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Alternative Exercising for your Pit Bull Terrier

Discussion in 'Sports & Activities' started by F.W.K., Aug 11, 2017.

  1. F.W.K.

    F.W.K. Pup

    Alternative Exercising for your Pit Bull Terrier

    It's probably true to say, that not everyone who owns a Pit Bull Terrier wants their dog to be crushingly destructive fighter. But then again, not every owner wants their dog to be a permanent fireside attachment either, only raising themselves from slumber when the prospect of food is on offer or someone new comes to visit.
    Alternative activities and exercises for your very atletic dog are minimal in normal everyday living. Throwing a ball or a stick can become tiresome, especially if your dog insists on trying to eat the object that you are throwing for them at every opportunity. Having to run over to the dog each time to rescue the object he's busily chewing, seems like a complete waste of time. Long exhausting walks, which might ultimately benefit the dog, seem to be a real pain to the walker, who is constantly being dragged this way and that by a healthy inquisitive dog, who always seems to want to go in the direction you've just come from.

    Working the dog on a treadmill, is perhaps the most effective and easiest way of increasing his endurance and his muscle. It just leaves a lot to be desired in respect of interest for the dog. How would any of us feel about running at a wall and never quite getting there? and that's assuming that the dog will actually run the mill, because not all of them will.

    If you have ever attended a Pit Bull Terrier show, where they have included events such as weightpulling, etc. then you can't have failed to be impressed by the strength, attitude and the techniques of the dogs taking part. A dog that doesn't want to play this particular 'game' has an easy out, just sit on his arse and remove to budge. Apart from physically picking them up and carrying them towards the finish line, which sort of defeats the object of the exercise, how does an owner make his dog perform if he doesn't want to? So all this crap about it being cruel and unhealthy for the dog, doesn't really hold water. If it were such a barbaric event, then why do they hold such pulling competitions for Huskies, etc? Aren't they dogs too?

    My own dog was a particular swine for pulling, especially when I didn't want him to, like when he was out walking with me. That's not to say, that a gentle pull is unappreciated, as some slight resistance is of benefit to the dog and walker. But my dog didn't just pull...he dragged. He demonstrated the same techniques as do the dogs when they're pulling a cart with a load, head down, shoulders forward, feet scrambling for extra purchase on the floor. I could have tried to mimic the cart for real, simply by putting wheels on my feet, the only problem would be...how to stop? Funny thing was, that the problem was manageable when I was walking the dog alone, but if someone was walking with me, he would be twice as bad, up on all toes all the way round. More often than not I would complete a walk leaning back just to compensate for his pull, which was a real 'git' if and when he decided to stop suddenly.

    Given his habit of dragging, we thought that we'd explore the dogs potential to pull real weight. Having got hold of a couple of old tyres and a towing rope, we took the dog to a nearby field to try him out. His first reaction was to attack and then chew the tyres, bum in the air, tail wagging furiously. Eventually we managed to persuade him not to eat the tyres and tried to get him to pull them instead. As soon as he felt the resistance and the movement of the tyres behind him, he would just stop dead.

    A balloon offered a solution to this particular problem. Like most dogs he liked balloons. Once he had that incentive, there was no stopping him. While he was held in position, one of us would leg it about 100 - 200 yards across the field with the balloon. When the person was in position, the dog was released and he was off like a bullet. The fact that he was dragging a weight behind him didn't seem to bother him at all. He wanted that balloon more than anything else in the world.

    After a few days of doing this with a single tyre, we added a second, thinking that it might slow him down a bit..WRONG!!. The only difference with having two tyres, was that the initial weight required more effort on the dogs part to get them moving. He compensated for this by allowing himself a little run, before hitting the end of the rope and jerking the tyres forward.Once they were moving, he found it quite easy to maintain the momentum and didn't seem to expend any additional energy in the process of moving forward himself. He seemed to cover the ground just as quickly with two tyres as he did with the one.

    More important perhaps, was that the dog seemed to thoroughly enjoy the activity. Each time we loaded the tyres and tow rope into the car, he went mad with anticipation and fairly raced to get in the car. A big plus for me, was that the exercise seemed to curb his excess energy and allowed me to walk him, without getting my arms ripped out.

    This seemingly natural ability to pull, may well have come from his bloodline. But then again, maybe it's something that's built into the Bull Terrier breeds, with a need to exercise vigorously and overcome any sort of restraint. Whatever the reasons, they seem to do it in a very accomplished way. I haven't really pursued this activity too far with my own dog, as I'm not sure that he'd be as good as some others. Being single-minded enough to chase a balloon across a field, isn't the same as being single-minded enough to chase a balloon in a hall full of other dogs.

    That having been said, I would recommend the activity to anyone who wanted to exercise their dog in a general way. Unlike myself, they might choose to develop the dogs abilities and techniques to a point where he could earn a reputation as a champion weightpuller. Whatever your reasons you can be sure that your dog will benefit from it. A final word of cation though... if you're going to use ballons don't have any parties anywhere near the dog.
     
    slim12 and Jstaff like this.

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