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How Smart Are Pitbulls? History, Training & Intelligence FAQ

Jana Blagojevic

By Jana Blagojevic

american pitbull terrier dog playing

If you own or have ever met a pitbull, you surely know how wonderful and adorable this breed is. Pitbulls are excellent companions with unconditional love and caring, amazing for active families and families with children. They are sweet, gentle, and eager to please, making it easy to teach them proper manners around other animals and humans. Considering the background and origin of pitbulls, it’s important to teach them not to be aggressive and hostile. While this breed is cuddly and affectionate, their history is a big part of their character, and training them is necessary.

Pitbulls are considered to be of average or above-average intelligence. This breed is considered to be wise, adaptable, and social, which are traits that will make your life with a pitbull stress-free.

Divider 7Pitbull Breed Overview

“Pitbull” is a blanket term for “bully breed” dogs such as the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bulldog, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and all the mixes of these popular breeds. Pitbulls are considered to be one of the most devoted, caring, and loving dog breeds that is an amazing companion to any family. They get attached to their owner quickly and strongly.

These dogs are usually distinguished by their impressive muscular physique, their energy, and strength. Since there is a lot of prejudice following pitbulls, it is recommended to have them professionally trained as soon as they are old enough. It is crucial to have a well-behaved, friendly pitbull that won’t react unexpectedly in certain situations. Some people train and raise pitbulls to be guard dogs, although these puppies are generally charming and friendly.

Pitbull on the beach
Image Credit: Jools Theriault, Pixabay

History of Pitbulls

You are probably already aware of the original purpose of pitbulls, which humans bred for hundreds of years to be perfect for fighting and competing with other dogs, along with bullbaiting. Plenty of specific traits were selectively bred by humans and remain a strong influence on the breed’s character. Acknowledging their true purpose and the possibility of aggression will be a huge step towards proper and conscientious dog ownership and a well-behaved pitbull. While pitbulls have it in their blood to fight other dogs and express aggression, they were never bred to be aggressive toward humans.

How Smart Are Pitbulls?

Pitbulls are considered to be average and above-average intelligence dogs. They are incredibly adaptive and versatile, as they can perform many duties. One of these breeds’ most amazing skills is the ability to learn from themselves. They won’t always rely on guidance from their humans and can learn specific ways of the world independently, proving their intelligence. While a breed’s true intelligence can vary from one dog to another, most pitbull owners have an excellent time training and teaching their pitbulls as they quickly pick up on commands.

american-pitbull-terrier
Image Credit: Anna Krivitskaya, Shutterstock

Is It Easy to Train a Pitbull?

Pitbulls are generally an easy breed to work with and train. They are fast learners, especially if taught from a young age. It is crucial to socialize your pitbull and teach it to behave well around other dogs and strangers, which is best done when they are still a puppy. When training your pitbull puppy, make sure to reward all positive behavior you’d like to reinforce.

While you need to have patience and be gentle with them, pitbulls require a firm and confident person to be their teacher and guide. Avoid using any form of punishment, as modifying certain behaviors by reinforcing the positive aspects will be much more effective. While training a puppy is not challenging, teaching an adult pitbull requires serious patience and professional support. This breed tends to be stubborn, but since they are eager to please, they will quickly adapt.

How to Tell If Your Pitbull Is Intelligent

There are several signs your pitbull is a brilliant being, and you can quickly notice them from the moment you begin teaching them basic lessons. One of the sure signs your puppy is intelligent will be figuring things out on their own fairly quickly. They might figure out how a certain toy or a puzzle works right away or remember a certain rule after only being told once. To check your dog’s intelligence and to work on mentally stimulating it, it is best to incorporate playtime with puzzles, hide-and-seek games, hidden treats, and treat-dispensing toys.

If your dog has excellent problem-solving skills and it tries to communicate its desires with you, it is probably much more intelligent compared to other dogs. Working with your pitbull, especially a smart one, is vital to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. If intelligent pit bulls lack mental and physical stimulation throughout the day, they can become stressed and anxious.

Divider 7Conclusion

Pitbulls are considered extremely caring and loving furry companions, but you are probably wondering how accurate the theory is. This breed is considered to be of average or above-average intelligence, which you can notice by how quickly your dog adapts and learns in new environments.


Featured Image Credit: Nata Bene, Shutterstock

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