Training your Pitbull not to bite is often challenging for owners. But, it’s never impossible! If you don’t discourage the biting behavior when the Pitbull’s a puppy, it may become difficult to handle later.
Do you want to know how to stop a Pitbull from biting? You can discourage the behavior by teaching commands. You can give teething toys to puppies and tell older dogs that it hurts when they bite. Enrolling the dog in obedience courses may also be helpful. If the Pitbull bites for attention, ignore it. No matter what the case, never punish or scold your dog.
We will now discover more tips on how to stop young and adult Pitbulls from biting.
Why Is My Pitbull Becoming Aggressive?
When Pitbulls become aggressive, several reasons are associated with this changed behavior. So, we will discuss all of them. By determining the signs in your Pitbull, you can know the exact reason for aggression.
When Pitbulls become afraid or sense danger, they will activate their defensive instincts, which will make them aggressive. It usually happens with dogs that have been abused too much in the past. Mostly, owners that punish their Pitbulls all the time also make their dogs afraid. In this way, the Pitbull becomes aggressive.
As aggression isn’t an inherited instinct, you should tackle this behavior as soon as possible.
2. Dominance traits
Being large dogs with strong muscles, Pitbulls often consider themselves as dominant ones in the group. The dominant behavior of Pitbulls is linked with aggression. When they show their superiority, they will try to scare the other dogs with aggressive behavior.
3. Pain or sickness
If your Pitbull suddenly starts showing aggressive behavior, it may be because of an injury or illness. When dogs are in pain, we often see sudden changes in their behavior. They become more protective of themselves and may try to hide or scare any predator that comes near them.
If you suddenly see aggression in your Pitbull, it’s better to check for signs of an injury or illness.
When ill, dogs also suffer from stress and anxiety, which is a common reason for aggression.
4. Territorial nature
Like other dogs, Pitbulls are also territorial. They won’t like a stranger or other dog to come into their place or touch their favorite toys.
So, if you try to test your Pitbull’s aggression by coming into its territory or touching its favorite things, the results will not be good.
5. Lack of socialization
The lack of socialization is often the common cause of aggression in Pitbulls. When dogs become aggressive, experts always recommend socializing them.
If your puppy Pitbull has never seen a stranger or other dog before, it will definitely become afraid by seeing one. In this case, it will become aggressive and even start biting to protect itself.
How To Stop A Pitbull Puppy From Biting?
While Pitbull puppies are active and might bite out of excitement, it isn’t always best to ignore it. Stopping your Pitbull puppy from biting when young is essential and will help you in the long term.
If you ignore this problem, your Pitbull puppy is very likely to exhibit the same patterns of behavior when he grows up. If they don’t seem to hurt you much when puppies, you might run into a very serious problem when that puppy turns into a big strong dog.
The first 6 months of your Pitbull’s life are crucial for forming the right habits, after that time passes, it will get progressively harder to retrain your dog. You need to show them who is in charge from an early age.
Discourage the aggressive behavior right on the spot. But regardless of what you do, remember to never beat or punish your dog!
Here’s how you can stop a Pitbull puppy from biting!
1. Give it chew toys
Redirection is a very effective strategy when it comes to stopping your dog from biting. As puppies have the instinct to bite everything they see (especially during the teething period), giving chew toys is the best way to stop the biting behavior.
In this way, your puppy will know that it isn’t supposed to bite on everything it sees. Instead, it will only bite the chew toys and not your hands or other things.
The steps are as follow:
- When your pup bit you, say “ouch” loudly, stop playing with him and give him time out.
- Ignore your dog for 20 to 60 seconds, make longer breaks for each successive bite.
- Such timeout periods are meant to convey that fun things stop when your pup bites you.
- After some time passes, give your dog a chew toy.
- If he uses the toy to chew on and does not bite you when you pet him, reward him with a treat.
- Repeat this cycle to form a behavioral pattern.
As a general rule, your dog should always have some chew toys to play with so they don’t feel the need to bite or chew on anything else.
2. Let it play with its siblings
If you have a family of Pitbulls, you can try this step. When Pitbull puppies play with their siblings, they often bite each other. When this happens, the other sibling squeals and might stop playing because of getting hurt.
This behavior tells the Pitbulls that biting is not good. In this way, encouraging playtime with other puppies will help your Pitbull realize that biting isn’t good.
3. Act as if you got hurt
If you have only one Pitbull puppy in your house, it will definitely bite you, either out of excitement or aggression.
In both cases, the sharp teeth of the puppy will hurt you. Even if they don’t, it’s still a better idea to act as you got hurt. As puppies are affectionate and don’t want to hurt their owners, your Pitbull will stop biting to prevent you from hurting.
You can also use a command, like “no”, or “stop it”. If your puppy didn’t learn the lesson, you can stop playing with it suddenly after they bit you, or turn your back on them. Ignoring unwanted behavior is a very effective strategy in dog training. Don’t worry, your puppy will get over it.
4. Have a timeout
If your puppy doesn’t stop biting you even after acting as you got hurt, maybe it’s time to have a timeout.
When your puppy bites you out of excitement during the playing sessions, make the ‘’ouch’’. Then, immediately stop playing with your pup and ignore it for a minute or two. Make longer breaks for each successive bite.
As dogs don’t like their owners ignoring them, your behavior will make your pup stop biting you.
5. Socialize it
As mentioned before, socialization is essential for puppies from a young age. If you don’t socialize a puppy, it will become afraid of seeing strangers or other dogs and may start biting them.
