How to Train an American Bulldog with 8 Training Goals

If there is one breed that is well-known for its wrinkled looks and defined characteristics, the American bulldog fits in. In terms of their requirements for grooming, exercising, and training, this group of canine specifically needs some special considerations. Moreover, how to train an American bulldog involves an enjoyable experience for both you and your furball buddy. Yet, proper training execution is the key for successful training of the American bully.

In this article, we will have a quick preview of the traits of the American bully that may affect their training. Aside from that, we also have here some important points about the appropriate training stages and the related training goals that you will discover. So, if you want to successfully train your American bulldog, you just landed on the right track!  

Things to Know about the American Bulldog

Before we jump on knowing the proper ways of training an American bully, let us have a quick glance on the American bully’s characteristics and temperament. These aspects have a great impact on how to train the bulldogs.

how to train an american bulldog

Powerful and athletic

Basically, the wonderful traits of the American bulldogs that affect their response to training are they’re being athletic, powerful, and sturdy dog breed. Although these traits are better when doing the ways on how to train an American bulldog, some trainers are not able to deal with it properly. But, bear in mind that the key here is constant stimulation. However, you need to have specialized knowledge and understanding to train and stimulate the American bulldog properly.

Loyal and aggressive

The American bulldog is a loyal four-legged animal. However, for some time, it becomes aggressive on strangers due to its normal guarding behavior. Additionally, bulldog tends to be wary and reserved. In order to address this issue, it is better to socialize them during the stage of their canine’s life. Yet, this dog breed needs proper socialization, so make sure that you have enough knowledge on how to train an American bulldog.

Great with kids

Great characteristics of the American bulldog includes being happy, sociable, and get along well with kids. They mingle well with them even they have been introduced to the breed on the later part of their canine’s life. Since they like continuous stimulation; the American bulldog is highly suitable for older kids. However, they should be strictly monitored and supervised when they are around infants.

Actually, you may not have to worry about the possibility of the dog attack or bites. The main concern here is the unintentional sitting over the infant. But, it is not surprising that you can learn ways on how to train an American bulldog. Moreover, with the appropriate training, the American bully is able to comprehend the difference of an adult and an infant which result to have a subtle bully to smaller kids.    

How to Train an American Bulldog – Timeline and Training Goals

Below are the important developmental stages within the American bulldog’s life. Check here for the associated training goal that you must have to achieve for each phase. That way, you will properly execute the ways on how to train an American bulldog.

Eight to Sixteen Weeks: the Growth Phase

1st training goal: Introduce the American bulldog with other dogs

Basically, the American bulldog loves to be with their human family as well with the other pet dogs most of the time. That’s the reason why your objective during these weeks is to train the American bully pup in meeting and mingling with a new pooch and other humans. In doing this, you must ensure that the interactions should be fun.

how to train an american bulldog

Keep in mind that in order to achieve socialization properly, quality interactions must be incorporated. Generally, this only means that the American bulldog must only be mingling with dogs that would create an appropriate behavior toward them. The American Kennel Club has this AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program that aims to teach your American bulldog puppy with the appropriate dog manners while socializing them with another pooch.

2nd training goal: Familiarize the American bulldog to grooming

Actually, the most popular feature of the American bulldog is its wrinkled face. But, the problem is that it is highly susceptible to accumulating bacteria and yeast. In order to get rid of this, basically, clean the bully regularly every week using peroxide and cornstarch. In fact, from the very first day of their canine’s life, it is essential for them to be groomed.

Moreover, to make the grooming session more fun for the American bulldog puppy, consider creating a game out of it. You may offer some chew toys to them and let them be entertained and get interested. The moment you caught their attention, it is usually the best time to start wiping their wrinkles.

3rd training goal: Let the bulldog knows what to chew

Generally, the bulldog breed loves to chew on anything around them. Typically, you may often see this behavior of the bully during their teething stage. For this concern, consider offering some rubber chew toys to them. Bear in mind that once they already hold on something, they wouldn’t be bothered to chew on your property like shoes.

Always distract them every time you see that they are chewing on something inside your house and replace it with a chew toy right away. Moreover, as part of the positive reinforcement, don’t forget to praise the American bulldogs when they chew on acceptable chew items.  

