The entire world knows Pitbulls are the breed that embodies loyalty, stamina, and sheer willpower. Other myths surrounding them have been around for a while, but we do not care for make-believe. We care about the answer to how much exercise does a Pitbull need.
Since every dog has their own quirks, quite a few dependencies exist for this answer. I will try to be as exhaustive as possible, but keep in mind that you will have to work your way through finding the ideal amount based on information from this article.
High-Paced, Four-Legged Willpower
Very few other dog breeds exist that can match the Pitbull’s working drive. Throughout history, mankind abused their strong will to please for dog fighting, which ignited the fuse for a “trend” that Pitbulls are aggressive by nature and kill people unprovoked.
A Pitbull will die before quitting a task given to it. With such a strong desire to finish whatever it started, it can be hard to tire out a Pittie. This breed is a medium-sized dog that is muscular and athletic.
High levels of intelligence support all that physical strength and endurance, so that problem-solving presents no big deal for them. This means that you have to provide plenty of mental exercise as well, not just physical activity.
A ballpark figure for daily hours of activity is around two hours of high intensity exercise that will get the brain cells working alongside the muscles. This will largely depend on the age of your Pitbull, its pedigree, or underlying health problems.
Note: Going on walks is not enough exercise for a healthy, adult Pitbull. Walking them twice a day for an hour or so should be a way to relax and do a number one or two. For more information on this topic, read our dog walking frequency guide.
Activities That Will Certainly Tire Your Pitbull Out
Another consideration that makes a big impact on Pitbull exercise needs is structure and obedience. Simply letting the dog go berserk and run around aimlessly will accomplish little to tire it out.
Thought-out training regimes are a must if you wish your dog to come back home and just go into stand-by mode. A routine can include anything that compounds brain stimulation and physical activity, like agility course training, dog sports competitions, etc.
Despite the Pitbull not being recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), there is an AKC Canine Partners program that allows you to participate with your mixed breed in non-conformation events such as obedience, agility, or rally.
Thankfully, unnecessarily complex routines are not the only way to mix it up for your Pitbull. Hiking can be an enriching experience with new scents, sounds, and visuals. For most dogs, that is more than enough mental stimulation for the day.
Those of you who like riding bicycles, blade-rolling, or running can have your Pitbull tag along. Get one of the twelve best Pitbull harnesses and let them pull you until all the energy is out.
Do not disregard your Pitbull’s free will. Leave a little time for free-roam playtime. Dogs sometimes just have to be dogs, and as an owner, it is important to know their needs. Of equal importance is being mindful of overworking your dog, so let me help you know your Pit better.
Fine-Tuning Exercise Needs For Your Pitbull
The Pitbull is among the healthiest dog breeds in the world, and the few health issues that can arise do not occur frequently. The better choice of breeder you make, the lower the chances of your Pitbull having serious genetic conditions.
If by chance you have a dog that suffers from hip dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy, or a luxating patella, its exercise needs will need to be custom-tailored to its physical abilities.
Since these conditions all affect the musculoskeletal system, the risk of doing more damage or completely preventing the dog from exercising is much higher than if your Pitbull suffers from skin conditions, like mange, pyoderma, or allergies.
Younger dogs will have more energy to spend than older dogs, so you will be closer to the two-hour mark of intense exercise, and an hour or so for obedience training, free playtime, exploration, or anything else that will help your dog relax after getting tired.
Senior dogs can benefit from longer walks instead of overexertion through heavy physical activity. Therapeutic exercises are great for keeping a calm state of mind while still staying fit. For older dogs or those with serious conditions, avoid high-impact activities like jumping.
Considering that the average lifespan of a Pitbull is between twelve and fourteen years, a senior dog would be anything above eight years of age. The breed’s persistence will rarely discourage it from hurting itself to finish the given task.
This is why owners have the responsibility to recognize when their dog has had enough exercise. Now is the time to warn you that Pitbull puppies need a different approach, which means a different strategy to exercise.
Too Much Exercise Is Not Good For Pitbull Puppies
Before reaching full physical maturity, puppies are fragile, pretty clumsy, and have very low attention spans. They are also insecure due to the inability to do what they want to in the middle of mental and physical development.
Although obedience training is crucial for a well-raised puppy, socialization and free time to explore things under your guidance is much more important than being exhausted. A puppy will quickly get tired, so half an hour a day of exercise will suffice.
The rest of the day should be spent exposing your puppy to new situations, which means engaging its smell, touch, hearing, vision, and brain to experience as many stimuli as possible. If you want to make them happy, check out these eight things Pitbulls cannot say no to.
Playing around the house is great, but make sure that your Pit puppy visits dog parks, goes on nature walks, rides in a car, meets all kinds of people and animals. This type of mental exercise will be invaluable once it is an adult.
Learning about as much as possible in the early days will teach it to react properly in a variety of scenarios, reducing the likelihood of being anxious or aggressive. With the world seeing Pitbulls as vicious canines, being a balanced and calm dog is of paramount importance.
Disciplining your Pitbull whether puppy or adult is usually not recommended due to the slight propensity of the breed to accumulate aggressive behavior when negative reinforcement or punishment is used.
Clear Signs Your Dog Is Not Getting Enough Exercise
This problem is pretty common among Pitbull owners. Dog trainers and behaviorists have been explaining how to deal with a bored or under-exercised dog for years, but the same mistakes are still made.
In case you are wondering whether your dog needs more physical and mental activity, here are the main symptoms to look out for.
Finding your house in disarray after returning from work is probably one of the most common behavioral problems that stem from not meeting the exercise needs of a Pitbull.
Chewed up furniture, broken glasses and tables, scratch marks on the floor and kitchen cabinets, massive holes in the yard, and many other things are telltale signs of excess energy. Without a goal or vent, your Pitbull will just improvise.
Anxiety And Stress
Having all that pent-up power without a proper way to channel it out will stress out your Pitbull. With an increase in stress levels, your dog might become anxious, aggressive, fearful, or become a clingy Pitbull.
A dog that does not have enough physical activity will develop insecurities and irrational fears that might result in barking or whining at absolutely nothing. It can also affect its socialization skills.
Dogs that are balanced and in a calm state will avoid or correct your Pitbulls overexcited state, which can cause your dog to dislike dog parks or other dogs in general. You do not want to question whether you should allow your Pitbull off leash in a dog park.
Anxiety and stress can also make your dog pee or poop in the house. This is often paired with separation anxiety, which can be quite difficult to overcome. Always contact a professional dog behaviorist or dog trainer if your dog has this level of separation anxiety.
Exercise needs to be considered both a mental and physical task for dogs. Pitbulls will benefit from combining those two into some fun and challenging physical activity, and the article hopefully answered “How much exercise does a Pitbull need?” and more.
Keep your dog working out, but do not go overboard. Feed it a proper diet, socialize, and you should see excellent results with a quick turnover. Pitbulls are not a reason to worry, their owners are. For this reason, you should be the best owner a dog could have.