I was recently thinking of how bad it can be to have a hyperactive Pit Bull. Although it’s fantastic that these pets are active and playful, extremely unrest dogs are peace destroyers.
Due to that, I did a quick research to know how to get a Pit Bull to calm down.
How to calm down a Pit Bull? Pit Bulls are highly energetic dogs. Due to that, some may be born excessively agitated. To correct your furry friend’s behavior, you first need to analyze the possible causes. Then, take the required actions, which can include medical treatment, changing habits, or training.
If you find that your dog is absurdly unrest, it’s time to act. Thankfully, in this article, I will show you everything you need to know to deal with an agitated Pit Bull.
What Causes a Dog to Be Agitated?
Understanding why your dog is perturbed is one of the principal keys for calming him down. When you master the causes of this problem, you will be able to search for a specific solution. Furthermore, you will know what the right attitudes to take in each case are.
There are plenty of reasons for your Pit Bull to be constantly unrest. Here are the most common ones:
- Lack of exercise
- Inadequate diet
With a lot of different possibilities, you can get lost. But don’t worry, finding what is causing him to behave inadequately is easier than you think.
To start, the first thing you should do is schedule a meeting with your dog’s veterinarian. If you suspect the problem is related to the animal’s health, the specialist will help you confirm it. Although very rare, dogs can suffer from a clinical anomaly called hyperkinesis.
The vet will analyze the situation and tell you what the adequate measures to take from this point are. Depending on the case, your Pit Bull may even need to take medications. Hyperkinetic dogs react to any ordinary stimulus, even if it’s something you do regularly.
However, the problem may simply be related to your dog’s condition of life. But what exactly does this mean?
Well, if your pooch gets short periods of daily exercise or you feed him a lousy diet, that may be the actual cause of the problem!
The vet will also judge your Pit Bull’s routine and tell you if it may be an influence on the issue. If so, changing your habits can be the solution to the complication.
But what if your dog was actually born to be agitated? Yes, some Pit Bulls may naturally present restlessness. Like human beings, dogs’ essences vary a lot.
If your pooch is one of the unrest ones, that’s OK. If you still feel disturbed by him, the only way to fix this behavior is through training.
Another influence on these pets’ attitude is their age. Puppy Pit Bulls naturally tend to be more hyperactive. Maybe it’s just a matter of time until your dog reaches adulthood and starts to behave better.
Changing Your Habits to Calm a Pit Bull
As I previously mentioned, there’s a chance that your dog’s unquietness is being caused by a bad routine. In fact, a huge amount of those cases are the result of poor habits. To correct your pet’s behavior in a situation like this, what you need to change are your considerations.
First of all, make sure your furry friend has great periods of playtime. Pit Bulls are highly active dogs. If you don’t go for a walk with him every day, he will surely use his plentiful energy inside the home.
Play with your furry friend with throwable toys, and bring him to outdoor activities such as hikes and swims. In addition to it, provide him with mental stimulation puzzles.
The length of the activity will depend on your dog. I recommend daily sessions lasting between 30 minutes and two hours.
A study published a couple of years ago by Finnish researchers discovered a relation between canine hyperactivity and some elements in their blood.
The study revealed that unrest dogs have lower levels of metabolites of phospholipids, especially tryptophan, in their blood in comparison to normal pets.
I don’t understand this terminology for a second, and I think neither do you. To clear things up, this basically teaches us that the dog’s diet may also be a crucial player in his activity levels.
Although the amount of these elements is mostly determined by your Pit Bull’s body, feeding him nutritionally balanced food may help to solve the issue.
Use basic intuition and provide him with foods you normally identify as the healthiest. Opt for specially-made Pit Bull products. As the name suggests, they adapt better to this type of dog.
One special consideration you should have in mind are amino acids. Diets based on high amounts of fat, which are deficient in these compounds, also have low levels of tryptophan and micronutrients.
How to Calm Down Your Pit Bull by Training Him?
Training your Pit Bull is an essential step to calm him down. Be your dog clinically hyperactive or just more unrest than usual, obedience training is one of the best ways to teach him how to behave appropriately.
