Conditioning for APBT


Stamina and endurance????

Inexpensive best ways to build stamina and endurance....

The #1 thing is swimming. Swimming will not only keep your American Pit Bull Terrier in the best shape possible but your dog will develope more endurance. The reason for that is because your dog is working out every single muscle in his/her body. Not only is your American Pit Bull Terrier going to have fun and get one of the best work outs but your pup wont hurt any joints at all, because there is no hard surface or running, or jumping, etc.

Pit Bulls can be conditioned by hand walking, running a treadmill, dragging weight, swimming, a variety of exercises. Different exercises work different muscle groups, and build different kinds of muscle. Hand-walking, jogging, running alongside a bike tend to build lean muscle. Where as hauling weight or running on a hard-turning carpet mill will build a bulkier kind of muscle. (Bulkier muscles tend to have a harder time shedding heat, so most people conditioning a American Pit Bull Terrier will go for exercises which build lean muscle.)
Be sure to allow plenty of time for rest, and good feed. Most people choose to up a dog's feed a bit during a conditioning period, thereby working them down to their lean weight, rather than starving them down to it.

All this exercises recommendations are very clear and right. Pitbulls have a lot of energy and are hard to tire down. One of the first things You should do when American Pit Bull Terrier is a puppy, is to walk him around the school near a house so the children play with him to get him used to being nice with children and other persons outside your home.

Bogging may be your another preference. You can find a nice swampy area with fairly deep mud preferably thick and hard to slog through and remove collar/harness before telling your American Pit Bull Terrier to go for it. These dogs typically spend 30 to 45 minutes dragging themselves around in it before going for swim and bike ride home. Mud isn't as low impact as swimming but the resistance it provides works nicely for stamina, toning and if your mud is all natural it helps with potential skin issues (IE dandruff and such) as well as tiring the dogs nicely.

A combination of swimming, use of the flirt pole, running (either via treadmill or alongside an atv) and "power walking" where the dog walks up to several miles pulling a sled equal to its weight.

The exercise program is started 6-8 weeks prior to the show. The APBTs aren't meant to be at their ideal show weight for extended periods of time (think of the way that body builders train).

High protein/low carb and depending on the dog's metabolism low fat food. Some people feed protein shakes in addition to high quality kibble while others go entirely RAW/BARF or 1/2 RAW and 1/2kibble.
Almost 25 years showing/weightpulling/training/breeding ADBA standard APBTs

How to condition/exercise my pitbull?

Best Answer - Chosen by Voters

Copy and pasted from another question I answered. This is what I always do, it usually depends on your dogs genetics, bloodlines, pedigree, the breeder, etc.

Edit: I'll tell you now, that dog is gorgeous - but he looks extremely healthy and he'll gradually gain the muscle and such over time. Do NOT over work him though, cause that WILL lead to future health problems. Add me on dogster!

"American Pit Bull Terriers are naturally lean, since you didn't specify, for all we know you can have an American Bully, APBT, Staffordshire, Bulldog etc. Anyway:

Exercise: My bullies are walked twice a day for thirty minutes, sometimes three times a day. They use the spring pole after each walk if they are up for it. I run with them in the back yard and throw toys for them to retrieve. Weight pulling is another way for appropriate exercise. Be sure to wait until 1 year before training so the dogs body can mature a bit. Never strain a dog with so much weight.

Nutrition/Diet: They are fed HIGH QUALITY foods like Canidae, Evo, Innova, Taste of the Wild, Blue Buffalo - try out any Holistic food until you find the perfect brand. Never get commercial brands like Iams, Science Diet, Purina, Pedigree, etc. Raw Meats is great, I also feed them this. Meaty raw UNCOOKED bones. Never feed cooked bones. Liver, Heart and all that good stuff. A raw egg and plain yogurt once a week mixed with the food is exceptional. Shell and all for the egg.

Monthly Special: My Vet Approves, it sounds odd but works great. Helps with digestion, constipation, skin, coat, health and helps them naturally gain weight with proper exercise.

Steps: You need two whole eggs, shell and all. A can of Canidae or one of the previously listed dog food brands. A small handful of grass. Vitamins or Medication (such as Vet prescribed medicine or deworming tablets, etc. if your American Pit Bull Terrier is picky on taking them. I use Join and Skin and Coat supplement my Vet prescribed.) and Raw meat diced.

