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Credit: ‘Bear’ The SBT

‘Aerobic’ and ‘anaerobic’ are terms used to describe how the cells within your dogs body produce energy and refer to energy systems. But what is the difference?

Every movement your dog makes requires energy to be created and there are three main ways that this is done, one with oxygen and two without oxygen.

Aerobic means ‘with air’ and refers to your dogs body producing energy with the use of oxygen. This involves any exercise that lasts longer than two minutes in duration. Continuous ‘steady state’ exercise is performed aerobically.

Examples include:

  • Long distances Dog Walks
  • Long Distances Runs / Jogs
  • Long distance, light weight dragging
  • Slatmill Conditioning
  • Games of Fetch

Anaerobic means ‘without air’ and refers to dogs body producing energy without oxygen. This is exercise that is performed at a higher intensity. There are two ways that the body can produce energy anaerobically.

Energy bursts and slow release

One anaerobic energy system is known as the ATP-CP system and provides immediate energy for instant bursts of exercise such as for a  sprint, heavy weight pull or jump and can last from 0 – 10 seconds.

The other anaerobic system, known as the lactic acid system, provides energy for very hard efforts lasting roughly 10 – 120 seconds such as a longer distance sprint, flirt pole or a games of fetch.

>>>Order your 12 Week Exercise Program now

What are the two training types good for?

Aerobic training is good for building endurance and improving your dogs cardiovascular and respiratory system. This means that their heart and lungs become stronger and more efficient, enabling them to train harder and longer as their fitness levels improve.

>>>>>See Our Range of Weight Pull Harnesses

Anaerobic training is performed at a harder intensity than aerobic exercise and is an effective way of improving your dogs lean muscle mass, increasing strength and burning fat.

Was article helpful? Let us know by dropping a comment below!

 

Keep Them FIT!

FITDOG NATION

P.S. Claim your FITDOG Ball (Normally $20.00) for FREE when you order your Ballfit12 Exercise and nutrition program

 >>>>Click here to order yours

[Left] a show bred Pug [Right a working jadg terrier] Notice the difference in length of muzzle.
Today it seems as though every one is a breeder and runs a ‘kennel’. The problem is not so much that there are more breeders but it’s the quality and ethics associated with these so called breeders.It’s sad to say that dog health has never been as bad as it is right now. In the UK and USA alone more than 50% of dogs are currently suffering from obesity and new diseases in dogs are cropping up plaguing many of the new designer and exotic breeds. One such disease is know as Brachycephalexia in which breeds such as the French bulldog, Boston terriers and English bulldog are intentionally bred to have a shorter-nose and flat-face. This results in excessive snorting, grunting and wheezing which are not normal noises but are signs that a flat-faced dog is struggling to breathe or of an obstruction to breathing.

Ironically, the Kennel Club has been a main contributor in supporting the breeding of such dogs by helping to create the breed standards by which these dogs are supposed to be judged on.

But this raises the question should dogs be bred based on their looks?

 

Above The English Bulldog then [Left] and now [Right]

Take for example the English Bulldog, this was a breed originally bred for hunting, fighting and baiting activities and was a naturally athletic, agile and a tenacious breed. Fast forward to the present day and the english bulldog is an embarrassment to its ancestors! Today the English bulldog struggles to breathe let alone hunt. The reason for this is they have been bred based on a standard of what they should ‘look like’ rather than how they should perform or function. Unfortunately this has led to the Modern English Bulldog becoming shorter, blockier and flat faced because according to their current breeding standard this is what signifies courage and strength.

 

[Left a present day English Bulldog] [Right an american bulldog]
Take on the other hand the American Bulldog [pictured above right] They are an ancestor of the original english bulldog and look very similar to their ancient counterpart because they are still bred for their working abilities and not just their looks. Many of todays American bulldogs can be found at working protection events or personal or catching wild boar.

 

Form Follows Function

Pictured: Roach an ‘Exotic Bully’ Created by a combination of XL Bully and French Bulldog

It is a fact that dogs who are bred for performance are inadvertently healthier and more functional than dogs that are bred for looks.  Take the dog Roach for example [pictured above]. He is an example of a new trending breed called ‘Exotic Bully’ in which XL American Bullies and crossed with French Bulldogs. The goal is to create an even Bullier micro version of the French Bulldog which is already a breed listed as having severe health issues.

