Some exasperated dog owners have asked me, “How you do you train a pitbull not to bite?” My answer is always, “That depends.” It will be easier to get your pitbull to stop biting if he’s a puppy. Unfortunately, if your pitbull has already passed the puppy stage, breaking him out of the biting habit will be more challenging. But it can be done.
But first, we need to be clear on some things. When you say “bite” do you mean your pitbull bites people out of viciousness? Or do you mean your pitbull puppy nips people when they walk by? No reason is ever acceptable though.
Bitting Due to Teething
Teething for a pitbull puppy begins when his teeth start to grow in. The teething process is extremely painful, so your baby pitbull is trying to find something hard on which to chew in order to alleviate the pain.
Alternatively, your baby pitbull will attempt to chomp on your hand, finger, or any other part of your body to alleviate his pain.
If you were to go on motive alone, it would be easy to excuse his behavior. However, you need to nix the behavior quickly before it becomes a habit.
Biting Out of Aggression
Your dog’s desire to bite or nip you due to his teething process is quite different than his desire to bite you due to aggression. Your pitbull is trying to show dominance when you try to take a toy from him and he bites.
Never, ever, ever accept this behavior from your dog. If you allow him to get away with it once, he’ll do it all the time. He’ll also learn that to get what he wants, all he has to do is bite you.
Here are 3 tips to stop your pitbull from biting:
1. Let Him Chew On Ice – If your puppy is teething, give him ice cubes on which to chew. The coolness will soothe his achy gums while the hardness will allow him to have something solid to bite into.
2. Demonstrate You’re The Alpha – Every dog needs a pack leader. Demonstrate to your pitbull puppy that you’re the dominant and he’s the submissive. One way to do this is by touching his food before feeding him so that the food will have your scent on it and so that he accepts your handling his food.
3. Buy A Reward-Based Dog Training System – Based on scientific studies conducted, Pitbulls respond best to reward-based dog training systems.
Lastly, make sure you socialize your pitbull puppy early on. If your puppy’s biting is fear based, socialization will enable your dog to become comfortable around other dogs, thereby lessening his fears.
by Shalisha Alston