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need some excercise ideas

Discussion in 'Dogs - Pit bull breeds specific' started by someday, Sep 15, 2004.

  1. someday

    someday New Member

    Annie's home alone for most of the day and as a high energy dog, she's ready to burn it off when I get home. I need some more ideas for fun energy intensive excercise for her to do, since obviously a walk around the block doesn't cut it(although she gets one anyways as soon as i get home, then more fun) I live in an apartment complex so i can't just put her in the back yard to chase a ball and she doesn't quite get the idea of fetch anyways..she loves to chase, but actually picking it up and bringing it back, not so fun...she'll run to it as fast as she can, most times leave it right where it landed and run back to me like...ok mom..go pick it up and throw it again. Off leash is hard since there are often other dogs around ,and she's so social if one's pretty close she's deaf to "come" and she just HAS to meet it. But right now her favorite game is when we play catch. She loves to run back and forth between my boyfriend and I while we throw a football..often with a flying leap in the air next too us once we catch it(she started off wanting to play tackle football, but i convinced my boyfriend it was not a smart idea to let a pit bull go running and flying into someone, regardless of how fun he and the dog thought it was..so she simply jumps AWAY from us now, which i've got to get a picture of because i swear she gets about 4 ft in the air)she'd do it till she collapsed I'm sure...and other dogs are ignored when she plays this game, but I get kinda bored playing catch sometimes...and I'm home alone a lot, so it's hard to play catch by myself, so any other ideas that preferably involve a leash? I know running with the dog is probably the best option, but when I get home i've usually been gone all day working with horses and cleaning stalls and i'm beat, i've got enough energy to get out with the dog, but running is asking a bit much of my body by that point, sometimes we run in the morning before i start my day though.
     
  2. True_Pits

    True_Pits New Member

    Sounds like you got some dog on your hands, I've got a girl like that myself. Never tires is just nuts to go, go go. You could try bike riding if you aren't too beat, its a lot less work for you then running but the dog gets to run beside you. A treadmill would also work well to get some energy off. Swimming is another good idea, if you have a lake or something you could take her too. A lazer pointer is always fun, getting her to run around while you just sit there, fun, fun.
     
  3. someday

    someday New Member

    Those are good ideas, i've been meaning to try biking with her...I just might do it tonight. She LOVES swimming and i take her to the nature area to swim fairly often, but she always needs a bath afterwards, the water smells like fish and she digs like crazy in the sand and is covered by the time we go home. We also have a pond right out our back door, but I won't let her swim in it because it's nasty, i wish people could find a better place for their trash, because it would be wonderful to let her swim more often. She is a go,go,go girl most of the time, but I don't think i'd have her any other way, even though she can't catch a frisbee to save her life. :mrgreen:
     
  4. True_Pits

    True_Pits New Member

    Neither can mine....lol
     
  5. pitbull_fan71421

    pitbull_fan71421 New Member

    How about tug?

    Have you thought about getting a treadmill? I can't afford one right now, but I think my furry babies would love one.

    My dogs have these bursts of energy, but then pretty much lay around.

    I have taught mine to jump vertically (on carpet or on grass, of course), and you can wear out a lot of energy with a couple of big jumps.

    Then there is always jump over the broomstick, go under the broomstick.

    The big reward for jumping and broomsticking is TUG. My dogs would sell their souls for a quick game of tug.

    Mine will actually fetch, although not 50 times like a deranged retriever (my lab mix won't fetch at all LOL), if I throw their tuggy rope.

    Swimming is great fun. I have one who LOVES to swim. We make it a habit to at least rinse off, if not shampoo after swimming, though.

    If your dogs are like mine, just learning something new is tiring. Touch it, shake, rollover, kisses (licking someone)... then teach chains, like lick the person's hand and then offer a paw for shake, then roll over.

    SMART, smart dogs. We have a lot of fun together.
     
  6. someday

    someday New Member

    Yeah, I can't afford a treadmill right now either..I think she'd love it. She's tug crazy too,i do that alot when we can't get outside, I get tired before she does though...hehe She's very smart, she knows a lot of tricks...but boy she can be stubborn..hehe
     
  7. goob

    goob New Member

    I made a post to this last night, but the power went out right before I hit post, so here goes again...

    If your girl isn't over a year or so old, you might want to put off on biking her for another couple months, as the repetitive pounding can mess up their still developing joints. Make it a point to check her feet frequently (at least every 1/2 mile or so when you first start out, and stop at he first sign of wear, things go downhill fast after that). Don't be surprised if her nails bleed a bit as well from being worn down on the concrete, they'll usually stop on their own within a few minutes of stopping the activity, but if not, styptic powder or cornstarch should stop any bleeding.

