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Before we go any further I want to share with you some things you do not want to do while conditioning your Pit Bull.

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.

Do Not: Tie your dog out using a huge logging chain. The reason is the same as above. It will break your dog 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 I receive the one that burns my 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 the dog'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. I can't stress this enough because 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. I said it is wrong, cruel and stupid. I apologize for repeating myself but I want to make my opinion of this practice crystal clear.

Developing your Pit Bulls 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 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. We are not going to get into weight pull training in this article but the benefits of this exercise carry over to building your dogs strength up.

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 dog 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. We want to avoid both of these issues so it's better to slowly increase the distance your dog 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 dog 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 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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GP's Dr. Phil
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Great read!!!!!
 

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i utilize the same methods for the most part,...do to my
18+yrs invested in gym time. most people will over
work their dogs, and what this guy failed to touch on is
muscle only grows during the repair process which essentially
is when at rest. to work dogs on consecutive days without
a rest period is chasing your own tail and breaking the dog down
of physical strength. wind and endurance is the opposite as consecutive
days will increase cardiovascular output. you want to fall in the middle.
2 days on, 1 day off, two days on, 2 days off, IE: Mon,Tues, work. wends off. Thurs,Fri,
work. sat,sun, no weight work, but can do lite cardio (hand walk 2 miles or treadmill 20 mins)
Monday back to routine. let me add Wednesday is complete rest with no stimulus other than
talk time and massage. Saturday if possible is the same.

this is my personal gym schedule, as well as my show/pull keep.
the results speak for themselves. my diet and supplements i wont
divulge.

good read sadie...ty
 

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Dare to dance the tide
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That was a good read and sould be a sticky for the amount of threads we have on " How do I add weight to my pup" on this forum.

I too work Vendetta alot one day then she doesn't do much the next day. I find that she will work harder too because she loves what we do so if she doesn't get to work but everyother day she puts more heart into what we are doing.
 

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recuperation is key in keeping the dogs fresh
and wanting to work..dogs will get bored and stale
(overworked) if you don't let the muscle fibers heal
in-between rigorous exercise. feeding fat with protein
before they sleep is key, as fat helps reduce the amount
of time the body breaks down and utilizes proteins. if given
without fat the differential is 4-5 hrs. meaning if the body
is in need of protein and if sufficient fat was not given the
protein source will not be readily available for repair and growth
of said tissue fiber. muscles heal when mammals sleep as growth hormone
is secreted, and the body needs a constant supply of protein to optimally
exaggerate healing and growth.
just alittle body building 101.
 

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JR MEMBER
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does this work the same for american bullies too? over the winter my dog got a little chubby & i've been trying to find a way for her to lose weight.
 

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pitbulls are athletes and i do appreciate the sight of a well muscled athletic dog. designing a training programme is a good idea, but i wouldnt strive to make it a strict training regime, keep things fun for both yourself and the dog. if you and the dog dont enjoy what you are doing then you will be less likely to stick to the plan, keep the training varied and interesting. any training regime would cause any body (human or canine) to adapt to it and will only improve to a certain extent. by keeping the training varied the body will be continually guessing and adapting, this will reduce the risk of sticking points in improving physique. Keep trying different things, running, jumping, fetching (throwing uphill and downhill is quite simple but a healthy way to build muscle as dog is building explosive power due to sprints on an incline), tug of war, spring pole, weight pull, swim, Anything at all just keep it enjoyable and have fun with the dog, my main piece of advice would be keep it varied, aim to improve the dogs health first and foremost, muscles and aesthetics come second!
 

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Mason is almost 7 months old. He is an Am Bully, not APBT. I was curious, is there a difference in conditioning routines for the two? What do you reccommend for conditioning for my pup at 7 months old?
 

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Mason is almost 7 months old. He is an Am Bully, not APBT. I was curious, is there a difference in conditioning routines for the two? What do you reccommend for conditioning for my pup at 7 months old?
When I had my dog aurora I would walk her or play fetch, but her favorite thing was playing follow the leader with my atv.
 

