I was watching two pitbulls going for a walk the other day. I could see they were full of energy and I admired their owner for being able to match them as they marched down the road! But, it got me thinking about pitbulls and what kind of exercise regime they require.
How much exercise does a pitbull need daily? A pitbull has more stamina than most other dogs. This means their daily need for physical activity is high and pitbulls should have at least one hour of vigorous exercise every day. Preferably, two walks a day of 30 to 45 minutes is recommended.
I’ve heard pitbull owners saying their dogs could play and run all day long! If you’re thinking of bringing a pitbull into your home, you’ll need to consider their high demand for exercise and attention.
Read on to find out more about these energetic doggies and what you can do to keep them well-exercised and out of trouble.
Why does a pitbull need so much exercise?
If you take a good look at the pitbull’s build you’ll notice they have a strong, muscular body and short legs. These features make them natural sprinters with the ability to run short distances at a high speed.
Most pitbulls have terrier in them which means they have some of the characteristics typical of this dog breed. These include persistence and a tendency for all types of activities such as running, jumping and playing.
Pitbulls are known for having excess levels of energy and twice-daily walks of up to 45 minutes long will help to burn off this physical energy. Pitbulls are strong dogs so to avoid having an over-energetic dog on a walk, play a game beforehand to use up some of his energy.
Exercise keeps a dog mentally stimulated and keeps them physically healthy. With the terrier streak in pitbulls, intense activity is essential for their overall mental and physical wellbeing.
What exercise is best for a pitbull?
A pitbull should get at least one hour of vigorous activity every day. Even better, if you can take them walking twice a day for up to 30 to 45 minutes each time. If walking is not an option, then you can use other activities to keep them happy.
To make sure they’re getting their full quota of exercise every day, you can consider doing the following:
- Go jogging: This will benefit both you and your dog. Pitbulls love to run so get out on the road and start running with your dog. Of course, you’ll need to make sure they’re well-trained so you’re not dragged down the road.
- Play a game of tug-of-war: Pitbulls love to pull and tug, so play a vigorous game of tug-of-war to tire them out. This is a great alternative if you miss taking your dog for a walk. Bring out the rope and start tugging.
- Throw the ball or frisbee: A game of fetch goes down well with any pitbull. He can spend hours chasing a ball or frisbee and this will help get rid of any excess physical energy when walking in a park.
- Playing with other dogs: Make sure your pitbull is well-socialized from puppyhood. Then, you can let him play with other dogs and save you from having to walk him long distances. Dogs burn off a lot of energy when playing with each other.
- Get him scenting: This is a great activity to play with your dog in the house on a rainy day. Hide treats around the house and then set him free. Make sure it’s challenging so he doesn’t find all the treats first time round. This game can also be played in the garden.
- Sign up for canine agility classes: Pitbulls are naturally agile creatures and will thrive taking part in an obstacle course. Agility classes are designed to get your dog moving and using different parts of their body – and will help tire out your puppy before bedtime.
While these exercises will keep a pitbull physically fit, what about their need for mental stimulation?
Handy Hint: Does your pitbull run around like crazy and up and down the room or in circles? This is called the pitbull zoomies, and here’s what you need to know.
What are the best exercises to keep pitbulls mentally stimulated?
Pitbulls are known to be curious about just about everything and you can almost see them thinking deeply at times. All the exercises mentioned above will help to keep them mentally stimulated but you could also include some other games and activities.
1. Teach them new tricks
Pitbulls catch on very quickly so to stop them from getting bored teach them new tricks. You could show them how to touch a target with their nose or paw. Teach them how to switch a light off and on (how cool would this be when you don’t want to get out of bed?).
Train them to find a target, pick it up and bring it to you on command. Use different toys and get them to recognize the names such as ball, Kong or rope. A great trick to teach your pitbull is to balance treats on his nose without him wolfing it down until you give him permission.
2. Include other dogs and humans on walks
Dogs are naturally pack animals. Your pitbull would benefit from going on walks with other dogs and humans in the mix. The more the merrier. Not only will this give your dog mental stimulation being around other dogs but they’ll also be better at socialization.
But, always make sure your dog is well-socialized before introducing them to larger groups of dogs. It’s essential you train your pitbull from puppy if you want him to mix well with both humans and other dogs.
3. Introduce the Kong
A pitbull can be kept well-occupied for a long time with a Kong full of tasty tidbits. He’ll be mentally challenged to find his way to the delicious treats inside while also being physically stimulated. Make sure the Kong (view on Amazon) or any other similar toy is durable and designed specifically for this kind of activity.
To make the game last longer and more challenging, fill the Kong with food that can be frozen. Your pitbull’s level of determination will be seriously tested as he tries to get the frozen food out.
Handy Hint: Pitbulls are very hectic, particularly when they are younger. Here’s when you can expect yours to finally calm down.
Why is an exercise routine important for pitbulls?
Pitbulls thrive on structure. Introducing an exercise routine that he’s familiar with will help you maintain his physical and mental demands while keeping your dog happy and well-disciplined.
A regular exercise routine will also keep your dog from developing bad habits or desperate for attention. If you notice any of the following issues then you need to give your pitbull more regular exercise:
- He’s chewing everything in sight including your shoes, the table legs and more.
- He’s getting anxious
- He’s whining all the time
- He’s become over-active
- He’s become disobedient
A regular exercise routine also allows for you to bond closer with your pitbull. All dogs enjoy having their human owner’s attention. Exercise is one way of ensuring your pitbull gets adequate, healthy attention.
How can I get my pitbull to exercise?
If your pitbull is not showing any interest in exercise, it would be a good idea to get him checked up by your vet. Pitbulls are naturally energetic dogs so it would be highly unusual for them to not want to exercise.
Keeping them busy while you’re not around can be a challenge so giving them a Kong full of treats is a good way to keep them occupied for a while. You could also hire a dog walker to walk them during the day.
If you’re stuck indoors with your pitbull, play games such as hide and seek or get them running up and down the stairs with you. Teach your dog to use the treadmill. This is a great way to get your pitbull exercising when indoors.
Pitbulls need very little encouragement to take part in an activity. With a bit of nudging from you and implementing some of the ideas mentioned in this article, it won’t take long before your pitbull is exercising at full speed!
If you aren’t prepared to exercise your pitbull daily, then please do not get one. This dog needs daily exercises in order to stay healthy and mentally active too.
You might also like…
- Tips to get control of a pitbull puppy that likes to bite
- What are the chances of a pitbull dog surviving in the wild?
- How to get a pitbull to build up muscle definition
Image in header via https://unsplash.com/photos/KHRGXMwfWrQ