How to Control a Pit Bull

Finding yourself in a situation where your pit bull is afraid or challenged and is responding aggressively can be a scary one. You want to be sure you know how to control your pit bull so when you give a command you get the appropriate response. The best way to do this is through pit bull obedience training. It will structure the relationship for you and your pit bull to flourish with appropriate behavior and response.

You can read through our structured basics below or may we suggest getting this dog training free mini course on the American Staffordshire Terrier.

Leadership – If you’re going to give commands and expect them to be followed you’re going to have to do that from a leadership role. It can be a 12+ year commitment with pit bulls and hopefully you are dedicated to doing so if you want to know how to control them. They need to know you are established in your role, and once they realize it your pit bull will respect you and follow your commands.

Socialization – The biggest challenge is to learn how to control a pit bull where they will respond to you in a social setting. It’s best to gain as much exposure to other people and pets as possible. You would preferably want to start with a pit bull puppy but if you acquired an older pit, it’s still okay but keep a close eye on him and his responses. He needs to be on a shorter leash so-to-speak. Calm them if they become aggressive and reward them for good behavior. If they cannot be calmed for whatever reason, remove them from the situation and try again another time. Repetition will make socialization second nature and will minimize aggression.

Commands – If you’re established in the leadership role, you just fought half the battle on how to control a pit bull.  It’s best to do this during feeding times, walks or exercise. If your pit bull wants to do something like run around, he is only allowed to do that if you give the okay. He is more likely to follow commands during these times because he wants food. Repetition will make the commands second nature to him. If he does as asked, follow it up with a reward. If not, relax him and try again.

Clicker Training – Clicker training can be a great way to build a foundation of commands and help with controlling your pit bull. The ASPCA has a great resource on clicker training.

Once you associate that clicker with a reward for appropriate behavior, the sky is the limit on the number of commands you can instill. It can be expensive to hire a professional so if you’re confident it’s something you can handle on your own, get a step by step guide and give it a go.

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