The American Bulldog is one of the most beloved dog breeds in America. A loyal, loving and goofy companion pet, these dogs can bring all the qualities you’d want in a family pet. These dogs respect an owner that is willing to demonstrate leadership and will be eager to please at every turn. If you are looking to bring a puppy into your family, and wondering are American Bulldogs high energy? Well..
Are American Bulldogs high energy? As a whole American Bulldogs are high energy and very strong, athletic dogs. They are natural born athletes and require a lot of physical exercise as well as mental stimulation to keep them happy. Learning to manage your high energy American Bulldog will be crucial.
If you are considering becoming a first time owner of an American Bulldog, it’s important to first assess if this breed is right for you. They require a lot of attention and it is important you are willing and capable to provide them with what they need to keep happy.
Are American Bulldogs High Energy?
The American Bulldog is a tenacious and high energy bully breed that is very family oriented. They are big goof balls that love to be active whenever they can. For you as the owner this means no days off. From puppies to well into their adult years the American Bulldog requires daily activity. This will both keep them happy, and prevent future bad behaviors.
They are a rough and tumble companion with seemingly endless energy. With proper exercise, training, socialization, and leadership, they are one of the best Bully breed dogs you could have. Your commitment to this breed needs to be strong and consistent to fully reap the rewards these wonderful dogs can bring to your home.
At What Age Do American Bulldogs Calm Down?
Regardless of the breed, puppies are always full of energy and life. The American Bulldog puppy is no exception. You will quickly learn that these little buggers are either napping or ready for nothing but playtime, all the time.
The American Bulldog will begin to calm down around the age of 4 years. Typically puppies will reach physical maturity around the 12-24 month mark, but their energy levels will persist for several more years. American Bulldogs are high energy in general, so your definition of “calm” down may need adjusting.
The American Bulldog puppy will reach its full height around the 12-14 months of age mark, and continue to fill out to their full weight around the 24 month mark. That leaves you with one big energetic puppy for another 2 years or so.
This early phase will be crucial to establish the proper training, and exercise routine. This will help to ensure your lovable, yet clumsy strong American Bulldog puppy is able to play well around the house, especially with children. They are loving family members, and great with kids. But it doesn’t take much to knock a toddler down when an over excited American Bulldog is around. Constant supervision around children is important with any breed.
Once the American Bulldog hits the age of around 4 years old, the initial high energy puppy begins to taper off. This doesn’t mean you are off the hook however. The American Bulldog is going to be a highly energetic dog well into their senior years. An American Bulldog calming down is a very relative term in this case.
How Much Exercise Do American Bulldogs Need?
The American Bulldog will need daily vigorous exercise for most of their adult lives. This entails an exercise routine consisting of about 2 hours worth of physical exercise, mental stimulation, and focused activities.
Because the American Bulldog is such a tenacious, athletic dog, they do not do well with just being let out in the yard to burn off some energy. These dogs require daily walks, challenges and games with their family members to keep them happy.
There are plenty of things you can do with your American Bulldog to meet these needs. They don’t have to all happen in a single 2 hour window. Depending on your schedule you can easily break their exercise routine into 2 sessions, and mix in other fun activities along the way.
How Long Should You Walk An American bulldog?
It is recommended that you walk an American Bulldog for at least one hour a day. A good steady paced walk while practicing leash manners and demonstrating pack leader behavior is optimal for your American Bulldog.
Early socialization of your American Bulldog is essential. Especially if you are ever going to visit a dog park or off leash trail. They are very prey driven animals as former hunting and working dogs and tend to not get along with other dogs if not socialized.
They are also prone to take chase of small animals such as squirrels or skunks when given the chance. Off leash trails can be an issue if their recall skills are not top notch.
American Bulldogs are highly intelligent dogs, and can be very easy to train. If you present yourself as the pack leader. They are very eager to please their owners when they know you are in charge. Walks can provide a great opportunity for adding mental stimulation through training exercises.
