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If you have recently adopted an American Bully or thinking of adopting one, the first question you should ask yourself is, do American Bullies bite?
To keep your expectations realistic, you have to know that all dogs bite, whether they are puppies or adults.
American Bullies do occasionally bite, just like any other dog breed. But American bullies are not an aggressive breed by nature and will not bite without reason. With consistent training, you can easily teach them to use their mouths softly and not hurt others with their biting.
Don’t worry; there are multiple ways to train your dog not to bite hard enough to hurt you or others. Keep reading to learn more about why American Bullies bite and how to train them to have better bite inhibition.
Do American Bullies Bite?
American Bullies do bite. However, they will not bite without reason, as they’re not an aggressive breed by nature. Their tendency to bite will depend on various factors related to their age, health, training, and overall living conditions.
Dog biting is a very common and natural behavior among all dog breeds, not just American Bullies. Every dog owner has to deal with their dog’s biting habits early on. Luckily, there are several tried and true methods to train your dog to be softer and stop biting.
Do American Bullies Bite A Lot?
American Bullies bite as much as any other dog. It’s not considered to be excessive for the average dog. Whenever they do bite, they probably have a reason that you need to understand before you teach them not to bite as hard.
How Strong Is An American Bully’s Bite?
Considering that the Pit Bull has a bite force of 235 PSI (pressure per inch), which is considered pretty average for dogs, and the American Bulldog has a bite force of 305 PSI, which is a bit stronger than the Pit Bull.
Both breeds are similar to the American Bully, so we can assume that American Bullies have a bite force of 200 to 300 PSI.
This makes their bite range from average to strong. All dogs have sharp teeth, which means you can still get hurt if you don’t train your American Bully to control its bites.
Do American Bullies’ Bites Hurt?
American Bullies’ bites do hurt if they exert too much force. But with proper bite inhibition training, they can be taught to bite softly without breaking the skin and recognize when it’s not acceptable to bite at all.
Why Do American Bullies Bite?
In order to start training your American Bully to control the power of their biting, you need to understand why dogs bite in the first place. Whether your dog is a small puppy or a full-fledged adult, dogs rarely bite for no reason.
So let’s break down some of the reasons why your American Bully might be biting you.
They’re soothing their gums
When small puppies are in the teething process, their gums hurt a lot. In this case, they will probably resolve to bite anything they can get their little paws on.
Exerting pressure with their jaws helps them relieve some of the pain. That’s why we need to teach them to do it safely instead of telling them to stop. You can also get them a chew toy that helps them relieve the pain.
My quick recommendation is Aipper Dog Puppy Toys on Amazon, as they give your dog a gum massage and relieve their stress.
American bullies can also resolve biting if they feel scared. Even though some dogs might look strong or a bit aggressive, they still get scared in new environments and situations.
American bullies can use biting as a way to channel their emotions or protect themselves when they feel threatened.
American Bullies, like most dogs, have excellent hearing and a good sense of space. This means on the rare occasion of them getting startled, they might react hard, and that reaction can very well be biting.
Dogs can get startled easily when they hear loud noises such as fireworks or thunder. Also, if you wake them up too quickly or if they are old.
They’re protecting something
A very expected use of biting is when your American Bully is feeling protective over something or someone.
If the dog feels threatened or like someone is trying to take away their belongings, such as toys, treats, or sometimes even their favorite human, they might use their best weapon, aka their teeth, to protect what belongs to them.
They’re in pain
Even if your American Bully is no longer a puppy and therefore is definitely not teething, they might still have some teeth pains.
In addition, when your dog is in pain or injured, it might resort to biting out of frustration. In this case, their increased mouthing activity can be a good sign for you to check for injuries.
They’re just playing
If none of the above reasons apply to your American Bully, they might be just playing with you. Nibbling is a common playing technique among dogs.
They usually do it affectionately, but they need some training to be able to control the strength of their bite, so they won’t to hurt you or their playing buddies.
How to Train Your American Bully Not to Bite?
Before we start, let’s agree that the expected result of this training is not for your American Bully never to bite again but for them to be able to control the strength of their bite and to recognize when it’s acceptable and not acceptable to bite others.
As we have already established, biting can be a useful way for you to read the emotions and feelings of your dog and to recognize its pain if it’s not visible enough. So, we don’t want them to stop; we just want them to have more control.
According to the American Kennel Club, bite inhibition is when a dog learns to control the intensity of its bite. Through a series of consistent training methods, your American Bully can learn bite inhibition.
5 Tips to Teach Your American Bully Bite Inhibition
- Verbally express your discomfort. Every time your dog bites you too hard, you need to loudly yelp and step away from playing.
- Even if the bite doesn’t actually hurt enough for you to yelp or scream, the sound of discomfort you emit will help your dog understand that their bite was too hard and not acceptable.
- Use positive encouragement. When your dog gets too excited during play and starts to nibble too hard or bite, you need to stop playing and ask them to leave it immediately.
- The moment they stop, use this time to give them a treat for listening to you. American bullies are smart, and with consistency, they will understand that the treat is a reward for listening.
- Keep toys nearby. Throughout the day, your American Bully will need to exert their biting energy on something.
- If you don’t want it to be you or a precious belonging, then you need to provide them with some chew toys they can safely nibble on. Check out this guide for the best chew toys for your Bully.
- Everyone in the household needs to take part. If you live with other people, family, or roommates, then everyone in your household needs to take part in bite inhibition training.
- Consistency is key for the training to succeed, and if your dog is getting mixed signals about what’s acceptable and what’s not, then training will never stick.
- Never punish your dog. Punishing your American Bully for biting is like punishing a child for crying.
- They might stop doing it right now, but they will not understand why you want them to stop, so they will eventually do it again.
- It’s an easy and quick fix, but it doesn’t work in the long run and can very easily backfire. You can learn how to discipline your dog correctly here.
What to Do When Your American Bully Doesn’t Stop Biting?
If you have been going through bite inhibition training for a while, but your dog still bites too hard, maybe you can try some extra exercise.
Normally puppies will learn bite inhibition from their mom and siblings. If they bite their siblings too hard while playing, their mom stops the games and removes them from the group, and with time they learn.
So maybe what your puppy needs is to meet other puppies. Take them to a dog park or organize a supervised playdate with other puppies to help them socialize and learn to control themselves better.
This is not recommended for adult dogs because it might lead to aggressive fighting and injuries when your dog isn’t trained well enough.
Burn off excessive energy
Sometimes your Bully might just be too energetic, and in this case, you need to provide them with safer ways to exert this energy.
For example, take your dog on long walks or to dog obstacle courses. You can gradually increase their exercise time, so they don’t get tired quickly or injured from doing too much too fast.
This method is more suitable for adult dogs than small puppies because puppies can be weaker, and too much exercise might hurt them instead of helping them.
Seek professional training
This can be your last resort if you don’t feel like house training is working for you or your dog. There are many dog trainers out there who can help your dog learn bite inhibition with professional and safe methods.
Don’t feel bad if you can’t do it yourself. Not everyone can have the patience to go through the training, and all dogs do not have the same temperament.
My Top Picks for American Bullies!
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