Pitbulls are known for their powerful jaws and massive muscles. They also have a reputation for being aggressive dogs. If you want to train your Pitbull to become a muscular dog, then you should start with feeding him a high protein diet.
Pitbulls are large dogs that belong to the Canidae family. They are considered to be intelligent, loyal, and affectionate. The breed was originally bred for herding cattle and guarding livestock, but also as fierce and loyal companions.
Pitbulls have a thick layer of fat under their skin, which makes them look bulky. This is why they are often called “puppy chub” or “fatty dogs”. When training your Pitbull, you should focus on building his muscles instead of focusing on his fat.
If you want your Pitbull to bulk up you will want to adjust their diet, introducing a good protein diet, but do not forget to add in more appropriate exercises as well!
However, do not only think about the physical health of your dog, but consider their mental health too. The more focused their overall health is, the better their muscle mass will be too!
Feeding To Bulk Up
So many of us immediately jump to exercise when we think about bulking up, for us and for animals. However, this is totally untrue, the first place that bulking up starts at is in the diet.
Sure exercise is great, but a good diet really does assist in exercise overall when you are trying to build up muscles.
There are three primary areas in which you should focus this; protein, carbohydrates, and fat content.
Let’s look at each of these individually.
Introduce More Protein
Many of us are aware that dogs’ diets should be filled with protein. That being said, a plethora of dog foods typically use unhealthy proteins, or the protein is not really coming from a reputable source.
In order to ensure that your dogs’ grub is as genuinely protein heavy as it states that it is, you should always be watchful of the ingredients, the ingredients will take you everything that you need to know.
This means you should be on a stark lookout for ‘by-product’ this is not what you want to see. By-products basically are inferior proteins, and they are much less potent than you want. You want to see the actual name of the source of protein.
By-products are like the equivalent of us eating a burger from Whataburger instead of one that is homemade. So, it’s clear the true difference between the content of this protein.
You should also be looking to seek out the leaner protein. Lean proteins are healthy, and will give your dog’s body much more nutrition. Granting energy, and making it easier for your dogs’ biology to use and turn into muscle fuel.
If you are unsure what brand will give your dog the best quality protein, ask your vet for recommendations, and they may also be able to give you tips on how to tell good vs bad protein sources in dog foods!
Introduce More Carbs
While human body builders will usually go pretty high on the carb count, a dog does not actually need that much. In fact, the amount of carbs in many dog foods and in many of their treats is crazy high! Dogs do not actually need that much of this in their diet at all.
While it is necessary to have in the diet, they should also be great quality carbs, and in more minimal doses than fat or protein should be.
Realistically, a majority of ‘posher’ dog food should already provide carbs in these better amounts, so, you are only really wanting a low-carbohydrate treat for them now. However, it is wise to always look at the carb counts in your dogs’ food, just to be sure.
Introduce More Fat Content
We all intend well, but we often make the big mistake of cutting fat from our dog’s diet.
Sure, we admit, the fat ratio should not be super high, but you still want a decent portion of good fats. This means properly sourced fats. This gives your dog energy that they need to be able to exercise properly and digest their food they need.
You will often find good fat comes from poultry and fish, ignoring more inferior sources of these fats, like you would with proteins. Inferior fats will be bad fats that do not help as much.
Is A Home Crafted Diet Okay?
Sometimes we just consider the diet of our pets and feel like we could probably do it better than the store-bought stuff would ever be able to do. There are many pet parents who feel this way, and usually it’s those who want muscle build with Fido.
It’s a decent idea, and you should go for it. BUT, you need the advice of someone who is experienced and a pro in both Pitbulls, and homemade diets.
An expert will be able to provide you with everything you need from a feeding schedule, ideal recipes and even more. This is all part of the process, and it also ensures that your dog’s health stays as the focus.
Once you have your pup’s diet all ready, you want to get to figuring out an exercise regime. You need to look at exercises that will help your dog to safely bulk up while they also enjoy a good 1-1 time with you… their favorite human in the world!
We highly recommend; swimming, stair-climbs, long walks, and playing tug-o-war.
Let’s delve into these a bit more.
Swims & Stairs
Swimming and climbing stairs are both great ideas for your dogs to have fun with exercise and get some extra muscle on their shoulders and their legs.
Swimming, as it is for us, is a fantastic all-round workout, and also makes for great endurance. It will be great fun for your dog too, and you can see the payoff from it pretty quickly. The best aim for this is some vigorous sessions lasting 10-minutes.
When you start with stair-climbs, this is as basic as can be. You should encourage Fido to be going down and up a staircase 3 or more times each day. You should include more as your dog gets used to doing it, but we would suggest starting with 3.
