Behavioral problems

How to Make a Pit Bull Release its Bite

Amy McCready
By Amy McCready, Animal rights journalist. Updated: December 16, 2021
How to Make a Pit Bull Release its Bite

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Pit bulls are one of the most popular breeds exploited for dog fighting. For this reason, more and more people get the impression that they are dangerous.

In this article from AnimalWised, we will go through whether pit bulls are violent breeds, how to avoid dog fights and lastly, how to safely make a pit bull release their bite and unlock their strong jaw.

You may also be interested in: Why Is My Pit Bull Becoming Aggressive?


  1. Are pit bulls dangerous?
  2. Break stick for dogs
  3. Does a pit bull lock their jaw when biting?
  4. How to avoid a dog fight or attack
  5. How to make a pitbull release its bite

Are pit bulls dangerous?

This breed has, unfortunately, garnered an unfair load of bad press over the years, deeming them to be an aggressive and dangerous dog. Nevertheless, pit bulls are not dangerous. Like any other dog, they can be violent when they feel unsafe and in danger. This is exactly the position they were put in when forced into dog fights. Having being victim to this cruel activity, pit bulls have gotten the reputation of being violent. This discrimination against the breed has led them to be banned or restricted in more than 20 countries around the world. These include: Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, France, Italy, Romania, Norway, Switzerland, Israel, Turkey, USA, Canada (In Ontario, Manitoba and the city of Winnipeg), Bermuda Islands, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Malta, New Zealand, Ecuador, Australia, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus.

There is also a legislation in several countries that aims to promote and establish certain behavioral guidelines for pit bull owners. It specifies that they should only walk with a muzzle, a short leash and under the responsibility of the owner. The owner must also obtain an administrative license involving another series of requirements.

We often judge pit bulls simply by their physical qualities: a developed musculature and great athletic ability. Perhaps they are more physically intimidating compared to say, a Yorkshire Terrier, but the latter can be equally as snappy - if not more so!

The key is to educate them from an early age so they can be a loving, obedient and faithful companion. Always remember to use positive reinforcement too.

We elaborate more on this subject in our article Are Pit Bulls Dangerous?

How to Make a Pit Bull Release its Bite - Are pit bulls dangerous?

Break stick for dogs

Have you heard of the break stick? If you search how to make a pit bull release their bite online, you will probably see this object. A break stick is a device inserted into the mouth of a pit bull (behind their molars) to facilitate the release of their grip on another dog. See image below.

Now, a responsible pit bull owner who has dedicated themselves to thoroughly train and give plenty of affection to their dog will have no use for it. The break stick is a device popular amongst dog fighters or those who do not train their dogs through positive reinforcement, instead, they opt for cruel punishments.

It is important to note that no dog owner should use their hand to unhinge their pet's jaw. Otherwise, you risk them redirecting their bite to your hand, or elsewhere on your body.

Not all pit bulls are aggressive toward other dogs. This is will depend on their upbringing. Nevertheless, break sticks are still considered useful in a multi-dog household, to some people. However, we believe this scenario should never be an issue to begin with, so we would like to offer some tips on how to avoid a dog fight or attack.

How to Make a Pit Bull Release its Bite - Break stick for dogs
Image: extremedoggear

Does a pit bull lock their jaw when biting?

This myth is as common as it is absurd. There is no different anatomical or physiological mechanism in a pit bull that allows their jaws to lock. On this regard, the pit bull's bite is exactly the same as that of any other dog.

This myth is actually not only related to the pit bull, but to many other dog breeds. It is also directed to the Boxer, the American Stafforshire Terrier and other dogs considered aggressive or violent. But it is simply nonsense stemmed from their powerful strength and determination.

How to avoid a dog fight or attack

If you are introducing your pit bull to another dog, perhaps a new pet, check out our article on cohabitation between pit bulls and other dogs. The meeting will not get violent if both pets have been well trained. It is your responsibility to ensure your pet is ready to be exposed to fellow animals.

  1. The introduction should take place in neutral territory, and never at home.
  2. Pay equal attention to both dogs.
  3. Don't force the situation on them; let them interact on their own if they want to.
  4. Refrain from stepping in as long as neither dog is at risk.
  5. Avoid rewarding them with treats during the first few days of knowing each other to avoid getting them jealous.

Many canine educators recommend using an anti-pull harness to give you better control of your dog. However, we encourage you to teach your dog to walk by your side. You could keep your dog on a leash until you are certain the situation is under control and your dog is reacting well to everyone around them.

Make sure you are abiding by your country's law, as you may be obligated to put a muzzle on your pit bull. This will keep strangers at ease, who may be intimidated by your pet. If anything, this improves the reputation of pit bulls and their owners, so it is a win-win.

Finally, and most importantly, you should teach your dog to drop objects. Regardless of any emergency action you may need to take, practicing "release" with your dog will help prevent such conflicts and improve your overall relationship with one another.

