American Bulldog Q&A

I have a 5 mo old AB, he is the alpha from his litter. He submits to my husband, but will not submit to me. I have tried everything, having him on his back holding onto his paws, using my hand as a bite from another dog, lifting his hind legs. He is excellent at obedience training with me, he sits, lays down, stays... however, he will just not submit to me. He is always biting my pant legs (I have used a tennis racket to deter but he keeps going, going, going). He jumps and barks at me and does not like my hands. I have used a tsst sound (ala Dog whisperer) and used his touch method, but to no avail, this made him hate my hands (except for doling out treats and pets). I am at my whits end. Anyone have any advice for how to get him to submit?

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Answers (5)

When he obeys your obedience commands, he is submitting. He may be grabbing your pantleg because he thinks you are going to leave him. If that is the case, you can go out the door and return immediately. Make the time you are gone increase gradually as much as possible. Recall from your obedience training class to use your voice (a growly voice for disipline and a high voice for praise, a firm voice for commands). Use "pinning" only for major offenses by holding hiim on his back with your hand on his throat. Don't hold onto his penis which can incite him to respond violently. Holding his back legs means nothing in dog speak and is useless. If he puts your hand in his mouth you can make it "get stuck" there by holding onto his lower jaw from below using his lips pushed up over his lower teeth just untill he begins to struggle. He will soon lose his taste for human body parts. I dont think he is trying to boss you around...you are his favorite and he wants to keep you nearby.


When he obeys your obedience commands, he is submitting. He may be grabbing your pantleg because he thinks you are going to leave him. If that is the case, you can go out the door and return immediately. Make the time you are gone increase gradually as much as possible. Recall from your obedience training class to use your voice (a growly voice for disipline and a high voice for praise, a firm voice for commands). Use "pinning" only for major offenses by holding hiim on his back with your hand on his throat. Don't hold onto his penis which can incite him to respond violently. Holding his back legs means nothing in dog speak and is useless. If he puts your hand in his mouth you can make it "get stuck" there by holding onto his lower jaw from below using his lips pushed up over his lower teeth just untill he begins to struggle. He will soon lose his taste for human body parts. I dont think he is trying to boss you around...you are his favorite and he wants to keep you nearby.


I know it sounds cruel but I highlt recommend a training collar. My husband and I have always had boxers, 2 years ago he brought home an 8 month old American Bulldog he rescued. I was having the same problems as you and at my whits end with him I finally purchased a training collar. The one I purchased has 10 stimulation setting plus a tone only option. He is to the point now that when he is misbehaving I do the tone only once or twice and he behaves.


Dog training should be about a relationship of respect and cooperation, not about dominance and submission. Dogs are dogs - not miniature wolves. In trying to make a dog "submit," we can instead unfairly assert ourselves as bullies, and fear and/or aggression can result. Be firm and patient in your dealings with your puppy, but remember - its a puppy. Get rid of some excess energy at every opportunity, especially before training sessions begin. Best of luck, and I hope you do a little research on training that doesn't involve dominance... I think it will improve how both you and your puppy feel about things with your relationship.


I agree that it is important for then to know you are boss. .. but I think he is submitting to you by obeying you. Like someone else says. If you are trying to put him on his back and he struggles don't give up cuz then he wins that fight ... I'm not saying you should abuse your power at all.. but I'm sayin like if he is in trouble or biting you put him on his back with your hand loosely on his throat.. no squeezing if he won't go onto his back you make him go on his back. You do have to enforce the fact that you are boss. But try not to put all your focus on domination....



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