Training Tips For Your American Bulldog
The American Bulldog is known for its muscular build and great strength.
They are a very confident breed and tend towards great tenacity and determination.
They are, however, a breed that can also be predisposed towards aggression and destructive behavior if they are not given the proper attention and training that they need.
Despite being very strong-willed, an American Bulldog can be trained to socialize appropriately and respect an owner who is willing to display a matching level of confidence as well as the loving and consistent structure and training.
There are many different factors to take into account when considering an American Bulldog as a companion.
Dogs of this breed do best with owners who are active and maintain an interest in developing their athletic natures and abilities as well as their talents for techniques such as running, hunting, weight pulling, agility, and obedience.
American Bulldogs can be very loyal to their owners and they love to interact. If left alone too often they can develop destructive behaviors.
They also require very careful socialization to ensure that they know how to recognize and interact with friends and friendly strangers (or other animals) and also to recognize unnatural and threatening behavior in people (and other animals) that they come into contact with.
Proper socialization teaches them to recognize ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’ and to respond appropriately in each situation.
This breed is strong-willed and requires consistency and structure in their training. When given these things, an American Bulldog is quick to learn.
It is also important to consider the prejudice that is held by the media and public towards any breed that resembles a pit bull.
It is important for the owner of an American Bulldog to be prepared to be consistent in taking needed measures to ensure avoiding legal liabilities such as insurance problems, public perception, the higher possibility of lawsuits and even the future banning of this breed.
Other physical factors to consider are the amount of slobbering and drooling, gassiness and future serious health problems that you, as owner, want to deal with.
American Bulldogs are prone to all three of these issues. Proper diet can aid in lessening flatulence and proper and consistency checkups, can help you keep your bulldog in optimal health as much as is in your power to do so.
However, hip and joint problems are exceedingly common in the American Bulldog breed, possibly due to breeders being lax about x-raying their stocks to check for problems before breeding them.
These dogs are also not hypoallergenic. Despite the short sleek coat of hair, they shed a surprising amount and their lost hair can be difficult to get off of fabrics in general.
Should you choose to adopt a puppy of this breed, it is important to keep in mind their energetic and tenacious dispositions. Teaching at least basic obedience is vital to their socialization as well as your mental and physical well being.
Due to their stubborn nature, training your American Bulldog can be frustrating and exhausting at times. The effort, however, is well worth it. The following are several tips on how to effectively train your American Bulldog.
The American Bulldog is a fun loving and playful pup. Utilize that inherent playfulness to conduct what is referred to as ‘play training’.
Make the tasks that you are teaching into fun energetic games to keep your pup engaged and enjoying their lessons.
This is also effective in forming a tight bond of camaraderie between you and your new companion and will help to establish their love and loyalty towards you.
There is no better way to keep your dog at his happiest than to engage with him in his favorite activities. There are many helpful books and articles that can be found on the topic of play training to aid you in your endeavors.
Show Them Who Is Boss:
One of the best ways to assert your dominance and easily teach your pup that you are their master is to make sure that they do not eat before you do.
This is considerably more important if you choose to share your food with your puppy. Eat what you want first, and then share your leftovers with him.
Allowing him to eat simultaneously with you can lead to him thinking that your food is as much his as yours and can increase the possibility of your pup developing the habit of taking food right from your plate – or anyone else’s – whenever he wants it.
Another effective way to teach and ensure your ‘top dog’ status is to lower yourself to ground level when playing. This highlights the fact that when you are standing for training, you retain the dominant role.
Simple tasks such as giving a paw, rolling over on command and kissing your hand are good starting lessons to make sure that your new pup understands you are the master and in charge.
Keep Lessons Short:
Young American Bulldogs tend to have short attention spans. A very effective method for teaching is to keep your lessons short.
A series of 10-15 minute training sessions over the course of an hour or two with breaks in between is going to prove much more effective than longer training sessions.
Remember that training your dog is much like teaching a small child. Keep your lessons, short, lively and fun.
Another important technique is to assign one specific command word or phrase to each command. Varying your words for the same command can serve to confuse your dog.
When your dog has succeeded in performing your command, also be sure to praise them consistently. Using positive reinforcement can be a very effective training method.
Many experts will suggest that using a handheld tool called a clicker is much more effective during positive reinforcement training because it ensures that your dog hears the exact same sound each time they succeed in following a command appropriately and that helps them to more easily identify the correct behavior.
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