Exercise options for your bulldog

Tricks, obedience, behavior, and more.
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concreterose
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Exercise options for your bulldog

Postby concreterose » Mon Mar 13, 2006 11:45 am

Thanks to NatX for taking the time to write this up!
NatX wrote:Easy Exercise Methods

The reason for this post is to provide a general overview of exercise methods available along with supported links related to those topics and with hopes to serve as a starting point for new comers and a reference post for others. I want to state that I have no contracts or obligations to any or all sites listed, linked or contained in this post including Pit Bull Forum (PBF). All pictures contained have been posted with the expressed permission of the original owners. This is simply my contribution to others and to the circulation body of knowledge here.
It should be no surprise that the bully breeds are a working breed being that their background through the years had them earning a living on farms or helping to settle the frontier. Fast-forward to today and you’ll find similar tasks being asked of them along with the task of keeping or couches and laps warm. The former task sometimes makes us complacent of their working background and can result in owners having issues with their animals. So I’ve complied a list of activities accompanied with links to similar and related topics discussed here on the forum and other informative sites.

Doggy Back Packing
These packs are a cheap investment and can easily achieve a descent work level in your dog. Packing can be done no matter what living condition your in (i.e. city, urban rural). You just put the pack on the dog, add some weight, and walk the dog. There are other activities including hiking or any outside excursions that could be taken advantage of to exercise your dog. When you add weight to the pack make sure to load the weight evenly on both sides and increase the weight in small increments. I recommend waiting at least two weeks with one weight before increasing the weight and no more than 2.5% at a time. This will allow the dog’s body to adjust appropriately to the new weight. A number of things can be used to add weight like ankle weights, bottles of water, or sand (no dirt of any kind).
http://www.pitbullforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=35789&highlight=weight+pulling
http://www.pitbullforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=6415&highlight=weight+pulling
http://www.arcatapet.com/item.cfm?cat=5746


Mills (Electric treadmills, Carpet mills, Slat mills)
Mills of all kinds are great to have especially for those bad weather days when it’s raining cats and dogs or to cold to leave the house. Having a mill can accommodate individuals that have time constraints due to work, family or live in the city.
Electric treadmills can be cheap depending on the source and does require some slight handy work to accommodate your four-legged companion. You’ll also need a walking harness and a few pieces of hardware to connect the dog to the mill. You will have to get the dog acclimated with the treadmill and slowly teach them to walk on it. You set the pace for the dog since it’s an electric treadmill. So be careful not to over run them and never ever leave them unattended when on a mill. Remember to take things in small steps, keep it fun and your dog won’t even know its work.
Carpet mills start off around $320 (about what a descent electric treadmill new starts at) and will require a walking harness. The carpet mill is built for dogs and requires no further modification. The belt the dog runs on is a dense material and I liken it in similarity to some doormats. The carpet mill is on an incline and has some adjustability allowing for different inclined angles resulting in different muscles being trained and increases the level of work. These mills are self-propelled by the dog, which adds to the amount of work the dog does in a period of time. (See links below)
Slate mills are comparable to carpet mills except they have a wooden slat system used for the running surface and can not adjust the incline. Slat mills do make noise, but similar to the noise level emitted by an electric treadmill and take up a bit of space as well. (See link below)
http://www.pitbullforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=35085
http://www.colbypitbull.com/treadmil.htm
http://www.pitbullforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=35636
http://www.workingpitbull.com/jenni.html
http://www.chandlermills.com/
http://www.grandcarpetmill.com/
http://www.pitbullforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=30519&highlight=slat+millsv

