Post # 1
Just recently we have inherited a pure bred pit-bull from some owners who pretty much kept him caged with another dog (whom we are also adopting) for almost a year and a half. I’m told by the “owners” that they have been raised together and they actually do get along very well from what I can tell. Anyways, to put it nicely..these dog’s previous owners have WAY too many animals and resorted to caging up these guys in a garage with a kennel installed inside it for about a year and half.
While these dogs are friendly they are lacking SO much training! My main concern is the pure-bred, Uropa, as he is the one with the most issues. For example, he will urinate inside his water bowl, jump on everyone, is terrible at walking on a leash, and not listen to most basic commands. They have barely seen sunlight, haven’t been walked much, and essentially are giant untrained beasts.
Both my husband and I are up for the challenge but we need advice! Is is possible to train these sweethearts or is the saying “old dogs can’t be taught new tricks” apply here 🙁
The pure-bred (uropa) is about 2 years old.. Is is possible to start from level 1 and re-train him to be a great family dog? Giving them up isn’t an option so please don’t suggest that.
Any helpful advice is definitely wanted/needed.
Post # 3
Start as though they are puppies. Two at once will be a handful.
Tether Uropa to you in the house and go through basic potty training techniques. Periodic trips outside, then once he goes…. TREAT JACKPOT.
If he jumps on you, turn and ignore him until he is calm.
Lots of treats and lots of positive reinforcements! Pitties are people pleasers and are very resilient dogs.
ETA: It might be a good idea to bring in a trainer for a couple lessons. They could help establish the foundation you’ll need to get these nuts under control!
Also, since pitties can have dog aggression, make sure all their exposure to other dogs is slow at first, especially until you can get them under control.
Post # 4
@Baimee: I totally agree. Act as if they’re brand new puppies. Yes, it can take longer to teach an old dog new tricks, but it can be done if you’re dedicated and you make sure the dog knows its place in your hierarchy.
There are some great books on the subject by Martin McKenna (there are other authors, but that’s the only one I’ve read), that describe how to use body language to tell the dog that you’re the boss. Just make sure you’re also very aware of your dog’s body language – if he’s used to being top dog, he may not like being challenged and treated like a puppy/unimportant dog.
Post # 5
We adpoted a 2yr old pitty from the shelter & while she was trained very well she did have to learn quite a few new things. It took her a while but we found out after attending a few classes that it’s all about keeping their attention on you with an amazing treat. Our girl has a very short attention span but like most pittys really wants to please her owners. We just had to find a treat that blew her mind so much that she wouldn’t take her eyes off it for anything.
We found that most bagged or pre-made treats are too similar to dog food. Try training with sliced up hot dogs. We roasted them in the oven for about an hour & they become much less greasy & more jerky like. Also, lunch meat does wonders as does vienna sausages. The key is consistency so you both really need to stick to your guns, even though they look so cute sometimes when they do something wrong!
Wishing you luck! ps- you two are angels- it sounds like those pups are in for an awesome home finally!
Post # 6
You could say I have some experience with dogs as I’ve I was raised around them, worked at three grooming shops, and volenteer at petshops on weekends where foster and adoption agencies work to get dogs homes.
First off I want to say you’re good people for giving these lovable lugs a home and a fresh start. Good on ya!
Past that it’s training just like you would start with a puppy. They don’t know rules, bounderies, and limitations that come with a regular family life. The best advice I can give is find a puppy or general dog training class and get them in that is the have the time and money. You’ll be around at leat one fountain of know how and start to socialize them with both dogs and other people.
If that’s not an option just make sure you remember that doing things over and voer again is how dogs learn. If they are told over and over that jumping up is bad unless invited then they wil learn that but they need to have the same rules with everyone so it gets ingrained in them better. I hope that we have an update on them and ant paticular problems they may have and I would love to be a helping hand in the process of getting these guys a new home with a loving family that you seem to be.
