A simple and easy way to reduce APBT bad behavior is using a Kong dog toy. Training with an interactive toy like a Kong will help American pit bull terrier with
- destructive chewing
- raiding the trash
- isolation distress
- separation anxiety
- settling down after being jazzed up
- crate training and potty training.
APBT Lies You Might Believe
There are many myths associated with the American pit bull terrier. It is important to separate Lies and Truths to better understand this beautiful breed.
- American pit bull terriers are inherently dangerous
Truth: Responsible ownership can prevent any aggressive tendencies.
- Pit bulls have locking jaws
Truth: their jaws exert less force than the jaws of rottweilers and german shepherds.
- They are poorly behaved and aggressive.
Truth: American Pitbull Terrier consistently ranks above average on temperament tests.
- American pitbull will turn against his owner without warning
Truth: Dogs always give a warning before attacking. Reading their body language is important
- All pit bulls were bred for fighting
Truth: Only 3% of Pitbulls involved in dogfighting. Many were bred for work and companionship, because of their gentleness and loyalty.
Behavioral Problems in APBT
American pitbull terriers can develop various behavioral problems throughout their lives. Before we can address such issues positively we must first be aware of their cause.
Why do behavior problems appear?
The appearance of behavioral problems in American Pitbull Terrier has three main origins:
Studies show that genes directly influence the character of a dog. And it’s not strange that a sensitive dog might have puppies with a similar character.
Note that APBT was created by cross-breeding bulldogs and terriers. And they were trained for bull-baiting and bear-baiting.
Dogs need to be introduced to animals, people, and environments in their first three months. Lack of socialization leads to behavioral problems in dogs.
Our dog observes and learns all the time. If they have learned that crying gets attention. Or that biting you leaves them in peace. They’re likely to continue this behavior indefinitely.
10 Most Common Behavioral Problem in APBT
Here are the ten most common behavioral problem in American Pitbull Terrier:
Fear of Dogs, People, Objects, or Environments
Fear is not exclusive to dogs that have been mistreated. Fear takes many forms from fear of individuals to fear of loud noises like fireworks.
Separation anxiety is a disorder that occurs when a dog is a home alone. Prolonged barking, urination, destructiveness, and whining are common. It causes a state of generalized stress in the absence of a human guardian.
It’s a complex problem that often requires the help of a specialist.
Destructiveness and Excessive Biting in Puppies
Many people claim they have a puppy with behavioral problems. However, destructiveness and a strong bite are normal and acceptable in very young American pitbull.
You should never scold a puppy for it. It’s vital to understand they’re in a developmental stage. Their discoveries and experiences at this stage are going to reverberate in their adult stage.
They are usually simple problems to deal with if the whole family follows the same guidelines.
Aggression Towards Dogs, Cats, Objects, or People
There are many types of aggressiveness. Aggressiveness due to fear, territoriality, predatory and more. It’s a serious problem that requires the supervision and guidelines of a professional.
Regular behavior modification sessions are usually needed.
This is when dogs consume feces. Coprophagia is normal and common in puppies but not in adult dogs. It can be complex to treat.
An evaluation by a veterinarian is necessary.
Urination and Defecation at Home
These problems can be caused by other disorders such as fear, separation anxiety, the onset of puberty, excitement, health problems, or cognitive dysfunction syndrome (a sort of Alzheimer’s disease seen in elderly dogs).
It is advisable to consult a veterinarian before starting the learning process again.
Intolerance to Touching or Use of Certain Objects
This appears in American pitbull terriers that have not been properly socialized or have had a traumatic experience. At first, the dog usually tries to flee. But when it does not work it can begin to manifest in aggression
Here we speak of effusive behaviors that the caregiver considers inadequate. Such as jumping on top of people. These behaviors are usually easy to correct.
Excessive vocalization is often caused by a behavioral problem such as separation anxiety, fear, or aggression.
Working on the cause of why they bark excessively is the way to treat the issue.
There are other behaviors that should put a dog guardian on alert. These are repetitive and constant movements without an apparent purpose; refusing food, walking in circles, and others.
Reduce APBT Bad Behavior With Kong Dog Toy
Now a Kong toy can be a great tool to keep your American Pitbull Terrier busy and to help you teach your dog important skills.
But with all the recipes on Pinterest and the blogosphere it can be kind of a pain to figure out what works. And even after all that effort, your dog might just be like, “Meh.”
Look: I’m a big advocate of the K.I.S.S principle, or “keep it simple, stupid.”
There’s no need to overcomplicate things. And in my opinion, most of the products and recipes out there complicate a very simple idea.
If your dog isn’t into it we don’t give up and move on to the next gimmick. We train them to be into it. We train them to love it. Are you ready to do that? Let’s dive in!
Benefits Of Koy Dog Toy
Chewing and eating at the same time releases a payload of endorphins into their brain like a huge pleasure bomb.
As we progress – as your puppy gets older or your adult dog picks up the skill – we can go back to using the bowl and keep the food-filled Kong as the ace up your sleeve.
