Why Do Bulls Buck? (Testosterone & Breeding)

Bull buck because of their high testosterone levels and because many are bred to buck. We have bred bulls to be strong alphas who produce strong calves.

Even though we’ve domesticated cattle, we never taught bulls to be fully placid like cows.

So, bulls have a natural inclination to buck if something’s placed on its back. The bull won’t like the fact that there’s a human riding it, so it will start bucking naturally.

Why Do Bulls Buck

Some rodeos will also promote this behavior by strapping a flank strap around the bull’s abdomen to make it buck even more.

So, the answer is simple: it’s in the bull’s genes. The bull doesn’t like it if it is being ridden, so it will try to get rid of the rider as quickly as possible. But it’s possible to even reinforce that and make the bull buck even more by strapping the flank strap around its abdomen to promote the bucking.

Are Bulls Trained to Buck?

Some rodeos will promote the bull bucking by strapping a strap around its abdomen or genitals.

But bucking is usually something that cannot be learned as such because the bull will start to buck on its own when it’s being ridden.

Even though people might believe that bulls are trained to buck as much as possible, it’s actually not possible to do that. It’s not possible to learn a bull how to buck more and jump around even more, but it is possible to reinforce the movement by agitating the bull a bit and making it buck.

One of the most commonly used strategies to make the bull buck is to strap a flank strap around its abdomen or its genitals. To get rid of the strap, the bull will start to jump around like crazy until it is rid of the strap, but that won’t happen since the strap is tightly wrapped around its body.

And this will keep the bull bucking for long periods. Then, the competition between riders can begin. The rider that can stand on the bull the longest will be the winner of the competition.

The bull has an instinct to buck when it is ridden and when the strap is placed around it, this behavior will be even more evident. This aggression during the riding is caused by the bull’s instinct to evade predators because they will see the human riding it as its predator, so it will frantically try to get rid of it.

Related Article: Do Bulls Moo?

Why are Bulls so Angry During Bull Riding?

Bulls get angry during bull riding because they want to get rid of the rider on top of them. To the bulls, the rider represents an existential threat and it will go into survival mode after the rider gets onto the bull.

The bull’s anger is promoted by a rise of testosterone that happens during the riding. The bull will perceive the rider as a danger to its existence, so it will try to do everything it can to get rid of the rider. This will cause the bull to get into survival mode, causing it to get more and more aggressive towards the rider.

In turn, this can cause the bull to start jumping around with is rear legs uncontrollably to get rid of the rider.

In addition, these survival instincts are further promoted by the inclusion of straps and ropes that are placed around the bull’s body. These straps will only make the bull more agitated because they’re strategically placed in areas that make the bull even angrier and increase the testosterone.

In addition, bulls are bred in such a way that more aggressive genes are preferred. Breeders of the bulls for rodeos prefer bulls that have more testosterone and the ones that are more aggressive than the rest.

They’ll promote these genes and breed them further on, making the future generations even more aggressive.

Read Also: Are Bulls Stubborn?

Is Bull Riding Ethical?

There is currently a lot of discussions when it comes to the safety and the ethicality of bull rodeo riding and bucking.

Some sources will tell you this is ethical and that bulls aren’t hurt because of this, while others will tell you that this behavior is highly unethical and it affects the bulls involved.

Peta.org says that bull bucking excessively such as in a rodeo is heavily detrimental to the health of the bull.

They say that bucking can cause heavy back injuries for the bull and thus, significantly reduce the life expectancy of a bull. These injuries can happen after years of bull bucking.

The straps themselves are not harmful to bulls, though. These straps will only make the bull more aggressive, but they are not made to hurt the bull.

So the biggest concern when it comes to bull riding is the impact that it can have on the health of the bull’s spine and its bones. In the long-term, excessive bucking can indeed cause back injuries, which might make the bull not being able to function normally.

Related Article: Can You Ride A Bull Like a Horse?

Why Do Bulls Buck in a Circle?

Bulls buck in a circle because that’s their natural plane of movement.

By bucking in a circle, they will try to get rid of the rider and the strap that is placed around its body, but it’s not always effective for both.

Bucking in a circle is not something that the bull can control. Instead, this sort of movement comes naturally for the bull. It will spin around in a circle because that’s the way that the bull moves and often, this is also the most effective way to get rid of the rider.


To conclude, there are a lot of controversies when it comes to bulls and rodeos. Some people find it fun, while others think this sort of behavior is cruel.

Riders need to evade the bull’s bucking and try to last as long as possible. The bucking is reinforced and promoted by placing a strap around the bull’s abdomen and its genitals, which causes a rise in testosterone. In turn, this will make the bull more agitated and aggressive.

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