Well defined muscle structure on a Pitbull not only displays the beauty and physical capabilities of the dog, but also shows the level of responsibility of the owner and the effort they take to maintain their dog’s overall health and wellbeing. Developing muscle in your Pitbull can be achieved in 3 very easy steps. But, before you begin there are a few things you need to consider.
Are you Strong Enough?
Developing good muscle tone in your Pitbull makes them stronger, and they are not exactly weak dogs to begin with. Before you start building your dog’s muscle consider whether you are strong enough to effectively control your dog? It is not just about your physical strength, but also your mental strength. Your dog needs to see you as pack leader and to respect your commands. If you are unsure, find an obedience school with an instructor who has experience of working with Pitbulls and their owners.
Is Your Dog Ready?
Over enthusiastic owners can cause as much damage to their dog as lazy ones. Over exercising young dogs can cause permanent damage to muscles and joints. Strenuous training of any type should wait until your dog is at least a year old, and even then, remember they still need plenty of time to play, rest, and be your family pet.
Females that have had litters should also be given time to recuperate and not begin muscle training until after they have finished feeding their puppies. Also, while it is possible to get beautifully defined muscle on a female Pitbull, they do not become quite as defined as males. Apply common sense to returning to training if your dog suffers an injury and discuss your plans with a veterinarian if you are unsure on any aspect of your dog’s care.
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The Three Steps
If you and your dog are ready for them to start building muscle and really show of the best that this breed has to offer, then there are three simple steps to follow:
Proper Diet and Feeding Regime
It is important to get your dog’s diet right before you start any form physical conditioning training with them. To build muscle Pitbull’s need a high protein diet consisting of 40% Protein, 40% Carbs, and 20% fat. You need to source a quality dog food and supplement this with other protein sources such as chicken and fish. You can also add food supplements that are recommended for Pitbulls. Read our guide on the best dog food for pitbulls to see the best brands.
Feed your dog 6 small meals a day to encourage an anabolic muscle building state. Don’t exceed the recommended daily amount of food listed on the feeding guidelines. Remember you want to build muscle not increase their calorie intake. For the best results follow a pattern similar to that laid out below.
- Meal 1 – 9:00 am – 1/4th of the recommend daily food with food supplement if using.
- Meal 2 – 12:00 pm – 1 piece of boiled chicken or fish, approximately 16 oz in weight.
- Meal 3 – 2:00 pm – 1/4th of the recommend daily amount of food.
- Meal 4 – 4:00 pm – 1/2 piece of boiled chicken or fish, approximately 10 oz. in weight.
- Meal 5 – 6:00 pm – 1/4th of the recommend daily food with food supplement if using.
- Meal 6 – 9:00 pm – 1/4th of the recommend amount of food for the day.
Exercise is the second step in the muscle building plan. Performing activities such as weight pulling, using spring poles, and running up hills encourages muscles to grow stronger. They are also activities that this, and other breeds, really enjoy, so they won’t see it as work, just play. It is crucial that you have introduced the diet plan before training. If you don’t you run the risk of damaging your dog’s muscles. Other activities you can introduce include weight sleds and a weight vest.
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When building muscle, you want to focus on short burst of high intensity cardio, rather than long walks. Sprints, running up hills for short periods, or running up bleachers / steps are great activities. Cardio should be undertaken for 10-15 minutes a day. Over time you can increase the intensity of the workout with the addition of a weight vest.
Following these three steps and the advice that preceded them will make your Pitbull muscular in no time at all and ensure that you both enjoy the process as well. Don’t be tempted to skip any of the steps, or to start training with introducing the diet first. Doing so could be dangerous to the health and wellbeing of your dog.
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- Pitbulls: Everything You Need to Know, Best Friends Animal Society