How to Discipline a Pitbull Puppy? [The Correct Way]

Pitbulls are frowned upon as an aggressive breed known for their violent history, but proper training from a good owner will make them loving, affectionate, and happy dogs.

You want your Pitbull to be obedient, so it will listen to you before it gets in trouble. And to do that, you have to discipline them.

To start disciplining your Pitbull dog, you first have to understand what they respond to, what makes them click, what they love, and what they hate. You also need to remain calm at all times and use positive reinforcements.

So let’s read how to discipline a Pitbull.

Do You Need to Establish Dominance Over Your Pitbull?

When you bring your Pitbull puppy home, you must establish dominance to let them know you are the boss, and he must always listen to you. Show them they will get all their favorite things from you if they obey you.

Before giving your puppy a treat, ask him to do something for you. Many people are skeptical of Pitbulls and think they will become aggressive and turn against the owner even if trained.

There is no sure answer to this, but with positive reinforcement and proper training, your Pitbull will forever remain loyal. And it again involves establishing dominance so your Pitbull won’t revolt against you.

Another thing to remember is not to develop dominance through punishment or aggression toward the puppy. But instead, establish a link that if your Pitbull does a good thing and listens to you, he will get treats and lots of praise and love.

Most people try to discipline their dogs by hitting and shouting at them, which is wrong and develops aggressive behavior in puppies.

Disciplining Pitbulls is not the same as other dog breeds, and here a few reasons why that is:

High Pain Tolerance

Pitbulls, like other dogs and living creatures, feel pain, but due to their history and being bred for fighting purposes, they have a high resistance to pain.

Whether it’s fighting other dogs or against big animals like bulls and bears, tackling feral hogs, or protecting cattle animals from predators. Pitbulls have always fought through pain throughout their history.

That means the techniques used by many professional trainers that involve prong or choke collars or using corrections like hitting your dog are not only inhumane and likely to hurt your relationship with your dog but very likely ineffective.

Extremely Loyal and Owner Pleaser

Pitbulls love their families, and if your Pitbull quivers when you discipline them, it’s not because they are hurt or feel, but because they regret making you upset.

Pitbulls are the type of dog that will work all day and drive themselves to the ground for you. That means that the best punishment for the average Pitbull is not giving them affection.

Pitbulls cannot stand to feel shunned by their families and will do anything to win back your love. Opposite to the misconceptions about PItblls, they can be very easily disciplined by turning your back on them.

How to Discipline a Pitbull Puppy?

The best and only way to discipline your dog is with positive reinforcement. Many times people label Pitbulls as stubborn and disobedient. While the stubborn part is true, Pitbulls are the easiest to train and one of the most loyal dogs.

The standards for an American Pitbull Terrier state that a “Pitbull is eager to please and brimming over with enthusiasm.” Someone familiar with the breed knows these words are true.

Pitbulls, like other dog breeds, love to please their owner. It is this very loyalty of Pitbulls to their owner to fight other dogs and animals when asked, and they will never bite their owner, no matter how hurt they are.

Here are a few ways to discipline your Pitbulls.

1. Start by Teaching Your Pitbull Some Basic Commands

Your Pitbull needs to learn basic commands like “sit,” “stay,” “stop,” “come,” and “down” at the beginning of training. Understanding basic commands will also help your Pitbull understand other commands easily later in training.

2. Build a Bond by Training

Pitbulls were originally fighting dogs, so they have a bad reputation. But they are so easy to train; if done properly, they can be lovable pets, eager to please their family.

They will be super cuddly if you train them well and form a strong bond with you. However, remember they are stubborn, meaning how you raise them will stick with them forever.

So you need to develop their character and behavior based on love, trust, and affection. An aggressive behavior from the owner can develop an aggressive behavior in the Pitbull puppy.

To achieve this goal, you should start training while they are young, but with enough patience, you can train even an old Pitbull. Several Pitbulls are known to respond well to love and affection after years of fighting and abuse.

3. Never Hit or Yell at Your Pitbull

No matter what the breed, a dog shall never be hit. If you do so, your dog will learn aggressive behavior, and the relationship between you and the puppy will be based on fear instead of love.

While they should understand you are the dominant figure in their life, they shouldn’t be afraid of you. Fear ruins your bond and trust, and thus, aggression is created.

Positive and negative reinforcement aren’t opposite things, as you may think. Positive reinforcement means giving your dog something like a treat, attention, love, etc., when they are good.

Negative reinforcement means taking something away when your dog is naughty. So, even hitting your dog or yelling counts as positive reinforcement, but you should never use these forms of discipline.

4. Don’t Repeat Yourself

Pitbulls are brilliant dogs. If your Pitbull figures out, it can keep doing something until you have asked three or four times, or if they realize that you won’t follow up on a command and can keep doing it, you can trust it will take advantage.

Only ask your Pitbull to do something if you can enforce the command, and only ask once.

If your Pitbull has suddenly forgotten how to perform a command, something has likely changed in the environment, they are bored with the command, or they are trying to see if they can get away with not fulfilling it.

No matter which of these reasons is responsible for the disobedience of your Pitbull, repeating the command is not the solution. Only say the command once and follow through.

If your dog knows a command, for example, sit but isn’t sitting when you command him, instead of repeating yourself, use a high-value treat to lure your Pitbull into the way you would have when he was a puppy.

