Proper Pit Bull Training
The pit bull is a loyal and powerful family dog. Very athletic and full of energy, they require training in order to thrive. These dogs are very protective and make great family dogs and guard dogs. They have a deep desire to please their owner and if trained properly you’ll have a dog that’s both your best friend and family protector. Due to their level of intelligence, the pit bull has the impressive ability to be able to determine friend from intruder. Because they’re so friendly, they can require some strict pit bull training in order to make them a good guard dog.
Socializing your Puppy
The pit bull has a reputation for versatility. They make great service dogs, watch dogs and herding dogs with the right pit bull training. Solidly built and high energy, these pups can be hard to handle without any structure in their life. These dogs are not usually aggressive towards people, but tend to show dog and animal aggression. If you’re committed to properly socializing your dog while they’re still a puppy, you will be able to eliminate most of these tendencies. If your puppy is raised with small animals and other dogs, they’re usually not nearly as aggressive as they would be if they were the only family pet. Dog and animal aggression means that they have an instinct to fight with other animals. If the pit bull is your only animal this may not seem like a big deal, but it can be if you want to take your dog for a walk or have them in an environment where other animals might be present.
Pit bulls will thrive with proper socialization and basic obedience training. Because these animals are so powerful, walking them on a leash can be a challenge, unless you workout. Their built up energy and high muscle mass can be a recipe for disaster if they don’t know how to properly walk on a leash. Training programs will teach your dog basic commands, in addition to how to walk on a leash and how behave inside the home. These training programs will also typically include animal socialization.
Socializing your pit can be as simple as bringing him or her with you while you run errands, taking them for walks in busy areas and allowing your pup to play with other dogs their age. Many people believe that dog parks are the perfect place to socialize their dogs, but in actuality, socializing your dog this way can be a huge mistake. While your dog may be well behaved and gentle, other dogs that are at the park may not. Too often, owners of aggressive animals mistakenly believe that taking their aggressive pet to a dog park is a good way to allow the dog to adjust to being around other animals. This can lead to fights, injury, and even death. As a bully owner especially, steer clear of dog parks and instead socialize your dog in a more controlled environment. Never, ever allow your bully to run around in public off leash.
Socialization must take place during the first few months of life. This is essential. Waiting until the dog is six months or older may be too late for some dogs. The pit bull is naturally animal aggressive and has a tendency to be dog aggressive. Life with a dog aggressive pit bull can be stressful for both you and the animal and means that you can never safely walk your bully around other animals or leave them unattended in the front yard, even if it’s gated. Properly socializing your bully will make life easier for both of you and can allow your dog to lead a happier and healthier life.
How to Meet Your Pit Bull’s needs
Again, these animals are very energetic. If you have decided to make a pit bull part of your family, it’s very important that you understand their needs. Daily walking or running is a must. These dogs need to burn off some energy in order to be happy. If left alone for long periods of time these dogs can become bored and destructive. Digging and exit seeking are common in pit bulls who are left alone in their backyard for long stretches of time. Being a good dog owner means that you’re working to meet the needs of your dog and human interaction and exercise are key to a healthy and well-behaved pit bull. Because they’re so social they need plenty of attention and affection, otherwise, they can become anxious and aggressive or they can develop separation anxiety. Even if you do manage to fit in a walk or two a day, most trainers still recommend crate training a bully in order to prevent them from destroying your property when you’re out of the house or to prevent them from escaping the yard should they also suffer from separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is another common issue many pits have. Crate training is also essential if you have more than one dog. Even if your bully is the friendliest dog around, you should never leave them unsupervised around other animals.
Adopting a Shelter dog
Adopting a new dog from your local shelter is a great way to give an animal in need a new home. Many shelters are high kill shelters which means a dog will have one to two months of life before they are euthanized if they are not adopted.
But one of the drawbacks of adopting from a shelter is the fact that you won’t know much about an animal’s past such as behavior problems or health issues. Before you decide to adopt, spend as much time with the animal as possible. If it’s a life and death situation and the dog needs to be adopted immediately, try to speak with the shelter staff before making a final decision. Learn how the dog behaves around other animals and people, whether they have shown signs of food aggression, dog, people or animal aggression. Take your potential new pet on a walk around the facility. If you have another dog at home it’s a good idea to bring them with you to see how the dogs interact with each other. The staff can help you to introduce your old pet to the potential new one, on a leash and in a controlled environment. If you fail to bring your pet with you during this process you may end up having to bring your new dog back to the shelter if it turns out that your dogs don’t get along.