How To Train a Bull Terrier Puppy

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Bull Terriers are quite responsive to commands, and they love to please their masters. Therefore, they do respond well to the training sessions. And you won’t find it a hassle to train them. But you need to decide on the methods of approach.

It will help you commence with the training session in an ideal manner to make it actually work. Master the strategies you will need to train a Bull Terrier puppy, and you will be raising a disciplined dog. 

How To Train A Bull Terrier Puppy

Your Bull terrier should learn all-around life aspects. However, there are some basic lessons that they should first understand. Your dog should first learn not to bite and socialize freely with other dogs, pets, and even their human companions. 

If you have got a Bull Terrier puppy from any breeder, then wait for it to turn eight weeks. Please do not attempt to train the dog before eight weeks, as it will decline to respond to you. However, after two months or eight weeks, the period is the golden time to train your Bull Terrier puppy with the basic commands.

And to help you master the commands, this guide is here to assist you in learning how to train a Bull Terrier puppy. Follow till the end to get clarity about different methods of training your Bull Terrier. 

Studio portrait of a Bull Terrier

Method 1: Leash Training For Your Bull Terrier

Leash training is one of the easiest and effective training methods for your Bull Terriers. A Bull Terrier within the leash makes the people around it feel safe. And not just for other people, but a leash is a safety tool for your dog as well.

So, here are the steps for you to master leash training for your Bull Terrier:

Step 1: Introduce The Harness, Leash, Or Collar To The Dog

  1. First, you need to make your Bull Terrier wear the leash couple of times. 
  2. Keep it loose and let the dog wear it for a short span of time within the house. 
  3. You can make him wear the leash while you are playing with them in the house.
  4. It will let the Bull Terrier puppy realize that they are getting the treats with the collar on. And in a short time, your Bull Terrier will get used to the leash, harness, or collar. 

Step 2: Train The Terrier With A Cue

It is essential because when you head out to the park with the leash on your Bull Terrier, there are situations when your dog will pull the leash to break free. It is not intentional, but the conditions demand it. Therefore, it is crucial to train the terrier with a cue, to call them back to you, and release the tension on hands and leash.

Here are the sub-steps for it:

  1. Think of a cue sound such as a whistle or any word such as ‘food,’ ‘back,’ or others. 
  2. Take your dog to a place where there are fewer or no distractions. 
  3. Extend your arm with the leash and make the sound that you thought of. 
  4. Wait for your Bull Terrier puppy to respond to that sound, and when it does, give a treat immediately. 
  5. Repeat the process multiple times, and the dog will understand to head back towards you when you make this sound. It will help you control certain situations associated with leash pulling. 

Step 3: Guide Your Puppy To Come To You

  1. While you have the leash in your hands and the collar is on your Bull Terrier puppy, move a few steps back from where your dog is. 
  2. Wait until the dog decides to get to you, and when it comes near you, give a treat. 
  3. The training sessions should be short because all dogs have a very short span of attention. If you tire them more, their mind will exhaust, and they won’t respond. 

To understand the leash training properly, here is a video demonstration for you to check out. 

Bull Terrier

Method 2: Positive Reinforcement Training

Positive Reinforcement training is not for the dogs. But it is for the owners to learn and follow. If you tend to live with your Bull Terrier with utmost care and love, then they will eventually reciprocate that.

You need to shower love and concern over the dog at all times, even at its mistakes. In this way, the dog will develop love and respect for you! 

Your dog will be motivated to do the task correctly every time you handle them with love and understanding, instead of getting angry and punishing him. In fact, Bull Terriers are energetic dogs, and with ideal motivation, they will channelize more of their energy into performing the task.

In addition, they will develop that willingness to be by their master’s side and obey the commands, as they won’t have a fear of punishment. 

Positive reinforcement is a mode of training that involves important tips to consider before adopting any practical training measures. For instance, you cannot move ahead with leash training if you do not follow the positive reinforcement method! 