Alternatively, when you breed towards a function such as protection work, agility or dock diving instead of a ‘Look’ you naturally select for functional performance traits such as agility, endurance or strength. Dogs that possess such functional movements are rarely plagued with structural faults and diseases. 

Above two versions of the English Bullterrier. Which one would you prefer?

FUTURE CONSIDERATION

Breeders must step up to their duty and begin breeding healthier dogs. They should do this by focusing on health not looks because form follows function, never the other way round. All dogs can be functional, just pick any of the dozens of dog activities and get out with your dog! Some activities you can do include the following:

  • Agility
  • Dock diving
  • Weight Pulling
  • Protection
  • Legal Hunting
  • Herding
  • Canicross
  • Sled dragging

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!

We are proud to say that our Slatmill is officially the most affordable and high quality Slatmill in the world. We are excited to share with your some of the main features and benefits of our Slatmill which will help you create the ultimate canine athlete. 

 

Brakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brakes Benefits

  • Safety: Our braking system allows you another extra layer of safety when getting your dog on and off your Slatmill
  • Convenience: Brakes allow you to stop and start your dogs running workout and more accurately calculate your dogs speed / distance.

 

Speedcomputer

Speed computer Benefits

The speed computer helps you track your dogs progress in their workouts. It does this by giving you three vital metrics of all your dogs running sessions: Time, Distance and Speed. This is key data that needs to be monitored to progress your dogs health and performance.

 

ADJUSTABLE resistance slope

Adjustable resistance Slope Benefits

The adjustable resistance slope allows you to increase your dogs lean muscle mass by increasing the resistance of your dogs workout. The resistance is created by raising the slope [see picture]

 

Plastic slats

Plastic Slats Benefits

All our Slatmills come with Beechwood Slats [see picture left]. However, you can now add plastic slats if you wish. The plastic slats [see picture right] are made of a Unique PVC Material which has a higher resistance to humidity and moisture than beechwood. It also make less noise which can make a big difference if you live in shared accommodation or an apartment block. 

Ordering details: To add the Plastic Slats just email us and we will send you an online link to make the payment via email. Price is $300

 

What questions can we help you with ? Send us an email at support@fitdognation.com [we typically reply within 24 hours]

 

The Kennel Club announced recently (October 27th 2020) that it pledges to provide $347,00 to kick off fundraising and further research into complex brachycephalic syndromes. The kennel club is the largest official kennel club of the United Kingdom and the oldest recognised kennel club in the world.

Ironically, the Kennel Club itself has been criticised over the past twenty years for actually assisting in creating the brachycephalic syndromes that it now wants to research. Perhaps they have a guilty conscious and want to fix what they created?

The Kennel Club has set up a Charitable Trust and has now pledged to ”help advance vital research into brachycephalic (flat-faced) dog health”.

They claim that this donation is part of a fundraising drive to help investigate a number of different aspects related to flat-faced dogs and it hopes that breed clubs, breeders, owners and international partners will also pledge support and additional funding to help enhance and extend this research.

This is very dubious especially since many ‘charitable trusts’ are just a ‘front’ to generate tax deductible revenue that can then be absorbed by professional fundraisers as operating expenses rather than the causes described in solicitations.

 

‘Biggie’ The Pug a crufts ‘best in show’ winner who also suffers from Flat face syndrome

 

 

Either way, the kennel club claims that this work will focus on the following breeds: Affenpinscher, Boston Terrier, Boxer, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Chihuahua, Dogue de Bordeaux, Griffon Bruxellois, Japanese Chin, King Charles Spaniel, Maltese Terrier, Pekingese, Pomeranian and Shih Tzu.

These are just some of the breeds that have been under the spotlight over the last thirty years by working dog enthusiasts who have spoken out at the Kennel club who have endorsed their extreme appearances but who now have decided to use in their research!

Here at FITDOG NATION we have always maintained that form follows function. That means when you select and breed for performance it inadvertently screens out many of these health issues. It is laughable that an organisation such as the kennel club who has for many years supported the breeding of such extreme structures  is now playing the role of ‘researcher’. Perhaps they have a more sinister motive which involves generating an extra revenue generating source. Who knows?

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!

