8 Reasons Why Your American Bully Won’t Listen to You

oso american bully waiting for his food

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If you own an American Bully, you need to take responsibility for training your dog. However, it’s very frustrating when your pet won’t listen to you. But with the proper training, it’s possible to correct this behavior.

Here are 8 reasons why your American Bully won’t listen to you:

  1. Your dog doesn’t understand the command.
  2. The dog’s training isn’t consistent.
  3. The dog has a lot of energy.
  4. Your dog is focusing somewhere else.
  5. You only reward your dog with food. 
  6. The dog received a reward for bad behavior. 
  7. Your dog is bored.
  8. You don’t use body language.

I have a lot of experience raising Bullies and can help you understand why your dog won’t listen to you. There are many different situations, but once you identify the problem, you can fix the behavior. I made sure to include everything below, so continue reading!

1. Your Dog Doesn’t Understand the Command

First of all, your American Bully might seem like they’re ignoring you. However, they actually don’t understand the command you’re trying to give them. When was the last time you covered the basic commands with them?

It takes a long time for a dog to understand commands fully. You need to train your dog at least twice a day, a few times a week. Training in short bursts is best, with 15 minutes being all you need. Constant training can overwhelm the dog.

The American Bully is a brilliant dog. They’re sure to learn quickly! However, you must go over the basics with them often, so they don’t forget. It takes a long time to solidify commands for dogs.

Overall, make sure that you’ve covered the command well and use a clear speaking voice when talking to your dog. That way, you know they understand what you’re telling them.

2. The Dog’s Training Isn’t Consistent

kind american bully

Inconsistent training can also be a problem. If a dog gets different responses towards their behavior, they won’t know what to do, and it may come across as them ignoring you. This situation often happens in families where more than one person raises a dog. 

Make sure to talk with the others at home and develop rules for the dog’s training. Everyone should know what commands to use and how to adequately respond to the dog when they follow the command. Clearing things up at home can significantly improve a dog’s behavior! 

It helps to make a chart or list, then display it somewhere easy to see. In short, it’s important to ensure your American Bully has consistent responses to the commands. Otherwise, they may not understand what they’re supposed to do.

3. The Dog Has a Lot of Energy

american bully running

American Bullies are known for being an adaptable breed. They can be relaxed and gentle while at home but incredibly active outside! If your dog isn’t responding to your commands, try to assess their energy levels.

If your Bully is excited and playful, it can be a lot harder to get them to listen to you. All that built-up energy from being inside can make them too hyper to understand what you need from them. This problem shows up more often in younger dogs.

Be sure to take your Bully on a daily walk and offer plenty of exercise through play. You’ll likely notice they’re better behaved when given a chance to get out excess energy.

In general, your American Bully must have an outlet for all that energy. If they feel overwhelmed and aren’t meeting their needs, they can have a more challenging understanding of commands.

4. Your Dog Is Focusing Somewhere Else

If your Bully won’t listen to you, they may be focused on something else. If you’re trying to train them, but they seem nervous or keep reacting to outside distractions, you may need to go somewhere else for training.

Your dog could be afraid of the weather, interested in another dog that’s outside, or distracted by the guests that you have over. It’s best to train your dog in an environment without distractions until they get the basic commands. Then, you can move to more public settings once you know they can listen.

Most dogs can only focus on one thing at a time. If there’s another dog nearby, that’s going to take up all their headspace! You’ll need to inspect your environment when your Bully isn’t listening and try to determine what’s causing the distractions. Ultimately, it’s best to have your dog’s full attention during training.

5. You Only Reward Your Dog With Food

Does your dog only seem to follow commands for treats? This bad habit can be hard to break, but you need your American Bully to listen to you even when you don’t have food for bribes.

The lure-and-reward method is acceptable to teach basic commands, but only first. You shouldn’t keep luring the dog after two training sessions. If you’re stuck in “luring mode,” your dog will only listen to you when you have food to offer.

All breeds will ignore you if they know they can get a treat out of you. It’s best only to use food rewards to teach the command. Then, you’ll want to practice it as often as possible without giving them treats. 

Instead, use your attention as positive reinforcement! Give your Bully plenty of love and affection when they listen to you.

6. The Dog Received a Reward for Bad Behavior

It’s possible that you’ve rewarded your dog for bad behavior in the past, causing them to repeat it. After your dog didn’t listen, did you reward them for it?

For example, your Bully isn’t listening to the “Wait” command and keeps tugging on the leash. If you let them do it before, they were rewarded by getting where they wanted to go. Instead, you need to stand still and be firm with your Bully.

However, it’s sometimes hard to tell if you reward a dog for their bad behavior on accident. When interacting with your dog, keep their behavior and how you react in mind. It takes a lot of consistency to correct bad behavior in any dog breed. 

7. Your Dog Is Bored

Training should be fun for your dog! If they get bored, they’ll start losing focus and won’t listen. Puppies need shorter training sessions and can lose interest quickly. It might help to begin with five-minute sessions, then slowly work your way up to longer ones.

You can try switching things up with clicker training. The TreatPod Leash Treat Holder and Training Clicker (available on Amazon.com) is an excellent option. You get two clickers and a pamphlet detailing using them for the best results. The order also comes with a unique treatpod, allowing you to bring treats with you anywhere. 

Overall, your dog simply might not be listening because they’re bored. Make sure your Bully gets plenty of breaks and playtime between training sessions.

8. You Don’t Use Body Language

Finally, you might be giving your dog mixed signals unintentionally. Dogs mostly communicate with each other by using body language. If you’re relying too heavily on verbal commands, your dog might not always interpret them correctly.

Even if your Bully knows the command, they might associate it with your body language more. Does it seem like they don’t listen unless you point or move in a certain way? In that case, you’ll want to cover the basics again. 

You might’ve taught the dog to react to your body language only the first time. So, when you don’t use it, your Bully doesn’t know what you want!

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