Make life with your pitbull puppy more entertaining with these 9 fun and constructive activities.
So, you just adopted a pit bull puppy. Lucky you! Of course, you couldn’t resist those sweet, almond-shaped eyes and that beautiful, smooth coat. You’ve met the perfect canine companion. But, as with any other puppy, you’ve got a lot of work ahead of you. The early stages of a pit bull puppy’s life require lots of attention for their mental and physical development. Therefore, it’s essential to keep them active with housetraining, socialization, and exercise. In this article, you’ll find 9 activities to do with pit bull puppies to keep them busy and on track to becoming exemplary canines.
Pitbull puppies’ needs are similar to other puppies. However, you should understand a few things about this breed before you begin your journey with your puppy. First, “pitbull” doesn’t refer to a singular breed. Instead, it’s a class of dogs comprised of several different breeds, such as the American Pit Bull Terrier and American Staffordshire Terrier.
Today’s pit bull is a descendant of the English bull-baiting dog, bred before the 1800s to bite and hold larger animals such as bears and bulls. When this practice was outlawed, people turned to an inhumane form of entertainment known as dogfighting. As a result, they began cross-breeding bull-baiting dogs with terrier-type dogs to create a more athletic, dog-aggressive breed.
Experts believe that most “pit bull” type dogs today are products of random breeding. This is important because it has led to a class of dogs with a tremendous range of behavioral traits. For example, while some bully breeds were initially bred for aggressive dispositions, that does not mean others weren’t bred for companionship and affection. Therefore, your pitbull puppy should be treated based on their individual needs and temperament, regardless of their lineage. The activities you choose to do with your pit bull puppy will determine the type of adult dog they’ll grow up to be.
Housetraining Activities To Do With Pitbull Puppies
Housetraining a young puppy can be challenging if you don’t know how to incorporate engaging activities into your new schedule. Providing a safe environment and an exciting routine is key to a happy puppy. Additionally, preparing your puppy for alone time is necessary if you step away from home for work or other obligations.
You’ll want to make sure your pit bull puppy stays busy as they learn boundaries with other pets or family members and develop their natural skills. Lack of proper housetraining activities can result in typical behavior issues like barking, howling, destructive chewing, and food aggression. Fortunately, there are various ways to keep them entertained while they adapt to your house rules.
Use an Interactive Feeding Mat
Your dog’s feeding schedule will depend heavily on their age. Most puppies are ready to leave their litter and join a new family around 8 weeks of age. At this stage of rapid development, they will need to eat up to 4 times a day. That means you’ll be feeding your puppy breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a little in between!
Housetraining your pit bull puppy around a feeding schedule can help prevent undesirable behavior like food guarding as they grow. Before you brought your new puppy home, they were likely competing with littermates for limited amounts of food. Without early intervention, this can lead to food aggression. While guarding valuable resources is normal behavior for animals, it’s generally an unpleasant experience if your puppy bites you, another dog, or another person. If you aren’t careful, it could end up costing you a pretty penny in vet or emergency care bills.
Using an interactive feeding mat or a snuffle mat at mealtime is a fun and challenging activity you can do with your pitbull puppy. The challenge of scavenging for dry food is mentally stimulating for your puppy’s growing brain. Start by hand feeding your puppy and slowly placing a small amount of food on the mat a time while you pet them. This will not only engage their senses and inherent foraging skills but will encourage them to relax while they eat.
Mats We Love
Introduce Your Puppy to a Potty Bell
Potty training your pit bull puppy is essential to their housetraining. Because puppies have tiny bowel systems, they naturally eliminate several times per day, typically first thing in the morning, after a meal, nap, or playtime, and the last thing at night. This is why it’s so important to keep them on a routine schedule.
One activity you can do with your pit bull puppy during their potty training journey is to introduce them to a potty bell. Potty bells are a fun communication tool for your puppy to let you know they have to go out and can help strengthen your bond with them as they explore a shared language with you. Learning how to use a potty bell can also help your pitbull puppy communicate with their sitter if you’re ever away from home.