Introduce A Challenge To The High Energy American Bulldog
If you are looking to intensify your American Bulldog’s walks you might want to consider bringing them along different terrains. If you live nearby an area with a lot of hills, or sand, these spots can provide that added bit of resistance training to your dogs walk.
Weighted vests of backpacks can also add some extra challenge to a walk for your American Bulldog. They are working dogs, and can handle a small amount of weight being added to them. This not only adds to the physical activity, but also give the dog a job to perform, which is great mental stimulation for them.
Just be very careful with the amount of weight you add. Keep it to no more than 8%-10% of their body weight. There are plenty of great backpacks available on Amazon like the OneTigris Saddle Bag Rucksack
Are American Bulldogs Good For Running?
American Bulldogs are good for running, and can in fact make great running partners. This is a fantastic way to exercise your dog and keep them happy and healthy. Leash manners and strong leadership will again make a huge difference in the enjoyment of your runs.
If your American Bulldog is easily distracted by other dogs, people or sounds, or doesn’t see you as the pack leader, this can lead to not so fun runs. Having your dog running alongside you on a lead with no tension, matching your pace, is an ideal state to exercise with them.
Some American Bulldogs can have a shorter muzzle than others, which can lead to some breathing issues. It is important that while exercising your dog in a high intense matter like running, that you are monitoring them. It can be dangerous for a dog with breathing issues to over exercise and regulate themselves in the heat. Exercise with caution if you American Bulldog’s face is a bit more on the smushed in side than other dogs.
Mental Stimulation For American Bulldogs
Mental stimulation for your American Bulldog is just as important as the physical exercise. The highly intelligent American Bulldog loves a good challenge, or puzzle to work on. Working these into their daily routine is as important as their walk or run.
Working on obedience training should be one of your first go to exercises. These dogs love to learn, and will stand on their heads to please their owners. Adding a daily training regime that is fun and engaging for your dog will pay great dividends in their energy expenditure, and your relationship.
Things like puzzle feeders and Kongs are highly recommended for meal time as well. Instead of just setting down a bowl of food for your American Bulldog to devor, adding their meal to a Kong can give them an extra challenge. This can also help if your dog tends to be a really fast eater.
Hide and Seek style games that rely on your dog’s sense of smell to find a hidden treat, or toy can be a great game to keep that brain engaged. Hiding their favorite toy in the yard, or somewhere in the house where they are permitted can be great fun for the American Bulldog.
Working in a few added voice commands to the hide and seek game like “hot and cold” can add an extra layer of training and mental exercise. Get creative, your dog loves games, they love challenges, and they love to try and please you.
Intense And Fun Activities for American Bulldogs
American Bulldogs can excel in certain activities like agility. These types of exercise that incorporate both the physical exercise and mental stimulation are perfect for that high energy dog. If you don’t have access to a professional course, you can setup your own makeshift one in the yard if you like.
Nothing beats a good old fashioned game of tug-of-war. Your American Bulldog will love to engage in play with you while being able to demonstrate their strength.
Important rules of the game need to be established by practicing the “drop” or “release” command. Your dog needs to know when the game starts and stops as a general safety rule. Master those commands, and it’s game on!
Having a flirt pole handy can engage your American Bulldogs instinctual prey drive. This can give them an added challenge of chasing a variety of different toys you can attach. Ones like this durable flirt pole for large breeds would do the trick
A simple game of fetch with a ball, or frisbee is an excellent way to give your dog some exercise and give them a job to do. Added obedience training of returning the ball and dropping it at your feed will add extra mental stimulation to this activity.
Setting up a spring pole in your backyard gives your American Bulldog a chance to play tug-of-war with themselves. It can be a great energy burner. This activity should definitely be a supplementary activity and not a primary mood of physical exercise. You’ll need something strong to handle your American Bulldog’s strength and size. This Dibbatu Spring Pole is a perfect fit and available on Amazon
There are plenty of fun activities you can engage your American Bulldog with. Getting creative with your own variations can be half the fun.
Meeting these needs of your American Bulldog by giving them the physical exercise, mental stimulation, and mix of fun engaging activities will ensure a happy dog. American Bulldogs need these things. They crave these things, and by taking responsibility for giving them these things, your dog will love you for it.
