I’ve reference the stubborn streak that Pitbulls can have in past articles.
That’s why in this edition of my pitbull puppy training tips series, I’m going to take a closer look at that stubborn streak and how to deal with a Pitbull puppy that is extra stubborn.
Pitbull Puppy Training Tips for the Bullheaded Bully
A strong stubborn streak, one of the very traits that makes the Pit such a confident breed, can be difficult to handle. This is especially true when training a puppy. If you have a particularly bullheaded pup, these Pitbull puppy training tips will help you manage his obstinate nature in a constructive manner.
I’m starting off with the don’ts of Pitbull puppy training tips for a stubborn pup, because these practices can lead to a lifetime of bad behavior. If you don’t establish a good report with your pit from the beginning, you’ll be set up for a dog that, at the very least, doesn’t listen to you or, at the very worst, doesn’t trust you.
Don’t be Angry
Don’t let your frustration with your stubborn pup get the better of you. Anger serves no purpose other than to exacerbate the situation. Your puppy can pick up on your moods, and if you’re feeling angry or irritated with your puppy, it will know. Just remember that puppies are like children, and like children, they need direction, not nastiness.
This is so important to my entire pitbull puppy training tips series. Do not yell at your pit. Ever. It does nothing. They don’t understand why you’re yelling because everything they do, good or bad, is instinctual. It makes no sense to them that you’re making loud scary noises because they peed in the house or because they just will not walk nicely on the leash.
Yelling leads to fear, mistrust – and sometimes – aggression. So be calm and easy with your pit and never yell.
I hope this goes without saying, but if it doesn’t, don’t hit your puppy. It serves no purpose except to help you relieve your own frustrations. Hitting is a sure fire way to create a fearful dog, and fearful dogs are: A) unhappy and B) prone to bite. If you follow nothing else in my pitbull puppy training series, follow that.
Don’t be Heavy Handed
Many people mistake firmness with heavy-handedness. The two are like apples and oranges. A firm approach is one that brooks no nonsense and recognizes how to motivate a puppy. Heavy-handedness is just a mean tone and aggressiveness. With a breed as physically imposing as a pit, you don’t want to teach aggressiveness.
Related: pros and cons of owning a pitbull
One of the biggest takeaways I’d like you to get from my pitbull puppy training tips is this: puppies are just like toddlers. They do what they do, and it’s up to us to teach them what is and is not acceptable. That means you have to create a deep, deep well of patience, because you’re going to need it.
Yes, your pit puppy will eat your shoes – and sometimes the wall. Yes, your carpet will at some point have pee soaking into it. Yes, your carpet will at some point have poop smeared on it. These are just the bumps in the road that come with pet ownership. You have to be able to look past the irritants in the moment and see the big picture. Patience is a virtue, especially with a stubborn pup.
All puppies need consistency, but it’s especially true for an overly-stubborn puppy. Remember, a stubborn pup is simply one that’s having an extremely hard time understanding why you ALSO don’t eat shoes and pee on the floor. Both of these make perfect sense to a puppy. Consistency is an integral part of my pitbull puppy training tips, because without consistency, your puppy has absolutely no idea what’s going on. If you don’t practice consistent training, you have only yourself to blame for those devoured dress shoes. I say this from experience.
Just as important to my pitbull puppy training tips as not being heavy-handed is being kind. Whatever you do with your pup, approach it with kindness. Kindness is the universal language of trust and love, so speak it at all times. Your puppy will always respond to kindness, and kindness coupled with consistency and patience is how you’ll overcome your puppy’s excessive stubborn streak and get down to good training.
Patience and Love Trump All
Remember this. No matter what else happens or what you take away from my pitbull puppy training tips, always remember this. If your pit is a stubborn little thing, that’s okay. That just means it’s smart, and you have to be smarter. There will be many times that you want to yell at it. Remember, just like we don’t yell at our toddlers for exploring, we shouldn’t yell at our puppies either. If you approach everything you do with love and patience and you follow my pitbull puppy training tips series, you should be just fine.
Do you have any pitbull puppy training tips for extra stubborn puppies? Share in the comments!