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Hi everyone! :)
A week ago I brought home my first pitbull that I've ever owned. My boyfriend and I decided we were ready for a puppy. My boyfriend works during the day so I'll mostly be in charge of taking care of the puppy. He is a beautiful brindle boy, and we both love him so muchh :)

This is my first dog as an adult. I have a chihuahua/weiner dog/Yorkie mix, but she was my dog growing up, so of course my mom took up a lot of the responsibility, so Brutus is my first puppy that I'm fully responsible for.

I am just looking for tips that will come in handy when easing my new addition. He is teething, and he bites pretty hard sometimes. Right now I just ignore him for a couple seconds when he starts hurting me, but this seems to make him more determined. I also try to swap my hands for his chewy toys, and this usually works, except for the fact that he has a really short attention span right now, hah. He wants my hands back within a couple minutes.

Any tips are appreciated! I want him to be a well rounded, people/animal friendly dog. :)
 

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Congrats on your puppy! He's a handsome little guy. I love brindles!

Re: the biting, I'd just keep redirecting with a toy and if he's really persistent, then maybe remove yourself for a minute.

My best advice would be to 1) socialize, and 2) obedience. Enroll in a puppy class if you can. I have a 5 year old pit and an 18 week old cattle dog/pit mix. Our adult was not very well socialized as a puppy. She loves people but I'm always cautious around other dogs, and she still tends to get overexcited when we go out in public. I take our new guy everywhere and we are in class with plans to start another as soon as this one is over. I can totally tell a difference.
 

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What a cutie! :) Congrats!

My Amstaff mix girl is 11 months now. We only got her when she was 6 months, but no one ever really worked with her, so she was still biting/nibbling, no training etc.
What we did with the biting: Saying "ouch" and turning away did not do anything for her but made her more determined (as you described as well). We never did the redirection thing, because you can hardly always have a toy on you (at least I am too forgetful for this :D ). What worked wonders for us is not saying a thing, getting up/turning around and walking away. It still took a while, but she learned that if she uses her mouth with us, the play ended. And I am not talking about a few seconds, but 1-2 minutes.

What you should be aware of though, bully breeds, especially AmStaffs and Pitbulls were once bred for fighting (bull fighting and later dog fighting). You should and have to socialize him like crazy (puppy class, supervised play dates) and make sure that he has good experiences. But even if you did all you could, it could still be that, when he matures, he will get dog aggressive. And that's "okay" in the sense that it's not a fault, but these breeds were bred for it and sometimes genetics come through. I'm not saying it has to and there are a lot of examples out there where it didn't, but being aware of it is never a bad thing.

That said: Enjoy your puppy! :)
 
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Great advice already posted here so I won't repeat but congrats on your pittie pup! He's so freaking adorable!!

I got pitbull/staffy mix at 8 weeks and from the beginning I had friends come over to start socializing her. As soon as she got her second set of vaccinations I enrolled her in puppy classes. She's onto level 2 now (shes currently 6 months). Puppy classes have made a HUGE difference, as well as dog daycare. I would caution the dog daycare and dog parks though. The place where I take her for daycare is the same place she takes her obedience classes so the trainer knows her (she owns the daycare) and there are at least 2 staff members that supervise the ENTIRE time. She's learned all her social skills at dog daycare and now she hardly bothers my senior dog.

I would highly recommend playdates. My pup gets a lot of exercise but I feel like she tires out much faster with puppy playdates. It's a more controlled environment than dog parks.

Short obedience sessions at home also really help and it's a great way to bond with your pup. I find interactive toys (where you can fill them with treats and kibble) are also really great. When I was feeding my pup kibble (she's now on raw) I would use her meal time to do obedience. I didn't even use her food bowl.

Re: the biting, as the others have mentioned, saying "ow!" loudly and/or standing up and turning away really helped for me. Now if she accidentally bites too hard and I say "OW!!!!" she will stop and sit there and wait for me give her a command.

This place has been really great for me to find information, support and advice. Welcome to the forum and good luck with you pup!!! :)
 

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Great advice so far!

With the biting you need to be completely consistent with whatever you do. Back when I had my terrier and he was a puppy he had a very hard bite even though he was playing. What I did was redirect him onto a toy, if he dropped the toy and tried biting me I'd redirect again, if he still dropped the toy and tried biting me I'd get out of his reach and play time ended. I did that every time he tried biting me. It took maybe a month but the day came when a light bulb went on in his head, he started to run to me to play without a toy and then stopped got a thoughtful look on his face and ran to grab a toy to bring to me. After that every time he wanted to play he would get one of his toys.

