Almost 4 months ago I brought home my American Bully puppy Chester. I was so excited to have a puppy in my home again. Raising a puppy is one of the most fulfilling things I have ever done, and I couldn’t wait to do it again. What I forgot was just how energetic puppies can be.
What age do American Bullies calm down? As a general rule American Bullies will begin to calm down around the age of 2. They will be noticeably calmer once they reach the age of maturity at 4 years. Once your American Bully leaves their puppy stages a gradual calming down will begin to happen.
I knew this fact going into things. Bringing a new American Bully puppy into your life is a whole new level of energy in the home. It is also a whole new level of exhausting for you as an owner. But that is what we signed up for, and it is worth the effort.
Having my American Bully puppy home now for 4 months has reintroduced some old strategies I used with my first puppy. Calming my puppy requires work and a good strategy to help keep everyone happy.
In this post I will go over the things I do to keep my American Bully busy and happy. These techniques have provided me with a good structure to manage the energetic and crazy puppy antics you will encounter as well.
How To Calm An Energetic American Bully
From the day you bring your American Bully puppy home until around the age of 2 years old, you are going to be busy. After the age of 2 you will still have your hands full but you begin to notice your American Bully is starting to calm down in comparison to the puppy years.
Currently I am in stage one with a 6 month old puppy that is full of energy and curiosity. To manage this energy and keep him happy and out of trouble I use the following 5 methods to burn off energy and begin teaching him how to calm down.
Above all other activities exercise is the single most important thing you can do. I have always said that a tired dog is a happy dog. In this case it is also a happy owner and quiet household.
Daily exercise is a must for American Bullies to calm down. Puppies from the age of 8 weeks to 6 months will need a different exercise program than puppies 6 months and older, but the principle still applies.
For an American Bully puppy under the age of 6 months you will need several 10-15 minute walks a day. As your puppy is developing physically it is important not to push them too hard too soon as this can interrupt their growing bones and muscles. Take around 4-5 short walks per day. Allowing your puppy to meander and explore as you go.
Allow your puppy to sniff and explore the outdoors. Once they have all their shots begin socializing them in different environments with other people and dogs. Start to establish some leash manners and keep the walking pace fairly slow and steady with plenty of breaks.
Once your puppy is older and reaching physical maturity you can begin introducing longer, more intentional walks. My American Bully is at this stage now and we go for 3 walks a day for around 20-25 minutes each. We still sniff and explore, but we are also now learning to walk at a steady pace with good manners on leash.
By giving your American Bully puppy adequate physical exercise and mental stimulation through sniffing and socializing, you are helping them calm down. Burning off the crazy puppy energy outside will help them stay calmer inside. It will also allow for easier training sessions when they are not vibrating with energy.
Games & Activities
American Bullies are very family oriented dogs. As I am learning with my puppy Chester, they love to be around you all the time. When my American Bully begins to pester me, or my other dog Ruby, I know he is getting bored and it’s time for some games and activities.
Simple games like chasing a ball, playing tug-of-war, or just engaging in some fun playtime is a great way to channel your American Bullies energy. These types of games that are both physical and mental exercise will burn off more energy than you would expect and result in a calmer puppy.
Set aside some time a few times a day to play with your puppy. Get on the floor with them, run around the yard with them, engage them in a fun game. American Bullies thrive on this human interaction and the games will only strengthen your bond and help them calm down afterwards.
We can’t always be ready to entertain or exercise our American Bully puppies. Even though I work from home I still have video meetings and work that needs to get done. If I dropped everything the moment my American Bully wanted to play I would get nothing done.
This is where things like food puzzles come into play. I keep several frozen Kongs ready to go everyday for when my American Bully typically starts to get bored and rowdy. These types of mental challenges for food not only keep them busy, but will tire them out a great deal.
My American Bully always seems to get a little antsy and mischievous around lunchtime. My solution has been a quick 15 minute walk followed by his lunch meal in a Kong. This is a simple and incredibly effective combination of things to calm him down. By the time he is done he is ready for a nap and I get a few hours of productive work accomplished.
Obedience & Trick Training
Training is a very important aspect of raising any puppy. Teaching my American Bully how to focus is a skill we are constantly working towards. Like any other training it takes time, consistency and patience, but will allow you to more easily calm down your puppy.
When you are working on basic obedience commands such as “Look”, “Sit”, or “Leave it” consistency is key. Daily practice is a must and will help you to develop your American Bullies ability to pay attention to you.
Training is also very mentally exhausting for a puppy. Training sessions should be short and focused. This will allow for maximum learning. A 15 minute session a couple times a day will burn a lot of energy from your puppy and keep them in a calmer state afterwards.
I started both obedience and trick training with my American Bully puppy the day he came home. By the age of 4 months he was nailing commands like “Look” and “Leave it” which are incredibly useful in our day to day life. We practice everyday and this routine contributes to a calmer puppy.
American Bully puppies don’t know a lot when they are very young. They are still learning the basics of potty training, commands like sit, and what is acceptable behavior. These skills take some time and practice. What your American Bully puppy will understand right away however is a routine.
Dogs are creatures of habit and extremely routine oriented. One way to have a calmer American Bully puppy in your home is to have a routine for everything within the day. When your dog can anticipate a walk, meal, activity, training session, or food puzzle at certain points in the day they will be less likely to become restless.
My American Bully knows that between his breakfast and pre-lunch walk he can nap and not miss out. He is calm, relaxed, and quiet during this period. Once lunch arrives he will come into my office and remind me it’s time for his lunch routine.
Once he has had his walk, lunch Kong, and a few minutes of basic trick training, he will hunker down for another snooze. Until his late pre-dinner routine is ready to begin. My America Bully’s day is filled with routine and as a result filled with periods of calm in between.
Build a solid structure of routines in your American Bully’s day and you will have a similar result. Calm behavior can be learned through this periodic activity and rest ritual. When I break this routine for any reason I soon pay the price. I am faced with a rowdy little puppy looking for something to do, or someone to pester.
The initial 2-4 years of your American Bully’s life will keep you on your toes. They may seem like they will never calm down. Believe me I have days where I think this as well, but they do. Managing that puppy energy and producing periods of calm is what you are trying to achieve in these first years.
I am lucky to have learned a great deal from my first puppy. In some cases the hard way, but nonetheless I learned. Giving your American Bully puppy enough exercise, mental stimulation and routines will produce some glorious periods of calm throughout your day.
I use everything mentioned in this post as my North Star when it comes to keeping my puppy calm. Believe me when I say these techniques work. Put these into practice, remain patient, and enjoy this time. Before you know it your puppy will be fully grown and you will reminisce about the days they were so young and full of energy.