CREDIT @mrskittypride

 

The Amercian Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) currently reigns at first place on our list of ‘Top Four FITDOG Breeds’. Possibly the most controversial breed on the planet, the ‘Pit Bull’ is both loved and feared around the world, with the latter mostly due to ignorance. This breed is one of the few in the world that has stood the test of time as a working dog due to being bred specifically for performance and not confirmation (form always follows function), although that has sadly been changing rapidly recently. 

In todays blog article we are going to review the specific exercise considerations when it comes to helping your APBT perform to the highest level possible! 

To understand the APBT’s  requirements it’s essential that we review the breed itself. The APBT is a product of various breedings between the bulldogs and terriers of old. It’s was created to be the ultimate combat breed and its purpose was to engage in baiting activities ranging from dogs to bears. However, its most recent history (last 80-100 years) has seen the breed be used specifically for dog on dog combat which has developed the breed into a smaller more agile and highly driven dog ranging between 38-48 lbs. Dog fighting required a lighter dog that was able to be handled in the pit and also possess  the capacity to endure long bouts of 1-2 hours or more  of fighting. It’s this fine detail of the APBT’s history that has enabled it to become a great all round athlete with both Endurance, Strength, Agility and Power.

CREDIT @FLASHDRIVEK9KENNELS

Endurance

The APBT exhibits great levels of endurance in many different areas. Due to their high Type IIA & Type IIB muscle fibres including their highly efficient cardiovascular and respiratory systems the APBT have incredible speed endurance,  aerobic endurance and muscular endurance. This means they are able to maintain a high intensity of work rate for longer. This is unique compared to other breeds who generally lose intensity as the duration of the activity increases. It can be said that this endurance ability has been developed through needing to perform for long bouts in the pit. It’s important that today’s APBT still exercise their endurance in order to burn excess energy and maintain healthy. 

>>>Try Your Ballfit12 program

One of the best ways to boost endurance is through running related activities. Specialised Fetch training like our Ballfit12 Program is perfect because it uses the APBT’s natural high prey drive to develop endurance through the specific Ball based movements. Treadmill running is also highly beneficial, especially for those days when weather is poor. Our specialist Slatmill provides you with the ability to also track your dogs workout via our speed computer.

AGILITY

Canine agility is defined by a dogs ability  to rapidly change body direction, accelerate, or decelerate.  Canine agility was not only crucial for fighting dogs but is essential for most working dogs today involved in hunting, protection, flyball and of course the agility sport.

One of the best ways to  maintain and boost your dogs agility is through flirt pole conditioning.  The flirt pole  is one of the most dynamic conditioning tools because it works not only agility but also power and muscular endurance. However, like most tools, it’s not what you do its how you do it and so many dog folks use the flirt poleincorrectly. Use the following tips to flirt for agility:

  • Keep your dogs feet on the ground
  • No air time, jumping or landing (It’s impressive to look at but not needed and the risk out weights the reward)
  • Only circular movements to begin with until your dog is at least a ‘3’ on the Canine Body Assessment Scale.
  • Progress from circular movements to back and forth movements
  • Make sure you add in a rest period of at least 1:1 work to rest ration. So for example if they work for 1 minute then rest for 1 minute and continue is sets. Most people get this wrong and they get the dog too tired to the point where they are not increasing agility anaerobically but rather doing an aerobic exercise. This is a big error as aerobic exercise is proven to reduce strength and decrease agility.
  • As your dog gets more agile and is at least ‘3’ on the Canine Body Assessment Scale you can make the flirt pole sessions more challenging by adding resistance to the flirt pole session using a 4lb Weighted dog Collar. When used properly the Weighted dog collar is an ideal tool to help increase agility as it increases the speed of the Type IIB muscle fibres.
 
CREDIT @TEAMNOFEARWORKINGAPBT
 

Strength

The APBT is one of the strongest breeds in the world. Especially when it comes to relative strength which is defined as the most weight that can be moved by a dog in relation to their size (lb for lb). (Absolute strength is a  different type of strength). This is owed in part to the APBT’s significantly high type II muscle fibre composition and high bone density which is perfect for strength based activities such as Weight Pulling.

