How to Potty Train an American Bully: 6 Steps

How to potty train an American bully properly is an essential process for both your pup’s behavior and your sanity as an owner. Like other bully breeds, American bullies are smart, eager to please, and very capable of learning to potty outside or on designated pads indoors. However, without a firm training plan, they can be prone to accidents.

The key to successfully potty training your American Bully puppy is sticking to a strict schedule, rewarding good potties, managing any indoor accidents properly, and supervising them closely during the housebreaking process. With a positive, consistent training approach, most American bully puppies can be fully potty trained by 6 months old.

Table of Contents

Getting Your Home and American Bully Ready for Potty Training

A home interior meticulously prepared for potty training an American Bully, featuring a well-arranged crate, potty pads, and treats, with a view of a secure garden through the window.
A Perfect Start: Preparing Your Home for American Bully Potty Training.

Before starting to potty train, you’ll need to set up the right environment, both for your pup and in your home. Accident-proof your house, gather essential supplies like treats and pads, and teach basic obedience cues that will aid the training.

Puppy-Proofing Your Home

The first step is preparing your home’s interior and yard to encourage good potty behavior from your American bully. This means:

  • Keeping doors closed to limit access to carpeted rooms
  • Moving any indoor potty temptations like plants or rugs
  • Taking up small carpets, which can absorb urine odors
  • Filling any holes or gaps where an American Bully puppy might hide to potty
  • Ensuring the yard is safely fenced or access is supervised

Restrict access until the home is housebroken, then gradually allow more areas of the home over time. An ounce of prevention saves headaches later!

Gathering Essential Potty Training Aids and Supplies

Before the first day of potty training, be sure to have these American Bully housebreaking necessities ready:

  • Crate: for confining during periods of no supervision
  • Treats – For rewarding potties in designated location
  • Potty pads: For indoor potty spot option
  • Cleaning products: for prompt accident clean-up
  • Leash: For outdoor potty trips, attach it to your belt loop

Having these American Bully puppy potty training supplies on hand will make the process far easier.

Choosing a Potty Training Location

Decide whether you want your American bully to potty indoors, outdoors, or a combination of both. Consider if:

  • You live in an apartment without quick outdoor access
  • Your schedule makes taking them out frequently difficult
  • Your climate makes outdoor potty trips uncomfortable for parts of the year
  • You want to transition fully to outdoor potties eventually

If you opt just for outdoor potty training, be sure you can take your American Bully outside to their designated potty spot every 2 hours. High heat, cold snow, heavy rain, or limited mobility may make outdoor training challenging. An indoor potty pad area helps during bad weather or for young pups. Over time, phase-out pads are used as they learn to wait until taken outside. A combination approach sets most American bully pups and owners up for success.

Knowing When Your American Bully Is Ready

Ideally, American bully potty training should start between 12-16 weeks old. At about 3 months old, American bullies have better bladder and bowel control compared to 8-week-old puppies. They also have more ability to learn the cues, commands, and habits around appropriate pottying behavior. Understand the growth stages of your puppy with insights from When Do Exotic Bullies Stop Growing: Growth Stages and Tips for Proper Care.

Signs your American Bully pup is ready for potty training include:

  • Starting to eliminate less frequently
  • Sniffing and circling prior to eliminating
  • Going to corners or hidden areas to go
  • Having longer periods of awakeness and alertness between naps

If your American bully seems distracted, sleepy, or unfocused, wait a few more days or weeks until they show readiness signs. The training will go much smoother at that maturity stage.

Teaching Basic Obedience Cues

Prior to potty training, work on conditioning your American Bully puppy to understand basic obedience commands like Sit, Stay, Come, and Go Potty. Use treats to reward actions paired with the cues. Avoid punishment completely during this foundation-building time.

Having cues like Go Potty on command will aid the potty training process significantly. Be patient but persistent in establishing these early learnings. Your efforts will pay off exponentially later!

How to Crate Train Your American Bully Puppy

An American Bully puppy calmly entering its comfortable crate, equipped with soft bedding and a favorite toy, in a peaceful corner of a living room.
Embracing Comfort: The Art of Crate Training an American Bully Puppy.

Crate training is an invaluable component of successfully potty training an American Bully puppy. Confined to a properly sized crate during times of no supervision, your pup won’t have accidents around your home. Crates can feel like cozy dens when introduced positively.

