Pit bulls are one of the most feared dog breeds on the planet. Considered by many to be inherently aggressive toward humans and animals alike, the breed has been unfairly targeted as killers. When properly raised and trained, pit bull puppies can grow up to be loyal, loving companions.
Fit your puppy with a collar as soon as you get him home. Pit bull puppies have large heads and wide, thick necks so be sure to choose a collar wide enough to avoid causing injury or discomfort. Your puppy might struggle against the collar at first, but praise her and give her a treat when she relaxes and ignores the collar.
Place your puppy’s crate in a quiet room and allow him to become familiar with it. Pad it with a soft blanket or dog bed and a couple of your puppy’s favorite toys to encourage him to go inside. Reward him for remaining calm and quiet while in his crate and increase the duration of time he spends inside. Your puppy will learn to associate his crate with a space of his own and will want to spend time in there once he feels comfortable.
Set your puppy up on a regular feeding schedule. Pit bull puppies are known for their voracious appetites and monitoring how much and how often your pup eats will give you an idea of her normal habits. Feeding your puppy at the same time every day also will be a good indicator of when she will have to go outside to potty.
Take your puppy out regularly and often to housebreak her. Always take her to the same spot in your yard so she knows that is the potty area. After every meal and upon waking is when your puppy will need to go the most, so be diligent in taking her out. Pit bulls are highly intelligent and she will quickly learn this routine.
Begin teaching your puppy simple commands and work up to more difficult ones. The sit command is one of the most basic and easiest for your pup to learn. Clip the leash to her collar and get her attention with a treat. Ask her to sit, moving the treat backwards over your puppy’s head. Pit bulls are very intense and focus well on their favorite treat, so she should reach for it as you move your hand. Your puppy should lower her rear end and sit as she tries to get the treat. Reward her immediately and praise her for properly performing the command. Repeat the process, reducing how far you move the treat as she sits on her own.
Continue teaching your puppy more complex commands as she masters the simple ones. Sit, lay down, come, heel and stay are all very useful and will help your puppy fit in and become an obedient part of your household.
Take your puppy with you on outings to socialize her with the outside world. Many pit bulls have never been properly socialized and their unfamiliarity with other dogs and with humans in general can be mistaken for viciousness. Frequent trips to a variety of places will help your puppy become comfortable with new people and places and will give her the chance to become a friendly ambassador for the breed.