Are Pitbulls Hard to Train? A Simplified Pitbull Training Guide

Pitbulls make great family pets as they’re energetic and loveable. However, they’re often thought of as hard to train because of their reputation for being aggressive and stubborn.

So, are Pitbulls hard to train? Pitbulls are not hard to train. You just need to start their training at a young age to build a healthy bond with them and make sure they’re properly socialized. You might face some difficulties if you’re adopting an older dog, but they can be overcome with patience and dedication.

Keep reading to learn more about when to start training your Pitbulls and how to train them properly.

When to Start Training Your Pitbull?

pitbull in training gear to answer are pitbulls hard to train

There’s no right or wrong time to start training your pitbull, whether you’re looking to adopt a young pitbull or if you have an older one already.

Pitbulls are very smart by nature and they’re always eager to please which makes them easier to discipline. However, the training process will be a lot easier if you started when your dog is at a young age.

Proper socialization and training early on in a dog’s life will prevent it from developing aggressive behavior as it grows up. It will also help it establish a healthier and stronger bond with its pet parent and family.

If you have an older dog, it might be more challenging to train it or change pre-existing habits, but it’s definitely not impossible as long as you’re dedicated and patient enough.

How to Train Pitbulls?

The most important thing to remember when training your pitbull, whether it’s young or old, is to be consistent and patient throughout the process.

Now, let’s break down what you need to do to train your pitbull:

Make sure your pitbull is properly socialized

Pitbulls benefit greatly from socialization, especially at a young age, as it teaches them not to be afraid of other dogs or humans and prevents them from developing aggressive behavior.

If your pitbull is older than one year, it may take more work to properly socialize them, but it’s definitely not impossible.

Socialization mainly involves allowing your dog to interact with a variety of new environments and exposing it to different scents, sounds, animals, and people.

Some pet stores hold puppy socialization events where you can bring your pets so they can run around and meet other puppies and people. If you can’t find a socialization event near you, you can always take your dog to a busy park. 

Socialization will be crucial as it lays the foundation for how your dog will react to strangers, kids, and other animals in the future. You can learn about it more in my post on how good are pitbulls with kids here.

Teach your pitbull the basic commands first

Start by teaching your pitbull basic commands like “sit” “stay” “come” and “down” at the beginning of the training process.

Once your pitbull has no problem obeying those commands, you can move on to more advanced commands or tricks like “fetch” “leave it” or “spin”

Start leash training and crate training your pitbull

An important aspect of training your pitbull is teaching how to walk properly with a leash. The pitbull should never pull roughly on the leash or walk ahead of you.

Make sure you choose a well-fitting collar and leash for your pet as they will respond best to leash training if they feel comfortable.

Another important aspect of training your pitbull is crate training as it teaches them how to be on their own and out of trouble when you leave the house.

Your pitbull will typically hate being locked into a crate overnight, but they will get used to it after one or two nights. Just make sure you place the crate in an area they are comfortable in and it will eventually become a place where they feel safe and secure.

Use positive reinforcement to motivate your pitbull

Positive reinforcement is the most effective tactic in discipline for any dog breed including pit bulls.

 It is all about figuring out what motivates your pitbull the most whether it’s treats, toys, or simple words of praise. Once you figure out what motivates your dog, it will be much easier to train a dog and get to continue displaying a certain behavior.

Keep in mind that positive reinforcement should be given during every training activity and only a result of good behavior. Avoid rewarding your dog for bad behavior or with no reason as this sends a mixed message which can confuse the dog.

Never punish your pitbull by hitting it or yelling at it

Punishing your pitbull by hitting or yelling at it will make it feel threatened and provoke it to attack in self-defense.

It’s very important to keep in mind that dogs are a product of their environment so aggressive behavior from the owner will always result in equally aggressive behavior in the dog.

While your pitbull should understand that you are a dominant figure in their life, they shouldn’t obey you out of fear.  You need to build your dog’s behavior based on love and trust otherwise they will start to act out.

You can learn how to discipline your pitbull correctly here.

Make sure your pitbull gets enough exercise

Exercise is an important part of the training process for pitbulls. They are highly energetic and active, so they require regular exercise to help them release their energy.

You can easily exercise your dog during a training session by playing a game of fetch. It will help improve their ability to respond to commands and strengthen their restraint. You can also go for a short run with your dog which will help them practice proper leash behavior.

Take breaks when your pitbull is overwhelmed

Pitbulls don’t have a very long attention span and they might feel tired or overwhelmed during a long training session. So, it’s very important to allow your dog to take breaks to avoid straining your dog or causing it to lash out.

It’s generally more effective to keep the training session short, 15 minutes or so, and repeat it several times a day rather than stretching one session out for hours.

When to Seek Professional Help with Training Pitbulls?

If you feel like you’re not up to training dogs or have no idea where to start, then it might be a good idea to seek a professional to help with training your pitbull.

There are various pet centers that offer basic training classes for puppies as well as more advanced and intense training classes for older dogs.

You can have attended the classes with your pitbull and make it a fun bonding experience for both of you as you will learn more about handling your dog and the dog will learn how to socialize with others.

Related Questions

Are Pitbulls Naturally Aggressive?

Pitbulls are not naturally aggressive. Their behavior mainly depends on the environment they were raised in and how they were trained. Some pitbulls are bred for fighting, so they develop an extremely aggressive nature. However, you will be able to overcome the pitbull’s aggressive nature with proper training and socialization.

Would A Pitbull Attack its Owner?

A pitbull would not attack its owner unless it was provoked. With proper training and socialization, pitbulls can be very loyal and affectionate with their owners and family members. However, if the pitbull was abused or felt any threat, it would become aggressive and might attack in self-defense.

How Do Pitbulls Show Aggressive Behavior?

Pitbulls show aggressive behavior by retracing their lips and showing their teeth which is often accompanied by loud growling. They will also pull their ears back completely and raise their tail in a rigid position while moving it back and forth.

Helpful Resources 

How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond (A Book by Cesar Millan) – You can also check it out on Amazon here.

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