The Benefits of Crate Training While Potty Training

Here are the main perks of crate training an American Bully pup simultaneously:

  • Prevents indoor accidents if can’t supervise constantly
  • It helps establish a regular potty routine
  • Provides personal, safe space for pup during quiet times
  • Can serve as transportation aid to places allowing dogs
  • It gives peace of mind knowing home and puppy are protected

Proper crate introduction and limiting the long stretches contained are important, though. When implemented well alongside a potty training schedule, crating yields big dividends, minimizing messy accidents.

Choosing the Right Size Crate

The optimal crate size for an American Bully during housebreaking allows enough room to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably, but not enough for a separate potty area. Measure your American Bully from tail to nose tip while lying down to determine the ideal size of the crate. The perfect crate size changes as your American bully grows. Consider buying a larger adjustable wire crate or bedding down a too-big plastic travel crate to customize fit. Proper fit makes crating most effective for potty training purposes.

Preparing the Crate for Comfort

The crate should resemble a den-like sanctuary, not a prison. Allowing biometric entry to the crate, placing a worn t-shirt with mom’s scent inside, giving special safe chew toys only for the crate, and keeping the space dimly lit and cozy help American Bully puppies view it as a bedroom. Never use crates solely for punishment or force unwilling pups inside. With time and positive associations formed using treats, most American bullies grow to appreciate their crate’s comforting confines.

Maintaining Consistency is Key

Sticking to a firm schedule of designated potty breaks outside the crate and designated nap times inside the crate streamlines housebreaking enormously. Puppies thrive on consistency. Making bodily functions happen at predictable intervals throughout the day via the “crate-potty-play” cycle hugely cuts down on accidents while building good lifelong habits. Be boring and consistent on the clock for potty training success!

Critical Rules for Potty Training an American Bully Successfully

An owner guiding their American Bully puppy through potty training in a structured indoor environment, with a visible potty schedule on the wall and a neat garden for outdoor training.
Foundations of Success: Key Principles in Potty Training an American Bully.

While crating helps manage your American bully when you can’t watch them, even more important are the housebreaking methods used during their active time. Maintaining several key principles when potty training leads to the best results:

Stick to a Strict Potty Schedule

Puppies need bathroom breaks extremely regularly until they are about 6 months old. Take your American Bully puppy outside every 30–60 minutes when they are active and not crated during the housebreaking phase. Also, go out about 20 minutes after eating or drinking. Rigid consistency with potty times prevents indoor accidents. Make sure every family member helps follow the routine.

Reward Good Bathroom Behavior Immediately

The moment your American Bully puppy finishes peeing or pooping in their approved spot outdoors, praise them excitedly and give them a high-value food treat. This reinforces that specific location and action. Use a cue like “go potty” while they relieve themselves, then “good potty!” and a tasty reward right after. This positive conditioning cements the desired habits.

Manage All Indoor Accidents Properly

If an American bully does mistakenly go potty inside, calmly interrupt the behavior with an “Ah ah!” then immediately whisk outside to finish on their outdoor toilet spot. No punishment! Just interrupt, then reward the completion outdoors. Thoroughly clean all indoor accidents with an enzymatic cleaner to eliminate odors that might attract repeating mistakes there. Supervise constantly to catch pre-potty signals and prevent accidents until the habits solidify around 6 months old.

Make Potty Training Fun with a variety of games.

Keep potty training positive and avoid frustration by injecting fun variations. See if your American Bully will go on leash; teach them to ring bells hung from doors when they need to go out; use temporary indoor potties in inclement weather; or create a designated outdoor toilet area with real or artificial grass. Providing diversity keeps both the owner and American Bully engaged in the process.

Staying patient but firm and consistent and using these critical guidelines sets your American Bully puppy up for potty training excellence. Stick to the program fully, and accidents will soon be a thing of the past!

How to Properly Use Potty Pads for an American Bully

An American Bully puppy being trained to use potty pads correctly in a clean, dedicated indoor space, under the guidance of a caring owner.
Indoor Training Made Easy: Mastering the Use of Potty Pads for an American Bully.

While the ideal is for most American bullies to be housebroken to exclusively potty outdoors, potty pads indoors play an important role, especially for young pups or owners with limitations who get outside frequently. Used strategically, pads successfully prevent some accidents while allowing independence.