Use coupon code: ‘freeshipping’ when you order your harness now (Offer expires October 31st)

An added benefit is their drive and eagerness to please. Weight pulling is a perfect sport for the APBT not only because they are genetically and physically suited to it but also because the sport itself has so many benefits such as:

  • Increasing the handler – dog bond
  • Reducing hyperactivity
  • Increase lean muscle
  • Reduces risk of hip and knee injuries
  • Great for socialisation 

For more information on how to start weight pulling read our ”Weight Pulling” Article

CREDIT @ANTARALAREINADELSUR

POWER

Power is a canine fitness component commonly confused with strength although they are both two different elements of canine fitness. Power is all about speed. The definition of power is a dogs ability to produce maximal force in the fastest time possible. A great example of this is the Wall climb event.

APBT’s are significantly more powerful than most other breeds and it’s due to the reflexivity of their muscles that allow them to generate high amounts of force at a rapid rate. Additional examples of power training involve:

 

Got a question? Cool, feel free to post it in the comments below. Also if you want any specific advice you can contact us at support@fitdognation.com

 

Credit @beppe_dasco

If your dog is making steady gains but you just know there’s still more room for improvement then make sure you read this article carefully because we are going to share Three Tips for More Gains with your Fitdog.

 

TIP 1: Add MORE Fat!

Yes you’re probably wondering if you read correctly?! Why add fat when you want a leaner dog? Well unlike humans a dogs primary energy source is not carbohydrates, its fat! But not just any fat. High quality animal fat. You see, fats have many important functions…Not only do they provide energy, but they’re also necessary for the normal development and function of your dogs cells, nerves, muscles, and body tissues.  Fats help to regulate your dogs normal bodily functions, reduce inflammation, and help with nutrient absorption. Fats are an optimal source of energy for canines since: 

  1. Dogs get 2.5 times as much energy from fat as they do from carbs. 

  2. Dogs metabolize 90-95% of fat they eat 

HOW MUCH FAT SHOULD YOU FEED YOUR DOG?

It’s important to remember that all dogs are individuals and vary based on their breed, age, gender, health and activity levels. However, Dr Ben Holding a greyhound nutrition expert recommends a daily fat intake of at least 40% Fats for elite performance dogs such as greyhounds. 

 

 

SO, WHAT ARE GOOD SOURCES OF FAT?

Good sources of fat for dogs are all animal based fatty meats. The highest animal fat can be found in Beef, Lamb, Pork and Fish. Some of the best cuts of Fat are Organ Meat – examples include liver, tripe, spleen, sweetbreads, brain, intestines, Testicles, and kidneys.

Boost Your dogs fitness with a custom 12 Week Conditioning program 👉Learn More

 

TIP 2: INCREASE INTENSITY

Most people think a 1 or 2 hour walk is enough to keep your dog healthy and fit. The truth is walking is not enough to maintain your dogs cardiovascular health and certainly not enough to stimulate muscle growth or burn excess fat. The reason is walking is just not intense enough. It might be for you, but the average dog has two more extra legs than you and walking is just not a challenge for them! The harder you make the exercise the more their heart has to work to pump blood around their body which increases their metabolism and put them into a fat burning, muscle growth state. 

There’s many ways you can increase the intensity of your dogs exercise. Some of the easy ways are as follows:

  • Add a weighted collarFor as little as $70 you can add a weighted collar to your dog walk,  game of fetch or spring pole session to make it more challenging. The extra resistance from the collar stimulates your dogs testosterone levels (yes even bitches) and puts them in an anabolic state to burn excess fat and grow lean muscle.
  • Use a weighted harness This is one of the best ways to add strength and lean muscle to your dog. It not only increases your dogs gains but it’s also fun and improves the dog – handler bond.
  • Track your dogs work to rest ratio – The harder you make your dog work followed by short rest intervals the more they will burn fat. Don’t believe us? Give it a go yourself! Try doing a round of 30 second sprints followed by a 30 second rest repeated 5 times. That would give you a 5 minute workout. Compare that to a 10 minute walk and you would have burned more energy in 5 minutes than the 10 minute walk. The same is true for dogs! We have actually created the Ultimate 12 week canine Ball workout using this philosophy. >>>>>Try it Now.
  • Slatmill sprinting One of the ultimate intense workouts a dog can do is Slatmill sprinting. The reason being you can fully control the rest period of the dogs workout as they cannot get distracted. Plus its a workout you can do rain or shine!
Claim free shipping by October 31st on your Weighted dog collar. Use coupon: freeshipping

 

TIP 3: do ENDURANCE LAST, ALWAYS!