Potty Bells We Love
Sign Up for a Toy Subscription
All dogs need to play. Therefore, you should keep plenty of toys in rotation for your puppy. In addition, young puppies will naturally chew on objects to explore their new surroundings and soothe incoming teeth. Teething is an especially intense chewing phase that can cause your pit bull puppy to target inappropriate things like furniture and shoes.
The best way to prevent destructive chewing is to look for toys specifically for teething puppies like long-lasting, inedible chew bones or a treat-dispensing toy. Luckily, you have endless options to choose from on the world wide web. One of the most convenient activities to do with your pit bull puppy is to sign up for a monthly toy box subscription. These services typically offer boxes customized for your dog’s specific needs and are a hassle-free way to keep your puppy entertained.
Socialization Activities To Do With Pitbull Puppies
Puppies experience several stages of development in their first year of life. The socialization period for dogs is very early, between two to four months of age. This is the easiest time for them to learn how to behave around new people, places, and other animals. In addition, proper socialization can help them mature faster, solve complex problems, and withstand higher amounts of stress.
Lack of adequate socialization during this growth period can lead to excessive responses to stimuli such as unfamiliar surfaces, smells, sounds, and moving objects. Ensuring your puppy experiences plenty of socialization can help prevent fearful or threatening behavior in the future.
As a pit bull owner, it’s your responsibility to protect your puppy and socialize them often and as safely as possible to prevent aggressive tendencies from emerging. Dog fights occur for several complex reasons, but a serious bite from a pit bull can result in much heavier consequences under local laws. Hefty fines and citations are only the beginning of what you could face as an owner if you neglect to socialize your pit bull puppy at an early age.
Visit a Credible Trainer
As mentioned previously, “pitbull” is a class of dogs that includes several different breeds. While your pit bull puppy may be genetically predisposed to certain behaviors, it’s essential to consider their individual needs in obedience training. Sometimes, you may want to seek advice from a professional dog trainer. Visiting a credible dog trainer can be a fun and positive experience for your puppy.
Consider your needs versus what they offer when looking for a dog trainer. You and your pit bull puppy can benefit significantly from an experienced trainer with the right set of skills. A professional can help reinforce your puppy’s training at home and help strengthen your bond with them. In addition, trainers that offer group classes are an excellent opportunity to socialize with other puppies.
Schedule a Puppy Playdate
Once your puppy has received their last vaccination booster, usually around 16 weeks of age, they’re ready to make new friends. Introducing your puppy to their canine peers is crucial to their development and molding them into well-behaved dogs. Of course, it’s possible to socialize your dog well into adulthood. Still, the sooner you expose them to new social situations, the better.
Puppy playdates are the perfect activity to socialize your pit bull puppy with other dogs and people. However, a successful playdate will depend on the playmate and location you choose. Dogs come with different temperaments and energy levels, so choosing a suitable playmate can impact the outcome of your puppy’s development. In addition, without overstimulating distractions, a safe, secure location will also set up your pit bull puppy for a successful playdate.
Helping your puppy make new friends will also help them learn bite inhibition, usually learned during play with other puppies. Pouncing, chasing, and wrestling are a normal part of playtime and should not worry you. Puppies learn how to be gentle with each other by pushing boundaries and drawing back when the victim of their bite yelps and stops playing. These interactions also teach them to control the intensity of their bites.
Take Your Puppy on a Car Ride
One of the best socialization activities you can do with pit bull puppies is to introduce them to car travel. As your puppy grows, you’ll want to take them wherever you go. While most dogs love the new sights and scents of an open car window, others might experience fear or sickness without proper socialization. Dog anxiety in the car could result in delayed car trips and unpleasant messes.
Teaching your pitbull puppy to ride in the car comfortably is much easier to do at their young age than it would be to wait until they’re older. However, before you bring your puppy along for the ride, make sure they’re properly secured. Praise and positive rewards can go a long way in reducing your puppy’s car anxiety in the future. Choose a location you know they’ll enjoy, like a local park or natural area they can safely explore. Most importantly, NEVER leave your dog alone in the car.