This way your dog will see other dogs and get used to them. After all, Pitbulls were originally a fighting breed, so they might develop a desire to attack other dogs following their instinct. Walks will prevent your puppy from being aggressive towards other dogs in the future.
Making it meet other dogs and humans will make it realize that it’s a part of its routine. So, it won’t get afraid of meeting new people, which will eventually stop the biting behavior.
6. Exercise them regularly
As Pitbull puppies have lots of energy, they often get rid of it by jumping and biting. So, regularly exercising the puppy will also help in stopping the biting behavior.
When the puppy gets distracted by other things like play toys and exercises, it doesn’t get time to bite things out of excitement. Gradually, the biting behavior stops.
7. Your hand is not a toy
Your dog should have a clear understanding that it can’t play with your hand and that it can hurt you. At the same time, train your dog that having your hand near it is normal and there is nothing to be afraid of.
It is very important to train your dog not to react when your hand is near its mouth. It will come in handy when they are trying to eat something wrong and you need to take it away, or simply when you are trying to give them a toy or a treat.
A very effective strategy is to use a treat. Let your Pitbull puppy see it, but don’t give it to them. Instead, when their mouth is open, gently put the treat into it, and then pull it away. Your pup will learn not to bite your fingers this way over time. Give them that treat in the end as a reward.
8. Eradicate food aggression
Your Pitbull puppies can often get aggressive when it comes to food matters. You need to teach your dog that this behavior simply can’t be happening because when your puppy grows up, there is a risk it will continue being aggressive each time it sees food around.
Each time you see your puppy being aggressive, take its bowl of food and lift it up. You can also use a firm command, like “no”, or “stop it”.The puppy should understand that you are the one in charge. Once your Pitbull shows no sign of aggression when you take its food away, praise your dog and give it their food back.
9. Take them for a walk
Even if you have your own house with plenty of space for your dog to roam and play, it is essential you take your Bulldog puppy out for a walk so it can see the world around it. And not just that.
Your dog will get used to different sounds and noises around it, so it won’t get aggressive easily just out of fear of some sharp noises.
How To Stop An Adult Pitbull From Biting?
Adult Pitbulls biting others is often a worrisome situation. But, it’s not impossible to overcome. Here are a few tips you can use to stop your adult Pitbull from biting.
10. Spray water on it
As scolding the dog isn’t good to stop the biting behavior, you can use an alternative to associate biting with a negative situation.
As soon as your adult Pitbull bites you, turn over, making it feel as if you’re hurt. Then, take a spray bottle and spray water on its face. Don’t be too harsh with it. A gentle spray is enough to let the dog know that biting is wrong.
11. Teach it to release things
If you cannot cope with the biting behavior, you should first teach your Pitbull to release things quickly as you command.
You can do this by playing games like tug of war with your dog. While the dog grabs the rope in its mouth and pushes it towards itself, command it to release it.
Although it may be difficult in the beginning, the dog will gradually learn to leave things whenever you say.
12. Ignore your Pitbull
Adult Pitbulls often bite to get your attention. If that’s the case, ignoring your dog is the only thing you can do.
Whenever your dog bites you for attention, ignore it, sometimes for a longer time. The dog will know that the biting technique isn’t the best for getting your attention, and it will look for other ways.
13. Wear gloves with chew-deterrent sprays
Chew-deterrent sprays contain vinegar and other ingredients whose smell and taste feels nasty to dogs. So, using chew-deterrent sprays isn’t cruel. In fact, they can help tackle the biting problem in adult Pitbulls.
If your Pitbull bites your hands, you can put the chew-deterrent spray on the gloves and wear them when around your dog. As it won’t like the smell, the Pitbull will stop biting your hands.
14. Enroll it in obedience courses
The lack of obedience and behavioral problems also cause aggression and biting in Pitbulls, which links to their training.
If you fail to train them properly when young, you will see aggression issues as they grow old. If you cannot solve this problem yourself, it’s better to enroll your adult Pitbull into an obedience training course.
The professionals will guide it and help stop the biting behavior.
15. Encourage positive reinforcement
Pitbulls often get aggressive due to a past incident or trauma they cannot forget. If that’s the case with your dog, it needs your time and affection.
So, it’s never a good idea to scold or punish your Pitbull if it bites you. If you scold it sometimes and not the other times, it will confuse the dog about what’s right and what’s not.
That’s why consistency is important while training your Pitbull. You should always try to teach it that biting is bad and praise it when it doesn’t bite.
16. Neuter or spay your dog
Your Pitbull’s behavior can be negatively affected by the desire to mate, making him more aggressive when he reaches sexual maturity. This is our last recommendation. If none of the steps above have helped you, consult with your vet first to make sure the procedure will be safe for your dog, and then go ahead and neuter or spray your dog. This should make it way less aggressive.
You can do this starting from the time when your pup is 6 months old. But we think it’s best to try to train your dog first using the above methods before performing any kind of surgical procedures.
Puppy Pitbulls biting is not an issue, and you can train them to stop this behavior as they age. But, aggression associated with biting in adult Pitbulls is not good at all. So, it’s better to determine the underlying cause and solve the problem as soon as possible.
Adult Pitbull bites are dangerous, and they can even tear away a person’s skin. As the owner, it’s your responsibility to stop the biting behavior before it becomes impossible to overcome.
My name is Katie, and I have had different pets at home for as long as I can remember. While I can definitely say I love all animals in general, my heart belongs to cats and dogs. I know you are supposed to choose one or the other, but I could never really decide. I’ve also owned hamsters and fish when I was a kid, and they filled my childhood with very delightful memories.