I have a 7 month old who’s

Welcome to Pitbulls.org Forums Pit Bull Talk Training Pitty Pup I have a 7 month old who’s


I have a 7 month old who’s similar in that he’s very hyper, and that sometimes (especially on walks) it can be hard to get him to focus – he’ll even turn down his favourite treats if he’s busy watching a squirrel or wants to eat some sidewalk trash. What I’ve found to be a HUGE help is clicker training – if he sits and then wiggles away before you can give him food and reward his behaviour, the clicker will help you keep up with him. I really recommend reading some articles (there are lots about clicker training) before starting, but the gist of it is, you “load” the clicker by going click-treat click-treat click-treat many times over a few days, until your dog knows that a click means a reward. Then you can start using the clicker to “mark” the good behaviour – so the moment he hear the click, he thinks, TREAT! That way you can click the moment he sits, the moment he’s walking nicely by your side, the moment he looks up at you for direction. Seriously it’s made a big difference in my guy after only a few weeks – now he works for the click rather than for the treat. The important thing is to never ever click without treating: the click is a promise of a reward.

The other thing I’ve found that really helps is always having a variety of treats; my guy gets bored really easily and loves new things. So I used to go out with just Zuke’s training treats or just jerky . . . now I go out with little bits of cheese, little bits of hot dog, Zuke’s, jerky, even a squeeze tube full of pumpkin sometimes (he loooooves pumpkin). That way he never knows what he’s going to get, and it keeps him interested and more focused on me. I take my clicker too, and when he’s doing the right thing it’s click-reward click-reward click-reward over and over, and no clicks for running ahead or pulling or barking at people. I do click-reward him for NOT barking at people, NOT chasing squirrels, etc. Now when he sees a squirrel or a person he wants to go up to, he’ll pull a bit and then sit down and stare at them – which isn’t perfect, but is certainly better than barking and jumping at them! So I click-reward him for having a little impulse control. Small steps!

The other thing to remember is that your puppy is a puppy – he doesn’t have much of an attention span yet. Just keep being patient, make sure you reinforce the good behaviour and don’t reinforce the bad behaviour, and you’ll get there. Pitties tend to be REALLY smart, so if you reward a bad behaviour (with attention etc.) even once it can have terrible consequences (I have found!). But by the same token, they will learn quickly if you’re consistent and patient.