Training isn’t a something that you do for a short period of time and quit once your dog has started being obedient. Training needs to be an important part of your daily routine with your pit bull.
When it comes to training your dog, there are as many techniques out there as there are trainers. Talk to ten dog owners about how they train, and you will get ten different answers.
I always suggest that new owners avoid prong collars, not because they can’t be effective at training, but because the techniques required to effectively use a prong collar on your dog isn’t easy to learn. An inexperienced trainer runs the risk or over correcting and causing potential dog – trainer relationship problems by using a prong collar. I have never met a dog that didn’t respond well to positive reinforcement training techniques. It may not be the fastest way to train a dog, but in my opinion it produces the best results both in the dogs attitude and his desire to learn new things.
When starting to train your pit bull with positive reinforcement, I find that the use of treats works the best. You may be able to try using a favorite toy. I try to wing my dogs off of treats and on to toys once they get older.
To train using positive reinforcement is quite simple. For the first couple of sessions with your dog, you are going to have to vocalize a command and then use the treat to trick the dog into doing it. For example I would say “Sit” and then hold a treat over the dogs head until the dog sat down. Then I would give the dog the treat while verbally praising her.
It is important to keep the sessions short and fun. For young dogs its best to keep it too around 5 minutes, as they get older and their attention span increases you can increase the time of the sessions.
As the dog learns that the sitting after hearing the command sit, means he gets a treat, you will notice that you no longer have to trick the dog. However, at this point it is important that you keep giving the treat. Once your dog masters one trick its time to move on to something else.
Always remember that when you teach new tricks it is important to continue to review old tricks as well. Dogs are like people in the sense that they sometimes forget what they did yesterday.
Once your dog has learned the basic commands of Sit, Lay Down, Roll Over, and stay you can move on to something more difficult. With my young dogs I play a game of “Name that Toy”, where I say a toy name and the dog goes and picks it out. Training for this game takes some time and patience but it teaches a lot the skills that the dog will use later, including releasing the toy after he has brought it back too me.
Always remember to keep training sessions fun, this is good for both you the owner and the dog. By keeping it fun the dog will look forward to learning new things, and you the owner will be amazed at how capable the pit bull is at learning.
Don’t neglect your dog! If you need training tips and help, be sure to check out our link here!