How To Gently Discipline an American Bully

Bully breed dogs are often mistaken for aggressive and confrontational when, in reality, they’re incredibly affectionate and friendly. As an XL American bully owner, I think American Bullies make a great family pet, even if they’re not always on their best behavior.

If your American Bully sometimes misbehaves, it’s important to discipline it gently.

Here’s how you can gently disciple an American bully whenever it misbehaves:

  1. Withdraw your attention when your Bully gets too excited.
  2. Do not repeat commands if your dog refuses to listen.
  3. Give your dog time out in its crate.
  4. Use games to correct unwanted behavior.
  5. Be consistent in your disciplining methods.
  6. Provide alternatives to undesirable habits.
  7. Do not inflict any physical pain on your Bully.

Known to be extremely loyal, American Bullies will do their best to keep their owners happy.

Whenever your Bully misbehaves, it’s probably because it just needs a little help with the house rules. Keep reading as I explain the above methods so you can help your Bully maintain good canine behaviors at all times.

1. Withdraw Your Attention When Your Bully Gets Too Excited

oso american bully puppy

Your Bully will use all means to express its affections for you: jumping on you, pawing at your hands, or leaping onto the couch beside you. However, this can be frustrating if done excessively. And some of your house guests might not take to it too kindly. 

The one thing your Bully wants most is your attention, and it’ll do just about anything to get it.

For this reason, the most effective way to discipline your Bully is to withdraw your attention. If your Bully’s behavior is over the top and bordering on misbehavior, don’t reinforce it by reacting. Instead, turn your back to it, or leave the room. Don’t engage it until it has calmed down.

Resist the urge to yell or push your dog away. Remember, your Bully will try to get its much-desired attention, and it’ll perceive any kind of reaction from you, good or bad, as attention.

2. Do Not Repeat Commands if Your Dog Refuses To Listen

american bully with a big head

Your Bully could refuse to comply with commands that it used to obey. If your dog realizes that it can keep doing something until you’ve asked three or four times, it’ll likely keep pushing those boundaries.

That’s why you must only give commands to your dog once. For example, if you ask your Bully to sit, but it refuses, walk away and don’t ask again. 

Go back to your Bully after a few minutes and give it another chance to follow the command. If your dog complies, reward it with a special treat to help reinforce the good behavior. 

If your Bully previously followed your commands but is now being disobedient, it could be because something in the environment has changed or it’s bored of the commands.

Bullies are highly intelligent dogs, and they need excitement and mental stimulation. Tweak your training routine every so often to keep your dog on its toes.

3. Give Your Dog Time Out in Its Crate

American Bullies are typically less energetic than other Bully breeds. But this doesn’t mean they won’t get overexcited and hyperactive sometimes.

If your American Bully’s over-enthusiastic behavior becomes disruptive, send it to its crate or bed until it has calmed down. Ideally, your Bully should already be crate-trained so that it doesn’t see it as a form of punishment.

4. Use Games To Correct Unwanted Behavior

oso guarding outside

Discipline doesn’t always have to occur as a result of bad behavior. You can take advantage of quality time with your Bully to reinforce good habits in a positive way that is fun for both of you. 

Bullies like to be outside. More so, they like to be outside with their people. Bully breeds need about 30 to 60 minutes a day of exercise. Throw a few games into exercise time, and you have a Bully that’s mentally stimulated. As a result, your dog’s ability to focus increases, making it easier to strengthen behaviors that are integrated into play.

As an added benefit, this kind of activity helps build better communication, understanding, and respect between you and your bully, making him more obedient. 

5. Be Consistent in Your Disciplining Methods

Your Bully can pick up on an inconsistent disciplining regime. If your dog barks for a treat and you give in one time and ignore it on other occasions, it’ll likely persist with this behavior because it knows that you won’t always object. 

Stick to your guns: if your Bully does something unacceptable, don’t let it slide now and then.

Make sure that everybody interacting with your Bully follows the same disciplining routine regularly so that it can remain well-behaved no matter who it spends its time with. 

6. Provide Alternatives to Undesirable Habits

oso american bully waiting for his food

Chewing is a natural canine behavior, and your Bully is no different. However, sometimes it might chew at things it shouldn’t. Or worse, your dog might make a habit out of it.

If your Bully refuses to give you something in its mouth, hold a treat under its nose and gently ask for the object. Only give your Bully the treat when it agrees to drop the item.

Praise your Bully for chewing the right items to let it know that you endorse good behavior. Doing this might just save your favorite pair of shoes from your dog’s chewing habits.

Don’t leave your Bully unattended with a chew toy for its safety. As soon as your dog’s chew toy begins to show signs of wear and tear, replace it with a new one.    

7. Do Not Inflict Any Physical Pain on Your Dog

Never use physical pain or intimidation on your Bully as a form of punishment. Not only do these not teach him what to do, but they could lead to more severe behavior problems. 

If your Bully isn’t well-behaved, it’s likely that it simply doesn’t know what you expect from it. Your dog may also find it difficult to fight its urge or instincts to do certain things that you may find unacceptable.

It’s up to you to teach your Bully the right behavior to help it understand what is and isn’t acceptable. Adequate training can help your canine control its impulses when its instincts kick in from time to time.

Key Takeaways

Bullies are loving, gentle dogs that make a great addition to any home. You must teach your canine about good behaviors to ensure you both can live peacefully together.

Be consistent in your discipline: don’t let your Bully get away with any inappropriate behavior. The most effective way to show your Bully what isn’t appropriate is to withdraw what it wants the most: your attention.

Never use any physical punishment as a method of discipline. Bear this mind, and you and your Bully are all set for a long-lasting, loving relationship.

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