Have you checked out Kikopups youtube channel? She's a great trainer, and has some awesome videos on training puppies. Here's a link to her channel if you want to check her out https://www.youtube.com/user/kikopup and a link to one of her puppy videos https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCwh7_SjUVM
 
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Pitbull

You should really be playful too by means of being active in diverting his attention like to his toys when you feel he's being rough already. But when it seems unstoppable like others saying too here then show him that you're the boss by ending your playtime, since in that way they can figure it out that they should behave when you keep doing that to them. Then give him of course the exercise that he deserves to keep him active.
 

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I heard that its not good to play to much tug war games... Special if you let him/her win the most of the times, because pit-bulls are powerfull breeds and missteps in his puppyhood can lead to aggression in future.
 

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It is an old wive's tale that play tug causes aggression in dogs. IMO unless the dog is already a resource guarder, tug is not a game that is going to cause any problems in and of itself. Perhaps if you were playing it with a resource guarding dog who wasn't really into it and was more trying to get the toy than play, but that's not a super likely scenario.

Playing tug is actually one of the main ways that I bond with new puppies, and in sports like agility it is often the main reward. There are lines/breeds/types of dogs that truly thrive when playing tug, and IMO bully breeds are one of them (the other main group being working line Mals, Dutchies, and GSDs). I have a Boston, which is technically a bully breed and has similar foundations as the larger bully breeds, though without the bed-in dog aggression. She LOVES tug, and one of the main ways that I get her more comfortable in new places is by playing tug- if she's ever at all uncomfortable somewhere, I bring out a small tug toy and we play for ten minutes and then she's ready to go check things out.

I also always let my dogs win in tug, because it tends to build confidence/build drive. It's always the first game I teach a new dog/puppy, because it also lends itself well to impulse control (I will randomly through the game ask the dog to drop the toy and then do some simple obedience exercises before playing again), and I like it for teaching young pups that people aren't OK to bite and that we can play with things in our mouths near people, we just can't put the people in out mouths.

Also- just as a note- when you end a play session because of over-excitement or nipping, it has nothing to do with "showing the dog you're the boss". IMO, very little of training should actually be focusing on you being the boss and the dog having to listen. Having moved to R+ from dominance methods (lets just say Milan was my idol some years back), and having raised my two past dogs with the mindset of me being in charge and them being subservient, I can confidently say that I do not like the temperament or attitude that comes from that kind of training- even when it is completely successful. I prefer my dog to be an active partner, not to be worried about displeasing me because there will be consequences.

To the OP: I would also echo the recommendation for "playdates" with others. Pits are inclined to dog aggression, unfortunately, and it may not be something that can be socialized or trained out of them, but frequent playdates will all different sizes and personalities of dogs- so long as those dogs aren't actually going to hurt the puppy- is important. I usually socialize my pups only with very tolerant and nice adults or other puppies until they're a little older (~6 months), and then once they can handle a little bit of sass without it imprinting fear on their tiny little brains, I'll start letting them around dogs that are a little less good with others/a little more snarky/I know will correct them for some of the behavior they do. Definitely use your best judgement when socializing, and in the beginning only set up 100% positive experiences. I would also note there is a huge difference between a slightly snarky dog that doesn't want a puppy in her space and a dog that flat out doesn't like other dogs and might be a threat to your dog. Also, if the dog shows ANY kind of inclination to reactivity or DA, I would advise only allowing interactions with solid dogs that won't react to anything she does in any way, since IME a very reasonable correction from one dog to a slightly DA dog can/will end in a fight most of the time.
 

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I am a huge fan of tug as well. In my dog playgroups, dog sometimes take years to build up the trust and confidence in a playmate to be able to run up and initiate a game of tug. Dogs have to really be on a level with each other to play tug, without one dog or the other mistaking it for rudeness.
 

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I play tug with my pitbull pup all the time. I will let her win and I also teach her to "drop it" and when she sits and waits then I will give it right back to her. It helps me build her trust so that she doesn't think I am taking her toy away from her. Tug also helps tire her out too, she's got way too much energy!
 
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