One of the biggest mistakes we see is when people start their dogs workout session with endurance based activities. Wrong! Why? Well, Endurance is defined by moderate intensity, steady state activity. Examples include spring pole, bike work, jogging / running, tug of war,  regular fetch and swimming. 

The problem is, this kind of exercise uses up your dogs phosphagen and glycolytic energy system. When this happens your dog goes into a catabolic state and won’t be able to burn fat and grow lean muscle effectively. That’s why you should always leave this types of workouts to the end of the workout session. To understand the canine energy system better read the full article here >>>>canine energy systems

That’s it for today! Comment below and ask us any question you like!

Keep Them Fit!

FITDOG NATION

 

P.S.

Make sure you grab your FREE Swing & Fling Ball. Just cover shipping

 

Credit @goldcoastk9

The Belgian Malinois currently sits in 2nd place on our list of ‘Top Four FITDOG Breeds’. Possibly the most universal working dog on the planet, the malinois is commonly referred to as the ‘maligator’ and rightfully so. This multifunctional breed is as serious as they come with a drive thats through the roof which allows them to be employed by military special forces and police departments worldwide.

In todays blog article we are going to review the specific exercise considerations when it comes to helping your Malinois perform to the highest level possible! 

To understand the Malinois requirements it’s essential that we know how and why the breed originally started. The Malinois is one of four varieties of Belgian Shepherd, which is part of the Sheepdog / herding family of dog breeds. This family of dogs is the result of selective breeding between the Bouvier des Ardennes , Dutch Shepherd  and  German Shepherd.

Being a herder by default, these breeds were originally created to herd livestock and guard their flock which means they needed to be very agile, fast, highly driven and possess incredible stamina. Today the Belgian Malinois is actually best known for being the ultimate police dog. The breed is used as a  working dog  for tasks including  detection  of odors such as explosives,  accelerants  (for arson investigation), and narcotics;  tracking  humans for suspect apprehension in police work; and  search and rescue  missions. 

 

Credit @simbathemalinois

As a result the Malinois is a medium to large sized breed best suited to agility and endurance based activities. They generally have a light frame which allow them to move quickly with great speed while also being able to maintain their workload for extended periods of time. 

AGILITY

Canine agility is defined by a dogs ability  to rapidly change body direction, accelerate, or decelerate.  This is a canine fitness component that was not only crucial for herding and shepherding but is also vital to be a successful police dog.

When being used for detection work a police dog is required to move quickly in physically challenging environments often in spaces that are not accessible to humans. During apprehension of a suspect police dogs need to be agile especially if the suspect needs to be chased through challenging environments and stopped.

One of the best ways to not only maintain good agility but to also boost your dogs agility is flirt pole conditioning. The flirt pole  is one of the most dynamic conditioning tools because it works not only agility but also power and muscular endurance. However, like most tools, it’s not what you do its how you do it and so many dog folks use the flirt poleincorrectly. Use the following tips to flirt for agility:

  • Keep your dogs feet on the ground
  • No air time, jumping or landing (It’s impressive to look at but not needed and the risk out weights the reward)
  • Only circular movements to begin with until your dog is at least a ‘3’ on the Canine Body Assessment Scale.
  • Progress from circular movements to back and forth movements
  • Make sure you add in a rest period of at least 1:1 work to rest ration. So for example if they work for 1 minute then rest for 1 minute and continue is sets. Most people get this wrong and they get the dog too tired to the point where they are not increasing agility anaerobically but rather doing an aerobic exercise. This is a big error as aerobic exercise is proven to reduce strength and decrease agility.
  • As your dog gets more agile and is at least ‘3’ on the Canine Body Assessment Scale you can make the flirt pole sessions more challenging by adding resistance to the flirt pole session using a 4lb Weighted dog Collar. When used properly the Weighted dog collar is an ideal tool to help increase agility as it increases the speed of the Type IIB muscle fibres.
>>>Claim 20% OFF Your Flirt Pole
STAMINA

Aerobic endurance otherwise known as stamina is also a key fitness component for the Malinois. Herding dogs are known for their gruelling levels of stamina helping farmers sort sheep over distances covering 25miles+ of rough terrain a day. As a police dog the Malinois doesn’t require as much stamina as their sheep herding ancestors but stamina is still important. A police dog can generally work 8 hours a day performing a variety of tasks ranging from drug sweeps, suspect chase downs, and patrol shifts and they need to be able to maintain their workload. As a result aerobic endurance is important, especially the ability to maintain a high level of aerobic capacity.