    I used to bike our dogs a few years ago (only the smaller ones then, I was afraid of loose dogs if I took Goo, and we didn't have Haley yet), and there were two ways I'd normally work them. If I had the time, and was looking for a nice long run to condition them, our ride was as follows: Take them out and walk them around a bit so they can empty out and their muscles get a chance to loosen up (you don't want them running on a full bladder, and warming them up is especially important in winter, just like in people), then we'd start on the bike. We'd start at a slow trot, and within a few blocks, up to a fast trot, just slow enough for them not to break into a run. We'd do this until we had about 1/2-1 mile left, then I'd let them run full speed for a few minutes, then gradually slow them down as we neared home. After we were done, off for another short walk, then that was it. One days when I was a bit more pressed for time, and just wanted them tired out, I'd take them out and after letting them warm up a bit, run them pretty hard until I saw signs of them tiring, then we'd head home at whatever pace they seemed most comfortable with. One dog was ran almost daily, the other two alternated days, one one day, the other the next. Depending on how far we went, it'd take anywhere from 1/2 hr to 2 hrs (with breaks here and there for peeing, getting a drink, etc) for a long run, usually around 15 minutes for a tiring-out run, not counting the walks before and after. They were all in pretty good shape during this, the daily runner was solid, lean muscle, and had great endurance (the downside of that was that it took more to wear her out :lol: ). A few more things to remember... don't feed immediately before or after hard exercise, I'd say at least 2 hrs before, 1/2 hr after. Don't let your dog gulp tons of water while exercising, offer frequent, smaller drinks instead. Usually over 80 degrees, or 75 with high humidity is where you start to run into problems with the heat, so exercise extra caution on those days. If you can ride on a dirt path instead or pavement, it's easier on the joints. It's also a good idea to have her vet check her over before starting any serious exercise regiment, just to be sure there aren't any physical conditions that could be aggravated by it.

    You can make or buy a long lead to exercise her as well, that way she can run, but you don't have to worry about her running away and visiting with people/other dogs. To make one, poly (it floats, and won't get heavy if you're walking in wet grass or it gets wet for some other reason) or cotton (softer on the hands, but it'll collect water and weigh a ton if it gets wet) rope cut to whatever length you want with a sturdy snap tied to one end works great, and costs next to nothing. Petstores sell long leads, but most are made with cheap snaps, and aren't really sturdy enough to hold if your dog bolts and hits the end, plus they're expensive when you could make one for less than 1/2 the price. If you can get one cheap, horse lunge lines work well, too.

    You might also try building her a springpole (this page has some good info on what they are, and what they look like: http://www.workingpitbull.com/springpole.htm ) or a flirtpole (picture one of those cat toys with the feather on a string on a stick, except for dogs). Most dogs that like to chase or play tug enjoy these, and it's a good way to wear them out.

    Mental exercise is said to be much more tiring than physical exercise, so taking her out for some obedience work a couple times a day may help wear her out too.
     
  8. someday

    someday New Member

    Great post goob, thanks for the advice. She's 10 months old now, do you think some light biking would be ok? There's a great trail here in town that was converted from an abandoned railroad track. It's dirt and goes on for miles...across the entire state actually, I think it might be better for her joints than the sidewalk...and I knew I was keeping that extra lunge line in my bedroom for a reason!
     
  9. True_Pits

    True_Pits New Member

    Be sure to empty them out before putting them on the mill, you wouldn't want them to have a full bladder here either and walking stimilates them to go poo, so they need to empty out before.
     
  10. goob

    goob New Member

    She's pretty close to a year, so as long as she's not one of those "mammoth pits" (the general rule is that the bigger the dog is, the slower it will be to mature, those big pit x mastiffs stay pups for a long time :wink: ), you should be alright starting some light biking with her. The dirt trail sounds great, you're lucky to have something like that close to you. When you start her off, you may want to go on an every other day schedule, so she has time for her muscles to recuperate(sp?) between runs, and watch for any signs of lameness or other problems. These guys are pretty stoic, and may not give much sign that they're having a problem until it's become serious (especially if they're doing something they enjoy), so better to be overly careful than sorry. Another few things that might help with biking her... a flat collar (no chokes, prongs, or head collars, you don't want to take the chance of accidentally yanking on her if you have a crash) is probably best, or even a harness. I'd encourage the dog to stay by my side, so they can't get caught in front of the tire and I can easily rein them in if I need to. When we'd pass another dog or person, or anything they wanted to chase (one of the dogs is pretty dog aggressive, biking her actually helped to settle her down a bit in that regard), I'd just tell them "go on by", and continue as if the thing wasn't there. The forward momentum of the bike is usually enough to keep them from really pulling off with any great strength, so they have no choice but to keep up. If they really wanted to play games, I'd take that as hint that they weren't working hard enough, and speed up a bit. There are also some attachments you can get for your bike as well if it becomes something you do frequently, I've heard good reviews from other APBT owners for the k9 cruiser ( www.k9cruiser.com ).

    On the long lead... flat collar or harness on that as well (you might think this'd be common sense, but I've seen so many people who don't have it), a 50 lb dog running at full tilt exerts a lot of force, you don't want that channeled through any sort of correction device.