Post # 7
I would suggest a training class. You can google training suggestions, but I would suggest going to a place to get basic obedience. That way, you can have a way to handle some of these situations and fix it. It may be too overwhelming to try on your own. They’re very sweet and loving dogs.
Post # 8
@Baimee: Thank you so much! I’m definitely keeping all these great pieces of advice in a little notepad to remember and reference! Great idea as well for the slow incorporation with other dogs..it’s funny you mention that because I have a 2 pound tiny little chihuahua we rescued from the side of the road and she squeezed her way out of a 4 inch window crack in the car. We had no idea until she trotted up behind Uropa! My eyes nearly fell out of my head with horror but to my surprise he sniffed her and wanted to play lol. However because of her size and just being cautions and responsible in general, we will never allow them to play unsupervised or until they are fully trained because of the fact that she is a little microchip compared to him. 🙂
@LadyElva: Thank you! I will definitely look into getting some books- awesome idea. The subject of learning about dog body language seems really interesting to me so that should be neat to check out.
@BeckyS0: Training classes sound like a good idea! I’m hoping they will take to the trainer and not become aggressive..these poor things have hardly seen humans/sunlight. Although they don’t seem like they would want to do anything but play all day long lol. 🙂 Thank you so much for saying that! We love animals and I particularly adore pit-bulls but I always told myself that instead of getting a new pit bull puppy we would wait until we found one in desperate need. A year later we came across Urpoa and Kensington 🙂 Worth the wait for sure!
@CrazyCatLady13: Wow thank you! Please tell your fiance that I appreciate his very wise advice! I’m definitely going to look into training classes for the both of them just so they can get an understanding of basic commands etc. An excellent point about the socialization as well! Getting them into some classes would be nice so they can meet other dogs/interact with other humans. I will definitely update you guys! I’m planning on getting some pictures up as soon as we get them groomed and vet-checked! These poor guys have hot spots, mites, and probably haven’t had a baths in months. As soon as we get them all spiffy, I’ll show you guys what the two little charmers look like! 🙂
Post # 9
PP have you covered.
I commend you for taking the time and responsibility to train your dogs properly. I love pitties and plan to adopt one next(our current dog is a solo dog only type). GL!
Post # 10
Yay you! Everything is totally trainable – just be patient with both the dogs and YOURSELF, as everything’s a process. My dog was an unsocialized crazy beast when I first adopted him (and I had worked with him at the shelter for almost six months, so I thought I knew what I was getting into!) and two years later we still have good and bad days…but when I look at the aggregate progress we’ve made together over that time, it’s huge. The houstraining thing is totally not uncommon in caged dogs – look for a trainer who may have worked with puppy mill dogs before, as the issues could be similar. I wouldn’t necessarily look for a “Pit Bull Trainer”, as many people who advertise at such use really aversive methods that could be catastrophic with an unsocialized dog. Stay positive, have fun, be consistent, and good luck!
P.S. BAD RAP, Jasmine’s House, and Animal Farm Foundation are all great sources of info for positive pit bull training and socialization 🙂
Post # 11
@PinkMermaid: Darling Husband and I har 2 full bred and 1 mixed bred Pit Bulls. Our oldest is a 6yr old male that we got last year by defult. The previous owner was most definitely abusive and had multiple of their dogs and apparently Chase was not a favorite. Darling Husband and I have spent hrs working with him on how to walk on a leash, sit, stay and STOP PEEING IN MY HOUSE. Lol. I personally would not reccommend a training class. Yes treat him as a puppy and hire a trainer, but until you know these dogs like the back of your hand, I don’t think putting him in a space with other dogs is smart. Something might trigger him and cause him to snap and then you have a Pitt bull dog fight on your hands. I’d be happy to Skype with you and show you a few things that has workEd for us if you want. Just let me know. 🙂
Post # 12
I don’t know about others, but I find it 20x easier for a pup to first understand pecking order before training for obedience.