Are English Bulldogs Easy To Train?

I wanted a dog but knew that I had a busy schedule to keep daily.  I needed a dog that would be easy to train which would allow me to spend more time enjoying their company rather than struggling to modify bad behaviors. 

I knew I didn’t want a dog that was too big or tall so I chose the English bulldog for appearance, but I needed to know how easy it would be to train them.

Here is what I discovered.

Are English bulldogs easy to train?

Are English bulldogs easy to train?  The English bulldog is not an easy to train dog breed.  They can have a stubborn personality that is resistant to training. 

This can make them difficult to train since they don’t care to do as their owner wants them to do.  They are not a bad dog; they simply like to do what they want to do.  If you have a loving but firm hand and are willing to spend the time and energy to train this dog, they are a very loving companion.

The English bulldog is a very strong-willed dog breed.  The characteristics of this breed and their background can make it hard for them to be trained since they are very much in charge of their life, or at least they like to think so.

Many people find them intimidating due to their breed background.   These traits and tendencies have long been left behind revealing a sweetheart of a dog that would much rather sit on the couch and lounge with their owner than be aggressive to anyone.

What can help make the English bulldog easier to train?

Socialization and knowledge of who is in charge will always help the English bulldog accept training more easily.

If they are properly socialized from a young age, they will easily accept training that is offered to them.  This socialization passively teaches them what is expected of them.  Littermates tend to mimic each other, what one does or learns, so does the other.

Are English bulldogs easy to train?

This learning through socializing is done in a non-threatening manner that teaches them the rules of life.  What they can and can’t do, what they should and shouldn’t be doing.  It is this loving and non-threatening experience that should carry through when it is time for them to be formally trained by a trainer or owner.

At all times, regardless of age, an English bulldog should know who is in charge.  This is important for training; it helps them mentally and emotionally accept the authority of another. 

This doesn’t have to mean harshness or unfairness but offer knowledge of who the authority figure is.  They need to know who is making the rules and deciding what happens.

These two techniques do not mean that the English bulldog will necessarily be any easier to train or that they will want to accept the training.  It fosters the right environment for training to happen which is the foundation of any successful training and learning.

This should always be done in a loving, friendly, patient and understanding manner regardless of age, or breed.  This positive enforcement of the training experience benefits both the dog and their owner or trainer and the relationship between them.

When difficulties arise, treats are also a big motivator for any dog, but especially for the English bulldog.  A few well-placed treats during training can go a long way to promoting good behaviors that the English bulldog would just as soon ignore. 

What can make it hard to train the English bulldog?

Their personality makes it hard to train the English bulldog but so does the personality of the owner or family.  Other factors include a lack of consistency and thoroughness on the owner or trainers’ part.  Training is only success if these two tools are properly in place like the education a child receives, training for a dog is their education.

That education needs to be structured and consistent in how often, how long, what the benefits or rewards are.  There also needs to be consistent reinforcement regularly until this learning becomes a habit.

This is truer for the English bulldog than many other breeds because they are stubborn, strong-willed, and like to beat to their own drum.  Be prepared with a patience, understanding, focus and structure as well as a few well-placed treats.

If today they can eat off the coffee table, but tomorrow they are put in a crate doggie timeout this will confuse them.  They won’t understand what is acceptable and what isn’t acceptable behaviors.

If you don’t know the rules why they would listen to you.  Smart dog, right?

Therefore, consistency is the key to success as well as patience.  Patience is necessary on the trainer or owners’ part to allow the strong-willed English bulldog time to adjust and accept the rules. 

Also, it is important to help the trainer or owner be consistent.  If they know that it will take time for their dog to accept and learn the rules and they have patience as the dog move through the process, the success rate is much higher!

How does socializing make them easier to train?

Socializing can be thought of as training in a very passive manner.  When we socialize with others, whether we are human or dog we learn what is acceptable and what isn’t acceptable in a natural way.

If the English bulldog bites the tail of a dog they want to play with at the park and that dog barks and runs off, they have learned that if they want to play with another dog they don’t bite their tail.

If all the dogs sit while waiting for their treat in a house full of dogs, the new dog will learn passively that they should sit too.

This isn’t always a guarantee since each English Bulldog is uniquely themselves.  They are generally harder to train due to their breed background, but each dog is unique.

One English bulldog may train best with one person, while another has an English bulldog doesn’t care who it is that is training them, they still don’t listen.  Remember, each dog has a unique personality and temperament that makes them who they are.

Can the English bulldog be trained as an adult if they haven’t been trained as a puppy?

Yes.  Any dog can be trained at any age.  This will take more patience, understanding, time, and energy on the trainer or owners’ part but it can be done.  The English bulldog with a strong personality that turns its nose at authority will have even more trouble in this area o be prepared.

When training an English bulldog, their age should always be considered first.  While we all want a well-behaved dog, a senior English bulldog might not need the same amount of training as a younger dog.

Are English bulldogs easy to train?

This has to do with their life circumstances, how much they will be interacting with others or what they will be doing in their day.  Health and wellness at this stage can also play a part in how easily they accept training.

What should be focused on when training an English bulldog?

An English bulldog’s environment as well as their health should always be focused on when training them.

The environment a dog lives in plays a part in how easily they accept training as well as how successful they are at it.  A positive environment where rewards are offered along with praise can help the most stubborn dog succeed at whatever they learn.  This is true even if they don’t really want to be trained, like the English bulldog.

While a negative environment can create failure in training as well as promote negative or hurtful characteristics.

At the beginning of training or when the English Bulldog is learning something new, distractions should be kept to a minimum since the English bulldog might decide they are more interested in what the distraction is.

A dog’s health should also be focused on when training them for success.  If the English bulldog is healthy, they will not only be more open and accepting of training but also more successful at it.  Like the man who tries to run a marathon right after he sprained his ankle.  Success is further away with injuries and health issues.

What are the basics of training the English bulldog?

The basic commands for training the English bulldog or any dog include Sit, Stay and Come.  These allow their owner to control when they come and go.

Final Thought

The English bulldog is like a teddy bear, they love being a part of a happy family where they receive hugs, attention, and playtime.

Stubborn by nature, they may make it hard for their new owner to train them but with time and patience, they can learn and accept what is expected of them.

Given their breed background, some people might hesitate and choose another breed.  For the right owner, however, the love and happiness they bring can far outweigh the difficulties they bring to training any day!