    Just thought of something else you might try with her... agility. They have to think, as well as do the physical part of the work. I've fooled around with it for fun for years, and it does a good job of wearing the dogs out, plus most seem to really enjoy it. There are classes you can enroll into if you want, or you can set up most of your own equipment at little to no cost.

    You could also try carting or weight pull with her. This is a good one if you have kids or know any kids in your neighborhood, as they can come along for a ride as your dog gets their exercise. Most people can't help but smile when they see a dog pulling a wagon load of kids down the street, so it reflects well on the breed as well. There are also competitive weight pull venues if you're interested in getting involved in that.
     
  11. spencerpits

    spencerpits New Member

    I'd hold off on any pulling other than very light for right now. Even though she's close to a year old, the consensus seems to be to wait until 18 months old for any serious pulling. There's a lot you can mess up.
     
  12. True_Pits

    True_Pits New Member

    Goob that is very true about their growth rate and the sad thing is people breed those mammoth pits when they like 12 months old, way too young and they are even slower growing then your normal pit.

    You really think so? I'm just wondering because I see a lot of dogs who start off pulling at 9 months and are ACE before they are 18 months old.
     
  13. someday

    someday New Member

    Well Annie's far from mammoth, she's a compact little girl, she's about 19.5 inches at the shoulder and i need to weigh her again, I think she's somewhere between 35-40 lbs right now, but it seems like she puts on muscle daily, and thanks to my boyfriend, she's putting on some fat too...he just can't keep scraps away from her..grrr.

    We just tried biking, I had to see how she'd do....It went pretty well. We've got a few things to work on, but this may actually help her pulling. I quickly learned I needed a "slow" command, so she picked that up pretty fast. I was able to correct her for running ahead and get her back by my side without falling over, so i was very impressed. I may soon not need my prong collar since I'm biking in the flat collar and she responds pretty well.

    Anyone have any good tips for teaching heel? She doesn't seem to grasp the concept. I tried the holding a treat while she walked by my side staring at it, but it worked until we went outside. Treats mean nothing outside to her.

    Another question...this is getting long..hehe, I'd like to eventually teach her to pull a cart or some, since she's very good at pulling..hehe, do you think she would be able to know the difference between times she should pull and should not, like she wears and harness every time she's supposed to pull, but if she in a collar and leash she shouldn't pull. Because although I think she'd like pulling, I rather have a dog that can walk by my side than one pulling my arm out of the socket.
     
  14. spencerpits

    spencerpits New Member

    I've not tried any real pulling myself, but I bought a harness for Sammy and tried him on pulling light things. He seemed to like it. As for waiting until she is older, that is just what I read a lot when doing online research before trying it with Sammy. Another thing I read was that just because your dog pulls a lot on the lead, doesn't necessarally mean they will do well at weight pulling. Look around online for info - there's a lot of it out there. Weight pulling takes a lot more work and training than most people think (more than I would have thought, anyway). But if you and your dog enjoy it, it can be a great experience. You'll need to come up with a command for her to pull, like 'work', and only use it when pulling. Start her off very light. And most importantly, take it slow! Always set her up for success, so she will build confidence and continue to enjoy pulling. Like I said, there's a lot of good info online. Good luck with whatever you decide to do to work out her energy. Whatever you choose, it will strengthen the bond between you and her.
     
  15. spencerpits

    spencerpits New Member

    Maybe the people online suggesting to wait until 18 months old are just trying to stave off any possible competition. LOL.
     
  16. True_Pits

    True_Pits New Member

    Perhaps thats true, another thing I just thought of is maybe they don't want dummies trying it and ruining there dogs. Because some people will put TOO much weight for their young pups, they wont start out slow enough at first. They will take a 4-6 month old pup start it off right been then add bunches of weight thinking that going to make it a better puller when it wont at all. Some also make the mistake of adding more and more weight too fast just because their pup has pulled small amounts of weight easy and doesn't seem to struggle. So its better to have them weight until 18 months when we know for sure the body should be able to handle it then have them ruin or damage a dog.

    [​IMG]
    This is a pic of ACE Katie, she is just now 18 months old and almost A/A. She competed at her first weight pull when she was 9.5 months and took 1st and MWPPB lbs both days. She also took 1st at Nationals this past weekend.
     
  17. spencerpits

    spencerpits New Member

    I was only kidding about the competition thing, but you are probably right about people adding too much weight too fast and ruining their dogs. Like you said, people see their pups not struggling at all with a light weight, so they think they have to add weight to it immediately. In other words, constantly trying to max them out - very bad idea.
     
  18. True_Pits

    True_Pits New Member

    Yeah maybe I shouldn't have said dummies...lol Just newbies who may not even think about something like that, of course their are the dummies who just want to look "cool" because they have some strong, powerful puppy. Thats why they also stick huge chains on them to where the pup can't even walk.
     
  19. spencerpits

    spencerpits New Member

    I've always hated seeing dogs/pups on those huge logging chains. People just have no idea what they're doing to their dogs' necks and backs.
     

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