How to Make a Pit Bull Release its Bite - How to avoid a dog fight or attack

How to make a pitbull release its bite

If you find yourself in the position in which your pit bull has gripped onto an object or worse, a fellow dog or human, you will need to know how to act.

Most dog breeds will snap erratically at the dog or person they have an issue with, biting and releasing repeatedly. However, pit bulls will usually bite and hold. This is not a breed specific trait, but it is because they are a Terrier.

If an encounter between a pit bull and a fellow dog becomes vicious, it is normally effective to squirt them with a hose or a big bucket of water. We do not recommend the break stick because it can harm their teeth and the person using it can be harmed too.

Likewise, you could grab one or both dogs by their hind legs to remove their center of gravity and their balance. This is another effective way to break up a brawl.

Having said all of that, real, well-trained pit bulls are sweet, loyal, friendly and energetic dogs. Do not be put off by negligent owners who have encouraged the discrimination of this breed. They are not only great pets for experienced dog owners but are fantastic with children. Just ensure young kids are taught how to treat animals properly.

The only way we can subvert this bias against pit bulls is to educate and reveal how loving and compassionate this breed can be. Do you have a pit bull? We would love to receive some photos of your pets! Feel free to leave us a comment below.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Make a Pit Bull Release its Bite, we recommend you visit our Behavioral problems category.

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What did you think of this article?
A Tennessee mother lost her to babies to the family pit bulls. These were cared for and loved family pets. What explains this type of attack? How can anyone with small children not worry that this could happen to them?
Mike Roelofs
This is our big goofball American Pitbull Dozer! He's a wonderful dog with a sweet temperament who loves everyone he meets.
To introduce dogs each dog must be held whilst the other sniffs their rear and then repeat.
Pit Bulls don't bite down and not let go because they are terriers. Rat terriers for example let go of rats on demand. The sad history of pit bulls is they were bred to fight to kill and now that is part of their genetics. The fact you have to write an article to try to help people get them to stop biting and are very casually like choke them out should be disconcerting enough that these should not be family pets. Read up on how they act when they kill. One lady recently had to gut one to let go of her Corgi. And no, the bite from a Toy breed is not the same of a pit bull.
Not a pitbull
They aren’t even staffies because the American staffy has pointy ears and looks like the American bully but taller and the English staffies look like they are smiling.
Pitbulls are not banned in Portugal
Pitbulls are not banned in Portugal. They just integrate a special dogs list. But its completely legal to own a pitbull. You are obliged however to have an insurance and a specific training.
Administrador AnimalWised

We have changed the article to state they may be restricted.
Vilith T.
When that genetically bred in switch gets flipped in our beloved Pitts they react and there is nothing they or us can do about it. It’s not their fault, its not the victim’s fault. If you’ve never had to wrestle a living being out of your dogs grip, or seen his heartbroken eyes when he sees what he has done then you have nothing to base your thoughts on except that you love your dog and he’s cool. And he is. But consider this, we bred them to have that unstoppable switch, lets breed that switch out. Win win.
Not a pitbull
Also they are bred to be dog aggressive only and not all Pitbulls were use in dog fighting, so not all have those genes. Also I don’t know why some haters are made when someone said Pitbulls aren’t bred for human aggression. It’s true. I guess the accurate info offends them.
Not a pitbull
Not all Pitbulls have been bred for dog fighting. And no pits are bred for human aggression. It must have a mental health problems or came from a bad breeder. Was it a staffy. The English ones look like they are smiling. The American staffy look like the American bully but taller and less wider.
Horrific pitbull attack seen at the dog park today
I was at the dog park today and saw a pitbull Destroy a pug’s upper lip. The attack was unprovoked and the pitbull latched on for about three minutes until it finally released. The owner beating it head severely. I’ve seen dog fights before, but this was extremely intense. Most dogfights and I have seen consist of a few bites and then separation. But this pitbull was horrific. Honestly, it makes me definitely feel like pitbulls should have muzzles at all times in the public.
Not a pitbull
English staffies look like they are smiling and American ones have pointy ears and looks like they are taller then the American bully.
Deal with it
Lol at the pit bull haters who dislike it.
Mary Bertroch
I’ve had Pitt-bulls my whole life. I’m in my 60s and still have Pitts. There the best dogs ever. All you have to do is take the time to train them like they said in here. And you will have a GREAT companion.I raised 3 kids around the Pitts and never any bites or problems. I won’t own any other kind. There the dog for me. Always.
So if you’ve never had one you should check them out. There’s a lot of them in shelters everywhere. Mary
Cassondra L. Davis
Raven my pit mix
Deal with it
Lol at the anti pitbull people. They hate the truth.
K9 Counselor
The truth is this article was written by an animal rights activist who clearly knows little about this breed. I've worked as an guard dog trainer and can tell you that a German Shepherd and a Doberman can be trained as guard dogs because they are able to accept orders and know their place in the human/dog hierarchy. Pitbulls are lawsuits waiting to happen and are easily triggered and uncontrollable when they encounter an unknown person or dog. Personally, I'd never own one because of that. Just because your pitbull has never attacked you, the owner who loves and feeds it doesn't mean it's a docile or harmless animal. To pretend otherwise will be a hit on your homeowner's insurance.
Deal with it.
@ K9 Counselor
Dude after reading your comment, it is you who knows little about the breed. Educated your self. Pitbulls aren’t bred to be aggressive towards humans and they don’t snap. It obviously that you haters hate the truth. Many don’t like my comment because it’s true.
K9 Counselor
“ Pitbulls are lawsuits waiting to happen and are easily triggered and uncontrollable when they encounter an unknown person or dog. Personally, I'd never own one because of that. Just because your pitbull has never attacked you, the owner who loves and feeds it doesn't mean it's a docile or harmless animal. To pretend otherwise will be a hit on your homeowner's insurance.”