Around Six Months: the Puppy Hood

4th training goal: Let the American bulldog learn the basic commands

Basically, one effective way on how to train an American bulldog is to begin training this fur ball buddy with the basic commands such as the ”sit”. Since their grip is strong enough once they bite on toys, it is essential for them to learn the “drop it” command.

5th training goal: Potty training

Generally, potty training is one of the most important ways on how to train an American bulldog. Actually, this aims to prevent any unwanted accidents inside the house. Potty training actually starts by taking the American bulldog puppy outside the house every hour on the specific spot where the pup would eliminate. This should be done repeatedly for about several days.

Moreover, part of the potty training is keeping the food and water out for about three to four hours prior to bed. And just before going to sleep and in the morning as they wake up, allow the pup to have a potty break. Additionally, crate training is also a good idea as it keeps the American bulldog puppy from chewing things up when no one is around, Aside from that, it also helps a lot in preventing accidents.

6th training goal: Allow the American bulldog to exercise on cool places

Basically, the brachycephalic facial anatomy of the American bulldog makes them hard to breathe during the hot days. That’s why it is crucial to allow the bully to have an exercise during the early morning or late evening. It is also important to keep them away from too much heat within the mid-day.

Moreover, once you notice that the American bulldog is already panting frequently, give him some break and offer water to cool down the bully. That’s why it is important that you bring water for your pooch every time you go out with him. Another good option is to let the bully have an exercise inside your house on a room temperature.

About One Year: the Growth Phase

Generally, the moment your American bulldog reaches the age of one year, he must already learn the basic obedience. Aside from that, the bully is already familiar with the daily feeding schedule and exercise session.

7th training goal: Engage the American bulldog in more complex training

As far as cool temperature is concerned, it is better to allow the American bulldog to undergo complex training like agility, obedience, and tracking. Moreover, it is also a good option if you challenge the bully to attend some training class. Besides, how to train an American bulldog on things like keeping out of the leash, staying to greet or performing some tricks are good ways to tire them.

8th training goal: Be careful around water with the American bulldog

Always remember that the American bully loves the water too much. Yet, due to their body build, they are not good swimmers. So, letting them have fun in the water is ideal if you will have to supervise them. Moreover, when you are on bodies of water such as the lakes, let your American bulldog wears a life jacket for their safety.  

How to Train an American Bulldog from Stopping Behavior Problem

Although the ways on how to train an American bulldog is fun, there may also be times that the American bulldog exhibits certain specific behavior issues. Yet, stopping these problems entails a simple way to address it. Basically, you only need to tell the bully to stop what he’s doing. But, most pet owners have negative feedback on this.

Actually, there are two main reasons why the American bulldog does not respond fairly on this command. These are the following:

  • The dog does not clearly understand the meaning of No. Remember that in order for the dog to respond on this, he must have an idea on the word that you want him to obey.
  • He already knew what it means by No, but for him, there is no reason for him to do that. As simple as that, unless you will offer him some treats as a reward. This actually works for sometimes but not most of the time.

Here are some helpful strategies on how to train an American bulldog from stopping the behavior problem.

1. Teach your dog respect

Basically, an effective way on how to train an American bulldog is to let them learn to respect you or their trainer. Generally, interacting with your dog appropriately is the key for him to love you. Not only that, but your furball buddy will also look at you as a reliable leader worthy of his respect. Eventually, with this, he will obey you.

2. Involve the American bulldog on some activities

Actually, there will come a time that the American bulldog misbehaves even he is already trained to be respectful. Generally, the reason for their misbehavior would be lack of involvement in interesting activities. Keep in mind that most canines, including the American bulldog, are sociable and do not want to be alone often. Usually, they easily get bored and frustrated once you let them experience the following:

  • Leave him alone at the house for about eight hours.
  • Let him stay outside for a couple of hours
  • Do not get involved in activities

Remember that boredom and frustration may generally lead the American bully to behavioral problems. In order for them to vent out that kind of misbehaviors, they tend to destroy things, bark or escape. How to train an American bulldog to deal with these misbehaviors needs ample amount of exercise and companionship.     

Final Thoughts

How to train an American bulldog involves fun activities for both of you and your pooch. The American bulldog generally requires training. Just make sure that the training is actually designed for them. Moreover, executing the training the right way offers a long list of accomplishments. So invest some time and effort in acquiring the proper knowledge to appropriately train this dog breed.