Do you want to pack some muscles on your Pitbull? Or do you just want to keep the stocky doggo in shape? Whatever your goal is, exercise is indispensable to raise a healthy and happy dog. Knowing how to exercise my Pitbull is actually a challenge, but with the right drills, it would be a worthwhile task.
Regardless if it’s too hot or too cold outdoors, your pooch still needs regular exercise. So to help you come up with routines for indoor and outdoor use, I’ve listed here 12 of the most fun ways to give your Pitbull a nice stretch.
Why your Pitbull needs exercise
All dogs need it! Like humans, our dogs need to move and stretch to keep their shape in check. Exercise will keep their muscles strong and their weight within the safe range.
Exercise is also a great tool to dampen the destructive behavior of Pitbulls.
As you know, these dogs are energetic. If you don’t release their excess energy, they will channel it to something else like chewing your sofa and destroying your screen door among other problematic behavior.
As for Pitbulls, exercise is crucial to prevent obesity. Since this breed is medium-sized and deep-chested, the excess weight can tax their joints. This may lead to various skeletal problems.
But how much exercise does your Pitty needs? Here’s the answer:
Safety before the workout
Before subjecting your dog to any exercise or a new routine, always check the condition of your pet first. Has he eaten or drank enough water? Is he in good condition or is he in pain? Also, if it’s too hot or cold outside, you should opt for indoor exercise. Pushing with your usual routines in such temperatures outdoors won’t just be harmful to your dog but also for you.
Always watch out for exhaustion, injury, and pain when exercising your dog. Always take breaks and make sure that you bring a bottle of water to refresh your dog.
This is the same for Pitbull muscle training.
If you’re exercising outdoors, always be alert with your surroundings. Watch out for vehicles and other dogs that may distract your Pitty.
Exercise routines for your Pitbull
As promised, I listed here 12 exercise routines that you can do with your dog. Make sure that it suits your pooch before heading out:
1. Running and walking
Dogs love daily walks. It’s also a classic and guaranteed way to give the pooch enough exercise in a less impactful manner. Daily walking will also let your Pitbull sniff around and explore the neighborhood. You can also use this avenue to socialize your Pitty.
I suggest that you start slow and take random stops to let your dog rest and sniff. If you’re going to walks every day, it’s best to explore other routes to keep the drill interesting.
This is how to exercise my Pitbull during busy days.
You can also take your pooch to short runs. However, don’t overdo this since Pitties are prone to joint problems. Also, make sure that your pooch is leashed regardless if you’re just walking or running. This will keep you in control no matter what happens.
2. Play fetch
Pitbulls love playtime and you can use it to give them enough cardio and mental stimulation. The good thing about this routine is you can play it both indoors and outdoors.
You can throw a toy which your Pitty will retrieve. It’s best to do this in a wide space so your pooch will have more space to romp.
This game also satisfies your Pitbull’s natural instinct to run.
But before you engage the pooch in an energetic run, make sure that it doesn’t have any joint problems.
Moreover, you can use fetch drills as a method of training for obedience, command recall, and impulse control.
Playing fetch is an effortless routine for you as the owner. If you have a large ranch, you can use a ball thrower so you don’t have to do the playing.
Dog owners have divided opinions about this. Cycling with a leashed dog can be dangerous since the rope can get tangled on the wheels. However, if you do it right, this can be a fun exercise drill for your dog.
Remember, not all dogs can stride beside a bike. So if you observe that your pooch is aggressive and lacking control, it’s best to explore other means of exercise until he learns obedience.
I always advise dog owners to go slow when cycling with their Pitty on the side. And even if your dog can keep up with a faster speed, it’s not safe for both of you.
Also, keep at least a two-foot distance between the dog and the bike using a leash. In this routine, retractable leashes are no-nos since you will have poor control.
Here’s what you need to know first before cycling with your pet:
4. Frisbee catch
Like playing fetch, your Pitbull will enjoy catching Frisbees in the air. This is in line with their instinct to run and chase a moving object. This is how to exercise my Pitbull who loves running and romping.
Some Pitties need to be taught how to fetch while others have the hard-wired knowledge to do it. If you want the game to be more interesting for your pooch, try rubbing a stinky treat on the Frisbee.
Make sure that you control the distance of your throw to avoid losing your dog outdoors. Also, I suggest that you use this chance to teach your dog how to bite and release. You can use some rewards here.
Aside from exercising your dog, Frisbee games will also enhance their agility which will help them compete in dog’s sports (discussed below).
5. Mental games
Pitbulls love being challenged mentally. If you want to use their intelligence into something great, make sure that you play some mental games with them. It’s also important to stretch their brain muscles.
In case the outdoor weather isn’t fit for a run, you can teach your dog to stack rings, play hide-and-seek, go treasure hunt, and more.