Canine Car Essentials We Love
Exercise Activities To Do With Pitbull Puppies
All dogs need exercise to live long, healthy lives no matter their energy level. The amount of activity your pit bull puppy requires will depend on their traits and temperament. However, most bully breeds are highly active and will happily chase, tug, jump, and explore in between meals and naps. Remember, don’t over-exercise your puppy, or they’ll experience fatigue. This could lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances!
To prevent your puppy from engaging in undesirable behavior, you’ll need to keep them moving at a safe and healthy pace. Outdoor leash walking, home agility courses, and swimming lessons are fun physical activities to do with your pitbull puppy that will teach them new skills and keep them entertained.
Agility Courses We Love
Practice Leash Walking in the Great Outdoors
Leash walking is an important skill to teach your pup, as most local municipalities impose leash laws that keep both human and canine citizens safe. Start by practicing at home for short periods. If your puppy seems reluctant or overstimulated by the leash, invest in a harness. Once they’re physically acclimated and familiar with their leash, taking them to a secure outdoor location for leash training is an excellent activity to do with your pitbull puppy.
Beaches, lakes, hiking trails, national and state parks, and fishing spots that allow dogs are great options to spend time with your pup while getting them the exercise they need. While you may want to jump right into creating memories with your pitbull puppy, it’s essential to be patient and take it slow.
Leashes We Love
Set Up a Home Agility Course
Creating an agility course at home, whether in your backyard or living room, is a great way to engage your pitbull puppy’s senses. Unlike basic obedience commands, agility courses are just for fun. They can also help build your dog’s confidence, reduce stress, and build their trust. Anxious puppies will significantly benefit from an agility course because it introduces them to obstacles at their own pace.
Experts suggest keeping early home agility activities short, no more than 10 minutes at a time. Open tunnels, hurdle sets, weave bars, and seesaws are a few examples of dog agility equipment you can find online or at your local pet store. These items are generally easy to make for puppy fun on a budget. For instance, you can create a tunnel out of cardboard boxes or a hurdle set out of pool noodles. But remember to keep it short, give your puppy plenty of praise, and don’t overwork them, or they might get bored!
Get Your Puppy in a Baby Pool
Teaching your puppy to swim is an excellent activity to do together that will prepare them for an important skill and keep them moving. Not all dogs are fond of water, and not all dogs are inherently great swimmers. However, pitbull-type dogs generally love water, so if you’re interested in exposing your pitbull puppy to swimming, you should start as early as possible. Your puppy will be ready to paddle around two to five months.
Before you dive right into swimming lessons with your puppy, it’s a good idea to get them comfortable with water first. Start by filling a baby pool with about 2 inches of water and letting them observe their surroundings. Once they become familiar with shallow water, you can start experimenting with larger bodies of water. Make sure it’s safe to bring your pitbull puppy along for waterside activities, and never leave them unattended.
Pools We Love
What Happens When Pitbull Puppies Get Bored
Allowing your puppy to engage in innate behaviors through various activities is vital to their development. Without healthy outlets like agility courses, chewing toys, playdates, car rides, and group classes, you might find yourself with an unhappy and destructive puppy.
Separation anxiety is the most common complaint among dog owners, especially when their pals are still very young. Pitbull puppies who are still adapting to a new owner, new home, and new schedule are at risk of displaying undesirable behavior without corrective action. So rather than pull your hair out over ruined furniture, excessive barking, or an injured puppy, you should strike out symptoms of separation anxiety before they arise by offering plenty of fun activities to do.
Another consequence of not involving your pitbull puppies in enough engaging activities is dog-aggressive and human-aggressive behavior. While mouthing, nipping, and biting may seem cute during puppy playtime, failing to intervene could lead to inappropriate behavior later on down the road. You don’t want your pitbull puppy to bite another puppy or human, so providing them with an enriching environment that teaches them bite inhibition is crucial.
Pitbull-type dogs are bred from a tremendous range of behavioral traits, and you never know what you might get. In addition, the shelter or agency that connected you with your new friend won’t know your puppy’s entire genetic makeup.
All pitbull puppies have the potential to be great companions if you take proper action in their daily lives. If you want to make sure your pitbull puppy grows up to be the best canine they can be, the 9 activities above are sure to get them on the right track.