How much exercise does a Pitbull need?March 16, 2021 2021-08-15 17:41
How much exercise does a Pitbull need?
How much exercise does a Pitbull need?
Do you own a Pitbull? These dogs are powerful, loving and loyal companions. A Pitbull brings so much joy to their owners – but he also needs a considerable amount of activity. How much exercise does a Pitbull need? The quick answer is somewhere between 1 and 2 hours a day.
How much exactly will depend on many factors such as his age, physical ability and your training goals. Today we will look at how much (and which) exercise is ideal for your Pitbull.
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How often should you exercise your Pitbull?
Pitbulls are athletic and strong dogs. In order to keep them happy and healthy, you should provide some kind of physical and mental exercise for them every day.
It is important that this exercise and activity gets provided by you for your dog. It is not enough to simply let your Pitbull out in the yard and expect him to self-exercise. These dogs are strongly bonded to their owners and need to participate in activities together with their person.
Types of activities
There are many different kinds of activities to choose from for your Pitbull. You do not have to exercise him every day by walking the exactly same path. Mix it up by using games, puzzles, trick training, trips to different places agility. Exercise for your Pitbull can be done both on and off leash.
All dogs love walks! They do not only provide physical exercise, but also mental stimulation and exposure. You should let your Pitbull sniff as much as he wants during these walks – sniffing is calming for dogs. In addition, it lets your Pittie explore the world with different senses.
Walks can be done once or several times a day. Unless your dog is sick or very old, you cannot really walk him too much. Every time you go outside will make your dog very happy and provide much-needed enrichment and exercise.
Some owners opt to walk their Pitbull on a collar, others use a harness. A 6 foot leash works well for walks in residential areas. For more remote locations, you can use a long line to really let your dog wander and explore.
Playing in the yard
If you cannot walk your Pitbull (perhaps due to his reactivity or hot pavement in the summer), playing with him in the yard is a great alternative.
You can play some recall games – take treats, run away and call your Pitbull enthusiastically.
For a calmer activity, scattering treats works great. You can feed your dog’s entire meal that way. Instead of using his food bowl, take his kibble and hide it in the grass, behind rocks, under bushes … your dog will have to work his nose and brain to find his food!
This is especially good exercise for Pitbulls who are prone to over-excitement or anxiety, as sniffing is very calming and relaxing for them.
Exercise does not always have to happen outside: Teaching your Pitbull a few more dog tricks inside will be just as tiring and beneficial for him as racing around outdoors.
Trick training is bonding and helps your dog focus. Dogs have to “learn how to learn”: Your pup might take a while to learn his first 5 tricks, but after that he will only get faster and faster.
Developing an exercise schedule for your Pitbull
When planning your Pitbull’s exercise, take care to include both physical and mental challenges. For an older dog or a young puppy, the majority of the exercise should be brain work and not physically straining.
Ideally, your Pitbull should have 1-2 hours of activities with you every day. You can vary what exactly you do on which day: Monday could be a long walk, Tuesday is the day for trick training and sniffing games in the yard, on Wednesday you visit a park etc.
If your Pitbull is dark-colored, you should plan your walks outside of the hottest hours of the day, so that he does not overheat (such as e.g. for merle Pitbulls, dark Razor Edge Pitties or black and white Pitbulls)
Keep in mind that Pitbulls are highly intelligent dogs – they need to be stimulated and challenged! If you neglect to exercise your Pitbull, he will be more likely to display behavioral problems and training issues.
The Bottom Line
Pitbulls need a considerable amount of exercise to be happy and stay healthy. Aim for 1-2 hours every day. Make sure that this time consists of activities your dog participates in together with you. It is not enough to simply open the door to the yard and hope that your dog will entertain himself.
The better you can plan out a varied exercise schedule, the fitter your dog will be. Mixing up walks, training and brain games will also help him become more focused.