So you’ve just gotten home with a new American Bully puppy, and you’re excited to make him part of the family. The puppy’s excited, too; he’s running around all over the place, tipping furniture and spilling dog food everywhere. So, after how long will your beloved American Bully calm down?
The American Bully can take 2 to 4 years to start “calming down.” Naturally, the American Bully is highly active and playful, especially during puppyhood. Things to do—even if it’s just charging around the house or barking at the telephone—are a must for this intelligent breed.
Indeed, your American Bully may never calm down to the extent of other breeds. It just isn’t in their nature to act like couch potatoes. Read on for useful tips on how to handle your highly active four-legged companion.
Ways To Calm an American Bully
You’re not a bad pet parent—I know you’re prepared to love this puppy dearly, forever and ever. The trouble he’ll get into is mostly “cute” trouble, such as yapping at the pizza delivery guy or stealing your slippers.
Here are some proven ways to keep your American Bully pup in check.
Take Your Pup for a Walk
“Well what time ya got, Mister Dog?” When I say this to my own dog, he knows it’s time to go for a walk. Or I’ll keep looking back and forth between my watch and him (he has come to understand precisely what this gesture means).
Your puppy must get daily exercise (American Bully pups should get at least thirty minutes per day), and walks are certainly a great way to do it. Start with short walks that allow the puppy to sniff around. The regular sniffs will allow your pup to familiarize (and get comfortable) with the route.
Walk smaller American Bullies for twenty minutes every day. Larger bullies are good with about sixteen miles per week. And the best part is that you’ll be getting some exercise, too, so win-win for everyone!
Invest In Toys
Dollars to donuts, you’ve taken care of this task already. It just goes with buying a new puppy. But if you haven’t, start loading up on stuff like:
- Squeaky toys
- Chew toys
- Tug-of-war ropes
I could go on, but you get the idea. Chances are, your American Bully puppy really loves the idea of ruckus and chaos (the cute kind). Toys will help him satisfy this craving until he calms down for nap time.
Investing in a variety of toys reduces the chances of boredom, which is usually associated with destructive behavior.
Time To Play
Playing with your puppy is not only a great way to calm him down but also strengthens your bond. And teaching your cute cuddle buddy to fetch is a great way to expend his energy reserves while keeping him entertained.
After half an hour of running back and forth to get a tennis ball, the pup will start looking at you kind of funny. His enthusiasm has diminished, and his demand for physical activity is sated, at least for now.
Regular play with your American Bully will calm him down, regardless of whether he is a puppy or fully grown. Play also allows you to monitor your pup’s behavior, which means you can easily detect an underlying issue that needs professional attention.
Because American Bullies can take years to calm down (i.e., lose their hyperactivity), obedience training is wise for owners to consider. A professional dog trainer will assist you in teaching the bully specific commands that let him—the dog—know when it’s time to settle down.
The American Bully is not a breed for passive owners. It can be reluctant with commands not issued with authority. If you decide on obedience training as a method of calming your American Bully down, the trainer will not only teach you the needed commands but also how to deliver them.
Consider obedience training if you’re new to the American Bully breed. There’s a lot to learn, and the more you know, the better the communication between you and your dog.
Are Female American Bullies Different From Males?
Perhaps your dog won’t take so many years to calm down. You’ve got your fingers crossed that somehow, through some bizarre twist of fate, your American Bully is different and that he won’t need as much time to calm down.
Female bullies are more noisy, playful, and destructive than males. The females tend to remain hyperactive throughout puppyhood, although it somewhat tones down as they grow older. Female American Bullies are also more protective of the home than males.
That is the short answer, but I’d like to go into more detail for each gender. Let’s do so now.
- Reach physical maturity at about 2 years (she starts to calm down)
- More protective than males against strangers around the home
- Difficult to train than males because their desire to please humans is less
- Reach physical maturity in about three years (he starts to calm down)
- More apt to take charge in the street than around the home
- More independent about exploration or wandering off
There are always exceptions, but overall, if you own a female American Bully, you can expect her to calm down about one year sooner than would a male. Both genders respond well to training, though the female may resist a bit more.
With any American Bully, the owner must demonstrate dominance over the dog. I don’t mean whipping and beating. Rather, issue your commands with an assertive tone and never let the dog think you are afraid.
American Bully Training Tips
Waiting for your American Bully to calm down can take a lot of patience. There’s dog food scattered all around the bowl, your slippers are missing again, and your once confident pet cat seems to be spending more time in hiding than basking around!