That goes for any powerful breed. Are Pitbulls dangerous? No, but they can be. There are breeds that are more powerful and there are breeds that are misidentified as pitbulls. Stop believing what the media feeds you.
@ K9 Counselor
Most of the Pitbulls that you on the news aren’t Pitbulls. Read this
before replying.

Also what you said about Pitbulls applies to other powerful breeds. Many of these easily trigger and uncontrollable Pitbulls are so because of their owners. And Pitbulls aren’t Guard dogs because they aren’t bred for human aggression.
Deal with it
K9 Counselor
The genes is half bs

You somehow think that Pitbulls are uncontrollable. Which is something haters would come up with. If not train well and socialize well, they are, but so are other breeds. Also you are a dog trainer. You are not a dog expert or dog specialist. Are Pitbulls dangerous? No. Most Pitbulls don’t even maul. Can pitbulls be dangerous? Yes but only in the wrong hands. Also other breeds can be just as dangerous.
Not a pitbull
@ K9 Counselor
American staffies look like American bullies but taller and less wider. The English ones look like they have a smile on their muzzle.
Debbie Bell
If bully dog is biting victim and won't release, put a leash, belt, even a tee shirt around the bully dog's neck, up near its head, and tighten until the bully dog passes out.
The goal is to cut off the bully dog's blood supply to its brain and to make it gag.

Pain will not stop most "good" game (INSANE) bully dogs. As game dog breeders explain: "pleasure and pain are one and the same" to a pit bull.

If bully dog people actually cared about bully dog welfare, they would become educated and honest about bully dogs, and tell the public that bully dogs are intentionally bred to "lock on" to their victims.

This is why the mad scientist dog breeders who created dog-killer bully dogs needed to also create the break stick, their breed specific tool to unlock a bully dog's locked jaws.

Caring bully people would educate the public that it's the human's job to keep their bully dogs safe at all times, under control and away from potential victims, and that includes preventing that first attack.
Not a pitbull
They don’t have lock jaws. Stop spreading myths.
Firstly stop the b. s. about a pit having lock jaw. Their bite force is around average for dogs 340 psi as opposed to a Kangal at 750 psi. Stop lying to people!
I have a very loving and wonderful Pitbull he is 3 years old and he has been fixed. We have trained him very well he is good around kids and we've always had another dog in the house as well but he's never fought with her. But we got a new puppy that is also a male pitbull we got him fixed as well but after about a year the two of them started fighting to the point that they are hurting each other very badly. The younger dog actually ended up being a little bit bigger and stronger then the one we already had so he kind of dominates the fights but the older dog is the one that starts them. How can I get them to stop? I'm afraid that one of them is going to kill the other.
Too, pit bull showed up at my house cause I have females in heat! He started attacking another dog an killed it! Not mine another male! I tried the the break stick I had him lifted in the air an mashing his nuts! If a pit bull attacks you or your animal! Shoot an kill the dog!!
That goes for any breed.
Florence Maden
I wouldn’t recommend killing someone’s dog. Blood for blood. No human will harm my dog without consequences.
I wish I would of read this so much sooner. My shitzu was attached by a pit bull around 5:40pm today. Worst experience ever that dog seemed so viscous.
It’s terrible to watch when dogs, especially pits, fight. I have only tried this technique twice and it worked immediately. Pour water (I once used gator aid not having any other readily available other liquid) right into the nose of the pit, they both let go immediately. Of course you, if possible, do want to have both dogs on leashes to keep them separated. Whatever you do, do not try to pull the dogs apart this will only make things worse.
I agree, train them young not to bite.
Isabella Rocha
Royce at 8 months.
Brandy L Jackson
This is 3 month old DeeOhGee
Kevin Thomas Weindorf
Water works the best, they can't breath easily thru their mouth while locked. Pour it on the nose and it's shock them out of the moment. My dogs had this issue, they would try to kill each other and I tried everything and once I figured that out, easy street.
Image: extremedoggear
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How to Make a Pit Bull Release its Bite