Are American Bullies Stubborn? Transform Behavior with Proven Tips!

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Everyone who has owned an American Bully knows that they are a loving and loyal dog breed. However, there is another side to this story as well i.e. these affectionate and clingy dogs can be stubborn.

Are American Bullies stubborn?

Yes, American Bullies can be stubborn sometimes. This stubbornness can make it slightly difficult to train them, especially for newbie owners. To prevent your bully from developing stubborn tendencies, it is important to train them consistently and patiently while being a confident leader.

If your American Bully is quite stubborn and you are confused about what to do, don’t worry; you have landed at the right place.

In this article, I will cover everything about this topic, from knowing the signs of stubbornness in your dog to how you can control their stubborn behavior and more.

So, without wasting any time, let’s get started!

Signs To Know If Your American Bully is Stubborn

american bully in the forest

Refusing commands

If your American Bully keeps ignoring what you tell them, it means they might be stubborn. 

You might see them not looking at you on purpose or paying extra attention to something else to avoid doing what you ask.

They might hear you but decide not to do it, even if they give a quick look or twitch their ears.

It’s important to understand that this doesn’t always mean they’re being rebellious or resistant. It could be because they haven’t been trained well or they’re confused about what you want. 

As the owner, check if you’ve clearly told them what you expect. Being patient and consistent is really important in dealing with this behavior.

Resistance to leash or collar

If your American Bully doesn’t cooperate with a leash or collar, it’s a clear sign of their stubborn nature. 

You’ll see this when they freeze in place, refusing to move even if you try to encourage them. They might also try to pull back, attempting to slip out of their collar or harness to break free.

It’s not just that they don’t like being restrained; it’s more of a challenge of wills. Your Bully is testing your authority by resisting. Instead of seeing it as outright defiance, consider it a signal that they may not be well-trained or comfortable with the restraint.

Selective Listening

Another clear-cut sign that your bully is showing stubborn behavior is “selective listening.” It means they choose to obey certain commands and will ignore others.

This behavior becomes clear when they only respond to cues that catch their interest or directly benefit them.

If you notice your American Bully consistently ignores commands like ‘sit’ or ‘stay’ but pays attention when they hear the sound of a treat bag, that’s an example of selective listening.

It might look like they’re being intentionally disobedient. However, it’s more likely that they are just thinking about what they want to do.

To help with this, it’s important to consistently reward them when they do follow your commands. This way, listening to you becomes something they always want to do because it benefits them.

Testing Boundaries

Dealing with American Bullies can sometimes be challenging because they may test your patience and push boundaries. 

They often show stubbornness by consistently ignoring rules or commands they used to follow without any problems. 

When your Bully starts acting up, it’s not just them being randomly defiant. It’s a deliberate test to see how you’ll respond.

You might see them refusing to come when called or sneaking food from the counter even though they know it’s not allowed. This behavior is a sign that they’re trying to establish dominance or control over a situation.

Difficult to train

To understand your American Bully, it’s important to notice when they go from being cooperative to stubborn due to their independent nature.

There are clear signs to watch for like them refusing to follow commands they usually know well or losing interest in activities they usually love.

For instance, if your Bully suddenly ignores signals for a walk or playtime, activities they usually get excited about, that’s a warning sign. 

They might also show stubbornness by resisting when you try to guide them in a different direction or persistently doing things their own way despite your instructions.

5 Reasons Why Your American Bullies Are Stubborn

women angry on his american bully


American Bullies are often seen as stubborn because they have a strong-willed and determined nature ingrained in their breed. 

This trait has both good and challenging aspects. On the positive side, it makes them loyal and protective companions. However, if not trained or socialized properly, it can also lead to stubborn behavior.

Their stubbornness doesn’t mean they can’t be trained. With consistent, positive reinforcement, you can teach American Bullies to use their determination in a positive way.

Lack of consistent training

Another reason your American Bully may be becoming more stubborn is inconsistent training.

If you don’t provide clear and consistent training for your American Bully, their natural tendency to be stubborn can get worse. It’s important to establish a routine that taps into their intelligence and desire to please.

When you’re not consistent with commands or expectations, your Bully might get confused about what you want, leading to what seems like stubborn behavior. 

They are smart dogs, and without clear guidance, they won’t understand how you expect them to behave.

As an owner, take an analytical approach, identify the behaviours you want to correct, and apply training methods correctly and consistently.

Insufficient socialization

If you have an American Bully, it’s important to help them get used to different people, animals, and situations when they’re young. If you don’t, they might become shy or not listen well in new places.

If your Bully doesn’t interact with others early on, they might feel insecure or scared, and this can make them seem stubborn. It’s not that they’re trying to be difficult; they’re just dealing with their fear in their own way.

So, to make sure your Bully grows up to be friendly and easy to manage, make sure they meet lots of different people and animals when they’re young. This helps them feel more confident and comfortable in various situations, and it reduces the chances of them behaving stubbornly.