The Benefits of Indoor Potty Pads

Potty pads offer useful backup relief for owners that:

  • Live in apartments without quick yard access
  • Can’t walk far due to health issues
  • Have limited mobility or strength to walk frequently
  • Need to leave pup home alone for longer daytime stretches

In these cases, potty pads give American bullies an acceptable indoor toilet area that preserves cleanliness in the home and prevents the pup from having to “hold it” uncomfortably long. Pads buy extra time if life realities make hourly outdoor trips impossible.

Choosing the Right Pad Location

Designate a specific room or corner area away from food and water bowls as the potty zone. Set up several large pads in a grid pattern covering a few square feet for easy targeting. This concentrated smell triggers potty urges. Keep the pads in place long-term, once chosen. Switching locations confuses puppies and slows progress. Hard-surface flooring like tile or wood also makes cleanup easier if slips occur off the direct pad.

Using Sprays and Cues to Reinforce Pad Habits

Improperly soiled housebroken pads should be discarded and replaced immediately to concentrate smells only on clean pads. An indoor lawn scent spray further triggers relief in the right area. Giving an enthusiastic “Go Potty” cue and reward when they use the pads properly helps American bullies differentiate too. The ultimate goal is to eventually transfer successful pad usage to outdoor potties.

Transitioning From Pads to Outdoor Potties

After an American Bully puppy reliably uses pads consistently without misses for over a month, gradually begin taking them outside more. Go to the desired future potty location, use the “Go Potty” cue, and reward successes outside lavishly so it becomes more rewarding than indoor pads. Slowly remove pads once they show a preference to wait for outdoor toilet opportunities. This weaning prevents accidents and discomfort from holding their bladder too long. When done properly, fully outdoor-trained American bullies can originate from indoor pad use thanks to this stepped pad transitioning.

Be strategic and positive about indoor pads, and they can significantly ease housebreaking for American bullies and owners alike. When used alongside other methods, nearly full accident elimination happens quickly.

Housebreaking an American Bully to Go Outside

An American Bully puppy being gently led by its owner to a lush garden area for housebreaking, highlighting a nurturing and natural approach to outdoor potty training.
Nature’s Call: Guiding an American Bully Puppy in Outdoor Potty Training.

For most American bully owners, the ultimate housebreaking goal is having their pup reliably potty outdoors on command. Achieving this takes persistence and positivity when training. Focus on cue association, consistency, supervision, and incentives.

How Often American Bully Puppies Need to Go Out?

Until 6 months old, American bullies have rather small bladders, needing frequent total emptying to prevent accidents. Take young American Bully pups outside every 30–60 minutes when awake and not crated, plus shortly after eating, drinking, chewing, or playtime. Grown American bullies can hold it for a few hours, but puppies simply can’t yet! Setting alarms helps me remember.

Use a Handily Attached Hand Leash for Consistency

Clip a lightweight leash to your belt loop, then gently attach it to your American Bully’s collar each time you take them out. Guide them to the exact approved potty area instead of letting them wander. The tethered leash keeps the puppy close mid-potty to enable instant praise and prevents straying to an incorrect location. This consistency cements habits quicker.

Always Go To the Same Outdoor Toilet Spot

Choose one designated place—ideally, a grassy patch in a quiet corner of your yard out of high traffic—and bring the leashed American Bully there every single time. Using the same real grass smells and textures triggers their need to be eliminated. The repetition also builds solid associations in their minds between that particular place and going potty.

Use a Potty Command and Reward Quickly Each Time

As soon as you arrive at the pre-selected outdoor toilet zone with your American Bully, use a verbal cue like “Go Potty” as they sniff around, finding just the right patch to claim. The instant they finish peeing or pooping (even just a tiny bit!), enthusiastically praise and give a scrumptious treat immediately while still at the location. This speeds up the learning process enormously compared to waiting until back inside to give a delayed reward.

Employing these outdoor potty training principles repeatedly results in fully housebroken American bullies, perfect for indoor freedom and living life to the fullest together! Just remember—patience, positivity, praise, and tiny tasty treats are the keys.

What to Do if Your American Bully Has Accidents in the House

A compassionate owner cleaning up after their American Bully puppy's indoor accident, demonstrating a patient and instructive response, in a clean and nurturing home environment.
Compassionate Correction: Addressing Indoor Accidents with Patience.

Despite your best efforts, most American bully puppies will have a few indoor accidents while learning to hold their bladders and bowels. When these inevitable mistakes occasionally happen, stay calm and make some adjustments to get back on track. For diet-related insights, read Best Diet for Exotic Bullies: Is Raw Meat?.