Blend grass with 1/2 cup of water. Drain grass water into cup, dispose of grass leftovers. Pour grass water back into blender, add the rest of the ingredients, blend, add more water if necessary. Feed one cup mixed with food every other day until gone. Repeat once a month to every other month. I personally do this, works unbelievably well.

Note: Since this helps with constipation and digestion, dog may have diarrhea for the days fed. Once feeding of this "Monthly Special" is done (should last only a week) feces will go back to normal. My Vet said it's good for APBTs to get the nasty toxins out of a dogs system, just like for humans."

Increase Muscle Strength Naturally using Safe Conditioning

Before we go any further it is useful to share with you some things you do not want to do while conditioning your American Pit Bull Terriers.

Do Not:

Put a heavy chain around your dog's neck. Not only is this ineffective it can damage your dogs neck or worse, cripple them for life. Bottom line, it's not smart. 

Tie your dog out using a huge logging chain. The reason is the same as above. It will break your American Pit Bull Terrier down long before helping them in anyway.

The Most Important Thing You Should
Not Do is...

Try to condition a dog that is younger than 18 months of age!

Out of all the questions  the one that burns the chaps the most is when someone asks how to add weight, bulk up or add size to their 2-3-5-6 month old puppy. Ugh! They are puppies and they need to grow first! Would you ask a 2-3 year old child to lift 30-40 pounds? Of course not! It would cause the child harm. The same goes for puppies. Asking them pull weight or wear a chain or put a huge vest on them is silly.

Even if the weight is 2-10 lbs it is still harmful. You have to wait for American Pit Bull Terrier's joints and muscles to develop before putting any strain on them. If you do this too early you will cripple your dog.

Use Your Pit Bulls Natural Strength During Conditioning

Pit Bulls are naturally strong, athletic, and agile. Working with their natural abilities will help you condition your dog safely. Start by hand walking, playing, and taking short jogs on grass or dirt to will help build up their stamina for more intense work down the road.

If you fail to prepare your dog for the work your dog will fail to do the work, because American Pit Bulls, while tough as nails on a whole, do need develop before they can really get into hard work. People think conditioning is putting a huge chain on their dog and having them carry it around to build strength. This is not only wrong, it's cruel and stupid. Developing your Pit Bull's strength should be approached much the same way you would approach building your own strength.

Developing high quality strength takes years to accomplish. Both for people and for Pit Bulls. Lets talk about using weights in the conditioning process shall we...

How to Properly Use Weights While Conditioning Your Pit Bull

You want to start with light weight and then gradually move up to heavier weights. When your American Pit Bull reaches 18-24 months in age put them in a quality weight pull harness and have them drag 3-5 lbs for short distances while walking. This is where most weight pull trainers start their dogs.

Once they are dragging this weight easily then you can add one or two lbs of weight. Increasing the weight a couple of pounds will not kill your American Pit Bull Terrier but you should remember that you need to go back to short distances until your dog is pulling the weight over longer distances without much trouble. You do not want to increase the weight any more but instead increase the distance.

The lazy way out is to add more weight while keeping the distances short. This will work but it increases the risk of injury and the likelyhood of your dog quitting the work. It's better to slowly increase the distance your American Pit Bull Terrier pulls the weight. This will help conditioning two important elements and they are muscle and stamina.

Pit Bulls that Don't Have Stamina Will Not Build Strength or High Quality Muscle Tone

Pulling a lot of weight short distances is great if you are competing in weight pull but for building high quality muscle tone and overall strength pulling light weights for long distances will develop a lean American Pit Bull Terrier with superior wind, strength and beautiful muscle tone. Think of the training in regards to an all around athlete like a tri-athlete. Someone who is strong but can run, swim, ride a bike, and do these things consistently well for hours on end.

Now compare that to the power lifter that can lift 800 lbs three times and that is all. Pit Bulls (aka American Pit Bull Terriers) are built like the tri-athlete. They are naturally strong so adding stamina will increase their ability to perform longer and more intense tasks than a power lifter type. Another important reason for conditioning your Pit Bull in this fashion is because even power lifters break down and hurt themselves by lifting too much weight.

Keeping the weights to reasonable amounts will help build your dog up and not break them down during the process.

Feed Your Pit Bulls Need for Conditioning

Pit Bulls are athletes. Plain and simple. If you take them out and walk with them, put a few light weights on them, have them play on the spring pole for 20-30 minutes a day and feed them with a high quality feed your American Pit Bull will start to build strength and stamina. Proper conditioning builds a beautiful Pit Bull and a Pit Bull in peak condition is truly a beautiful sight.

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