Are American Bulldogs Destructive?
American Bulldogs are strong, courageous, and oftentimes stubborn dogs, but they are not known as particularly destructive dogs. No more than any other breed can be. When you notice an American Bulldog being destructive it is a sign that some of their basic needs are not being met.
We have already covered the high level of physical exercise and mental stimulation required for an American Bulldog. When these demands are not met, that is when destructive bad behaviors can surface.
American Bulldogs need an outlet for their high energy. When they are left bored, under stimulated, and potentially anxious they can become destructive. This can manifest in things such as excessive chew of things they are not supposed to chew, digging, and trying to escape the yard.
I feel like a broken record, but I will say it again. American Bulldogs need exercise and stimulation. Period. This will avoid 90% of bad behaviors that can happen.
Are American Bulldogs Chewers?
All dogs enjoy a good chew. Some breeds more than others. The American Bulldog is one of those breeds that is content to settle in with a good bone or chew toy. This is a perfectly natural behavior for dogs, and can be quite healthy for them, there are however bad forms of chewing that you can prevent.
Good chewing behavior for a dog is used as a means of entertainment and mental stimulation. Dogs explore and discover things orally a lot of the time, so chews with different tastes, textures, and smells are very appealing.
Teaching your dog what is theirs to chew and what isn’t should start at a very young age before you lose one too many pairs of sneakers.
Chewing is also a great way for your American Bulldog to keep their jaw muscles strong and healthy, while also removing plaque and tartar from their teeth. Various textured Nylabones can be a great chew toy for your dog.
American Bulldog puppies are especially big chewers when they are teething. The puppy will chew to self soothe and relieve some of the pain they are experiencing in those sore gums.
Making sure your American Bulldog puppy has the proper chew toys, and you have a puppy proofed home, is important. They will chew on anything and everything, so prevention is the best option.
Why Does My American Bulldog Chew So Much?
It is in a dogs instinct to chew, and a natural behavior you can encourage. This wolf instinct all dogs possess is how they would grind away at the bones of an animal to reach the extra nutrient dense bone marrow. It’s in their DNA to perform this activity.
Bad or undesired chewing behavior however can signal underlying issues with your American Bulldog. These can be destructive behaviors, obsessive behaviors, and somewhat odd behaviors, and you’ll need to determine why.
If your American Bulldog seems to chew and destroy anything it can find when you are away from home. This might be a sign of separation anxiety. Dogs use chewing as a self soothing technique when they are anxious or stressed.
Taking your American Bulldog for their walk before you know you are leaving the house can help prevent separation anxiety. A tired dog is a happy dog, and burning off some of that high energy can leave them in a better mental state.
This video from the famous Cesar Millan can offer a few tips on separation anxiety as well.
Diet And Allergies
Another bad chewing behavior is when your American Bulldog is not only chewing things they shouldn’t, but also eating them. This can be for a couple reasons. One you may have your American Bulldog on a calories restricted diet, and they are seeking nourishment elsewhere. Or two, they have an upset stomach and are trying to relieve the pain, or make themselves vomit.
If your dog is eating things they shouldn’t it is best you make sure they are getting enough calories in their diet and consulting with a vet about any potential stomach issues.
Chewing of the feet or base of the tail can indicate a potential allergy or parasite in your American Bulldog. Food allergies, contact allergies and atopy can cause a dog’s paws to become irritated and lead them to chew on them. Chewing the base of the tail can indicate fleas or mites have made a home on your dog.
Consult with your vet if your American Bulldog is chewing excessively at their feet and paws to determine the right course of action with parasite treatment, or allergy testing.
Keeping your American Bulldog happy is a matter of providing them with a loving home that dedicates time to their needs. A well exercised, mental stimulated, American Bulldog that is able to engage in fun games and activities with you, is a happy American Bulldog.
These dogs are amazing companions, and wish for nothing more than to spend time with you. Treat them right and you will all reap the rewards of an amazing life together.