>>>Order your Ballfit12 Program Now

One of the best ways to boost Aerobic endurance is through running related activities. Specialised Fetch training like our Ballfit12 Program is perfect because it uses the Malinois natural high prey drive to develop endurance through our specific 12 Week Ball endurance program. Treadmill running is also highly beneficial, especially for those days when weather is poor. Our specialist Slatmill provides you with the ability to also track your dogs workout via our speed computer.

>>>>Claim your FREE Slatmill Quote Today
STRENGTH & POWER

As we’ve seen, the malinois is a naturally agile dog with great stamina due to its shepherding history. However, the Malinois is evolving now into a more specialised police dog and more specifically used as a protection dog around the world. Although their drive and agility make them top choice for close quarter combat style protection work they generally lack in strength and power making them more vulnerable against intoxicated, armed suspects who are not afraid to fight a dog. As such the Malinois needs to increase their physical ability and stopping power by increasing their strength and power. This will help them strike the bad guy with more impact on the takedown and allow them to wrestle stronger while in a grip.

Strength and power are two very distinct canine fitness components. Strength is your dogs ability to generate high force independent of time. Power is the amount of force your dog can produce in the quickest time possible. Both are high intensity activities but very beneficial for a Malinois.

Credit @marens_working_dogs

 

STRENGTH

Weight pulling is a great example of strength based activities for the Malinois not only because it will help them become stronger without the added heavy excess body weight but also  because weight pulling itself has so many benefits such as:

  • Increasing the handler – dog bond
  • Reducing hyperactivity
  • Increase lean muscle
  • Reduces risk of hip and knee injuries
  • Great for socialisation 

For more information on how to start weight pulling read our ”Weight Pulling”Article

POWER

As we have seen already, power is related to strength but the key difference is speed. Increasing your Malinois’ power will help them jump higher, launch and strike harder and build an impressive lean physique that can withstand more punishment from a suspect. Some good examples of power training involve:

 
FINAL THOUGHTS

The conclude the Belgian Malinois is a dynamic and versatile breed who is naturally agile, highly driven with great stamina. Due to its recent transformation from a sheep dog into a police / protection dog its important that emphasis is placed on improving strength and power capabilities. The next generation of Malinois require more physical resilience and strength to withstand punishment in altercations. 

Boost Your dogs fitness with a custom 12 Week Conditioning program 👉Learn More

For more specific individual conditioning check out our 12 Week Canine Conditioning & Nutrition Programs or contact us at support@fitdognation.com

That’s it for today! Comment below and ask us any question you like!

Credit @oceanstate1980

The American Bully is one of the fastest growing breeds  and currently sits in 3rd place of our ‘Top Four FITDOG Breeds’.

In todays blog we are going to review the specific exercise and conditioning considerations when it comes to getting your American Bully in the best shape possible.

To understand the American Bully’s health and fitness requirements it’s important to know the breed’s origin, make up and ideal application. Despite its popularity no one really knows for certain the exact breeds and percentages that were used to create the American Bully.  Originally started in the USA in the 1980s as a companion dog it’s said the main breeds used include the American Staffordshire Terrier and American Pit Bull Terrier with strong influences from English & French Bulldog including a variety of Mastiff related breeds such as the Cane Corso and Dogue de bordeaux.

Initially the American Bully had no breed standard until recently, and although there are now officially four main types of American Bully, it’s important to note that there is great variation even within the four types and many breeders still do not agree to the standards.

For simplicity though,  this review will be referring to the non-extreme versions of the American Bully which would relate to the Standard / Classic types.Pit Bulls VS American Bullies | MVP Bullies

Although a companion / family breed, some American Bully’s have proven their ability in a variety of sporting and working applications ranging from Weight pulling, Athletic competitions, Personal protection and Therapy work. In general the breed is a bigger, bulkier and a more extreme version of its ancestor the Amercian Pit Bull Terrier but without the drive and dog aggression.

It’s fair to say the American Bully carries High amounts of muscle mass, heavy bone structure and is considerably shorter in height than their body length. This is both an advantage and disadvantage. 

