Just over 2 months ago I brought home my Pocket American Bully puppy Chester. He is my favorite little dude and we have been busy the past 10 weeks to say the least. I had a game plan for training my Pocket Bully from day one that I have consistently used, and things are going great.
How do you train a Pocket American Bully puppy? There are several principles to follow when training a Pocket Bully puppy. Consistency, positive reinforcement, stimulating activities, and calm, yet firm commands. Pocket Bullies respond well to routine, positive praise, and challenges in training.
My plan from day one with my new Pocket American Bully was to stick to the principles I have used with training for years. Develop a consistent routine and remain positive at all times. Even on those days when things can get frustrating.
If you are wanting to know how you train a Pocket American Bully puppy this post is for you. I will cover the 10 principles I use to raise my Pocket Bully Chester to be a well balanced and eager learner. Let’s dig in.
How Do You Train A Pocket American Bully Puppy?
As a general rule training a Pocket American Bully puppy comes down to a set of basic principles. The length of sessions, consistency of training, positive approach, variety of activities, social interactions and general care of your puppy are important components.
I have used the following set of 10 principles in my training of my now 10 year old Staffy, and have begun using them with my Pocket Bully puppy. I have had tremendous success with both dogs and I believe any dog owner will as well.
Keep Training Sessions Short
Training sessions with your Pocket Bully puppy should be kept fairly short. I typically train with Chester for about 15 minutes each session. This is an ample amount of time to practice new commands and reinforced already learned ones.
Sessions of 15 minutes keep your puppy engaged long enough to learn, but not too long to have them become bored or distracted. It may not seem like much, but 15 minutes once or twice a day quickly add up.
In the first month having my Pocket Bully Chester at home we had learned a bunch of basic commands and tricks by only practicing with these short training sessions each day.
Keep Training Sessions Consistent
Consistency with anything is key. This is true with training your Pocket Bully puppy as well. Make training a part of your daily routine. Set aside those 15 minutes once or twice a day to spend time with your dog learning commands and practicing fun tricks.
Daily training from puppy to adulthood and beyond only strengthens your Pocket Bully’s ability to follow commands and perform tricks, but it also solidifies your bond each and every day. Pocket Bullies love interacting with their owners, and training is a perfect way to give them this desired attention.
Keep Training Sessions Fun
Training doesn’t have to be a dull experience for you and your Pocket Bully. In fact it should be the opposite. Make training fun and enjoyable for the both of you. Capturing the attention of a puppy can be hard at times, so making training exercises fun and challenging can help hold their short attention spans.
Try not to get your puppy too excited in the process of having fun. An over excited puppy will become easily distracted. Stay engaged with them by presenting a variety of different commands and tricks. Repetition is important, but practicing 10 “sits” in a row will get boring.
Keep Training Sessions Positive
Pocket American Bullies respond exceptionally well to positive reinforcement training. This breed is very eager to please their owners and seeks praise and rewards for behaviors. Use this to your advantage in training. Shower your puppy with praise and reward when they get a command or trick right.
In my recent training session I taught my Pocket Bully the “back up” command. Which is exactly what it sounds like. When he got this trick the first time I made a very big deal of it. Now he almost skips backwards in delight when performing the command knowing how impressed I will be.
When you find yourself getting frustrated. Begin yelling or shouting, or worse. It is time to stop. Negative punishments during training should be avoided completely. Not only will they be ineffective but they can have the reverse effect and introduce fearful behavior problems.
Take a break and return to training at a later time when you are calm and collected. Training should be fun and positive for both you and your Pocket Bully.
Keep Your Pocket American Bully Healthy
It goes without saying that keeping your Pocket American Bully healthy is important. This is crucial when it comes to training as much as everyday activities. A sick or unhealthy dog will not be receptive to training. Proper nutrition, supplementation, and health exams are a must.
Give your Pocket Bully a high quality food rich in real proteins, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Sure the good stuff costs a bit more, but for good reason. Additional supplementation of an Omega 3 oil is highly recommended for cognitive functions, as well as other health benefits for skin, joints, and heart health.
When your Pocket Bully is feeling a little under the weather it is okay to skip a day or two of training sessions to get them back to normal. Consult with your vet and get your little buddy feeling better and back to learning as soon as possible.
