Exercising Your Pit BullGood Exercises For Your Pit Bull

The American Pit Bull Terrier is a cross between the Bulldog and Terrier. They were originally bred in England in the 1800’s and brought to the US. American Staffordshire Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier are extremely close inbreeding (arguably the same breed), so I am including them here. When this breed came to the US, Pit Bull Terriers were commonly used as work dogs like guards, cattle catcher, and livestock drivers. Of course, these dogs are notorious for bull-baiting and pit fighting other dogs, which has long been illegal. Today, American Pit Bulls are often used still for farm work, police work and as catch dogs as they are terriers.

Breed Type

Terrier

Physical Characteristics

  • medium size
  • muscular
  • short hair
  • energetic

Personality

  • strong and confident
  • possesses a great deal of stamina
  • fun and loving with people including children
  • tendency for aggression toward other dogs

Best Exercises

Pit Bull Terriers love games and like being physical and physically challenged:

  • Walking – Pit Bulls have great stamina and will walk for hours if you were inclined.
  • Tugging – Try toys like Spring poles, PetFlex poles, and strong rubber toys (especially if you have more than one dog) to let your dog pull. If you play tug-o-war with the dog, make you have control of the game – you choose to start it and end it with particular word cues, and use a particular toy.
  • Running – Pit Bull Terriers are sturdy dogs built for physical endurance, running or jogging is fine for pretty good distances (2 – 5 miles).
  • Chasing – Try games like Fetch or Keep-away or toys like Petflex poles.
  • Agility training – Pit Bull Terriers are clever dogs who enjoy a physical and mental challenge. Agility training provides an abundance of both.
  • Weight pulling training or competitions – This dog sport involves the dog pulling a cart or sled loaded with weight a short distance across grass, carpet, or snow. Sleddog and pit bull breeds excel within their respective weight classes, having been historically bred to pull sleds (sled dogs) or plows (pit bulls). Most competitions have very strict rules for the dogs’ safety.
  • Schutzhund – These are agility tests for the traits necessary for police-type work such as courage, perseverance, protectiveness, and trainability. If your dog is dog-aggressive, actual competition will not be a probability, but some parts of the actual training (tracking, over obstacles) may be a fun for him.

Suggested Exercise Plan

  • 2x a day for 45 minutes each (optimal)
  • 2x a day for 30 minutes each (good)
  • 1x a day for 30 minutes each (minimum)

Pit Bull Terriers are high energy dogs with a need for attention. Exercise accomplishes both. The more exercise they get, the more settled they can be the rest of the day.

Example of a good routine: a 30-minute walk in the morning and a vigorous 20-minute game (fetch, chase, obstacles, etc.) in the afternoon, every day.

Things To Note

Dog parks are probably not the thing for many dogs of this breed. Unless well-trained, American Pit Bull Terrier, while human-friendly, tend to be aggressive toward other dogs.