Bike Riding
The places where one can ride a bike are very few and far, which means anyone in any living condition can do this. Most people have a bike that they have stashed away somewhere no realizing that could be a useful tool to give you dog the physical stimulation they require. The investment for a bike will be as much as you are willing to pay. Pawn shops area great place to get a cheap bike if you are using it only to condition your dog. It does take a bit of time to get this done, which is around 15minutes and depends on you and your dog’s fitness level. I’m not saying you have to run you dog ragged but running them once a day or three times a week adds up to more exercise than your walks for that month. It’s inevitable that some of you are thinking “I can’t possibly do this with my dog, they pull way to much for me to control them while perched on a bike.” Springer USA has a set-up called a “Springer” which allows for great control of your dog and will keep you in control. A full set-up will run you about $48.00 minus shipping and can buy separate pieces if you choose to only use the bracket only. When using the Springer it is advisable to not use the rope and just replace it with a piece of cable tie-out or small chain. The length should be short when using the Springer bracket, which installs or uninstalls in seconds. I would think about not using the safety release only because the dog should not be that far away from you to get caught up in something that would require a safety release. When biking with your dog it does help to know your dog’s tendencies like they love to chase small moving objects. Try your best to keep away form areas that you would be likely to encounter those distractions. So if your dog likes to chase squirrels keep away from parks. The better you’re able to avoid such instances the more enjoyable for both of you. While biking you dog is more likely to be beside you or ahead of you at the beginning of the trip, but after the middle they’ll slow down they always do. So near the middle or end remember to keep pace with your dog and not set the pace for them. Dragging your dog behind you on the bike is not fun for either. You may need to take frequent breaks or half way until your dog’s endurance builds up.
http://www.springerusa.com/purchase.cfm
http://gearfordogs.com/pages/FAQs/Springer_FAQ.shtml


Spring Pole/Flirt Pole
Both the spring pole and flirt pole are really cheap to construct. The only reservation is with the spring pole, which one would need a place to hang it, so city and or apartment living would make it difficult to have your dog work on this. Working the spring pole will work more of the neck and back musculature of the dog as well as their grip strength. Checkout the links for better detail on the construction of a spring pole.
A flirt pole is basically a lure or big cat toy for a dog and is even cheaper to make than a spring pole. The flirt pole can be used in any enclosed open area (tennis court, ball field, backyard, etc.) and can wear out a dog in ten minutes or less. Various things can be used as the lure like a rope, a rag, burlap sack, a ball, towel or whatever drives your dog crazy. Working the flirt pole can also be used as a method to help increase prey drive as well as an excellent exercise tool.
http://www.workingpitbull.com/springpole.htm
http://www.pitbullforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=34491&highlight=flirt+poles (Pics)
http://www.pitbullforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=24820&highlight=flirt+poles (Pics)
http://www.springpole.com (Pics and video)

Recreational Weight Pulling
Any form of weight pulling should not be done with any animal under a year of age and for dogs between 1 yr and 2yr real heavy weight should be avoided until two years. This activity can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 30 minutes depending on what you prefer to do. Investment in a pulling harness can be as cheap or expensive as you want, but a harness, a pulling lead for the weight, and something to pull are what will be required. I prefer to use a tire for recreational pulling, which can be obtained usually for free from tire repair shops. The tire can allow for different resistances depending on the surface being pulled on. So a tire dragging on dirt will slide easier than being dragged on grass. Old fashion window weights, a dragging sled (if you want to buy one), a wagon or some sort of loadable cart are other alternatives to using a tire.
One should never make a dog pull on concrete, asphalt or anything similar in texture. This will cause pad wear on the dog’s feet and can develop sores. If you’re unsure of the surface think about if you had to pull weight on that surface bare footed, then you’ll have your answer.
When it comes to working the dog you can take a few different approaches, which some are discussed in detail on some of the provided links. You can have the dog pull lightweight for a long distance, pull medium weight for a moderate distance, or heavy weight (depending on age) for short distances. Distances that could be used for lightweight could be as long as a lengthy walk in a park. I use a distance of about 80 to 100yards for moderate distances with a minute rest between pulls using weight equivalent to the dog’s body weight. For heavy pulls 50 yards is a good distance with about 2min rest between pulls. For weight I recommend no more than an additional 10% added to the moderate weight. If you wanted to incorporate pulling into your dogs weekly exercise you could pull lightweight on Monday, moderate weight on Wednesday, and heavy weight on Friday with a full day between pulling sessions. Or you could pull one weight for a week then change weights for the next week. Cycling the weight used for pulling will develop different muscles fibers within the same muscles. Pulling lightweight will work the fibers responsible for endurance, while heavier weights depending on the load used will work the fibers for strength. The fibers types are why it’s important to work different loading parameters if you really want to get into weight pulling contests.
http://www.apbtconformation.com/weight_pulling.htm
http://www.pitbullforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=8105&highlight=weight+pulling
http://www.pitbullforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=35520&highlight=weight+pulling
http://www.pitbullforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=34706&highlight=weight+pulling
http://www.pitbullforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=32305&highlight=weight+pulling