Points to keep in mind:

  1. Don’t use a harsh voice as it will frighten the dog. The terrier doesn’t know why you are yelling, and it might get scared!
  2. Keep treats, toys, and everything these dogs love as part of your positive reinforcement training. 
  3. Prefer to take them to places where they love to spend time. They will find themselves more familiar and comfortable around the place or with people they are acquainted with. 
  4. It would be best to educate yourself on how to define tasks to your Bull Terrier and be patient with your expectations for your dog to respond. Your command should be strong enough to make your Bull Terrier respond. Here is the link to a list of activities that you can plan out for your Bull Terrier. It will help you define the tasks more proficiently! 
  5. You must prefer to use a firm voice that explains to your dog about its mistake. If you can make the dog realize, then half the job is over! 
  6. When you take your Bull Terriers out for training sessions, you should let them make some decisions. Let them use their intelligence and thinking power to find a way out. For instance, if you find a pothole amidst the park with water in it, don’t just carry your puppy, but let it find its way out to cross the hole.
Bull terrier trying to drink from a water fountain

Positive Encouragement 

The positive encouragement method focuses mainly on shifting their energy and time to other activities. It helps them spend the stored energy that comes with idleness and sometimes causes excess aggression. The method involves the following steps;

  • Make Your Bull Terrier Workout: A Bull Terrier is a breed that needs a lot of exercises to stay fit and occupied. Always take them with you for walks and light runs every morning. Don’t forget to wear supportive workout clothes so you’re comfortable. You can help them release the pent-up energy by taking short sprints. The best way to engage your dog in short sprints is by throwing tennis balls for them to chase.
  • Involve Them in A Tug of War Game: Every day spare some of your free time to play the tug-of-war game with your Bull Terrier. It helps in a well-behaved pet and builds value in playing with you. At the end of every tug of war session, always give them a reason to want to come for more. You can end the sessions with occasional treats. 
  • Allow Them Their Own Time and Space: Bull Terriers are just like human beings. They need their own time to meditate and “think on their next moves.” Your puppy may sometimes feel exhausted and overwhelmed from long hours of constant activities. At this juncture, they tend to retreat to some corner or their crates; let them have these moments and engage them when ready.
  • Give Them Reward and Attention: When your dog learns to relate gentle play with rewards, they will appreciate the motivation by remaining calm and less aggressive.The dog could become aggressive to seek your attention. Always spare some time to give your Bull Terrier the necessary love and care. You could also use this moment to monitor their progress and health.

Method 3: Clicker Training For Bull Terrier

Clicker training is all about teaching your Bull Terrier the click sounds after completing the task you gave them. But you need to be alerted to press the button for that click immediately after completion of the task. 

Bull Terrier with a leash
  1. Get a clicker device from an online or offline store. They are cheap and will be handy in the entire training phase for your dog. 
  2. Attach it around your arms and not with the leash. It is because if your hand slips through the leash, at least you will have the clicker to call back your dog after you have trained them. 
  3. Go around the park and give tasks to your Bull Terrier. Wait for the dog to respond to your command, and when it does so, press the button over the clicker to let the terrier know that the task is done, and it is time for a treat. The activities can be simple as sitting, standing, sleeping, and other such basic ones. And you can increase the complexity by bringing a stick, hopping, jumping off the fence, and others. 
  4. A clicker can be an ideal training tool, not just for outdoor activities but also for behavioral training, leash wearing, and others. 

How To Train A Bull Terrier Not To Bite

It is possible to train the biting habit out of your Bull Terrier dog because they are always very receptive. You will only need to take them through a few lessons. The training requires you to direct their energy elsewhere and use the right incentive on them. 

Puppies are more comfortable to train and yield faster results than adult dogs. You will need up to a few months to get the behavior out of your full-grown terrier. It would be best to have a positive mind and a willingness to work with your student.

Bull Terrier puppies are generally more responsive and have more agility than adult Bull Terrier. With older dogs, the biting habit might have developed with age. There are two methods to train your dog not to bite. They include: 

  • Timed Sentencing 
  • Positive Encouragement 

Timed Sentencing 

Time sentencing involves imposing movement restrictions on your dog whenever they try to bite. It includes the following steps;

1. Respond Quickly

This is the first step towards ensuring that your Bull Terrier is not careless with its teeth. 

You should quickly respond the moment your Puppy bites or show the slightest signs of aggression. 

Pick them up and take them to a separate room or kennel. If the dog is so huge that you cannot grab them, lead them. 

Confine them there for about thirty minutes without any toys or any playing items. Say nothing on your way to the confinement room.

2. Release The Dog

When the thirty or so minutes collapse, release them from the confinement. Allow them to join you or to continue with their previous activity. Keep them calm and pretend that everything is ok; they should not feel worked up.

Two kinds of bull terriers

Remember to keep a close eye on them in case the biting behavior reappears.

3. Increase The Confinement Period

With utmost certainty, your dog will bite or try to bite again. Be on the lookout and wait for it to happen again. 

