How Do You Get a Stubborn Bull Terrier to Move?

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The Bull Terrier is a breed of dog in the terrier group originally bred by James Hinks. According to the Bull terrier club, these dog breed come in two colors: white and colored Bull terriers.

Considering that this dog breed was involved in work as a war dog in blood sports such as dog fighting and bull baiting, its stubborn fearless behavior still exists.

Although they are among the most expensive breeds sold by champion bloodlines, they come at a friendly cost if bought from reputable breeders. So, do you have a stubborn Bull Terrier that refuses to move? Are you looking for little help that can make your pet less difficult to deal with? If so, I have got your back.

How Do You Get a Stubborn Bull Terrier to Move?

This detailed guide clearly explains how to get a stubborn Bull Terrier to move. A Bull Terrier temperament, stubborn behavior might seem normal to some people, but it’s not. Also, it’s believed that being a smart dog is among the Bull terrier temperament.

But sometimes, this behavior can make it difficult for pet parents to deal with their Bull Terrier.

A white Bull Terrier puppy

If you need assistance when dealing with the stubborn Bull Terrier temperament, you will find this guide helpful.

Here are a few ways to get your stubborn Bull Terrier to move.

Command and Reward

Dogs can be difficult to work with because they don’t like listening to commands. But as a pet parent, it’s your responsibility to get your dog involved in behavior training sessions with positive reinforcement.

When you start behavior training from an early age, you will give enough time to your Bull Terrier to learn how to behave calmly. While training a Bull terrier puppy, try to come up with exercises that can make your pet feel confident. That’s because sometimes, a lack of confidence can also lead to stubbornness.

After a few training sessions, if your Bull terrier doesn’t get stubborn, you can reward it with its favorite treat or toy. Also, if the pet behaves stubbornly but calms down as soon as you catch it, you should reward it.

This way, you can make your pet believe that it is doing something nice by calming down. But if your Bull terrier does not calm down even after your command, do not give it any reward. Doing this will discourage its stubborn behavior.

Here’s a detailed video that shows how you can train your Bull Terrier to listen to your commands.

Meet Mikey, a lovable English Bull Terrier but stubborn

Take Your Pet to a Vet

If your Bull Terrier is not moving, you should take it to the vet. Sometimes dogs get hurt, and they don’t move because they are in pain and comforting themselves.

When you take your pet to a vet, and a certain health issue is diagnosed, make sure your pet gets immediate medical help.

Injuries and medical emergencies can make your Bull terrier anxious, and this can further result in not moving. But when the dogs get proper care and medications, they feel good. When taking your pet to a vet, choose a friendly one.

Motivate Your Pet

When convincing stubborn dogs to move, you need to motivate it. For this, you can even show your Bull terrier its favorite toy or take him to his favorite place. Sometimes, meeting new people can also work.

But if your pet does not get excited about meeting new people, you should try not to bring any new person or other dogs in front of it because a stubborn Bull terrier can quickly get irritated, and then they can cause harm.

You can even involve your Bull terrier in certain kinds of exercise that can make it get up from its place and run. Games like tug of war, catch or find a treasure are likely to distract him.

If you have time, you can even take your pet to a park where there are other animals or some other place where it can play and enjoy. It’s seen that dogs get energetic and feel happy when they come to a dog park.

A white Bull Terrier lying on tiles

Be Patient

When trying hard to make your stubborn Bull terrier move, don’t expect your tricks to show results quickly. You need to have patience. You must go slow. Creating a positive environment while making your stubborn Bull terrier move can be helpful.

Try not to become too pushy and let your pet take the lead whenever possible. That’s because when you become pushy, your dog might again get stubborn, and this will not be helpful.

Also, while moving, if your Bull terrier stops in between, do not get angry. Instead, you should praise it for the movement. This way, your pet will understand that it’s doing something nice by moving and will continue doing so whenever you ask it.

Although your pet will take time, it will eventually know how to calm down. However, if the dog develops excessive destructive behaviors such as biting items in the house, it might indicate a different problem, and you should seek help from a vet.

Be Consistent

Just like humans, dogs may get flustered, overwhelmed, and confused when they are learning something they have never done before. Your pet might act stubbornly because it is getting confused especially if you are a new owner. Sometimes, dogs don’t understand what their new owner is saying.

It can further lead to confusion and then to frustration and stubbornness. Dogs may sit or lay down if they are getting too confused and feel like they don’t understand what is going on.

So, try to use consistent commands, and once your pet starts understanding the commands, you should reward it. At this stage, do not make the commands too difficult to understand. That’s because then your pet might simply give up.

Reasons Why Bull Terriers Are Stubborn

What makes the Bull terrier breed stubborn is its strong personality. Most Bull Terriers are independent, and they don’t like taking commands.

