Pit bull breeds get a bad rap in the media and public imagination. All too often just the mention of the word pit bull brings to mind an ill trained and intimidating dog who is hell bent on being aggressive.
That’s unfortunate because with the right training an environment pit bulls can be friendly and loyal dogs, and overall great companions.
In this article we’ll look at some steps you can take to ensure that your pit bull won’t be aggressive.
1) Build your Pit Bull’s confidence through socialization
The number one reason a Pit Bull will be aggressive is because they are afraid. A pit bull that hasn’t been around humans or other dogs will often feel intimidated or even threatened by others.
When socializing your pit bull, don’t throw them into the metaphorical deep end of the pool and leave them alone in the middle of a dog park to fend for themselves. Pit bulls need to be socialized gradually. Start by spending time with your pit bull observing people and other dogs.
As your pit bull becomes more comfortable, gradually decrease the distance between you and whoever you’re watching. Do this until your pitbull is calm and comfortable enough to be up close and interact with others. This is the essence of socialization and it’s one of the best steps you can take to keep your pitbull from being aggressive.
2) Train your Pit Bull to Respond Calmly using the “place” command
When your pit bull gets excited or agitated he needs a way to respond calmly without being aggressive or threatening others. The place command is a great way to achieve this.
This command tells your pit bull to go to a specific place (like his crate or at your side) or assume a specific posture (sitting or lying down) until he or she is released. This allows you to interact with your pit bull and distract them from whatever is bothering them so that they can calm down.
The place command is best taught at home first and then practiced outside. You want your pit bull to be able to follow the place command in a calm and quiet environment before trying it in a chaotic one.
3) Avoid bad situations
Another thing you can do to keep your pitbull from being aggressive is to avoid situations that you know could be stressful or uncomfortable for your dog. When outside with your pit bull, plan your walking routes and activities in a way that give your dog the best chance for a calm and relaxing playdate.
4) Wear your Pit bull out
Remember that a tired pit bull is a good pit bull. Wearing your pit bull out and getting rid of any pent of energy is a great way to help prevent them from being aggressive. Pit Bull breeds are active and athletic and need at least an hour of physical exercise per day. Long walks and rigorous playtime sessions will help your pit bull stay healthy both physically and psychologically. This greatly reduces the chances of your pit bull becoming aggressive.