It helps teach a dog to be alone
This one thing then solves a bunch of other problems. Kong Dog toy can help to reduce APBT bad behavior such as
- boredom (which always leads to mischief),
- barking incessantly while you’re away (your neighbors will definitely appreciate it),
- destructive chewing (such as your table legs and futon cushions),
- raiding the trash,
- and bigger problems like isolation distress which is commonly mistaken for separation anxiety,
- and of course, true separation anxiety which can be debilitating for a dog.
- Potty training and Crate training for puppies and adults
Attaching an anchor to a Kong gives you more options. Feed a string or rope through the small hole, knot it, and pull it tight. Now when you fill it, it will be frozen in place.
Once the toy and the normal food are empowered it can be tied to the inside of crates for crate training. It can be tied to trees in the yard for summer fun. Lots of possibilities open up once you’ve got your dog hooked on a Kong.
Stuffing the kong won’t do all of these things by itself. You do need some regular toys and you do need to interact with your dog in other constructive ways.
A properly stuffed Kong will act as a force multiplier and help you get the job done much, much faster.
Selecting Kong Toys
Selecting kong toys is as easy as heading down to the pet supply store and picking some out.
There are some details to keep in mind though. For one thing,
Kong toys don’t hold as much as you think they do.
Size of Kong Toy
- My rule of thumb is to pick up the one that looks right and then by the next size up.
- Additionally, I’ve seen dogs give up out of frustration if they can’t get it easily enough.
Buy one size bigger than you think you need.
One size up will make for a bigger hole and at least in my experience seem to help the dog buy into it a lot more readily. That leads us to the second point:
Don’t Buy Just One
Get four at the minimum. That way you have them on reserve so you can fill, use, wash, and rotate.
Otherwise, if you’re not paying attention you’ll get caught without one ready when you need it.
- The red classic Kongs are pretty standard.
- The black ones are the toughest for a super chewer.
All the other colors are about the same as the red ones as far as toughness goes.
Other Similar Toys
Also, there are several types of toys like it. The classic Kong isn’t the only one out there.
- The Petsafe Squirrel Dude is also very good.
- The Kong Biscuit Ball can be used with a raw diet.
- The Premier Busy Buddy Football works well for treats or cheese sticks and you can use this for short settle downs.
Although, undoubtedly, the Classic Kong is the best made, and the most durable, and probably the most readily available.
Stuffing A Kong Toy
Pet Stores Food
Forget about buying any of that stuff marketed in the pet stores to stuff a Kong. It’s overpriced, and it’s basically just junk food just like the human version. Seriously is that stuff even food?
Second like I said, there are tons of recipes out there for all sorts of creative ways to stuff a Kong. These are a much better alternative for sure. However, they’re time-consuming and also largely unnecessary.
If you enjoy doing it and you have the time for it, great. Knock yourself out. However, don’t get into those bigger recipes unless you enjoy doing it.
Do it for fun, and for special treats… Don’t do it out of necessity
As a special treat on occasion, they’re great. But do not fall into the trap of trying to up the ante or increasing the value of the stuffing in the toy to try and get the dog interested. You’re coming at it backward.
Don’t “up the ante” to get the dog interested
Dog Own Food
It’s not what it is, it’s what you’ve trained it to be.
Train the dog to love their Kong and then you can stuff it with whatever you want
With this in mind, you’ll save money and time, and you’ll train your dog better if it’s filled with a more commonplace ingredient: their own dog food.
Since we’re going to be using our dog’s food, we need to measure it out.
Have A Scheduled Feeding Time
As a responsible owner you should be monitoring their daily intake of food by having a routine, but flexible, feeding schedule, and never free feeding.
Do not free feed
Free feeding is just shooting yourself in the foot as far as behavioral teaching goes.
Don’t be lazy.
By simply using routine feedings you’re also starting to
Empower their normal food to be a training reward
which is a much better, more nutritionally balanced option than only using treats.
How To Stuff Koy Toy For APBT
So measure out your dog’s food for the day, set out about a third of it aside, moisten the rest, and spoon it into the toys. Then freeze it. That leftover third is used for training.
Plan and Prepare
If you plan ahead and prepare three or four toys at a time, they’ll be on-demand as you need them. Just be sure to keep up on the rotation.
You don’t want to be caught without any toys in the freezer and a hungry dog.
Deploying Stuffed Toys
When we first start to chew toy training our dogs
Simply take their meals from the toy.
A bowl is nice and convenient but in these stages, it’s a wasted opportunity. Save the bowl for down the road after we’ve got them hooked on their Kong.
When you take a loaded kong out of the freezer place a dollop of something easy and tasty to start with over the big hole.
Just smear some peanut butter, some plain yogurt, or some cream cheese over it.
Now they take their Kong meals in a crate or on a bed. The same place, every time.
Routines are the backbone of training.
As a dog works at it. The Kong thaws quickly and food starts to fall out. The more they work, the more food they get.
This is a self-rewarding activity it’s called Autoshaping because your dog is practically training himself at this point.
All you did was engineer it to work and set it up. Right from the get-go, this is conditioning the dog to love being by itself.