Rough-housing with your pit
by john bockholt
OK, i just got my very first pit his name is Glock. He's a razors edge.
I'v been reading on pits for some time now--on training, health, being a good owner, etc. My question is this: Is it ok to rough-house a little?
I know my lab used to love it but she got cancer last year and we had to put her down so that she did not suffer. But this is my first pit and I don't want Glock being labeled a bad dog due to my mistake.
First, I want to commend you on taking the responsible approach and reading up on care and training before getting your pit. These dogs would have a much easier time of it, if only more people would do what you have done.
As far as rough-housing, my philosophy is that as long as your dog enjoys it and you have the siutation under control, it's not a problem.
I can remember a time when the "experts" (so-called) were saying that you should never play tug of war with a pit bull. The concern being that pits like to grab on and not let go of things. And, playing tug encourages that behavior which looks scary to the uninformed.
Also, there was the concern that if you let your pit win the tug game, he/she might view that as a sign of weakness in you.
Then a sensible trainer came along and said, "Wait a minute!" Why not just train your dog to "drop it" or "let go" on command? Problem solved.
I see rough-housing as being in the same category. Train your pit that the game is over when you say it is. Put "game over" on cue and there shouldn't be a problem.
If you have more questions, or would like to let us know how things are going, please feel free to post back here.
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