American Bulldog Training: 9 Easy Steps to Raise Your Puppy

Last Updated on July, 2024

As far as muscle goes in the canine world, American bulldogs, also known as Ambull, could steal the show with their well-ripped physique, remarkable strength and high energy levels.

Ambull is a large breed utility dog that is a descendant of the now-extinct Old English Bulldog. Though they play rough, they are the most loyal, loving, confident and friendly dogs. And they can be trained!

Is your American Bulldog dominating over you? 

If they are left alone or ill-treated for prolonged periods, they may develop destructive, arrogant, and stubborn behavior that will be dangerous for the owners and themselves. 

In addition, American bulldogs have strong natural guarding instincts towards their owners and houses, triggering them to be aggressive towards strangers. 

Train your American bulldog as soon as you get them home. If you don’t, your pet will have more freedom to decide how to act. Also, taking command from the beginning aids your pet’s adjustment to their new environment and behavior.

Here is a complete guide on American bulldog training. 

Quick Summary

American Bulldogs are known for their muscular physique, high energy levels, and strong natural guarding instincts.

American Bulldogs require socialization, potty training, and physical and mental stimulation in their training process.

Engaging in physical and mental activities is important for their health and to prevent boredom and behavior problems. Positive reinforcement and short training sessions are recommended for effective training.

9 Easy Steps for Training American Bulldog Puppy

American bulldog training

Age plays a crucial role in American bulldog training. The American Bulldog’s first four years of development are the most aggressive in its life. Therefore the following timeline should be followed to properly train them to behave appropriately. 

Early Stage: 8-16 Weeks

Step 1: Socialization

Socialize a puppy when it’s young to avoid aggression as an adult. Early socialization teaches your dog that other animals and humans are not inherently dangerous.

Experts recommend at least 4-5 friends from smaller dogs to other dogs within the family or as outside acquaintances. Starting small will help your puppy cope with the new friends.

Also, instead of random interactions, your dog will learn greater social skills if they are frequently around the same few animals.

When considering a playmate for your puppy, make sure it has already been socialized. A socialized puppy will make your dog feel secure and safe.

Allow your dog to socialize at its own pace. Please do not force the puppy into socializing as it will stress it, causing it to act aggressively, resulting in injuries and traumatic memory. (1)

To avoid future mishaps, it is best to keep your Bulldog on a leash but still provide it with the same level of confidence and love when socializing.

Step 2: Teach What To Chew

American bull dog Chewing

Chewing is considered a display of anxiety and stress.

American bulldogs are sensitive to emotions and show their uneasy behavior through aggression or chewing the closest objects. (2)

Separation anxiety is one of the significant factors that affect chewing.

If you have no choice but to leave your dog at home while you go to work or school, get them an interactive play toy that will keep them occupied for prolonged periods.

Interactive toys are a great way to keep your Bulldog from chewing your furniture.

Step 3: Potty Training

Teaching your bulldog puppy to potty in one location or outside is the third most crucial step in the training.

  • Take Your American Bulldog Puppy Out Regularly

Take the dog out every hour to the spot where you want the dog to excrete during the day for several days.

  • Find Out The Signs Your Dog Needs To Go To The Toilet

American bulldogs are expected to go for potty every 15 to 30 minutes during the first weeks of development until they can control their bladder. So if your dog scratches the foot of the door or whines around the house, it means it wants to go for a potty.

  • Take Your American Bulldog To The Same Location Every Time

Familiarize your dog’s happy place. During training, the location plays a huge role, and it will help your Bulldog comply and be active during the day.This will reduce the chances of them going to the toilet inside and teach them where they should go.

In addition, if your American Bulldog gets lost, he can always find his way home if he is familiar with the location. 

Puppy Stage: By 6 Months

American bull dog puppies

Your Bulldog puppy should be able to socialize peacefully with other dogs, chew on appropriate toys, and be ready to begin basic obedience training at this age.

Step 4: Teach How To Moderate His Biting

American bulldogs have a tremendous bite force. Teaching your pup to regulate the force of a bite is crucial. But if they’ve learned bite inhibition, they are less likely to grow into adult dogs who bite.

If a puppy bites too hard, use a high-pitched “ow!” to distract him or her. Take advantage of the stop in behavior by providing the puppy with something appropriate to chew on right away.

Bones, chew toys, Kongs, squeaky toys, and stuffed animals are all good choices.Spaying and neutering are also methods to control aggression and other complications in American bulldogs.

Spaying is done on female puppies, while neutering is done on male puppies.

Related: When do Puppies Calm Down?

Step 5: Teach Basic Commands

Start teaching your dog with basic commands such as sit, stand, speak, rollover, and high five. Then progress to commands such as “Drop-It.” When bulldogs bite down on toys, they have a strong grip, so it’s critical that they learn the “Drop It” command.

Instead of negative or disciplinary reinforcements, use positive reinforcements. Start by rewarding your dog with treats every time he or she gets into the position you’ve asked, even if you’re doing it for them.

Step 6: Exercise Your Bulldog In Cool Temperatures

American bulldogs are a brachycephalic breed due to their short muzzles, making breathing difficult on hot and humid days. If your dog is panting during training, take a break in a cool room. (3)

Most bulldogs train intensely, which is why the cooling jackets will come in handy. In addition, having a water bottle for your dog during training is highly recommended.