You can, however, change your Bull terrier temperament and make it obedient by giving it regular training with positive reinforcement. Some of the reasons why your bull terrier might be stubborn to move commands include:

Personality Traits

According to the American Kennel club, the main reason why your pet might behave a little stubborn is that they are a cross between English White Terriers and Bulldogs. Both of these dogs are known to have intimidating and dominating personalities for hunting. As a result, these dogs inherited these strong hunting instincts.

Typically, these bull terrier temperament was necessary as the breed was developed to help in fighting and hunting vermin. However, these dogs hunting instincts come with strong territorial and protective instincts, just like the instincts in wild dogs.

This makes these dogs independent and very self-possessed, and will try to own the home and rule everyone and every pet. This dog breed can be hell-bent on something that it wants. That means you need to portray strong leadership traits to be able to command it.


Trancing, also known as weed walking or ghost walking, is when the dog walks gingerly and slowly under overhanging curtains, tablecloths, or foliage. The movement is in such a way that the overhanging object barely touches the back of the dog, making the dog look like it’s freezing.

Generally, it’s like the dog is trying to sneak up on prey, making slow-motion movements such that the footfalls are almost silent. As the name suggests, this movement makes the dog look like it’s in a trance. Although this odd behavior can happen to any dog breed, it’s more common in Bull Terriers.

Usually, this behavior makes many new Bull Terrier owners think that the dog is stubborn and unwilling to move. In most cases, a trancing Bull Terrier will react back when you give a command, even if by flicking the ear. If the dog is trancing, simply give it several minutes, and it will be back to its normal state.


With proper training, especially from an early age, Bull Terriers can be obedient dogs that are willing to follow commands. However, this doesn’t mean the protective and territorial instincts are gone. In most cases, the dog will obey you simply because it’s willing to please you.

White Bull Terrier standing near the pink flowers

Provocation from another pet or person can make the dog aggressive and overprotective. In such cases, the dog might be unwilling to move even if you give it the move command. For instance, the dog might bark and want to attack people or other dogs that seem to intrude on their home.

The adrenaline rush during this time makes the dog stubborn. The best way to deal with this aggression is to calm the dog by using treats to distract its advances rather than raising your voice and trying to give more commands.


Bull Terriers are affectionate dogs and will want to spend time with their owners. As a result, leaving the dog alone when going to job or running errands might cause stress due to loneliness, especially if you leave it confined indoors without play toys.

In most cases, the signs of separation anxiety are behavioral changes, such as sudden loss of interest. Keeping in mind that dogs tend to obey their owners due to the strong bonding, the loss of interest makes them stubborn.

You can tell your Bull Terrier is suffering from separation anxiety if the stubbornness is accompanied by a lack of appetite, excessive barking, or destructive behaviors such as biting furniture. If that is the case, try to recreate the bond by taking the dog for exercises and giving it treats.


The temperament and personality traits of your Bull Terrier mainly depend on where you adopt it from. Different breeders and rescue centers offer different levels of training and can affect the obedience of the Bull Terrier in the following ways.

  • Breeders: Since they deal with Bull Terriers only, puppies from a reputable breeder have minimal chances of getting bad behaviors from other breeds. Also, breeders that specialize in breeding Bull Terriers have better skills in training and handling them, making Bull Terriers from breeders more obedient than those from rescue centers.
  • General animal shelters: General animal shelters are rescue centers for different dog breeds that have been abandoned due to disasters or sicknesses. Since general animal shelters host different dog breeds, dogs from these centers might have copied bad behaviors from other breeds, making them stubborn.
  • Bull Terrier rescues: These are animal shelters that specialize in Bull Terriers. Although the dogs from these centers might not copy bad behaviors from other dogs, most have suffered traumatic experiences during their time of abandonment, increasing the chances of stubbornness.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How to Train a Bull Terrier to Walk On a Leash?

If you want to train your Bull Terrier to walk on a leash, you must let your dog be free and then drag his leash behind him. After doing this for a couple of days, you can then pick up the leash and lure your pup into wearing the leash by offering it a treat.

Do Bull Terriers Like to Walk?

Bull Terrier belongs to an energetic breed that needs daily exercise to stay in shape. So, like other terrier if you don’t take your Bull Terrier on daily walks or do not let it exercise daily, your dog might break things or bark continuously to channel its unused energy.

Why Are Bull Terriers Hard to Train?

Some people find training these dogs hard because this breed has an independent nature that is not common in other dog breeds. That means it does not blindly follow all the given commands. But if you are an experienced owner, you might not face any difficulty in training your dogs.

How to Calm Down a Bull Terrier?

If your dog breed is behaving aggressively, you should not give it any attention. Neither should you appreciate or discourage your pet. You should simply leave the room and walk away. This trick will make your pet into believing that you are not happy with its behavior.


A study suggests that Bull Terrier temperament is different from other animals. That’s because it is one of the most stubborn dog breeds. But this does not mean that you can’t train this breed.

If given proper training from an early age, Bull Terriers can become happy family dogs in humane society.