The American Pit Bull Terrier is an athletic breed with a need for physical activity. Pit Bulls make great sporting dogs in that they are agile, strong, and typically energetic. Accompanied with their eagerness to please their owners and enduring will, the combination makes for a great working dog.
Routine is another necessity in the making of a happy Pit Bull. Dogs in general thrive on routine and enthusiastically look forward to anticipating the next steps of a daily schedule.
Signs that your Pit Bull may need more activity, and/or routine:
- Chewing on items other than toys
- Excessive vocalization
- Hyper activeness
- Soiling inappropriately
Healthy activities for you and your Pit Bull
Not every day has to include a triathlon, but everyday needs to include some personal exercise with your dog, whether it is a simple jog through the neighborhood or 30 minutes of Frisbee. Not only does the activity keep your Pit Bull mentally and physically happy, it strengthens the bond between dog and owner. Aside from generally supporting a healthy lifestyle for a human, research has shown that owning a dog can also increase the average person’s life span.
The following are suggested healthy activities for you and your Pit Bull:
- Canine Good Citizen/obedience Training
- Weight Pull
- Have a Pit Bull with a high prey drive? Try Lure Coursing
- Never run long distance with puppies. Growth plates, (soft areas of immature bones) have to close prior to extensive exercise, as these bones are more susceptible to injury, which can cause the bones to stop growing. A six month old Pit Bull can typically tolerate a mile run. Work your Pit Bull up in distance slowly and wait until they are at least a year old to start running more than a mile at a time.
- Avoid jumping on a bicycle with your Pit Bull leashed at your side. This activity takes a lot of practice and a well trained dog to successfully exercise in this manner without causing injury to dog or owner.
- Don’t run with a Gentle Leader-type collar. Moving at high speeds on foot with a collar that pulls a dog to one side, (usually in front of runner) is a combination for a rough fall and a bad case of road rash. Gentle Leaders are great for walks; stick to a regular collar or halter for runs.
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By Sara Enos, Pit Bull Examiner