While Bull Terriers might look a little intimidating at first sight, they’re actually amiable, gentle dogs. Nevertheless, they could be agile and cause a lot of trouble if not checked. That is why we prepared this guide to help you learn how to train a Bull Terrier.
How To Train A Bull Terrier
Your Bull terrier should learn all-round 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.
This guide is, therefore, going to center around two kinds of training for your Bull Terrier:
- Training not to bite or be aggressive
- Training to be social around humans and other pets
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 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
Time sentencing involves imposing movement restrictions on your dog whenever they tries to bite. It includes the following steps;
- Respond Quickly
This is the first step towards ensuring that your Bull Terrier is not careless with their 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.
- 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.
Remember to keep a close eye on them in case the biting behavior reappears.
- 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.
- 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 set up.
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.
- 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 edible treat. The consistency in the punishments and complimentary appraisal will ultimately make them differentiate between wrong and right.
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 exercise 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 for 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 on 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.
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 new trick.”
Some dog owners, for some reason, only known to them, do not socialize their canine. 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.
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 back yard. 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. At 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 an older Bull Terrier, be repetitive and consistent. Do not despair if your dog fails to learn or take much longer to respond. Have patience, and with time they will become social and adorable canine companions.
When dogs get out of control, sometimes they could cause severe injuries to defenseless victims like children. A dog attack could attract hefty penalties to the owner – and you don’t want this to happen to you. Therefore, take your time and resources to make sure that your dog is well behaved, it could be easier than you think.