Give Your Pocket Bully Exercise
Training sessions with your Pocket American Bully will go much better once they have burned off a little energy. Pocket Bully puppies can be full of crazy energy and hard to engage their focus. A short exercise session before a training session will make things much easier.
I take my Pocket Bully puppy for a 15 minute walk before our training session. Lately we have been practicing training outside at a park with lots of distractions, just to up the challenge. The short walk there is a good way for him to release excess energy and be ready to focus with me.
How Much Exercise Does An American Bully Puppy Need?
As a general rule Pocket American Bully puppies need about 30-60 minutes of exercise every day. This should be broken into 2-3 sessions and will depend on their age. Giving your puppy exercise is important, but you need to be careful not to over exert them while their bones and joints are developing.
I walk my Pocket Bully 3 times a day for about 15 minutes. These walks are a mix between steady pace trots and exploratory sniffing. Forcing a Pocket Bully puppy to walk too long can be harmful to their bones. Jumping on and off things taller than they are is also not an activity you should be doing.
Give Your Pocket American Bully Mental Stimulation
Physical exercise is important for training but many overlook the mental exercise portion of training. Providing your Pocket American Bully with mental stimulation is an important piece of their development.
Pocket Bullies are smart dogs and love a good challenge. Practicing the same old tricks and commands without adding a layer of difficulty or working in new variations of the command can get boring. Give your puppy a chance to really think and work things out.
Outside of training sessions mental stimulation is important as well. Things like food puzzles and Kongs will help your Pocket Bully develop their brain power to solve challenges on their own and unprompted by you during a training session.
Give Your Pocket American Bully Friends
Socialization is just as important as learning the basic commands of “sit”, “stay” and “leave it”. Dogs can learn a great deal from their owners, but many of the life skills they need to adapt will come from interacting with other dogs.
Start socializing your Pocket Bully puppy as soon as they have all their shots and are ready to head out in the world. Introduce them to as many new dogs, people, kids, pets, sights, smells, and sounds as possible.
Early socialization is an invaluable practice for your puppy. The benefits of regular socialization from an early age will pay tremendous dividends for the rest of their life.
Give Your Pocket American Bully Rules And Boundaries
Rules and boundaries are important with every dog. Whether that be your Pocket American Bully not being allowed on the bed, or in the kitchen when you are cooking. Establishing these rules and remaining consistent will further establish your role as the leader and promote the desired behaviors from your dog.
I am currently teaching my Pocket Bully that he is not allowed in the kitchen when I am. This is a safety issue. I don’t want to be tripping over him and dropping potentially hot or sharp objects on him. My Staffy learned this from an early age and abides by this rule to this day.
By establishing these rules your Pocket Bully will not only be a better family member, but will pick up on other instructions you introduce over time. The important part is staying consistent with everyone in the home. If your partner lets your Pocket Bully in the bed, and you don’t, guess what, your Pocket Bully will be in your bed.
Give Your Pocket American Bully An Early Start
The best time to start training with your Pocket American Bully is now. If your Pocket Bully is 8 weeks old or 8 years old, start training as soon as they come into your home. Giving your dog an early start with training and socialization will give them the best start in understanding commands and gaining their trust.
I brought home my Pocket American Bully when he was 12 weeks old. The moment we got through the door we began his training. Introducing him slowly to his crate. Learning how to sit first before getting dinner. Understanding where to potty. Everything started right away.
Now I don’t expect my Pocket Bully to understand everything right away. He is a puppy and everything is very new to him. I am however consistent in my attempts to build that connection and understanding. Puppies are little sponges, and you will be amazed at how quick they begin to learn.
Training your Pocket American Bully will be one of the most enjoyable experiences you will have with your dog. Forming a relationship with your little buddy is a precious thing. There is no greater feeling as a dog owner when you see things click and your dog responds to a command.
Yes it can feel frustrating at times, and that is okay. Take a step back and try again when you feel like your dog is distracted or being stubborn. Most likely it is your demeanor that is causing the disconnect. Regroup and try again.
I sincerely hope you follow the principles I have outlined in this post when training your Pocket Bully. In the short period of time I have had my dog I have seen a huge amount of progress week over week. These guidelines work for me and my Pocket Bully, and will work for you as well.
Stay consistent, be fun and positive, have patience, and give your Pocket Bully the care they need and deserve. The benefits of a well balanced and well behaved dog are priceless.