But it’s not as hard to train this breed as many people seem to think.
Training Tip 1: Words Every American Bully Should Know
Once your dog understands what certain words mean, you’ll find that he/she responds to them quickly. Using the same words every day in a friendly yet assertive manner helps the dog associate those words with your wishes.
“No,” “sit,” “stay,” “down,” and “potty” are five keywords to start with. The first four are associated with calming the bully down, whereas “potty” is more about teaching the dog where to…well, go potty. Stressing the vowel sound in command words is a great way to help dogs remember what those words mean.
Training Tip 2: Tonal Delivery of Commands
The tone you use to issue a command is just as important as the command itself. The owner must assert himself/herself as a dominant force over the bully, though this does not mean shouting or inducing fear in the dog.
Create a tone for each command, and don’t forget to switch tones as you change commands. American Bullies get bored hearing the same tone all the time. Eventually, they’ll start to ignore you. Keep your tone light and playful with a slight edge of assertiveness that lets the dog know you expect to be obeyed.
Training Tip 3: Develop a Routine
Every dog needs to know what time things happen and for what purpose. Pick a certain time each day to train your bully. Practice this same method when it’s time to go for a walk. Almost immediately, the dog will pick up on what time of day it is and what it means.
Mixing your training schedule around on a constant basis not only confuses the dog but also renders him less apt to respond appropriately to commands. On a routine, however, the American Bully will always know when it’s time to get down to business. Try it and see how fast you get good results!
Training Tip 4: Don’t Forget the Reward
Once your American Bully obeys a command to calm down, it’s essential to let the dog know you’re pleased. Pleasing you pleases the dog. Treats are an effective way to reward your dog, but even if you don’t have any Snausages handy, you can still tell the dog what a good boy he is.
Do not neglect to tell your American Bully when he has done something right. Rewarding the dog—even if it’s just with a smile and a scratch behind the ear—causes a “click” in his brain that says when I do this, I get this.
These basic training tips will help you get control of your American Bully not only during the crucial years of his physical development but throughout his entire life.
Disciplining Your American Bully
The American Bully is a smart dog, which you will find out as you train him. But just like humans, any dog can exhibit stubbornness with the rules from time to time. If one day your bully becomes reluctant to respond to commands, here are some pointers to remember:
- Do not repeat commands too many times
- Tone down your response when the dog craves too much attention
- Do not whip or beat the dog
As you first teach your bully to “sit” or “stay,” the results are likely to be mixed. This is because the dog is still learning what these words mean and, more importantly, still coming to terms with your authority.
If your bully doesn’t listen to a command, walk away for a few minutes, then try again. Repeated commands over an extended period—rather than just flogging the animal with the word no over and over—will develop the bully’s realization that you are in charge.
American Bullies are known for loving attention from their owners; when they want it, they most probably won’t stop until they get it. This means jumping in your lap or up on the bed to cuddle.
Bonding with your dog is great, but when you need him to act less clingy, it’s time to practice a bit of avoidance. I don’t mean to shove him off the bed or the couch like a grump. Instead, back away from the dog and give him some space. It will help him learn that jumping on humans—even when it’s just for affection—isn’t always appropriate.
Lastly, do avoid inflicting physical pain on your American Bully. You might think a quick slap on the butt is no big deal, but the dog may remember it for a long time and become fearful of you. We’re not shooting for fear—we’re shooting for respect.
Never Slack Off
If following the above tips has helped keep your American Bully from jumping on house guests and tearing up the furniture, I’m happy to have been of service. You’re on the right track to owning a well-behaved dog.
But just because your dog is being good today doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be good tomorrow.
As a result, you should maintain a high level of consistency in play, training, and feeding routines even after the results start pouring in. Stick to the training schedule you developed with your dog so he never begins to question your authority or feel like the rules have gotten looser.
Remember that grown American Bullies require lots of exercises—at least sixty minutes per day. Not providing them enough exercise will incur a certain restlessness that could lead you back to square one. When it comes to training, elephants may never forget. Bullies, on the other hand, could use some reminders!
American Bullies can take years to calm down. Proper training that brings them to heel is of the essence. Owning an American Bully is not like putting an airplane on auto-pilot; your dog needs lots of intervention and affection.
But don’t despair, as the rewards of owning a member of this protective, loyal breed are well worth the effort!
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