It may seem strange to do this even though your Pitbull knows how to sit, but it is best to tell him you are serious about the command every time.

For success every time, try not to ask your dog to perform commands when you expect they will not want to unless you have a tasty treat to make it worthwhile.

One of the reasons your Pitbull gets bored is by repeating the same commands repeatedly. Your Pitbull is a smart dog who wants to be able to do new things and not be bored by constant repetition, so change your routine occasionally.

5. Take a Break and Calm Down

Remember to take breaks when you don’t is just tired of training. You and your Pitbull are probably tired, so it’s best to focus on that when you are both up to it.

Rather than stretch your training sessions for hours, break them into small periods. Dogs have a small attention span and will get antsy, so ensure your session is manageable.

Fifteen minutes of rest after a 30-minute training session will freshen up both of you, and your dog will also be comfortable.

Remember, training takes time, so your dog will not change overnight, but with appropriate training and character development, you can discipline your Pitbull slowly.

6. Socialize your Puppy

Socialize your Pitbull puppy when he gets his vaccine shots and the vet confirms that he can go out. Take him outside, maybe to a dog park, a beach, or a public place where he can interact with the world and the environment.

They will learn the best way by experiencing the world firsthand. Take him to places with other humans and dogs, such as a dog park or a doggy daycare, so they can socialize and make new friends.

Keep an eye on them and observe their behavior. Reward any good behavior you spot with a nice treat or attention, and don’t reward any bad behavior. They will understand after a few times.

You should observe moments like going near food carts and similar situations. The more they experience, the more they will improve in dealing with situations.

7. Use a Tool

You can use various tools can help you adjust their behavior. For instance, a dog whistle could be an excellent tool to distract you and put your attention in a different direction, especially if they are doing something wrong.

You can also use a toy to distract him, like a tennis ball or a dog rope. Keep him engaged in good behavior and let him know you will not reward that bad behavior.

8. Reward Them for Being a Good

Positive reinforcement is rewarding your dog when your dog behaves well, completes a command, or does a good thing, like bringing you something. Use this method, carry treats on you, and give them plenty of love when they are a good boy or girl.

A reward system will make them happy and positively establish your dominance. Your Pitbull will love you more as they realize it can get what it needs from you, but only if they behave well.

Rewards can be a treat, attention, or something your dog likes. If you find at any point that your dog’s behavior is bad its hard to deal with, leave the room instead of showing anger or disappointment.

9. Give Them Enough Time to Exercise and Play

Pitbulls need exercise, and lots of it. They are very muscular and bred to achieve certain things. While you may not take them hunting, you should ensure you provide them with some form of exercise that they find challenging.

For example, you can take them to an obstacle course or create one, swim in a lake, river, beach, etc. The more exercise they get daily, the happier and calmer they will be.

You can do fun activities with them that will be playful and bonding to both of you. If you don’t want to exercise them regularly, play fetch, frisbee, or some other type of game to keep them engaged.

10. Be Patient with Your Pitbull and Remain Consistent

Success in training and disciplining your Pitbull is to be consistent and patient and not slack off. If your dog is slow to learn a certain command initially, just be patient and keep trying; he will get it right eventually.

The training process is a bonding experience for both of you and requires great dedication. It should be something you enjoy and look forward to rather than doing it half-heartedly.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Question

How Do You Punish a Pitbull Puppy?

Never punish your Pitbull puppy by shouting or hitting him; instead, don’t show him affection, and he will understand.

American Pitbulls love to receive praise and love from their owners, so no affection and praise from you will be a big punishment than hitting him. Hitting and shouting also encourage aggressive behavior, so you must avoid them.

How Do You Train a Pitbull Puppy to Listen?

If your Pitbull is not listening to you or you want to train him to listen to you, use treats as a bribe. Call them by their name, and when he comes, reward him. And when you ask him to do something, and he completes it, rewards him again.

Remember, if your dog already knows a command and is ignoring you or trying not to do it, do not repeat yourself, and use treats to remind him that listening to you is rewarding.

Are Pit Bull Puppies Hard to Train?

Pitbull puppies may be stubborn, but they are not hard to train. Pitbulls love to please their owner, and to do so; they will do anything you tell them to do.

If your Pitbull does not listen to you, simply withhold your affection and attention; he will quickly understand that you are upset and feel sorry about it. Also, remember to use positive reinforcement like a treat or praise to make them love you.

At What Age Do Pitbulls Get Aggressive?

During socialization, your puppy will develop aggressive behavior if you lack proper socializing.

The socialization period starts when your Pitbull puppy gets all their vaccine shots, and the vet confirms that he can go outside now. Socializing age normally starts at 8 to 12 weeks.

How to Establish Dominance Over a Pitbull?

The best way to establish dominance over a Pitbull is by positive reinforcement. The easiest way to tell your Pitbull you are the boss is by simply establishing that listening and peasing you will earn him tasty treats and disappointing you will deprive him of your affection.

Physical dominance like using a shock collar or hitting your Pitbull will only make them lose your trust and become aggressive.


In conclusion, Pitbulls react positively to love and affection, and you should always remain calm and show your emotions rather than use physical force on them.

There is no need to rush in training and let him enjoy the process of bonding with you. Training your Pitbull when he is a puppy is the easiest as they have an empty mind, and you can inscribe any command you like.

Good luck with your training.

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