Caring for your New Pitbull Puppy

Pitbull puppies need training.
You Just got your brand new Pitbull Puppy!! Yay! but what now?

Firstly a couple of pointers about health issues:

Your pup is probably around 7 weeks old now. They usually get their first inoculation at around 6 weeks of age and then at 10 weeks and 14 weeks. With the final injection at around 14 weeks they also get a rabies injection.

The biggest killer in Cape Town is the parvovirus( cat flu), this virus claims puppies usually as their mother's immunity wears off (No one can predict exactly when the mother's immunity wears off and the immunizations cannot be effective until it has, hence the three injections a month apart). The virus can take up to about 2 weeks to incubate before you notice the symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting. parvo dogs are taken to the vet and hence the virus is often transmitted in and around the vet's premises. 
ALWAYS KEEP YOUR PUPPY ON YOUR LAP IN THE WAITING ROOM AND DO NOT LET EVERYONE TOUCH HIM. Your vet knows to wash his hands thoroughly and the examination table. The virus is able to lie dormant for up to a year. Sun shine kills it, so sunny areas tend to be safe.

During this crucial period when when the mother's immunity wears off, it overlaps a crucial developmental stage important for your puppy's social development. Your puppy will do well if you socialize him with different dogs and people during this period, from 9 to 12 weeks, this is important for him to learn canine manners and will help later with dog aggression issues. You need to give thought as to how you will go about this without exposing your puppy to unhealthy dogs, or to areas where unhealthy dogs have been. Remember to avoid dogs with an unstable temperament, this may cause more damage when socialising your puppy. 


Hook worms in dogs
It is common practice to de-worm a dog every 4 to 6 months. A lot of parasites can inhibit the growth of your Pitbull.
You can remove most worms by de-worming your dog twice 10 days apart, then you should the worms after they have hatched and before they can lay more eggs. This is something that many vets neglect to tell you.
Remember that de-worming medication is poison and it is important to give the right dosage according to your dog's weight, an overdose can be dangerous with some de-worming medications. Your pup at 8 weeks is around 5kg.

A couple of pointers about training:

Your Pitbull should be very easy to give basic training at this age (from 7 weeks). Toilet training is usually the first necessary training to give. Teaching boundaries in and around the house, and what they are allowed to chew and what they aren't.
In less than 5 minutes it is possible to teach your pup a boundary if you communicate properly at the right time. Keep in mind that you never want to frighten your pup too much, at this age they can
Timing is most important when training your puppy
develop a fear and it can break his confidence. When you correct your puppy for a bad behaviour as soon as possible you need to reward him for the correct behaviour, this will build confidence. If you do not catch him in the act, do not react! He will not understand if he gets punished after an event, try to catch him as he starts, or even as he starts thinking of it.

Toilet training your Pitbull should be easy, keep these points in mind:

They usually need to go to the toilet after a meal or after sleeping. Take him outside after a nap and praise him as he relieves himself in the desired area.
If he starts to sniff and walk in circles he may be looking for a place to go. Help him, even if he has already started and rush him to the desired area, praise him when he continues there.
Their instinct is not to relieve themselves where they sleep. At night you can confine him to his bed area and he will cry to go outside. Take him to the desired spot and praise him.
Smelling where other dogs have gone to the toilet or his own dirty newspaper can also help trigger the desired behaviour.

Please let us know how the training of your Pitbull goes, any experiences or questions will be appreciated and we will share the info to help other owners with their Pitbull puppies.