8 Best Ways to Bond with Your Pit Bull Puppy

Building trust between you and your new Pit Bull puppy can forge a path to many happy years together. Whether you’re the first owner of your dog or they’ve had a previous owner, knowing how to establish trust and bonding as soon as your new puppy is ready can make your shared journey a much happier one. What are the best ways to bond with your Pit Bull puppy?

Here are 8 ways to bond with your Pit Bull puppy:

  • Hand-feed your dog
  • Cuddle together
  • Try a few basic tricks
  • Get some exercise together
  • Play with them
  • Relax together
  • Stay consistent
  • Know when to give your dog space

The above healthy habits can develop and reinforce trust as well as form positive sentiments from your Pit Bull to you. Keep reading for actionable tips so that before you know it, the bond between you and your puppy will be rock-solid!

8 Ways to Connect with Your Pit Bull Puppy 

Hand-Feed Your Dog

Your puppy should be of the age where they’re eating solid food consistently out of a bowl before you attempt hand-feeding. When you’re ready, put a few of their favorite treats in your hand.

Leave your hand open so your Pit Bull puppy can clearly see where their treats are. Then wait and see what your dog does.

Your Pit Bull might come toddling right over to eat the treats. More than likely, they’ll be reluctant because they’ve never eaten out of someone’s hand before and they’re not sure if it’s okay.

You might have to reassure your puppy, calling their name and talking to them in a soothing voice. 

If your Pit doesn’t want to come any closer, then you could scoot nearer to them. Once their treats are within sniffing distance, they might be more inclined to eat, even if it is straight out of your palm.

Although the first time can be tough, the more regularly you hand-feed your Pit Bull, the more consistent this behavior will become. 

For those dog owners who aren’t that comfortable with their Pit Bull munching on food in their open palm, try holding a few treats in your hand and then giving them to your dog one by one.

The closeness of hand feeding your dog food or treats achieves the same effect. What you’re doing is proving to your Pit Bull that you can feed them directly and they’ll get the food they need without any tricks or games. 

Cuddle Together

You might not have been aware, but Pit Bull breeds are very affectionate. That said, sometimes you have to coax the affection out of your puppy somewhat, especially if they’re a little shy at their age or if they’ve had a rough upbringing before finding you and their furrever home. 

Don’t try to force it, but when the opportunity presents itself and you’re near your dog, cuddle a bit. Stroke your Pit Bull puppy’s smooth fur, rub their favorite spot behind their ears, and give them a little puppy massage around their head and neck.

Go slowly and be sure to gauge your dog’s reaction the entire time. Your Pit Bull may never have been touched before, so it might take some adjusting on their part.

As soon as your dog realizes that you’re showing them love, any reservations on their part should melt away. Before you know it, your Pit Bull will start coming to you eager for pets, massages, snuggles, and other affection.

They will probably even start doing the same with the rest of your family. 

Try a Few Basic Tricks

In puppyhood when their attention span is about as short as their little legs, you can’t expect a lot of retention out of your Pit Bull yet, but that doesn’t mean you two can’t go out into the yard and try to nail down some basics. From sit to stay and roll over, you’ll impress your family and friends with how adept your dog is at doing these tricks.

If you are hoping for more command retention, then here’s what I recommend. Don’t spend too long training your Pit Bull when you’re first starting out, maybe 30 to 45 minutes.

You don’t have to train every day. I would say go no longer than every other day so your puppy doesn’t get foggy on what they’ve learned. When you two are training, be gentle yet firm in issuing your commands. 

Avoid getting frustrated or angry at your dog. I’ve discussed this on the blog before, but when you raise your voice at a dog of any age or breed, you’re not clearly conveying your anger like you think you are.

Instead, you’re arousing excitement in your puppy or stressing them out, neither of which is conducive to learning tricks and commands. 

Oh, and above all, be sure that you handsomely reward your Pit Bull when they do a job well done. Have treats at the ready and use verbal and physical praise as well.

Training can also be a fantastic chance for more hand-feeding opportunities! 