Managing Indoor Accidents Properly

If you catch your American Bully mid-elimination inside, interrupt with a sharp “Ah Ah!” then quickly scoop them up and rush outside to let them finish there, praising upon completion. Resist scolding, though; it will just make them hide future potty actions from you. Thoroughly clean all indoor messes with an enzymatic cleaner, eliminating odors that could spark more accidents there. Refresh the spot’s scent to signal that only play or relaxation should happen in that area now. Stay vigilant about supervision and stick to the outdoor potty schedule.

Adjust the Schedule, Cues, or Incentives

Carefully analyze if there are holes in your approach if indoor accidents persist after a few weeks. Consider taking your American Bully out more frequently, improving your cue consistency, raising treat quality for outdoor potties, or transitioning too fast from pads. Tweak training elements one at a time until you pinpoint the solution. Refinements tailored to your unique pup make progress stick.

Rule Out Any Medical Issues

If your American bully suddenly starts frequently wetting themselves after months of solid housebreaking, rule out medical problems first. Urinary tract infections or ingestion issues causing incontinence definitely warrant an urgent vet visit. Don’t just intensify training without checking their health if you notice an abrupt backslide. Your American bully may be asking for medical help in the only way they know how.

Stick to The Program

As frustrating as accidents feel in the moment, sometimes American Bully puppies briefly seem to forget their potty training fundamentals after a disruption to their routine like a trip, a new family member, or a location change. But months prior consistency won’t vanish overnight—just quickly revert back to the full program and don’t punish regression. With loving leadership, they will recalibrate back fully in no time without losing ground long-term. Stay the course!

While the odd accident might still sporadically occur, with a compassionate correction system in place, owners feel empowered to get their sweet yet still-learning American Bully back on the road to being housebroken in no time at all.

Final Tips for Successfully Potty Training Your American Bully

Hopefully, by equipping yourself with the comprehensive potty training knowledge and techniques in this guide, you feel ready to tackle this essential milestone with your American Bully puppy confidently.

Here’s a quick recap of the key principles for success:

  • Puppy-proof your home properly first
  • Maintain a consistent, strict schedule
  • Constantly supervise and learn cue signals
  • Reward outdoor potties immediately
  • Manage accidents appropriately
  • Use pads temporarily if needed
  • Choose one designated potty spot outside
  • Adjust elements if accidents continue
  • Stick to the program long-term

While housebreaking an American bully takes diligent daily effort and patience initially, embracing the process with positivity sets the foundation for a wonderfully bonded, well-behaved furry best friend for years to come.

The pride felt when your sweet American Bully looks to you for their potty cue before relieving themselves right on target outside is a truly gratifying milestone for any pup parent. For more information, consider the Ultimate Guide to Exotic Bully Coat Types.

Stay consistent yet flexible enough to tweak training to your unique pup’s needs, and that moment of real-life proof all your hard work paid off arrives quicker than you think. So get out your enzymatic cleaner, high-value treats, comfy crate, and leash, then let the productive potty training adventures begin!

At what age can I start potty training my American Bully puppy?

You can start introducing potty training concepts around 8 weeks old, but formal training typically begins around 12–16 weeks after bladder control improves.

How long does it take to fully potty train an American Bully puppy?

With consistent training, most American Bully puppies can learn to potty reliably in designated areas by around 6 months old.

Should I use a crate to potty train my American bully?

Yes, when you can’t actively supervise, a properly sized crate prevents accidents and reinforces good potty schedule habits.

Is it better to potty train an American bully indoors or outdoors?

Outdoor potty training is ideal, but using indoor potty pads temporarily can help young pups on a tight schedule. You can phase pads out as they transition outdoors.

What do I do if my American bully keeps having potty accidents?

If accidents continue longer than a month, reevaluate your schedule, supervision, cues, incentives system, or medical issues. Tweak your approach until consistency improves.

How often should I take an American Bully puppy outside to potty?

Puppies under 6 months need to go out at least every 1-2 hours plus after meals, playtime, chewing, and nighttime. Extend time between trips as their abilities improve.

Why does my potty-trained American bully suddenly start having accidents again?

Sudden accidents after long-term success could indicate a bladder infection or stress from a change. Rule out medical issues first, then refresh training reminders until you are back on track.

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