Many People, even some professional dog trainers, think that the Pit Bull is a very difficult breed. In my opinion, nothing can be further from the truth. Although they are a very strong dog, Pit Bulls are in general very loyal and have an incredible desire to please their human companions. All you need know is how to tap in to this desire and build on it. What this means is that if the training is done right, these can be amazingly fun dogs to work with.
Many Pit Bulls can also be very high drive dogs. Drive in dogs can be loosely translated as the dogs natural desire and commitment to do or achieve something. Since this breed was originally used to hunt rats, they can have a very strong prey drive. Prey drive is the same drive that motivates a dog to chase a ball, or to play tug, or to play with toys in general. Many working dogs such as German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Malinois, dobermans, and herding dogs such at Border Collies and Australian Shepherds will also have strong prey drive.
If your dog is equipped with this type of drive, it can be used as a very powerful training tool for achieving high levels of obedience. For this type of dog, prey drive will override food any day of the week. Therefore training with the dog’s drives can allow you to teach faster, and push the dog through higher levels of distraction. It also allows you to have a lot of fun with your dog during training, which means that training itself becomes rewarding, thus eliminating the need to constantly carry treats with you every where you go.
Below is a video of Josh Moran, one of our lead dog trainers here at K-9 Connection, and his dog King. King has great prey drive, so Josh often uses a toy to motivate him to perform. This video was shot at Delaware park here in Buffalo NY and shows Josh and King just loosely having some fun and working in some cool commands. Nothing too formal here, after all, isn’t that what dog training is all about – being able to take your dog anywhere and have fun!