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Your Guide to American Bully Training

Bully Education | 0 comments

By Bully Pedex

If you’re reading this, you already know that American Bullies are a special breed of dog. From their physical appearance to their amazing temperament, they give us so many reasons to love them.

But, just like with any dog, that ideal temperament is not a given. Proper training is essential to getting the best out of this breed. Whether your Bully is a family dog, a show dog, or both, training is key.

In this guide we break down the different types of training your Bully will need, and share proven methods and tips to help make the process easier.

Types of Training

It’s common for a new Bully owner to housebreak their dog and equip them with some basic commands. Then when bad behavior sets in, you realize you may have missed a few things. 

To avoid this, it’s best to set clear boundaries as early as possible. Let’s go over all the types of training you should cover with your Bully.


This is what most people think of when they think of dog training. As it sounds, the goal of this type of training is to make your Bully obedient to you. 

It involves teaching your dog to follow commands like sit, stay, come, and more. These commands help you to manage your Bully’s behavior in a variety of scenarios. 


Behavioral training helps your Bully understand how to behave in certain situations and what types of behaviors are and are not acceptable. 

This includes things like barking, digging, jumping, charging, and chewing on things, to name a few. It also encompasses how your Bully behaves around guests or when left home alone.

With behavior training, the idea is your Bully will understand what behavior is accepted without verbal commands.


Housebreaking is teaching your Bully to pee and poop outside the house. While this can fall into behavioral training, it is essential so we wanted to highlight this type of training.

It’s ideal to start housebreaking between 12 – 16 weeks. At this point, your Bully should have more bladder and bowel control. You may have to start later, depending on when you get your puppy or dog. Just know that starting later may mean that the process takes a little longer.

Having a consistent feeding schedule and taking your Bully out regularly (plus after meals, naps, and before bed) to go the bathroom in the same spot will all help with the training process.

On average housebreaking done right will take between 4-6 months, however it can take up to a year. Housebreaking a dog that has developed bad habits will most likely take longer than average.

Crate training 

Because dogs are den animals, they like to have their own space where they can rest and where they feel safe. Even though this is part of your Bully’s natural instincts, it still needs to be taught. 

Crate training can be a valuable tool for many reasons. You can use the crate for napping, traveling, or a place where your Bully can feel safe during a thunderstorm or when guests are over. It can also help with housebreaking since your Bully will avoid eliminating in his bed, if it’s the right size. 

Ease your Bully into spending time in the crate. Locking him up and leaving him alone right off the bat will lead to the crate being associated with trauma rather than safety. 

Make sure the crate is comfortable for your Bully, plastic bottoms are preferable to metal, which can splay their toes and cause sores. You can also put a blanket inside to make it cozier. 

It’s also important to be sure your Bully has a toy, like a Bully bone, that is safe to avoid choking. Having something to chew on will prevent your Bully from chewing on himself.

You shouldn’t leave your Bully in the crate for more than 3-4 hours. Dogs, especially energetic dogs like bullies, should not be cooped for such long periods of the day. They need ample time to be free, play, and get exercise and attention. 


Socialization is particularly important for the Bully breed. They are naturally social, but to get the most out of this predisposition, they need to get used to spending time around other people and animals from a young age — between 3 – 12 weeks is ideal. 

Expose your Bully to new people and animals consistently, but start small and work your way up. A walk around the neighborhood passing by new people here and there is a good starting point. You’ll want to work up to more crowded settings like dog parks. 

Be sure to mix things up so your Bully is comfortable around both men, women, children, and animals. Help them get used to being handled by others as well. Being comfortable with being touched by strangers is important, especially if you ever plan to take your Bully to the groomers.

Behavior modification

This type of training is much like behavior training, but specifically to correct a negative behavior. If your Bully has developed some bad habits or if you’ve welcomed a Bully dog into your home that didn’t receive proper training, behavior modification is how you rectify this. 

Don’t think that just because you train your Bully pup from a young age that you’ll never need to work on behavior modification. Training is a constant process, and if you find your Bully slipping in some areas or developing bad behaviors, you can simply work on behavior modification.

Training Methods and Tips

There are a lot of different training methods to choose from, but not all are equally effective. Here, we’ve highlighted the best methods to use with your Bully. 


American Bullies are very aware of pack hierarchy. This means it is essential that you establish yourself as a leader with your dog. This shouldn’t be confused with dominance training, which we do not believe is the best method. Rather, make sure your Bully knows to look to you for guidance.

Positive Reinforcement

Bullies respond best to positive reinforcement and it is scientifically shown to be the best training method for dogs. which means rewarding them when they do a good job and ignoring unwanted behavior. You can reward your Bully with treats, affection, verbal praise, or play. 

Aside from this being more effective, it also makes the training process more enjoyable for you and your dog. Know that positive reinforcement may take longer but the time invested will be worth it.

Clicker Training

Clicker training is really a subset of positive reinforcement. After your Bully completes a desired behavior a short whistle or clicking sound can help your dog understand that a reward is coming. This can help your Bully better identify what behavior is being rewarded. Eventually a verbal command can be introduced so your Bully associates the behavior with a command.

Model-Rival Training

This type of training involves your Bully learning positive behavior from another human or dog. Dogs are very observant, so watching a positive behavior be rewarded can teach your Bully to repeat the behavior to receive the reward. 

In some cases this can be set up in a rival scenario where your Bully is competing to get reward that is limited. 

This method is particularly useful for certain skills or tricks, like playing fetch.

Utilize Tools

There are a lot of training tools available that are essential to the process. Others can just help make it easier on both you and your Bully.

Equipping yourself with a good leash and collar or harness are important. While a sturdy leash, like nylon, are great for taking your Bully for walks, a retractable leash is an excellent tool for training. A harness may help you better guide your Bully through training.

You’ll also want to have some rewards for your Bully like treats or dog toys to effectively practice positive reinforcement. Aim for small treats that are easy for your Bully to eat quickly during training sessions. 

If you decide you want to try the clicker method, you can use a clicker made specifically for this type of training.

When it comes to crate training, you’ll of course need a crate for your Bully. Not any crate will be suitable, size and material matter. Heavy gauge steel crates are ideal because your Bully won’t be able to chew through them. It should also be big enough for your Bully to move around, but not so big that he would defecate inside. Plastic bottoms are essential for avoiding splayed toes and sores.

Methods to Avoid

We steer clear of negative reinforcement and positive punishment, since these are not only less effective but can damage your relationship with your Bully and lead to other behavioral issues. 

Hitting, yelling at, or shocking your Bully do not do a good job of establishing the desired behavior. While he may quickly learn what not to do, it won’t set him up for successful behavior. These tactics can also break the trust your dog has for you and in some cases can lead to aggression. 

Patience and consistency

Having patience with your Bully is essential to a positive training experience. Know that it will take time and set small realistic goals to ensure training sessions are effective and don’t cause your Bully stress and anxiety. 

As with most things in life, consistency is key. Stay consistent with your expectations to avoid losing your training progress or confusing your Bully.

As you work with your Bully you’ll find the methods that best work for him and the process will strengthen your bond. You can also learn effective training techniques specific to American Bullies by joining the Bully Pedex community to connect with and learn from other Bully owners.


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