Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. ~Leo Buscaglia
Certainty is the key word to remember, when caring for a Pit Bull Breed, (or any breed for that matter). Dogs are a different species, they think differently and they cannot thrive in a human world, without certainty.
Communication…a dog needs to understand what is expected of them and how to relate to you.
Exercise…without exercise dogs become bored and act destructively. Exercise of both body and mind is imperative.
Reliability…dogs need their human companions to be consistent, keep expectations and the lines of communication unmistakable.
Training…dogs need to be shown the what, where, when, and how, concerning expectations of a human world.
Awareness…your dog depends solely on you for everything, their food, their guidance, their health, their protection.
Incentive…dogs need attention, enthusiasm, motivation, reward. They need to know when you are pleased. They need to feel proud.
Neighborliness…dogs need socialization and they need to understand what is socially acceptable for our species, as well as theirs, while living in our world.
Tenderness…dogs need to be understood, they need to be taught and handled with love and kindness.
You…this is the most important part of a dog’s certainty. A dog’s average lifespan is 10 – 15 years. You must be 100% committed to providing your companion dog with a lifetime of certainty.
Many humans don’t communicate well with one another but, with a dog communication is quite easy, through training you will teach your dog a vocabulary of commands that they, in turn, will learn to respond to. But, that is just the beginning, dogs communicate best through body language and observance. While you are teaching a vocabulary, your dog will be learning much more, just by being near you.
If you want a well behaved dog be careful of accidental teachings such as, picking up your adorable Pittie puppy every time he runs to you, this action creates a full grown dog that jumps on people as a greeting. Give your dog an old pair of sneakers to play with and every shoe that smells like you is now a toy. Let your dog walk out of the front door, before you do and create a dog that darts out every time the door opens, possibly into an oncoming car.
Take a page from your dogs book, always pay close attention. If your dog starts to show a behavior you are not pleased with, take a look at the situation…how are they learning it, are you accidentally teaching it? Even though bad behaviors can usually be reversed, it is better, if they never start.
It cannot be stressed enough a tired Pit Bull is a good Pit Bull. There are several things you can count on, when you choose a Pit Bull breed, as a companion, they will love you and be in tune to you, like no other breed, they will also be smarter and have ten times more energy than you. These dogs are notorious escape artists, their intelligence makes them extremely inquisitive.
If they are not bone tired, they are looking for something to do! This is not a breed you leave alone in the backyard. They will not stay there without you and their exercise is not something you can skimp on. Daily walks, games of fetch or Frisbee are things you must factor in to your lifestyle before you decide to live with a Pit Bull breed.
The intelligence level of most dogs is amazing so be prepared to exercise not only their bodies but also their minds. If you leave them home alone with nothing to do, you will come back to a mess, they may move your sofa into your bathroom if the notion strikes.
Invest in a “Keep Em’ Busy Basket” This is a basket of toys that only comes out, when you are leaving your dog home alone. When you get back, pick up the toys and put them in a closet until the next time you leave. Do this even for a crated dog, lay them all around the outside and on top of the crate, your dog will work at pulling them into the crate. Remember when you are picking out toys for a Pit Bull breed get the heavy duty, indestructible type. Interactive toys (cubes, bee hives, egg babies, etc..) that they can pull apart are great, also toys that distribute treats work well. Be careful of squeakers and stuffing.
A great toy you can make yourself is 10ft of rope with multiple knots tied down it’s length. Get a soft boat rope from your local hardware store (About 80 cent a foot) tie the knots tight around treats.
This simply means consistency, the rules don’t change. If your dog jumps on you and gets hugged when you are in your work clothes, he will not understand why you are mad if he jumps on your suit, before a big meeting. Dogs don’t understand the good furniture as apposed to the furniture in the Den. Reliability means you will accept responsibility for your accidental teachings and re-teach with kindness instead of blaming your dog. Dogs can’t grasp “some times it’s OK and some times it’s not.”
Responsible Pit Bull breed owners take their dogs training very seriously. Because of exploitation by man and the media, Pit Bulls and Pit Bull owners are held to a higher standard. Right or wrong it is a reality of loving this breed, you and your dog will be judged and discriminated against. Take your dog to classes, train to the level of CGC, for the sake of every Pit Bull breed, every Pit Bull mix and every Pit Bull owner, if you are not willing to train your dog to be an ambassador for the breed, get a different dog!
Awareness means so much with this breed. Like every other dog yours will depend on you for love, attention, guidance, food, water, shots, a place to sleep. Dogs depend on their owners for everything including protection. That’s where the job gets harder with these breeds. Pit Bull breeds are the most abused breed of dog in the world. They are the most discriminated against, the most likely to be stolen, the most misunderstood, and they are also the most loving and loyal.
If you choose these dogs as your breed then you must stay aware of their plight. You won’t go to dog parks, not because your dog is aggressive but because so many people are aggressive towards these dogs. You will take the time to train and socialize your dog, not just for the two of you but for all Pit Bull breeds and their families. You are not just a dog owner, you are a Pit Bull owner, study your breed, stand up for your breed, and always be aware, where your dog is concerned.
This comes in many forms, some dogs like to play, some are motivated by food but, all dogs need incentive to adjust to living in a human world.
In a dogs world the only place that is not a bathroom, is the place where they are standing at any particular time. Your Pittie will learn quicker to go out side, even if it’s cold, instead of using your warm plush carpet, if you offer an incentive. This holds true for any thing you ask of your dog.
Pit Bull breeds are easily trainable and because of their love for humans most will work hard to hear a “good job” with a pat on the head.
But praise, praise, praise, because the more they hear it the happier they’ll be and the faster they’ll learn. Pit Bull breeds love to be loved!
Socialization, so important in a dogs life, everyone says so. But, what is socialization? Most people think it means their dog is friendly running loose at the dog park or around other animals.
That is not the case. Socialization is a dog’s capability to deal calmly with the human world. Socialization includes riding in cars, not chasing bikes, not being terrified by the sound of a motorcycle, not lunging or jumping at strangers or strange dogs. Socialization, neighborliness is the ability to remain reasonably calm under varying circumstances.
To best socialize your dog take them as many places as possible, let them experience different sounds, sights, people, anything you can think of. Help them through any fears they may have by teaching them how you expect them to behave. Do this by using their vocabulary and/or an incentive as a distraction. Your trainer will be able to help you with any individual issues or you may contact us with any questions you may have. The most important thing, is to get your dog out and about, show them what a big wonderful world we live in and help them to enjoy it.
This really shouldn’t need an explanation but we will anyway.
Humans live in a fast food, I want it all and I want it delivered now, kind of world. Dogs are more of a stop and smell the roses (or a butt) type species.
Your dog may not learn as fast as you would like, But, if you are consistent, don’t become frustrated or angry, and above all don’t give up. Your dog can learn anything you want them to learn and they will be glad to do it just to make you happy.
I have a favorite story I use to teach this point. One of my dogs will give her paws according to left or right, she stands and dances, will pose for a centerfold picture, closes the door behind herself and my other dogs…she does all this and more, every trick I taught her, she learned in three – seven days, except…to speak on command, she would do it for the doorbell or a knock at the door but not just because I asked her to. Not even for turkey. It took over a year to get her to speak for me when I asked. I didn’t give up and she spoke when she had something to say. Patience and consistency win out every time.
YOU…are the key to your dog’s behavior, health and happiness If you give them certainty they will give you their all.
Love is not just a word when it comes from a dog!