Exercising With Your Pitbull Puppy

Another great way to bond with your Pit Bull and get them to love you is to exercise together. In adulthood, your Pit Bull will require at least 30 minutes of intense exercise per day, so it’s good for both of you to get used to exercising daily now.

However, you won’t be out with your puppy for 30 minutes yet. To determine the appropriate amount of time that you and your Pit Bull puppy should exercise, calculate their current age in months.

For however many months old your dog is, add five minutes of exercise to that. 

As an example, let’s say your Pit Bull puppy is three months old. By multiplying 3 x 5, we get 15, so 15 minutes of exercise tops is right for your dog at this age.

Next month, they can exercise for 20 minutes. This doesn’t have to be consecutive, by the way, so feel free to break up their exercise sessions into at least two periods.  

Exercising can help socialize your Pit Bull as you take them to exciting places such as the park or on a different walking route. You’re also spending their energy so your dog will sleep more soundly and won’t become destructive in the house. 

Spend Time Playing with Them

Bonding with your Pit Bull doesn’t always have to feel like work. Engaging in play outside of exercise is one of the best methods for becoming fast friends with your dog. It just so happens that both of you will enjoy yourselves along the way. 

How you want to play is up to you and your puppy’s personal preferences. Maybe they like a fun game of Frisbee in the yard, as your Pit Bull has a chance to show off their enviable speed.

You two can play tug of war with a rope toy, but make sure you don’t yank too hard, as your puppy’s teeth might not have all come in yet. 

You can also play games with treats. Perhaps you put both hands behind your back and one hand holds the treats.

Your Pit Bull has to use their nose to determine which of your hands is full. You can also use treat-dispensing toys, although this is a little more hands-off on your side.

You two might play hide and seek together or you could just run laps in the yard and let your dog chase you.

I do want to caution you this: puppies may seem like they have boundless energy, but don’t push your dog too much. Play can be exercise if it’s vigorous enough, so consider adding some play activities to your puppy’s allotted 15 to 20+ minutes of exercise a day. 

Relax Together

One of your favorite things to do after a long day is kicking back on the couch with Netflix or the game on. Your Pit Bull will soon get to know your daily habits and might start sitting on the couch with you.

Perhaps you come to them and you two just chill together. That’s what you want to do here, not much of anything. 

You can pet and stroke your dog, sure, but relaxing really entails just being together. After a long day of running around the house and playing, your Pit Bull will appreciate the chance to chill out.

They might even take a nap. 

Stay Consistent

Puppies are still learning about the world around them every single day. It will help them become more trusting of that world if their life is relatively predictable.

Once you set a schedule with your Pit Bull, do your best to follow it every day. Yes, there will naturally be deviations. For example, maybe you have to travel for the weekend and leave your dog behind.

For the most part though, you want consistency.

This will help your Pit Bull relax. They know that at 7 a.m. every day, you leave for work and that you come back around 4 p.m.

They know they go for their long walk around 5 p.m. and that you two will be relaxing on the couch by 8 p.m. 

Make sure that this consistency extends to how you treat your dog as well. Now that you have a puppy in the house, you have to decide which behaviors are okay and which are off-limits.

Then you can’t change your mind. So think hard if it’ll ever be alright for your Pit Bull to be on the couch or in your bed. Don’t imagine your dog as a cute, tiny puppy, but as a full-grown, 40-pound dog.

It’s very unfair to your Pit Bull to act like their behavior is okay for a long time and then do a sudden 180. This is also a great way to break their trust. 

Know When to Give Your Pit bull Puppy Space

Puppies are so darn cute that there almost aren’t words to express just how much. It’s especially hard when you first bring your Pit Bull puppy home because you just want to watch over them and spend all your time with them.

As well-intentioned as that is, your puppy needs time to themselves just like you do. In a new environment, they can be overwhelmed, and you don’t want to stress them to the point of your dog having accidents or displaying bad behavior. 

This time to themselves lets your Pit Bull puppy become comfortable with their new life on their own terms and in their own time. Although it’s not easy to leave your puppy for any length of time, remind yourself each time that you’re also working towards preventing separation anxiety later. 

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