Credit @lionslairkennels
Strength

The American Bully is one of the strongest breeds in the world. Especially when it comes to absolute strength which is defined as the most weight that can be moved by a dog in a single effort regardless of their size or weight (Relative strength is a  different type of strength). This is owed in part to the American Bullys significantly high type II muscle fibre composition and high bone density which is perfect for strength based activities such as Weight Pulling.

An added benefit is their long, low slung body which can be an advantage when doing weight pull as it gets them lower to the ground with more pulling traction. Weight pulling is a perfect sport for the american bully not only because they are genetically and physically suited to it but also because the sport itself has so many benefits such as:

  • Increasing the handler – dog bond
  • Reducing hyperactivity
  • Increase lean muscle
  • Reduces risk of hip and knee injuries
  • Great for socialisation 

For more information on how to start weight pulling read our ”Weight Pulling” Article

Credit @the_dog_house_mcr

AGILITY

Unlike their Pit Bull ancestor the American Bully generally lacks agility. Canine agility is defined by the dogs ability  to rapidly change body direction, accelerate, or decelerate.  This is mostly due to the heavy, exaggerated frames that they posses. Like a truck or a lorry which can pull or carry heavy loads in one direction, turning fast and rapidly like a formula 1 car can be a challenge  due to the excess structure that’s involved. 

Boost Your dogs fitness with a custom 12 Week Conditioning program 👉Learn More

One of the best way to boost your dogs agility is flirt pole conditioning. The  flirt pole  is one of the most dynamic conditioning tools because it works not only agility but also power and muscular endurance. However, like most tools, it’s not what you do its how you do it and so many dog folks use the flirt pole incorrectly. Use the following tips to flirt for agility:

  • Keep your dogs feet on the ground
  • No air time, jumping or landing.
  • Only circular movements to begin with until your dog is at least a ‘3’ on the Canine Body Assessment Scale.
  • Progress from circular movements to back and forth movements
  • Make sure you add in a rest period of at least 1:1 work to rest ratio. So for example if they flirt for 1 minute then rest them for 1 minute and continue in sets. Most people get this wrong and they get the dog too tired to the point where they are not increasing agility anaerobically but rather doing an aerobic exercise. This is a big error as aerobic exercise is proven to reduce muscle mass and decrease agility.
Building Lean Mass

One of the most effective (and safest) ways to build lean mass is straight line sprinting. This is because sprinting in one direction ‘Straight line’ does not involve the risk of the high forces to the ACL ligament that multi directional free sprinting can add. Sprinting on a Slatmill or Carpetmill provides the most safety for your dogs ACL. 

Our fast spinning Firepaw Slatmill Learn More Now
ENDURANCE

The most common questions we get asked from Bully owners is how to increase their dogs stamina. Firstly, the Bully is not built for endurance. A dog of this size and mass is just not suited to long duration activities and events. Sure you can improve it but they will never be an endurance dog. That being said the way to improve endurance without the risk of injury is to slowly progress your dogs workouts with ample recovery. 

Overall the American Bully is best suited to strength based activities and should focus on improving agility in order to reduce the risk of injury. Though it is not best suited to endurance activities, the best form of weight management and lean mass production is straight line sprinting either on a Slatmill or Carpetmill or via Fetch training. Just make sure to progress all workouts slowly and do not incorporate any air time / jumping based exercises until your dog is at least a ‘3’ on the Canine Body Assessment Scale otherwise you run the risk of ACL injury. 

Credit @the_bully_pound

For more specific individual conditioning contact us at support@fitdognation.com

Stay tuned for our next blog article which will review specific conditioning considerations for the Belgian Malinois

Comment below and let us know of any other breed(s) you want to add to this list!

Keep Them Fit!