Most dogs love a game of tug-o-war anyway, and you can incorporate more people into this too. It is a great way to build up muscle mass and strength, as it encourages the whole body to get stronger. It is also an exercise which you can manipulate to be easy, or challenging.
You can incorporate additional people, change what you use, making it heavier or lighter, you could attach it to a solid object for more resistance, etc.
Also, let us not forget that Pitbulls love this particular type of toy anyway, so it is going to be a win-win for everyone!
If you were to go on many walks, you would slowly start to see yourself tone up. The same goes for your dog. Sure, this won’t get them building up muscle superfast, but it will work gradually, and mixed with the others, it will help.
You should plan long walks, and make them more difficult as you go. Pitties love walking anyway, and you will get a workout too.
You should start off as usual, then maybe add n inclines , or some steps, or a tougher terrain like sand. Then start increasing the time, an additional 5 minutes, then 10, and so on and so on. As you progressively add more time onto your walks, you will see muscle accumulate too.
Should you be seeking a way to add in some extra strength to your Pitbulls jaw muscles, the absolute best thing you can do is choose some new, durable toys for your dog to chew on.
Pitbulls love a good chew, and they can be pretty rough about it when they’re in full play-mode. So, get some tough uns, give them a challenge while they relax, and of course, do not forget that tug-o-war as well.
Play tug-o-war, and get some harder toys. There are so many options out there, there will be something perfect for you to use to work your dog’s jaw.
Do You Need Doggie Gym Gear?
You will probably be happy to hear that you do not need to set up a home-gym for your Pitbull. All you really need is toys, and a tug-o-war set up. You probably also want a pool or a lake to swim in as well.
But you do not need to get anything else. You could find special toys that you can get weights for, which may be more ideal for building muscle, however, this is not really needed.
If you do decide you want to use this though, do speak to your vet before you do so, because your dog’s health comes first and foremost, and weighted toys are not ideal for every dog.
What About Health Issues?
You should always be aware of dog health issues. Different breeds are always prone to different health problems, so make sure you are aware of the problems your dog has or may have.
Getting your Pitbull stronger is about more than food and working out. You should also focus on their hereditary conditions, genetics, any illnesses or injuries they may have, and please, always remember to take care of their emotional health too!
These dogs are naturally very fit and energetic, you should have no issue encouraging them to work out. Also, let’s not forget that this particular breed is naturally pretty muscular, and building up this muscle should come naturally to them.
Yet, always be thoughtful about the genes of the dog’s parents. Gaining weight and a sub-par muscle density can be counterproductive if this is something that runs in the genetics of your dogs’ family.
Also, if the parents of your dog were also in bad health, consider your dog may also go down a similar road, and your attempts may not be quite as fruitful as you would see in Pitbull’s with healthier parents.
Expectations are the biggest downfall here. Know what your dog’s history is, it will change a lot.
Illness & Injury
Do not forget that like other breeds, Pitbull’s can be more susceptible to some illnesses and injuries such as heart issues and hip dysplasia.
Having either issue will cut down the amount of exercise your dog can actually do. Your vet will set limits for them.
If your dog suffers injury, even more so if it is around their knee joints, this may cause the dog’s exercise to be limited to short, or long periods.
Always take these things into consideration.
Our mental health impacts our ability to gain muscle, it is the same for a dog.
If your dog is stressed, anxious, sad, or depressed then the energy of your dog will end up going elsewhere. They will not want to exercise, they will pile on the pounds, and they will be very fatigued.
Always think about what your dog needs in terms of emotional support and love from their human. A happy pup is one that is healthy. Make sure that you consider their emotional health above all else, because without it, the rest is futile.
Keep In Mind
Just like any dog, animal, or person, there is a possibility of ‘too much muscle’ Aim for a particular fat vs muscle ratio in your dog.
You can use breeder guidelines, but we recommend simply sticking to what your vet is recommending. They will know how you can bulk up Fido best, they will give you an ideal target and inform you on how to tell if they are at the ideal ratio.
As a Pitbull is naturally a muscly dog, a healthy approach is the best approach to work for you.
Just ensure that you monitor their fat content, keeping it in line, because this helps him stay in health and build muscle at the same time!
Focusing on your dog’s physical health, a happy Pitbull can gain muscle through a low-carb, moderate-fat, high-protein diet.
With added exercises like cardio (walks, swimming and stair climbing), and strength training (tug-o-war), your dog can build up muscle quickly.
Always listen to your vet’s recommendations, and make sure your dog is fit and healthy as you go on this journey with him. Take your time and remember this is a journey you are taking together. Maybe you can both bulk up, as a team!