Equipment links
These are just a few links to aid in the location of equipment or supplies.
http://www.workingpitbull.com/links.htm
http://www.pitbullforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=29721&highlight=weight+pulling

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Sean W.
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Postby Sean W. » Wed Mar 15, 2006 7:29 pm

Nice. :thumbsup:

BullyBoi

Postby BullyBoi » Tue May 16, 2006 7:03 pm

Good post

Confused

Postby Confused » Sun Jun 18, 2006 3:50 am

I have a question. Can someone post a pic of a set up they use with their bike that can insure that you won't be pulled into traffic or pulled over? I'd like to do this but I don't have well trained dogs in terms of not pulling me all over the place. This interests me.

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cdogg
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Postby cdogg » Sun Jun 18, 2006 9:54 am

Great post and links. I love this topic. Activity is the key to a happy dog, in my opinion. Here is another site about activities with your dog.
http://www.dogplay.com/index.html

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NatX
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Postby NatX » Tue Jun 27, 2006 8:45 am

Confused: if you go to the soringer site they have a picture or two of thier set-up which would allow you to maintian control of the bike and your dog. The set-up keeps the dog from roaming all over the place and next to the bike. You can use your brakes and steer the dog in the direction you want.

Ash_Mash

Postby Ash_Mash » Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:11 am

Recreational Weight Pulling
Any form of weight pulling should not be done with any animal under a year of age and for dogs between 1 yr and 2yr real heavy weight should be avoided until two years. This activity can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 30 minutes depending on what you prefer to do. Investment in a pulling harness can be as cheap or expensive as you want, but a harness, a pulling lead for the weight, and something to pull are what will be required. I prefer to use a tire for recreational pulling, which can be obtained usually for free from tire repair shops. The tire can allow for different resistances depending on the surface being pulled on. So a tire dragging on dirt will slide easier than being dragged on grass. Old fashion window weights, a dragging sled (if you want to buy one), a wagon or some sort of loadable cart are other alternatives to using a tire.
One should never make a dog pull on concrete, asphalt or anything similar in texture. This will cause pad wear on the dog’s feet and can develop sores. If you’re unsure of the surface think about if you had to pull weight on that surface bare footed, then you’ll have your answer.
When it comes to working the dog you can take a few different approaches, which some are discussed in detail on some of the provided links. You can have the dog pull lightweight for a long distance, pull medium weight for a moderate distance, or heavy weight (depending on age) for short distances. Distances that could be used for lightweight could be as long as a lengthy walk in a park. I use a distance of about 80 to 100yards for moderate distances with a minute rest between pulls using weight equivalent to the dog’s body weight. For heavy pulls 50 yards is a good distance with about 2min rest between pulls. For weight I recommend no more than an additional 10% added to the moderate weight. If you wanted to incorporate pulling into your dogs weekly exercise you could pull lightweight on Monday, moderate weight on Wednesday, and heavy weight on Friday with a full day between pulling sessions. Or you could pull one weight for a week then change weights for the next week. Cycling the weight used for pulling will develop different muscles fibers within the same muscles. Pulling lightweight will work the fibers responsible for endurance, while heavier weights depending on the load used will work the fibers for strength. The fibers types are why it’s important to work different loading parameters if you really want to get into weight pulling contests.



I live in north Georgia and have recently had problems with my neighbors. We have two male pit bulls in a very large and spacious lot (the perfect place to exercise them with all the shade from the trees and even better since it is fenced in and they can't run off). When you take one bully out, you have to hook the other to a cable because he will dig under/jump over the fence. I have caught my neighbors on several occasions taking pictures of the bully when he is hooked up. I have been told that it is against the law to have a pit pull chains. However, our dogs are not hooked to chains. They are hooked to a wire cable fastened to the middle of the lot. The only chain that has ever been used is the collar my boyfriend made to put on our Blue pit. It only weighs about five lbs (if even that!) and has not fit our Blue bully in quite sometime.

Since our Blue is out alot more than the other pit (roofus), roofus stays on the cable about 2 1/2 hours a day and has thickened up his chest from tugging at the cable. We would like for our Blue bully to have a muscular chest like our Roofus does. How can we acheive this w/o our nosey neighbors attempting to take our babies away from us? And is pulling chains and walking them on a tredmill really illegal in North GA?

