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How to Teach a Pitbull a Few Dog Tricks

Learn how to teach a pitbull a few dog tricks in this Howcast dog training video featuring professional dog trainer Andrea Arden.


When training your pit bull, whether you're training them what you might consider basic obedience or manner skills, or delightful tricks, the approach should be the same as it is with all other dogs. You should use a positive, motivational approach that sets your dog up to have fun, love the learning experience and decide that they absolutely love being compliant to people's requests.

When selecting tricks to train your pit bull, it's useful to pick things that's going to be to their advantage. Things that I like to focus on with bully breeds would be impulse control or learning some self-control, how to take it, drop it, polite manners if they want to tug as an outlet. But you could use a lot of your tricks training to give your bully breed the outlets that they need for the energy that they have.

As in any successful training program, once you want to pick a trick you're going to train, you want to know what the end result should look like. But you want to break it down into small, achievable steps so that you and your bully breed are successful and having fun along the way. Pick something that motivates them to use as a reward. For most dogs that's food. If your bully breed loves playing with toys, toys can also be a wonderful way of reinforcing them.

When you're doing a training session, keep it short, and what I mean by short is go along with your dog's attention span. You want to make sure that your dog, during a training session, is enthusiastic and having fun. So for your individual dog that might mean three minutes. It might mean 30 minutes. But you want to keep the training sessions brief enough that your dog is accomplishing the task and not burning out.

Tricks training is a great thing to do with all dogs, but especially bully breeds that sometimes get a little bit of a bad rep from some people, or people feel a little bit worrisome around them. Having a well-behaved, well-trained dog makes a wonderful ambassador for their breed. It allows them to interact with their family members, neighbors, and children in the community in a very positive way that's calm and well-mannered.

So, they can become great ambassadors for their breed if you train them some really nice manners behaviors as well as some really cute tricks. Right, honey?

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