Genetic predisposition

Some American Bullies can be stubborn, and this might be because of their genes. They have certain traits, like being determined and assertive, that can make training harder if not done right. American Bullies were bred to have specific qualities. 

While these traits can be good in some situations, they might lead to stubborn behavior during training. When you’re training an American Bully, it’s important to know that their genes play a role. Being patient and using positive reinforcement can help lessen their stubbornness, making it easier to have a well-behaved and responsive companion.

Inconsistent or unclear leadership

If your American Bully seems stubborn, it could be because they’re not getting consistent and clear guidance from you, their owner. 

Dogs, like kids, need consistency to understand what’s expected. If you’re not clear with commands or rules, your Bully might seem stubborn, but they’re just confused.

You’re the leader in their eyes, so it’s important to be clear and confident in your instructions. This helps avoid confusion and builds a better relationship with your American Bully.

Effective Tips To Handle American Bully’s Stubbornness

puppy wearing harness

Firm leadership

It is important to establish yourself as an alpha leader of your American bully so that they respect you and listen to you.

You should show a strong and unwavering stance to establish yourself as the leader of the pack.

It’s important to be in charge without using intimidation, understanding that respect goes both ways. Train your dog with a mix of patience and assertiveness.

When you give a command, do it confidently. If your Bully tries to push boundaries, stay calm but firm. The goal is not to dominate but to guide with a steady hand.

This approach not only helps reduce stubborn behavior but also builds a trusting and respectful relationship between you and your furry friend.

Consistent training

To tackle the stubbornness in American Bullies, use consistent training that builds respect and understanding between you and your dog.

Stick to clear rules without changing them. If you’re inconsistent, your Bully might become more stubborn.

Analyze your Bully’s behavior and adjust your approach accordingly. Be a calm and assertive leader, understanding your dog’s needs. Patience is crucial, as progress might take time.

Positive reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a great way to teach any dog and can be very helpful in managing stubborn behavior as well.

Positive reinforcement simply means rewarding good behavior with treats, praise, or playtime.

For example, if you want your dog to sit whenever you say the command “sit,” make sure to give the command and do not praise them or give them treats until they sit. By doing this over time, they will understand that whenever they sit down on command, they receive treats or praise.

Applying this method can help you teach your dog pretty much anything.

Positive reinforcement helps communicate clearly, reducing confusion and building trust. Always reward good behavior promptly to create a clear connection between the action and the reward.

Once again, consistency is the key. Keep rewarding good behavior and avoid mixed signals.

Clear commands

A mistake some owners make is not giving clear commands and changing them too much, confusing their dogs.

To avoid this, be clear and consistent with your instructions. When you use clear and steady commands, you’re telling your dog exactly what you want.

Use simple language and consistent gestures to support your words.

This clarity helps your dog understand better, reducing their uncertainty and making them more willing to follow your instructions.


To help your American Bully behave better, it’s important to start socializing them early and keep it consistent.

This means introducing them to all types of different people, animals, and places so they learn to adapt and obey commands.

By socializing, you’re equipping them with the skills to handle new situations with confidence rather than resistance.

Take it slow and make sure the experiences are positive. Use praise and treats when they behave well to reinforce good behavior.

This approach reinforces good behavior and lowers the chances of your Bully acting stubborn when faced with something new.

Remember, socialization is an ongoing process, not a one-time thing. With patience and these techniques, you can manage your American Bully’s stubborn behavior and encourage them to be more cooperative.

Routine and structure

To help your American Bully behave better, create a consistent routine for their daily activities like meals, walks, playtime, and training. Dogs, like humans, feel more comfortable when they know what to expect.

This routine helps them understand what is expected of them, reducing stubbornness and uncertainty. Stick to the schedule consistently, as this reinforces good behavior and reduces willfulness.

Remember to be patient and introduce changes gradually if needed to maintain stability.

Your leadership and commitment to a routine are essential for guiding your American Bully to become a well-behaved and disciplined companion.

When Should You Consult Professional Help for Stubborn Dogs?

If your American Bully keeps being stubborn, even with regular training, it’s a good idea to talk to a dog expert or professional trainer.

Getting help doesn’t mean you’ve failed; it’s a smart way to make sure your pet is doing well and that your training is effective.

These pros can see things you might not notice and suggest solutions that fit your Bully’s personality. They know a lot about dog behavior and have special methods.

Asking for help isn’t just about fixing stubbornness; it’s about making your bond with your American Bully even stronger. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice; it could make your dog a happier and more cooperative buddy.

Final Thought

Understanding your American Bully’s stubborn streak is key to developing a strong, harmonious relationship.

Remember, their stubbornness often stems from a desire for independence or misunderstanding your commands.

Tackle it with patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. If your efforts aren’t making headway, don’t hesitate to consult a professional trainer.

Your dedication and the right support can turn stubbornness into cooperation.

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