These aren’t as active as other routines but it’s advisable to keep your dog sharp and skilled. You can always alternate these with running or walking. For example, you can take your doggo in a 30-minute walk then you can play some of these games once you go home.
The best part here is you can use games as a method of training. If you want to go deeper with this concept, I suggest that you check out Adrienne Faricelli’s Brain Training for Dogs program.
6. Agility drills
For Pitbulls that are always running and chasing, agility exercise would be a perfect choice. This will let them channel their instincts into exercise and training if done properly.
You can play agility drills through fetch, Frisbee, and obstacle courses. You can also run with your dog, but make sure that it won’t border to aggression.
If you really want your dog to master agility skills, you can enroll him to an agility club in your locality.
I personally recommend the American Kennel Club Agility where dogs get to compete with their owners. Their program is a blend of mental and physical challenge that will serve as Pitbull muscle training.
Before you hop into the program, make sure that your dog is interested in it. Some Pitties prefer to be couch potatoes while others are balls of energy.
Getting started with agility drills? Here are Zak and Trevor to help you out!
7. Spring poles
For those who want their Pitbulls to become muscular, the spring pole exercise is a common practice. This includes a pole with a long spring tied to it with something chewable on the end. The goal is to encourage the dog to leap and reach for what’s hanging on the spring.
This is usually done to pack up muscles on a Pitbull’s neck and shoulder area. But unlike the hardcore Pitbull muscle training you see online, you can tone it down a bit.
You can also use this as bait so your Pitbull will follow you around. It’s best to place a yummy treat which the dog will try to reach. Also, you can use this to train your dog to bite and release.
Is it too hot outdoors? Why not take your doggo to a swim? Swimming is a great workout drill for you and your furry buddy. This is safe and low in impact. In fact, dogs that are recovering from joint problems are undergoing hydrotherapy which includes swimming. This is also how to exercise my Pitbull after hip surgery.
It’s important to remember that not all dogs can swim. Make sure that you start with a dog lifejacket and work your way through it with your dog.
You can do short laps with your pooch. Still, always keep an eye on the doggo so it wouldn’t drown.
The only problem here is the fact that not all dogs like to swim. But if you have a water pooch, take the chance to incorporate swimming to its routine. You can also play fetch on the pool to make the exercise drill more fun.
Wondering how to teach your dog to swim? Here’s a guide from dog expert Zak George:
9. Dog sports
If your dog is sporty, you can use this chance to let him join sporting events. Nowadays, there are many sporting events for dogs including fetch, dog freestyle, obstacle course, and more games. All of these won’t just keep your dog active; it will also boost its intelligence.
But before you sign up your dog to any sports, make sure that the pooch fits the bill. Is the doggo active? Is it outgoing and a lover of outdoor settings?
You can visit the American Kennel Club’s sports and events to check if your dog is suited for the new routine. You and your dog can compete which will strengthen the bond between the two of you.
Check AKC’s dog sports here and tick all the requirements so you and your pooch can start your new sports adventure.
10. Dock Jump
As one of the most famous dog sports, dock jumping is also a great way to exercise your pooch. If you leave in a coastal area, you can utilize the dock by training your dog to jump on the farthest distance possible.
This can also be paired with swimming, playing fetch, and other mental games. The good thing is that the routine has less impact on your dog’s joints.
Dock jumping is also a champ in packing up your Pitbull’s muscles. Just take note that a fat Pitbull will have a hard time floating.
If this is your dog’s first time to swim, you should watch out since some dogs can panic too when they can’t touch the ground.
But once your dog gets the hang of dock jumping, both of you won’t get enough of it.
Do you love climbing mountains or hiking trails? Instead of leaving your Pitty behind, why not take him with you on your next adventure? This will let your doggo see a bigger world other than what they get to explore during daily walks.
Always start with a short and easy terrain to gauge how your Pitty will take it. If your dog adjusts well, you can take the pooch to a more advanced trail. Still, make sure that you take frequent breaks to let the dog rest and hydrate.
I also recommend that you prepare for the worst case scenario. Always bring lots of water and food just in case your trip gets a little longer than what’s planned.
12. Obstacle course
Do you want to raise an intelligent, obedient, and confident dog? Make sure that you let him solve an obstacle course. This will be a great way to encourage your dog to keep moving.
You can set up obstacle courses indoors and outdoors depending on the weather. The important thing is that you make sure that your dog experiences a new maze. This way, your drills become less predictable and more interesting.
The only challenge here is training your dog to identify barriers and follow the idea of the course. A short training will go a long way.
Knowing how to exercise my Pitbull took me a little trial and error phase before figuring out what suits my pet. Regardless if you prefer indoors or outdoors, there are routines that will fit your dog.