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how to train a bulldog puppy not to bite

How to Teach an English Bulldog not to Bite

Wet noses, drooling, nibbling, kisses – life doesn’t get any better than this. A dog is not just a pet, but a lifelong friend and companion. English Bulldog is one such breed who is extremely loyal, friendly, brave and have a strong sense of dedication towards their owners. They will stick to you like glue throughout their lifetime.

An English bulldog looks scary and grumpy but is very calm and amiable. Many people are afraid of the English bulldogs because of their somewhat aggressive appearance, but they are the friendliest of all breeds. They are lovers and not fighters. Bulldogs make wonderful apartment pets and are mainly low-endurance dogs. But all dogs can have the bad habit of biting.

How to teach an English bulldog not to bite? Bulldogs can bite for several reasons, but mostly they bite when they feel provoked or threatened. Puppies bite because they have not yet learned how to play properly with humans. Here are step by step instructions to teach your bulldog not to bite.

  1. Sit down and play with your bulldog.
  2. Let them bite your hand.
  3. When they bite, yelp and yell, “Ouch!” Let your hand go limp.
  4. Your bulldog should be startled, release, and step back.
  5. Say, “No,” in a soft but stern voice.
  6. You can spray something bitter in their mouth to further the consequence if your bulldog is not starting to understand after going through steps 1-5 a few times.

An un-socialized adult English bulldog will also nip and bite. Under these circumstances, you should keep your English bulldog away from other dogs and people. It is important to make sure your bulldog learns not to nip and bite as biting will further the stereotype that bulldogs are dangerous, when they are really not dangerous at all when they are loved, trained, and socialized.

How to Teach Your English Bulldog Puppy to Not Bite?

Every English bulldog goes through the puppy stage and learns to interact with others by biting, nipping, and licking. Biting occurs when your puppy is growing and exploring their environment. They will put anything in their mouths when they are pups, as they haven’t learned yet that biting and nibbling human beings can be dangerous.

Your English bulldog puppy may not hurt you intentionally, but as a puppy he is still capable of inflicting harm to you. If this behavior is not rectified and controlled, your puppy can carry this into adulthood. Your puppy might grow up thinking that there is nothing wrong in biting and nipping humans. As their teeth grow and their weight also increases, the harmless biting which you once found cute can turn into rough bites and play.

An English bulldog is not aggressive by nature but like other dogs can show aggression if provoked. They are ferociously protective of their owners and others in the family.

If they feel their owner or loved ones are threatened, they can turn defensive and show signs of belligerence. English bulldogs are calm and gentle with their owners but are chary of other dogs and strangers. Therefore, it is imperative to socialize your bulldog properly and make them feel safe around other dogs and people.

There are chances that if your English bulldog is inadequately socialized, he will react fiercely to what he sees to be a threat to your safety or their own. Controlling your English bulldog puppy’s biting and nipping can be an uphill task for most dog owners.

Your puppy bites because he does not know how to play with humans and needs to be trained to stop biting. You can hire a dog trainer to do that or can do it by yourself. You should train your dog that it is unacceptable to bite and encourage them to play games with toys.

There are a few things you can keep in mind when training your English bulldog puppy:

  • When your English bulldog puppy is 3 to 6 months old, there are chances that your puppy may be teething. At this time your puppy will put virtually everything in his mouth. They do this because they need something to chew on, to alleviate the pain and discomfort. You can give him ice cubes to numb his gums and mitigate the pain. When your puppy is teething, you can also give him things he can chew on. You can give him old washed rags kept in the freezer, hard rubber balls, or nylon bones.
  • When your puppy bites you pretend to be injured. When your puppy bites you hard just yell as loudly as you can and pretend to be hurt. This will startle your puppy and ensure that he releases pressure. And when he releases his pressure praise him by saying “good dog.” You must continue this until your puppy starts refraining himself from nipping and biting. This way your puppy will learn that biting can be a hazard to their friends and humans. They will learn that skin is sensitive and should be only pressed down lightly. Eventually your puppy will become gentler to you during their playtime.
  • When your puppy bites you stop playing with him. Avoid petting, talking and even looking at your puppy. This will show the puppy that if he bites, he won’t get any attention.
  • Never show aggression or give physical punishment to the puppy while training him. He will become defensive and grow up to be more aggressive. Remember to praise your puppy for good behavior.
  • Socialize your English bulldog puppy to be more comfortable around strangers also. Socializing will help stop your puppy biting your feet and the feet of visitors. You can walk your puppy to dog parks and public places. You can also visit your family and friends with your English bulldog puppy to help him develop trust with them. You will notice a significant decrease in your puppy’s discomfort around strangers.
  • English bulldog puppies easily get excited with movements. So, if your puppy sees you moving your feet or any sudden movement, he will swoop into attack. Stop right there and this will make your puppy settle down. When puppies see children running around, they also want to run and play with everybody else and could bite their feet. If you see your puppy moving towards your feet, take out a chew squeaky toy and squeeze or wave it to grab your puppy’s attention.
  • Never wear gloves when training your dog, as you won’t able to feel the pressure from biting.
  • Use dog commands like Sit, Stay, and Down.
  • Always keep treats in handy while training your puppy to motivate him.
  • These recommendations should be practiced by everybody in the family.

How to Teach Your Adult English bulldog to Not Bite?

  • You need to discipline your adult English bulldog the same way as you would your puppy.
  • When your adult English bulldog bites, in a stern but low voice, “No!” or “No biting” to let your dog know that it hurts.
  • If this does not work, then simply walk away. To discipline your adult bulldog, you must leave him alone. This makes your dog realize that you don’t like when he bites you.
  • Still, if your dog persists to bite, you can seek professional help to curb his habit of biting and nipping.
  • Lastly, do not try to put your adult English bulldog into situations he is not very comfortable in or those which will provoke him. If you know your dog does not like other dogs, keep him away from those dogs. Don’t try to place your adult English bulldog into situations you know will aggravate him.
  • You can also use a spray bottle to spray something with a bitter taste into their mouth when your bulldog bites. I have seen people use lemon juice, however lemon juice will cause an upset stomach and possibly diarrhea for dogs, so find something else with a bitter taste that is safe for dogs to teach them a negative consequence for biting. Plain cranberry juice is safe for bulldogs in moderation, and they probably won’t enjoy the taste of the unsweetened juice.

How Strong is the Bite Force of an English Bulldog?

The bite force of the English bulldog is 210 pounds per square inch(psi). Psi shows us how much pressure is exerted on one square inch of space. This is enough to cut muscles and break bones. English bulldogs have extremely strong jaws and muscular and sturdy bodies. English bulldogs also have a very low center of gravity and can easily take you down.

They were bred specially to fight the bulls. When fighting the bulls, they would creep low to the ground and try to bite the bull’s nose. Despite his small size as compared to the bull, the English bulldog wouldn’t back down. Their powerful jaws can cause a lot of damage.


Biting is a temporary phase in your English bulldog puppy’s life. With appropriate training and by acting properly around your puppy, you can help him grow out of his habit of biting. But training your adult English bulldog will take some time. Training an adult English bulldog will be relatively difficult, but it is not impossible.

So, be patient and try to build up this new behavior with trust and love. Persistence and hard work will go a long way. You will surely see results and all your efforts will yield a very obedient and loving companion for life. Pup pup hooray!

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