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ty great read and very informational...i have a two yr old pit...and i want her to stay healthy and strong for many many many yrs to come...i thought ur post was great...where can i get the harness?
 

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This is a very good post. The problem is that a lot of dog owners (not only pitbulls) are extremely sedentary and do not understand the needs of animals...literally speaking....since they do not even understand the needs for themselves as human beings.
It is very true that pits are extremely athletic dogs. I had no idea until I got one and begun testing her for agility and strength (I am also a seasoned extremed endurance athlete so my approach is a bit different). Their endurance is excellent too. I am sure that different types of pit breeds maybe more or less prone to specialty activities.
 

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I had always planned to get an athletic dog because I am prone to laziness if I don't have an incentive to work out. A case of if you can find an excuse not to go, you won't go. lol. He is my reason to get my bum off the couch.

I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I got my pup. At 5 months old he is an absolute terrorist if he doesn't go for a walk (I do a mile to a mile and a half with him most afternoons) I am getting him used to a harness at the moment, and he gets so excited when he sees it because he knows he is going somewhere.

My question is when is it ok to progress to greater distances? There are some really nice trails near to me, and is love to take him out into the wilderness.

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I think depending on breed and dog as well, but above all IMO ALL dogs can take more work exercise than we think. Certainly some of them are more inclined like huskies, who do best in cold weather runs.
In the wild animals go for days without food and cover great distances (not running but trotting). The runs and high speed chases are basically reserved for hunting. Imagine that....they do it at empty stomach at times.
I think pit bulls being a work-dogs breed can be trained to do various distances at different paces. Hiking in the woods for 5 to 10 miles at dog walking pace is nothing for them. Things change if they do other things, like sprinting, up hills runs, jumping. These are high intensity exercise and can make a huge difference in how their energy (ours as well) is used.
They are adaptable and can be conditioned.
I don't think is fair to train the dog while on bike or driving a car. That is NOT a correct assessment. If you are going to condition the dog for strength and endurance you, human person should do it as well. This will give you a much better idea of the requirement of your pet. Like temperature is a HUGE factor in dog ability to cover distance or intensity level. I would say, mine was struggling at 86F on 5 miles run (shaded/open course) with water availability en route. Meaning, she was able to cool off by drinking and bathing. She kept her pace, ahead of me, but last 2 miles behind me. She also experience "the runs" when dehydration symptoms begins to show. This is NORMAL even for people. I would feed her before outings. Then I begun not to feed her. I followed the same rule I use for me. That worked better for her and is more natural too.
OK so for the same distance at 66F she does not need the same hydration. Hey...I am the same way almost.

To answer your questions: simply add some distance as you go for walks/hikes at fast pace. Follow a rule of 10% (very conservative) to 30% (pushing envelope a little)...so I would say day 1 and 2 half mile, then 3 and 4 3/4 of a mile and so on. Consider weather too. On hot days be conservative. On cold days push envelope, so to speak. Most dogs should be able to cover 3 miles comfortably in few months?

This guy I met at the trail (straight flat course of 7.6 miles)....runs his jackrussell terrier on leash for that distance while on bike. That is a VERY HIGH energy dog. Pit-bulls are HIGH energy dogs....but some of them are more and some less.
 

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Thanks for that.

I will give that a try. I took him on a 2.5 mile fast walk (flat course) a few weeks ago on a cold day. He was bouncing off the walls and I was loosing my mind. (It had rained for 3days)

Jack Russell's are crazy dogs. They are really popular in SAfrica. So have seen a vast range of energy levels in them. For the most part they are very high energy. I have a friend who had one, their property was quite steep and long, and he would run up an down that property chasing monkeys all day everyday. The only other place I have seen a dog so well muscled is on here.

I considered getting one, but I got bit as a kid by one who was not a people friendly dog so was a little skeptical. Also had not found a pup who stole my heart the way Jones did. lol

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Great read.
I often do walks and slow joss of about 5 to 10km a day. It doesn't faze my 12 month old at all, I think any pit can easily manage that. I do make consideration to walk/run him on grass due to his front paw condition.
I would like to start some agility training 3 months from now.

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