Training a pitbull to be a loving family dog

The myths surrounding pitbulls in recent years have surrounded around the fact that they are a vicious breed and should not be kept around children. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Training a pitbull to be a loving family dog is generally no different than training any other breed of large dog.

Pitbulls generally have a tendency to protect their “pack”, whether that means their breed family, or human family. It’s very important that when training a pitbull, the owner establishes themselves as the leader of the pack. Cesar Millian, renowned dog behavior expert referred to as “the dog whisperer”, is a big proponent of this school of thought.

Millian is firm in his belief that when training a pitbull, the owner absolutely must establish themselves as the leader, and that is not achieved by yelling at or hitting the dog.

When training a pitbull, it’s important to give them an established set of commands. Understanding those commands will help the pitbull in determining what behaviors are acceptable. Do not repeat the commands, say them just once.

One terrific suggestion in training a pitbull to understand commands and what is permissible is simply teaching it to “stay.” Put your pitbull in one spot and have him stay. The dog will naturally continue to try to get up, but be firm with your command and put him back again. The idea isn’t necessarily that the pitbull will stay for a long period of time, but rather that it understands you are firm in your commands and that he must listen.

Pitbulls, like many other breeds, are playful and rambunctious as puppies. When training a pitbull, set up an established program with lots of positive reinforcement and rewards for good behavior. Being consistent with every training session and command is essential when training a pitbull.

Training a pitbull requires patience and a good plan, but no more so than other breed. Unlike the myths, your pitbull can easily adapt to your home and be the loving family dog that your children will cherish.


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