Are American Bullies Smart? Quick Tips On How to Make Them Smarter

American bullies have great muscular bodies along with good temperaments. They are considered one of the best companion dogs, but are American Bullies smart and easy to train? 

American Bullies are smart. They might not be the smartest compared to other dog breeds, but they are eager to please their owners, which makes them easy to train. They will learn to behave well and follow different commands with enough training. 

Continue reading the article to learn more about how smart American Bullies are and how to make them even smarter.

Are American Bullies Smart? And How Smart Are They?

a photo of two American Bullies to show are American Bullies smart

American bullies are considered within the average range when it comes to intelligence. They are not the smartest dog breed out there, but they’re still much smarter than you think.

It can be difficult to precisely measure how smart a dog is as there’s no specific indicator or test. It’s something that is observed throughout the dog’s training. 

However, there are criteria that measure the intelligence of some dog breeds, developed by Stanley Coren, a renowned canine psychologist.

The criteria include the following:

  • How many times needed to repeat the command to the dog until he understands it.
  • How correctly the dog follows the command after learning it for the first time.

Unfortunately, Stanley Coren’s testing methods have not been applied to American Bullies. However, they have been applied to other Pit Bull breeds, which are the American Staffordshire Terrier and Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

So, we can somewhat conclude the level of intelligence of American Bullies based on the results of the other Pit Bull breeds:

  • American Staffordshire Terriers proved that they need 15 to 25 repetitions to learn a new command, and the success of their first attempt to do this command is 70%.
  • Meanwhile, Staffordshire Bull Terriers proved that they needed 25 to 50 repetitions to learn a new command, and the success of their first attempt to do this command was more than 50%. 

The results of both breeds put them at an average level of intelligence compared to other dog breeds. Therefore, American Bullies are also in the same range of intelligence.

Which Dog Breeds Are the Smartest?

The smartest dog breeds are Border Collies, Poodles, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Dobermans, Shetland Sheepdogs, Labrador Retrievers, Papillons, and Rottweilers. These dogs were evaluated and ranked according to a study by Stanley Coren.

Pit Bulls are also considered quite smart, but they are not among the top smartest breeds.

Are American Bullies Hard to Train? 

American Bullies are easy to train. Even though they are not the smartest, they have the desire and willingness to follow their owner’s words and commands, and they like to be told what to do. 

They will be very obedient and well-behaved. They will also be able to learn new commands quickly as well as remember old commands.

According to many American Bully owners, there aren’t many challenges when it comes to training American Bullies because of how smart, obedient, intuitive, and responsive they are.

When Should You Start Training Your American Bully?

You should start training your American Bully as soon as you get it home after adoption. Starting the dog’s training early on in its life will make the training process a lot easier.

That is because when dogs are still at puppy age, they can learn faster. It’s also easier to manage their behavior to ensure they wouldn’t develop any destructive or aggressive behavior as they grow older.

Keep in mind that skipping training sessions at any age will hinder the dog’s progress and might cause problems with the dog’s behavior. So, it’s important to remain consistent with the training process once you start it.

How to Train Your American Bully?

To train your American Bully, you need to start teaching it the basics of obedience commands such as “come,” “sit,” “go,” “jump,” “stop,”…etc.

Another important aspect of the dog’s training is teaching which behaviors are good and which are bad using the positive reinforcement method. You also need to train the dog to walk on a leash without pulling so it wouldn’t cause trouble when you go out on a walk. 

Make sure to dedicate certain times every day just to training your dog, be persistent, and use positive reinforcement to make the dog motivated and happy at the time of training. 

It’s recommended to make the training sessions about 15-20 minutes and to have at least 2 training sessions every day. Avoid skipping training sessions, as this could hinder the progress that you made.

Also, avoid rushing the training phase. Timing is everything. Be patient and give your American Bully enough time to understand every command so that it can retain all the information.

How to Make Your American Bully Smarter? 

American Bullies are smart, but you might want to make your dog even smarter. So, here are some tips you can follow to make your American Bully smarter:

  • Always try to teach them new commands.
  • Expose them to new things and different situations, so they can learn to be more adaptable.
  • Put appropriate time intervals between every new command so they have enough time to understand each one.
  • Expose them to new people and make them socialize. American Bullies are very affectionate, friendly dogs that love being around people and bonding with them. 
  • Don’t rush things; be patient and give them time to understand what you need from them fully. Once they get it, they will do it for you with love and passion.
  • Make them exercise daily by taking them on a walk or swimming. It’s vital for the dog’s mental and physical health.
  • Do various activities with the dog to keep them stimulated most of the time.

Stimulating Activities to Do with Your American Bully

Here are some stimulating activities you can do with your American that will help make it smarter.


Plating fetch with your American Bully will provide it with physical and mental exercise. All you need to do is toss a ball or a toy in any direction, then command your dog to retrieve it, and you can play indoors or outdoors.

Obstacle Courses

Obstacle courses will also provide your American Bully with physical and mental exercise.  You can easily make an obstacle course using household objects such as pillows and chairs. You can also purchase an obstacle course kit online, which will include various plastic hurdles.

I recommend this obstacle course kit here on Amazon, which comes with different kinds of hurdles that the dog can go through.

Treat Hunting 

Making your American Bully look for treats will exercise its sense of smell. All you need to do is hide some treats in different locations, then make the dog look for them by sniffing them. You can hide the treats indoors or outdoors.

Puzzle Toys 

There’s a wide variety of puzzle toys on the market that will help exercise your American Bully’s cognitive skills, improve its memory, and make it stay focused. Make sure to choose a puzzle toy that’s suitable for your dog and change the toy every now and then so the dog won’t get bored.

My recommendation for a puzzle toy (and my dog’s favorite) is the Nina Ottosson toy from Outward Hound because as your dog searches and smells out the yummy rewards, it will remain focused and mentally challenged thanks to the puzzle’s additional hurdles and steps.

My Top Picks for American Bullies!

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