that’s the worst thing to do. Socialization and obedience training count even if you introduce your pup to a new home or a new pet buddy.
Puppies learn fast, and they will get easier. It’s better to teach them while they’re still young because they soak up your commands, and easily figure out who’s in charge. Imagine teaching an older Pitbull to obey you. That would be a nightmare, and probably impossible.
Stick to your training routine. Make sure you don’t skip a lesson. Repetition is the key to success, and your pup will learn a command fast if you repeat it a few times a day.
Don’t lose your hopes if your pup doesn’t seem to realize what you want. Let’s keep everything simple, and don’t expect too much from your dog. Success can’t be immediate. You should give your Pittie some time.
Step #5: Positive Reinforcement
It’s quite simple: dogs will obey the owner who is kind to them instead of the owner who punishes them.
No matter how difficult the training is or how poorly your dog is doing, you should never punish your Pitbull. Punishments, especially physical ones, can lead to even more problems.
If you hit your dog for going after other dogs in the park or jumping on people, he will learn how to hide his intentions. Of course, the aggression won’t be curbed, just hidden away.
That’s an even worse problem than the one you had before.
A system of praises and rewards, followed by ignoring bad behavior, is what you need for successful obedience training.
Dogs, such as Pitbulls, like receiving human attention and approval. You’ll notice that your Pittie is bouncing with joy everytime you hand him a treat or rub his belly. They sure like their rewards.
The whole point of positive reinforcement systems is to reward your dog every time he does something good. Even if it’s a minor step in the lesson, your dog should be rewarded. This will give him motivation to work even harder and complete all of your commands.
Of course, treats can lead to obesity and make your dog avoid eating his food, so keep them under control. Look for other signs of what your dog likes. Maybe he’s a fan of hugs? Maybe he prefers scratches behind his ear? It’s up to you to discover that.
When I mentioned ignoring bad behavior, I really meant that. However, this doesn’t mean you should ignore it when your dog attacks another dog. This simply means to ignore any whining, barking, pushing his head into your hands, and any similar behavior to get your attention.
Trust me… your Pitbull will become an obedient dog in no time if you devote yourself to training and encouraging him to do what’s right.
Now that you know how to get a Pitbull to obey you, you have nothing to be afraid of.
Pitbulls are wonderful dogs, perfectly capable of being obedient and listening to their owner. They are not born bad nor will they become bad just because. Much like other dog breeds, Pitbulls need socialization and training.
As you could learn from this article, the best way to get a Pitbull to obey you is to hold your guard and show that you respect and appreciate your dog. When your Pittie sees you’re confident all the time, and you walk proudly, he will respect your attitude.
Some time and devotion is all it takes to have an obedient dog. Sounds so simple, doesn’t it?