When that moment arrives, repeat steps one and two above. However, this time you should increase their time. Instead of thirty minutes, double the period to one hour. 

Add another thirty minutes every time they forget and show aggression. With time, they will understand why you’re punishing them, and they will learn not to bite.

4. Set Some Boundaries

Try to establish where your Bull Terrier derives their aggressiveness. There should be something or specific behaviors of people around them that triggers this biting habit. Identify the trigger points, and set boundaries. Judge their reaction to this new setup.

For example, if they get agitated when people react or handle them in specific ways, try to explain the point to the person responsible. Ensure that they do not provoke the dog, and provide enough peace of mind and space.

5. Encourage and Appreciate their Efforts 

Always show your dog some gratitude when they play calm or whenever they do something you like. You could use some verbal praise or an edible treat. The consistency in the punishments and complimentary appraisal will ultimately make them differentiate between wrong and right.

How To Train Your Bull Terrier To Be Social

You should not have any problem training a Bull Terrier puppy how to socialize. As said earlier Bull Terrier puppies are receptive, and you can shape their behavior around you, other dogs, and your guest very quickly. 

The real problem comes when you need to train an adult dog. It brings out the literal meaning of the phrase “teaching an old dog a new trick.” 

Some dog owners, for some reason, only known to them, do not socialize with their canines. When you buy or adopt these kinds of dogs, you will begin training them on basic life concepts. The discussion below will tell you how to socialize your Bull Terrier dog.

Take Your Bull Terrier for Frequent Walks

Regular walks will expose your canine to new environments. Here, the dog will encounter more diverse social situations, people, smells, and sites. It will also give you first-hand experience on how to hand your don in such cases. 

Your dog may come face to face with confrontations from other dogs and even people. Do not scold them when they become a disruption in such scenarios — change your direction to help them avoid the scene.

Training a bull terrier to stay still

Have Guests Over

Occasionally invite your friends and relatives over and host them in places where your Bull Terrier frequents. It could be your sitting room or backyard. Try to refrain your guests from approaching, overcrowding, and overwhelming the dog. Instead, your dog should be the one to approach the guests.

Your guest can show that they come in peace by giving them some treats. Having different people around your dog will make them understand that not everyone is hostile. They will also learn to mingle and socialize better.

Gradually Introduce Your Bull Terrier to Other Dogs

You could try to introduce your dog to a dog park. Try not to rush them into this as they could get scared and not want to return. In the initial stages, stand with your dog somewhere and watch other dogs play and mingle. 

If your dog becomes uneasy with this view, take them home and find another time to visit again. With time will begin to admire some of the other dogs and develop the urge to join the park.

Check Your Attitude Around Your Bull Terrier

Bull Terriers, like other dogs, are susceptible to people’s emotions. When your attitude and even emotions change, theirs will too.  

Try to manage your body language and tone whenever you are with the dog. And always help your canine companion manage their mood whenever they feel frightened or threatened. 

Seek Professional Help

It should be your last option when every approach has turned futile. It is only appropriate when your dog fails to respond to your teaching methods. You could consult a certified canine coach to determine the problem with your dog expertly

When socializing with an older Bull Terrier, be repetitive and consistent. Do not despair if your dog fails to learn or takes much longer to respond. Have patience, and with time they will become social and adorable canine companions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Right Way Of Punishing A Bull Terrier Puppy?

The right way to punish Bull Terriers or any other breed puppies is to be prompt, consistent, firm, and loving. Also, you should never give physical punishments to them or drag them with a leash, as it will scare them. Instead, be calm and peaceful when you guide them about their mistakes. 

Follow this article to know more about how to make your puppy disciplined, irrespective of the breed. 

What Are The Basic Commands That I Can Teach My Dog?

You must train your dog with basic commands:

  • Sit down
  • Stay
  • Come
  • Heel
  • Off, and
  • No

If you want your Bull Terrier to be an excellent canine dog, then they should respond to at least these seven commands of yours. 

Conclusion

Patience is a virtue! And with your puppy, you need to adapt this motivational slogan that you must have read in school. Bull Terriers are their master’s dog!

It means that they love their masters and would do anything to please them. Therefore, it is your responsibility to ensure that you show that patience towards your puppy to help them stay full of motivation to do better.

But, on the other hand, if you tend to provoke the terriers and object to them for everything, you will never be able to train them. So, follow the proper methods and steps to raise a Bull Terrier, full of discipline. 

You can also check out allpetslife.com for dog food reviews and training guides.