Are Pit Bulls Territorial?
Dogs are naturally territorial; it is part of their instinctual behavior for survival. Pit bulls have been notoriously classified as “aggressive,” but aggressiveness does not always mean territorial and vice versa. Aggressive and territorial are different behaviors that dogs display in various situations. Most dogs that are territorial are not usually aggressive unless provoked; territorial dogs are overprotective usually of a toy or food. Pit bulls are not inclined to be more aggressive or territorial unless there has been selective breeding for these traits.
An aggressive dog that lunges and barks at the neighbor or child riding a bike down the street usually has a false sense of threat. Correcting behaviors like this are usually better done in younger age, but if your adult dog is still barking and snarling at guests or the same neighbor of 5 years, professional training may be the way to go. Territorial behaviors usually present themselves early. Running away to hide with a toy or protecting their food as you walk by is the first sign of possessive behavior.
If you have had your pit bull since an early age, correcting undesirable behaviors is comfortable with consistent training. Never excessively hit or yell at your dog to correct these behaviors; rather try positive reinforcement like treats or a special meal for desired behaviors. Teaching your pet that good actions warrant gifts, they’ll feel more inclined to show good behavior because of the praise and attention that comes with it.
Check your pit bull’s history before you buy or adopt, if possible and check for any aggressive or violent tendencies from the mother or father; this is not something that is always accessible, but especially when buying a dog that’s bred it’s good to ask those questions. If able to meet the dog’s parents and interact with the puppies beforehand, this will also better prepare you for the expected behaviors.