The negative reputation of the pit bull does not always correspond to reality! Although it is seen by many people as a potentially dangerous dog, the pet has a playful, loyal and quite intelligent temperament. The care received during breeding and the influence of the guardian are very important factors in determining the behavioral characteristics and the level of aggression of the animal.
With that in mind, Patas da Casa decided to talk to Bruno Correa Melo, a trainer specialized in correcting bad habits and training sport dogs, to answer the main questions on the subject. Check it out below!
Is the pit bull really aggressive?
According to Bruno, it is not natural for a pit bull dog to be aggressive towards people. "What happens is an inadequate handling of the owner. Most of the time, unintentionally", explains the professional. In addition to its peaceful character, the breed also has attributes that facilitate the animal's learning process. That is, the character of the pet, in most cases, is not very good.of the time, will depend mainly on the way it was taught and socialized by the tutors.
That said, what could be the justifications for this distorted image of the pit bull before the population? Among the possible explanations, we can mention the physical size of the dog. The pit bull has a well-developed musculature and excellent athletic aptitude, characteristics that can end up being confused with a threat.
Pit bull fights contribute to breed's bad reputation
Pit bull fights also have a huge share of blame when it comes to the dog's bad reputation. Dogs are among the main ones chosen for the practice since the breed's emergence and, generally, undergo extremely violent and rigorous training. It is worth mentioning that the realization of fights between animals is considered a crime in Brazil, but, unfortunately, they still happen formclandestine in some locations.
Dog training: when is the best time to start educating the pitbull?
In the opinion of Bruno, who has been working as a trainer for approximately three years, it is best to start behavioral training from an early age. Although it is also possible to educate an adult dog, introducing the habit in childhood can speed up the process. "I suggest starting training at 55 to 60 days [of age]. There are some reasons for this, such as taking advantage of the social window, theneuroplasticity and synaptogenesis (biological issues of neurological and motor development of the puppy)", explains the specialist.
However, anyone who thinks that teaching a pit bull puppy can be considered a smooth mission is mistaken. "Training puppies is not necessarily easier. Only those who have had a puppy at home know how they get into trouble!", jokes the trainer. "That's where most guardians usually go wrong, inserting and reinforcing negative behaviors that, later on, will become big problems",warns.
How do I train my pit bull dog? Learn how training works!
Training any animal requires a lot of study and observation on the part of the chosen professional. For Bruno, it is important to understand the instinct and motivations of each dog. "There are several approaches and concepts in training, I do not believe that one is better or worse, but more suitable for a given situation", evaluates Bruno. When it comes to the approach in relation to possible dogs, it's important to understand their motivations."When we talk about aggression, we need to understand the reason, whether it is competitive for resources (water, food, female) or social," he explains.
"Before talking about the breed and its particularities, it is necessary to understand that first comes the animal. The canine training professional studies the dog's behavior ", explains the trainer. Also according to Bruno, the concept used to train a poodle and a pitbull is the same. "What will change is basically the strategy," he says.
"When we talk about large breeds in which the purpose is not guard and protection, the ideal is to teach obedience commands, so that the owner can have more control over the dog. In addition, socialize with all possible people and also with other animals ", advises Bruno.
For the professional, the best way to train is to respect the dog's nature. "I try to understand as much as possible of the dog's natural behavior and scientific concepts of ethology (study of the social and individual behavior of animals in their natural habitat). Therefore, I use several techniques in my work ", he adds.
Training a pit bull: what are the main mistakes a person can make?
Okay, we already understand that training usually follows basically the same line of reasoning regardless of the breed in question. However, some specific situations may require greater care during the process, as is the case with a pit bull that was adopted as an adult. Because you do not know the animal's history and the care offered by the last owner, it is essential to observe the body language of the animal.Never make the mistake of fighting or acting aggressively with the dog!
According to Bruno, one of the most common mistakes is not setting limits for the dog, especially when the attempt at correction is aggressive. "In the future, the dog may attack the owner, not out of revenge! Usually, these attacks on the owner usually come after many warnings," warns the trainer.
Check out some tips for training a pit bull
Okay, we already know what not to do when training a pitbull. Now all that's left to do is check out some tips that can help you during your pet's training. Let's go!
- Decide together with the other residents of the house what the rules of the environment will be. It is important that everyone acts in the same way to prevent the pet from getting confused.
- Teach the dog to recognize its own name.
- The pit bull should be socialized with other animals and people from an early age. In the case of puppies that have been adopted as adults, try to introduce socialization calmly.
- Avoid rough and aggressive play, such as light biting, so that the animal develops a calm and relaxed personality. For this, it is necessary to provide other forms of entertainment, such as appropriate toys and nibbles.
- Always opt for positive reinforcement. When your pet does something wrong, just say a firm "no".
- Accustom your dog to moments of solitude to avoid the development of possible separation anxiety in the future.
- Try to keep training sessions short (between 10 to 15 minutes daily)
- Start with basic commands, such as sit or be quiet.See_also: Great Dane: what is the life expectancy of the giant breed dog?
Odin, Bruno's pitbull, was rescued at 2 years old and gives a show of education!
The trainer says that he started training the dog in the very first weeks at home. "Until then, I had almost no knowledge about training and it was thanks to Odin that I sought more knowledge through courses," says the professional.
"Today I have what I expect from my dog: a controlled dog, who stays alone all day and does not destroy the house, pees and poops in the right place, knows how to respect limits and loves to play," says the expert, who can be considered living proof that adult animals also have the ability to be educated. "However, I am aware that even if I work hard, there will be some problems.gaps in learning due to the stages of the dog's childhood that have not been worked on ", he adds.See_also: Food allergy in dogs: what are the causes, symptoms and treatments?
According to Bruno, the final result of the training depends on a set of actions: "in my case, my first attitude was to demonstrate leadership. The second was to teach obedience (walk together, sit, lie down), with this I started to have more control so that I could do a socialization work with him ".