Growth Stage: One Year

American bull dogs

Your Bulldog should know basic obedience and be acclimated to a daily feeding and exercise routine by the time they are a year old.

Step 7: Engage Your Bulldog In Fun And Intense Activities

Even though the Bulldog isn’t the most athletic dog breed out there, that doesn’t mean you should let him become a couch potato. 

American Bulldogs are prone to many health issues, and the most common among them are obesity and Hip Dysplasia. Engaging your American Bulldog in physical activities regularly helps to avoid these.

In addition, there are numerous dog sports available to keep your Bulldog busy.

  • Daily Walk

A daily walk is necessary for an American Bulldog to release pent-up energy and maintain his health. The sights, sounds, and smells that your Ambull encounters during the walk will help to stimulate their minds.

Because an American Bulldog can walk vast distances, the duration of the walk is only limited by your time and energy.

Therefore, the minimal amount of time should be 30 to 45 minutes every day.

  • High Intensity Activities

In addition to the daily walk, it is critical to engage them in other activities that will tire and occupy them. Shorter, higher-intensity activities, as well as muscle-building and strength workouts, are examples.

Training your pup with a flirt pole can help control its impulses. Flirt poles for dogs are made up of a handle, a pole, a cord, and a toy or lure that looks like a prey animal, similar to cat feather teasers.

Flirt poles can provide them with an additional challenge by allowing them to chase a variety of various toys that you can attach. As your puppy chases the bait, you move it around the ground in circles or different directions.

Playing Fetch with your Ambull is another fantastic way to release pent-up energy. This game can be played for hundreds of tosses by American Bulldogs, who are known for their love of balls and toys.

In your backyard, set up an agility or obstacle course. You may make your agility with stuff you already have or purchase reasonably priced agility sets.

Tug-of-war is a definite favorite of all strong dogs. To expend more energy, make them kneel and pull back. Ascertain that this is a managed game in which they only release when you want them to.

It’s also a fantastic technique to gain muscle and strength.

A spring pole is famous among dogs that love tug-of-war. A spring pole is just a spring linked to a rope that swings from a tree branch or beam and has a lure or toy at the end. This lets your dog play tug of war with himself when you aren’t around. 

  • Mental Stimulation

One of the most common reasons for behavior problems in dogs is boredom and high energy levels. Destructive behavior, annoying barking, digging, and even fleeing are examples of this.

The American Bulldog is also a breed with a high level of intelligence. Therefore, to avoid boredom, it is critical to provide mental stimulation and difficulties.

Challenge your American Bulldog’s mind with puzzle toys, Scenting and nose games, Chew Toys, food enrichment and environmental enrichment. 

How to Make Your Training Effective?

American bulldog

The American Bulldog is a challenging dog to train in the very beginning. However, once a command is mastered, the American Bulldog remembers the training well.

Confine Your Pet Into a Training Area

Allocating a confined space such as the backyard or an empty room for your Bulldog will reduce distraction during the early stage of training and help him concentrate. Then, when your Bulldog is familiar with the location and can do everything you command without hesitation, you can move on to the next level or location.

Stay Calm When Engaging With Your Pet

Training a bulldog can be fun yet time-consuming. It requires an enormous level of patience. At first, your Bulldog will not be obedient to you, but with repetition, your Bulldog will learn to follow your commands. (4

Sometimes your Bulldog will get a bit too excited and bite your arm but never over-react as it will break the progress you have built with your dog so far.

Sticking To A Training Schedule

Independent training can get messy, and you may end up repeating the training you did months ago. To avoid such situations, you could refer to online training or consult a trainer for a reliable training routine that will go with your dog’s development.

Using The Proper Training Technique

American bulldog in training

Each puppy has a unique style of learning.

For example, some respond to aggressive training, while others learn to be obedient even without a leash.

Hence, you may have to adopt different techniques in different situations. 

During training sessions, you must use positive reinforcement.

Praise and treats will boost your bulldogs’ esteem and motivate them to do the training with maximum effort, as they crave love and attention.

You can train using both hand and voice; you can help develop your dog’s attentiveness. If your dog has trouble hearing you at times, this is where hand gestures come in handy as your dog will be able to see you and follow your commands.

Keep Lessons Short

American bulldogs have a short attention span. As a result, avoid training for long periods. Instead, it’s preferable to have multiple small training sessions of 5-10 minutes each.

Consult A Professional

Keep in touch with the local veterinarian as it will help you foresee any health-related issues that may arise in your dog. Also, consulting a professional trainer will help you gain tips on getting your American Bulldog under control. 

Also, Online training classes conducted by a certified dog trainer will come in handy if you wish to keep your Bulldog’s attentiveness at its peak when training you from day one.

Related article: American Bulldog Price

Final Thoughts

American bulldogs require attention, love, and intense training to keep them healthy. With a proper diet, training, interactive environment, and friends to socialize with, your American Bulldog can be the best of itself at any given time. 

Ambulls are also recognized for their fierce devotion to their owner. If trained properly, this breed gets along well with children and quickly becomes a family member.

Early training of Ambulls creates such a positive environment for both you and your dog anytime you interact with other animals and people.




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Thomas Villalpando
Thomas Villalpando is the main author of Dogs Academy. He spends his time reading, training, and working with several Dogs' behaviors. He has been featured in MSN, Yahoo Finance, The Sun, Entrepreneur & More. You can find more about him here.

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