FITDOG NATION

P.S

>>>Claim a FREE FITDOG Ball (Worth $20.00) when your order your Ballfi12 Exercise program

 

Credit @teamtaura

Anyone who tells you conditioning is easy, is either lying or doesn’t know. Sure it’s simple but it’s certainly not easy. And here’s the thing:

”Although the princples of canine conditioning always remain the same, they apply differently based on the breed”

In a recent blog we outlined  the‘Top Four FITDOG Breeds’. If you missed it you can read it here:

>>The Top Four Fitdog Breeds

Today kicks off a series of blog articles based on breed specific considerations starting with the Retriever.  Before we dive in lets remember the main reason for conditioning is to improve a dogs fitness. The definition of canine fitness is; the ability of a dog to perform a specific function or skill. We believe that apart from being much loved companions, that all dogs thrive when they have a specific function [yes we are also fans of functional working dogs] 🙂

[The powerful physique of a working retriever]

So, lets start with the retriever. This has to be one of the most diverse breeds in the world, not only because they have proven competency in multiple sports and jobs but also because there’s just so many varieties [six and counting] 

Essentially the retirever is part of the gun dog family and was originally bred to support hunters find birds and bring them back undamaged. For this sort of job, they not only needed the strength and agility to work over rugged landscape or tough water but they also needed the stamina to maintain the work load for up to four hours+ at a time. 

Gundog training class: overweight gundogs - The Field
[Birds can weigh 2-4%+ of a retirevers body, great power is required on return]

The result has produced a dog that is naturally high in energy and requires at least 2 hours of moderate intensity exercise a day. The retrievers greatest asset is their aerobic endurance. They can work at a low to moderate intensity for what seems like all day. Fetch is a great example. They just keep on coming back for more.

However, their biggest area for improvement is power.  Power is defined as a dogs ability to produce the maximum force  in the quickest time possible.  During a shoot, retrievers are required to perform powerful sprints when being sent for a bird and to return with the bird quickly depsite it weighing up to 2-4% of the dogs body weight.

Labrador Retriever Breeds
Mainstream example of a retriever.

Unfortunately we are seeing fewer examples of retreviers who retain both their natural stamina and power,  this is possibly because working styles of retriever are currently in a decline. Instead the mainstream examples are generally overfed, underworked and naturally have poor stamina.

Top Tips for Retrievers:

Make sure you exercise them at a moderate intensity for at least 1-2 hours a day 4-5x a week. Moderate intensity activities involve:

Incorporate power based activities at least 2x a week. Power based conditioning includes:

 

For more specific individual conditioning contact us at support@fitdognation.com

Stay tuned for our next blog article which will review specific conditioning considerations for the American Bully

Comment below and let us know of any other breed(s) you want to add to this list!

 

Keep Them FIT,

FITDOG NATION

P.S Check out our top 3 most popular conditioning tools right now >>Top 3 Conditioning Tools

 

[Credit @teamtaura]

We recently shared the first key to adding bulk to your dog. If you missed the article read it now:

”The Ultimate Canine Bulking Recipe”

The next key to adding more bulk is Muscle Fibre Recruitment

What is muscle fibre recruitment?

Simply put it’s your dog’s ability to tear and remodel their muscle. But not just any muscle. You see your dog has 3 different types of muscle fibre. They are anatomically known as Type 1, Type 2A and Type 2B. When it comes to building muscle you want to focus on remodeling your dogs Type 2B.

[Credit @great_star_apbt]
WHY TYPE 2B

All dogs have muscle but why is it that only some breeds like pitbulls and american bullies have a more bulkier harder body look? Well, it’s because they have a higher percentage of Type 2B muscle than other breeds. This is due to their past history being selectivley breed for activities that require more 

[Credit @k9harkin]
How to build Type 2B MUSCLE?

In order to stimulate your dogs type II muscle fibres you must focus on high intensity activities. These are activities that focus on fast, powerful and rapid movements. Such activities are short in duration and involve your dog giving as maximal effort as possible. This is because it forces your dogs body to use phosphocreatine energy pathways which stimulate testosterone (yes even bitches have it) which will increase they muscle growth.

Here is a list of High Intensity Activities that you very easily do with your dog.

[In order of most bulking to least bulking from top to bottom]

Although all dogs have the ability to add more muscle, some breeds can do it more naturally than others. The most simplest and cost effective way to add more muscle is by playing High Intensity Fetch with a fetching Ball. We recommend the our FITDOG Ball because its long rope will allow you to throw it further than your average Ball. Right now you can order one for FREE just cover Shipping. Plus when you order you will instantlu receive two of our most popular canine conditioning books which also include our 12 Week Flagship Conditioning & nutrition program.

 

Comment below your thoughts! If you have any specific questions email support@fitdognation.com

Keep them fit!

FITDOG NATION

PS.

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