When you’re considering buying a pitbull, you might wonder about their personalities and what kind of pet they’d make. You might also ask yourself, “Are pitbulls easy to train?” and the answer is “yes,” they are. Why? Pitbulls have two main traits that make them easy to train.
First, they are extremely intelligent dogs. Second, they have a personality that makes them very eager to please their owners. Put together, these two traits mean they can actually be a joy to train.
Are Pitbulls Easy to Train?
Pitbulls are indeed easy to train, but that doesn’t mean you can be lax with them as you’re training them. Just like other breeds, pitbulls need trainers who are consistent, patient, and calm while the training is taking place.
People are often concerned that a pitbull will be a problem if not properly trained, but you can train them easily by following a few simple rules, including:
- Don’t Let Training Sessions Become Too Long
Long training sessions can cause pitbulls to lose focus and interest. Keep each session 15–20 minutes long and no more. You can try one session daily or several of them throughout the day, but if you do that, make sure the sessions are not too close together.
Even when the sessions are short like this, you still need to conduct them regularly so the dog doesn’t forget anything.
- Only Use Positive Reinforcement
This goes for all breeds, but you never want to use any type of punishment or negative reinforcement when you’re training a dog. Always use positive reinforcement, such as treats, praise, toys, or anything else you know the dog loves. If you start to get frustrated or angry, it’s best to stop and start over again later.
- Keep the Dog Healthy
When you’re not training, your dog should get nutritious food and plenty of exercise. The healthier they are, the easier it is to train them, so keeping them both physically and mentally healthy will make the training much more efficient, and the results will come a lot quicker. Just like humans, dogs respond to activities such as training a lot better when they’re in good health.
- Make Sure They Are Socialized
Like humans, dogs need friends, so try to get them involved with other dogs as much as possible. Take them to the dog park, get another dog, or enroll them in a fun class that allows them to be around other dogs. They will appreciate the gesture for many reasons, and it will make the training a lot easier to do.
- Establish Household Rules as Well as Training Rules
Just like training them to execute certain commands, you should also teach your dog that there are household rules that they have to obey. If you don’t want them to jump on you when you get home, jump on the bed or furniture, or bark at every little sound they hear, you can train them not to do these things. Your dog needs to learn that there are boundaries, and you can easily teach them those things.
- Don’t Wait Too Long to Get Started
You don’t want to wait until your pitbull is six months old to start training. In many ways, that will be too late. While they’re still a puppy, you can start training sessions, and most experts recommend that you start training them at around eight weeks of age. You also have to be patient because each dog is different, and it may take a short time or a long time to get your dog fully trained.
How Long Does It Take to Train a Pitbull?
It can take several weeks or several months to train your pitbull. The amount of time it takes is affected by how many times you train them each week and the overall personality of the puppy itself. Here’s the thing, though—training should never actually stop.
Teaching pitbulls basic commands, potty training, or anything else takes time, patience, and consistency. That means it may take you a different amount of time to train your pitbull than it does other owners.
Mistakes to Avoid When Training a Pitbull
When training a pitbull, there are some common mistakes that many people make, but if you are aware of them ahead of time, it’s possible to avoid these things. Common mistakes can include the following:
- Going too fast and being inconsistent. When you try to do too much in one training session, it usually results in disappointment. Same with being inconsistent and only training the dogs periodically. Make sure your sessions are regular and that you take your time each time.
- Thinking that everything is etched in stone. When you’re training a pitbull, you have to have an open mind. There are numerous methods you can use to train the dog, so if one method doesn’t seem to be working, feel free to try another one.
- Thinking of the training sessions as a chore. The truth is, training your pitbull should be fun, and you can easily make it fun if you try. Short, fun training sessions always work much better than long sessions that feel like a bore.
- Forcing the behavior. If you talk negatively to the dog or speak in a threatening tone, it’s not going to have the same effect as being positive and speaking in a gentle but firm tone. Teach the dog what his behaviors are supposed to be like; don’t force them on the dog.
- Thinking it will happen overnight. Let’s face it—when you start training, you’ll have no clue how long it’s going to take. Be consistent and patient, don’t set a specific date for the end of the training, and it will eventually happen for you.
Pitbulls have personalities that make it easy to train them. As long as you follow a few simple rules, such as training for short but frequent amounts of time and using only positive reinforcement, it’s going to happen for you.
It may take a few weeks or a few months, but if you are patient and consistent, your pitbull can eventually be trained.