In my recent article, Pitbull Puppy Training Tips – Touch, Crate, and Rewards Training, I referenced the importance of positive reinforcement.
It holds doubly true when you’re trying to break your puppy of biting.
Follow these pitbull puppy training tips to help get the biting behavior to stop.
Pitbull Puppy Training Tips for Banishing Biting
All puppies bite. It’s how they interact with the world, from discovery to play. Think of a pitbull puppy’s biting behavior in the same way as you’d think of the way a toddler grabs and explores. That’s how a puppy learns. And while it’s harmless now, it can be painful with those sharp little teeth, and you don’t want a dog as powerful as a pit to grow up thinking that nipping is okay. When I worked at the vet I routinely got a busted lip form an 80 pound pit named Ratty who always jumped up and “love nipped” me on my face. Not cool!
Distraction is the first thing on my pitbull puppy training tips list for bite deterrence. When your puppy begins to bite for any reason, immediately do something unrelated to the biting. For example, if you’re playing and your puppy begins to do the “puppy gnaw”, say “no” firmly, but not harshly, and give it a toy immediately. When your puppy uses the toy as mechanism to get out his chewing urges, praise it liberally and give it a treat.
Always be vigilant with your distraction AND your deterrence. Deterrence is a major key in my pitbull puppy training tips lineup. WHENEVER your puppy begins to bite immediately say “no”, and say it every time. If you have kids, teach them to say “no”. If you have company over, let them know that whatever their feelings on the subject may be, in your home biting is not allowed. Instruct them to say “no” as well. Always have a toy and treats on hand to distract along with the deterrence.
Give Them Alternatives
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Puppies NEED to chew. It helps with getting out excess energy and it’s also how they teeth. So be sure you have a variety of chew toys available for your pooch. Tug ropes, Nylabones, and the like are perfect for giving your pooch an appropriate outlet for their chewing needs.
I know I’ve already mentioned this a time or three in my pitbull puppy training tips, but it can’t be over said. Reward, reward, reward. Positive reinforcement is the only way to train your puppy. Sure, you can go with yelling and a rolled up newspaper. It might even work. But all you’re going to have is an animal that obeys out of fear and not love. That’s no way for anything to live. So remember to keep the treats, praise, and love flowing, and you’ll get through the bitey phase with no problems.
Looking for more pitbull puppy training tips? If you have a specific need, ask in the comments!