Thanks so much,
Ashley & Matt

p.s. We live within walking distance of a lake. I recently thought when the weather was warmer to take Caine (our blue) out for a swim (he's also quite stubborn on a leash and we could do a little training before we reached the lake). If swimming would be a good workout for him, at least he would have fun in the proccess. Would that acheive the chest muscle definity we are looking for? And how do you introduce a dog to swimming that has never been in water above his knees?

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vnat
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Postby vnat » Mon Feb 19, 2007 8:50 am

hi,thank you for this thread!

i wanted to ask, regarding the pole where the dog bites and hangs, or even the thing that you hold one end with your hand and the dog bytes the other and pulls... from what age is it safe to do this?

i was told that one should not pull hard till the dog becomes at least 6 monts old is this true? (im talking for that thing you hold and the dog pulls it)

also, same question applies for lightweight pulling, like a car tyre for example. can you do that before 1 year old?

thank you :)

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Papa of Capone
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Postby Papa of Capone » Sat Aug 25, 2007 4:36 pm

vnat wrote:
i wanted to ask, regarding the pole where the dog bites and hangs, or even the thing that you hold one end with your hand and the dog bytes the other and pulls... from what age is it safe to do this?

Me personally. I wait until my pups baby teeth came out. I have been doing this with my dogs for some years now and never once had a problem. Its more about what you think your dog can handle cause they always think they can do anything. roflmao

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makedonce78
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Postby makedonce78 » Mon Oct 01, 2007 8:37 am

how old should the dog be before you introduce him to the tread mill? I tried it 3 times with our 3 month old, but he is just too scared to even climb on it and get his cookie (when its not even working)

henry0303
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Postby henry0303 » Sat Nov 17, 2007 7:18 pm

be patient he will use it in time, walk on it when he is in the room, play with him around it, turn it on that way he gets used to the sound. he will eventualy run on it .

Ruffian
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Postby Ruffian » Mon Dec 17, 2007 2:05 pm

Confused wrote:I have a question. Can someone post a pic of a set up they use with their bike that can insure that you won't be pulled into traffic or pulled over? I'd like to do this but I don't have well trained dogs in terms of not pulling me all over the place. This interests me.


I use the WalkyDog attachment http://www.walkydogusa.com to bike x2 a week with my dog, walk x3-4 a week, and flirtpole x3 times a week. The bike attachment makes it very safe/easy to ride with the dog - even when she decides to lunge at a frog/squirrel, it feels like a light side wind, easy to control. You can also perhaps start with a prong collar so that the dog self-corrects a few times and decides to keeps it place. And yes, I agree, when I start out, she is usually pulling me, she is that eager to run, after 5-10 minutes we settle into a quick trot that gets her panting after about 20-30 mins of biking. I stop half-way and pour some water (2-4 tablespoons) into her mouth too.

Ruffian
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Postby Ruffian » Mon Dec 17, 2007 2:06 pm

Ruffian wrote:
Confused wrote:I have a question. Can someone post a pic of a set up they use with their bike that can insure that you won't be pulled into traffic or pulled over? I'd like to do this but I don't have well trained dogs in terms of not pulling me all over the place. This interests me.


I use the WalkyDog attachment http://www.walkydogusa.com to bike x2 a week with my dog, walk x3-4 a week, and flirtpole x3 times a week. The bike attachment makes it very safe/easy to ride with the dog - even when she decides to lunge at a frog/squirrel, it feels like a light side wind, easy to control. You can also perhaps start with a prong collar so that the dog self-corrects a few times and decides to keeps it place. And yes, I agree, when I start out, she is usually pulling me, she is that eager to run, after 5-10 minutes we settle into a quick trot that gets her panting after about 20-30 mins of biking. I stop half-way and pour some water (2-4 tablespoons) into her mouth too.


But the flirt pole is her all-time FAVORITE - she will so tired after 10 minutes but will want to keep going.

lms
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Postby lms » Thu Jan 03, 2008 1:23 am

Interesting.

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Ntchwaidumela
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Postby Ntchwaidumela » Fri Feb 15, 2008 1:58 pm

Hey NatX-

Great post!

But I was wondering if either you, or others would be kind enough to let us know the benefits or what specfic areas are being worked for each of those excercises?

I enjoy working Jake on the flirtpole cause it involves a lot of his muscles to run, jump and some tugging.

Peace,
E


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