Best resources for puppy training?

We’ve done some reading and gotten advice from the vet, but we’ll take all the help we can get with our (technically Jon’s) 14-week-old pit bull. She is generally a sweet dog, but we have so many questions! What resources and training have you used for your puppy?

Isis @ about 13 weeks (Zepfanman.com, CC BY)

We’re very curious about her specific breed and if it affects her temperament significantly. There’s a lot of controversy about pit bull breeds (Pit vs. Staffordshire types). We think she’s an American Pit Bull Terrier but not sure if we should seek out her papers or not. She was about 8 weeks old when we got her from a couple on Craigslist who had a litter with several girl and boy pups.

She will mainly be an outdoor dog when she gets old enough and it warms up. For now, crate training is going okay, but we don’t have a “safe home” area where she can go on her own. To add to our stress, Nathan brought three of his cats from Tennessee to our house this week. They stay in the basement but we let them play with the dogs for about an hour at a time. They’re generally good together, but the cats will get defensive with their claws.

I should ask my parents what they had to go through with the mutt that our family got when I was a kid! I only remember Rufus getting sick in the car whenever we went on trips.

Dogster.com and DogForums.com seem to be decent websites. We also found the American Pit Bull Terrier Handbook and The Owner’s Guide to the American Pit Bull Terrier on Amazon. Will probably purchase a book ASAP if you have any other recommendations.

Call me. Let’s talk dogs.

To tell the truth, we actually ended up going the collar “correction” route.  I hate infomercials, but we were convinced after watching and reading about Don Sullivan’s Perfect Dog Training System. There’s a special Command Collar (like a prong collar) and training lines that come with his 5 hour, 2 DVD set for $60. It’s truly an all-inclusive training system, but we’re considering moving to a more balanced treat system (his uses no treats). The Command Collar broke this weekend after just a month’s use. To make a long story short, there really is no “Perfect” training system, but Isis is definitely coming along. We do need to get her more socialized in a doggy class so she doesn’t get so giddy excited when she sees new people; it’s extremely difficult to prevent her from jumping on people and it will only get worse as she gets bigger if we don’t find a solution. Headcollars seem humane and effective. Slowly but surely! P.S. There are some tips on the Through a Dog’s Eyes PBS website; great new 1-hour special about service dogs.