5 Reasons Why Your American Bully Keeps Biting

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The American Bully is one of the most loyal and confident dogs out there. While generally considered a good family dog, just like any dog breed, some American Bullies may tend to bite.

So, why does your American Bully keep biting?

Your American Bully keeps biting because he’s playing, protecting something he loves, or frustrated or overwhelmed. American Bullies aren’t typically mean-spirited dogs, so repeated biting is usually because the dog is provoked.  

In this article, we’ll cover five reasons why your American Bully keeps biting.

1. Your American Bully Thinks He’s Playing

One common reason American Bullies bite is they think it’s a way to play. Dogs lightly bite or mouth to explore what’s around them, and that will often happen during play. According to the ASPCA, mouthing during play is normal dog behavior. It’s important to note that this type of biting is generally not malicious or aggressive.

If you see your American Bully biting as he’s playing with another dog, you need to ensure that the biting isn’t aggressive and that it isn’t harming the other dog. Light biting is entirely normal in dog play, so this behavior doesn’t necessarily need to be corrected.

On the other hand, if your American Bully is biting hard when playing and causing harm to other dogs, the behavior will need to be addressed. Similarly, if your American Bully is biting people, especially children when he’s playing, you should correct the behavior. 

2. Your American Bully Is Being on Guard or Protective

american bully stack

While most American Bullies are very friendly and accommodating towards humans and other dogs, occasionally, they may be protective over things like food or toys they don’t want to share. If that’s the case, your dog may bite when someone gets too close to his items for fear that they’ll be taken away.

Another form of protective biting can surface when an American Bully tries to protect their owner. American Bullies are incredibly loyal dogs, so it’s not uncommon for them to take action if their owner is in danger.

Biting to protect owners can happen in a couple of ways. One way is a legitimate threat, such as a home intrusion or a robbery. Your American Bully can pick up on cues that their owner is in danger and may resort to biting to protect them.

Another way that protective biting may happen is if your American Bully perceives a threat to its owner, but it’s not a real threat. For example, if your dog is very protective, a person they’ve never met before coming up to hug you may look like a threat. Similarly, inviting over a friend who has never met your dog before could seem like a threat, as it’s a stranger in the home. 

If your American Bully is biting when there are no real threats to you as the owner, you’re responsible for correcting the behavior and teaching him to be more tolerant of strangers or other animals that get close to you.

Finally, American Bullies may bite to defend their territory. Whether it’s a stranger coming to the house or someone getting too close to their dog bed or dog house, biting is a response to a perceived encroachment of their space. Corrective behavioral training may be needed in this case, too.

The best way to train your American Bully is through positive reinforcement. Dog trainers recommend rewarding your dog for good behavior with toys or treats.

3. Your American Bully Is Feeling Frustrated

xl bully pulling toy

Like humans, dogs can get overwhelmed and frustrated, which can lead to biting behavior. If a dog feels trapped in a situation, like they can’t get out of a corner at a dog park, they may bite out of frustration. 

Another way this can happen is if a big group of people or kids surround your American Bully to pet him. While well-intentioned, this much activity can quickly overwhelm him, and he may bite out of frustration. Your American Bully can also be overwhelmed or frustrated in a big group of dogs, like at a boarding facility or while being walked in a large pack.

Biting out of frustration is a difficult behavior to correct because some dogs get overwhelmed more easily. If your American Bully gets overwhelmed in these settings, the best thing you can do is avoid these situations. 

American Bullies are curious dogs, so they may also bite when they feel like they can’t reach something they want, like when they’re on a leash. Your dog may bite the leash or the person holding the leash to get to what he wants. 

The best way to remedy leash biting is to train your American Bully not to pull when walking on a leash. A great tool is a no-pull leash, like the Pet’s Company No-Pull Training Leash. It tightens to correct your dog’s pulling behavior and loosens when the behavior is corrected.

4. Your American Bully Is in Pain

When dogs are sick or have an injury, they cannot communicate what’s happening, so it can be very stressful and scary. Injuries can prevent them from living how they usually would, so it can also be a source of frustration. Even the best-behaved American Bullies may bite when injured or in pain.

If your American Bully keeps biting when you or someone else touches a particular part of his body, that could be a sign that he is injured. In this instance, biting behaviors are essential to pick up on since your dog cannot tell you that he needs help.

If your American Bully has been injured, like a cut, or if he’s limping, beware that he may be sensitive to you touching the area and may even bite. Of course, the best course of action to take in these situations is to seek help from a veterinarian right away.

5. Your American Bully Is Scared

Another common reason American Bullies bite is if they’re scared or startled. Biting can be almost a reflex when your dog is scared. They’re reacting to what scares them and may be trying to protect themselves. 

While most American Bullies are curious and outgoing dogs, every dog has quirks that may scare them. For example, a loud car engine, a person on a scooter, or a horse. All of these things could be triggers for your American Bully.

While it can be challenging to train a dog to get over its fears, the best thing you can do is comfort your American Bully in scary situations to make it feel more at ease. You can also interact with the scary person or object in front of your dog to show them that it’s safe.

Final Thoughts

American Bullies are generally friendly, happy dogs that are great for families. However, even the happiest dogs can have biting tendencies in certain situations. Repeated biting can become a big problem for you and your family if it’s not addressed.

If you’re aware of the most common reasons American Bullies bite, you can either avoid the triggering situation or correct the behavior. Either way, taking action to prevent biting will make both you and your American Bully happier.

5 thoughts on “5 Reasons Why Your American Bully Keeps Biting”

  1. My xl bully girl was friends with everyone she’s 1 now and in last few weeks has started to guard the car and take a dislike to some men she’s getting worse is this very usual or unusual.

  2. My 6 year old American Bully bit and injured our 2 month old puppy. I’m not sure what to do. They normally play together and the puppy sleeps on top or right next to my Bully. Not sure what triggered this. Any advice?

  3. My 6 month old american bully cross is biting my 2 kids, aged 2 and 7.. I’m really worried he’s going to hurt them badly. He’s OK when it’s just me and him.. but he does jump all over me and nip at me too. He also doesn’t calm down when people come round, he’s jumping all over them and scratching and biting!

  4. We just found out our little Delilah is 100% American Bully. She is super sweet, always has to be touching us. She’s socialized! She almost 6 mo old. She is not grasping potty training. We’ve tried crating her, treat as soon as she does go outside to do business. She seems to be impossible to train, she doesn’t listen to us even we call her. We love her so much! Will a shock collar help with the wondering? And counter surfing? She is also a huge biter. We yell no, and she ignores us. She’s little, we refuse to give up on her, but need advice in her attitude. I know this is a newer breed of dog! Are they this stubborn?

    1. Hi Ellie, I definitely don’t recommend shock collars. puppies can have a lot of energy and require patience ^^Pull her by her neck skin when she ‘play bites’ so she understands it’s a no no. This replicates what the mother do.

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