If you still haven’t done this yet, teach your Pit Bull some basic commands. These lessons are bundled with many benefits both for you and him. In addition to it, they’re the simplest instructions for your dog to understand.
Commands such as sit, heel, and stay also tell your dog the basic principles of obedience training. Once your Pit Bull is used to them, it’s going to be much easier to make him obey you.
After you teach him these basic lessons, it’s time to go a bit further. That’s a great time to start more specific training for relaxation.
Getting your dog to calm down isn’t quite a tough task, but it isn’t the easiest one either. The duration of the training may range from one to six weeks, and it greatly depends on your pet individually. Before starting anything, make sure you’re patient and can provide him with great times together and rewards.
To start, I recommend you to teach self-control to your Pit Bull. This method consists in training him to constrain his temptations during exercises. The key is to stop the activity before reaching a level in which he is too excited and won’t obey you anymore.
The next time you decide to play with your furry friend, do it normally but limit every play session by short amounts of time. Grab his toys, treats, lead, and whatever else you would commonly pick. But, in addition to all of that, get a timer.
Set it for around 15 or 20 seconds and start doing what you would typically do. When the time ends, you must stop the activity. Hide your Pit Bull’s toys or anything else that may call his attention. Then, ask him to sit and wait a bit.
If you want, lure him to a sitting position with a treat. Depending on the case, you can handle this situation in some different ways. Wait a couple of seconds and, if he stays calm, allow him to have his reward.
When you finish this step and your dog is calm, repeat the procedure some times. After two or three rounds, increase the length of the breaks.
Since that’s your pooch’s first time doing this exercise, don’t exaggerate. My advice is to raise the interval by 5 seconds every 3 rounds.
The key is to trigger him a little, but not to get to the point that he is so excited he can’t stop. When your dog sits, his adrenaline levels are lowered, and it makes him behave better. That’s why this method is fantastic. It focuses on self-control but also helps your furry friend to relax.
Be a Bit More Severe
Another crucial practice you must try with your Pit Bull is to withdraw his attention. This method consists of teaching him that he will only get what he wants if he behaves adequately.
You should note that this tactic is a bit more aggressive than other ones. It may be sort of a disappointment for your dog at first. However, everything will be fine when he understands the message.
The first principle is not to tolerate any lousy act. When you play with him, interrupt the activity just when you identify that he is starting to lose control. You may only resume the play if he fully relaxes. Until then, don’t do anything. Don’t let any toys or rewards be in his sight, either.
Another thing you should do is to start ignoring your Pit Bull when he misbehaves. I know this is heartbreaking, but it’s also one of the most vital attitudes to take if you want a calm pet.
If you respond to your Pit Bull when he runs excessively, he will understand it as positive feedback! The only reason for him to act hyperactively is to call your attention.
When you completely ignore him, he realizes that this attitude isn’t effective. What’s worse, it stops an enjoyable moment.
Once he calms down, resume the game. In addition to it, give him some treats. This will complete the positive reinforcement and will also make your dog know that the only way of playing with you is being relaxed.
If when you stop the game, your pet insists on jumping and biting you to restart it, get away from him. This will finally give the message that this kind of behavior is unacceptable. In an extreme case like that, don’t be compassionate. Only return to him when he calms down.
My Final Thoughts
Although it may seem a little hard in the first moment, getting your Pit Bull to calm down probably won’t be a pain for you.
In the first place, check if the issue can be related to a clinical problem. Bring your dog to the vet and let him tell you what he thinks. His recommendations are going to be highly valuable.
If your furry friend has to take medications, don’t panic. This doesn’t mean he has any serious diseases.
You must also verify your habits again. Lack of exercise or a bad diet may potentially be the cause of his bad behavior. And they’re things that only you can control.
To complete the process, train him for adequate behavior. Be patient and let him take his time to learn the message. Never give him physical punishments. If you have more trouble, call a dog trainer to help you out.
References & Citations
- Crazy Pet Guy
- The Nest