Supplements are an excellent addition to your bully’s diet and can supercharge your training efforts. But, what if you wish to wait before supplementing, prefer to train your dog without them, or haven’t settled on the perfect supplement for you and your dog? Targeted nutrition, balanced exercise, genetics and time play huge rolls in this.
Like us, bully's need a mix of fat-burning and muscle building activities. Balanced activities will ensure your dog builds muscle and becomes lean without suffering joint and tendon injuries or rapid muscle growth that underdeveloped bones cannot efficiently support.
Build Muscle and Trim Fat
Build muscle from nose to tail with muscle building activities designed to engage your dog’s muscles and supercharge their fat-burning potential.
Strengthen and build your dogs chest, neck, forelegs and back with 30 minutes of Springpole activity. Springs poles are a toy or other object attached to a spring-mounted rope, secured in varying distances above the ground.
Your bully jumps to take hold of the toy (engaging its hindlegs) and engages it’s neck, back, core, and chest to maintain its grasp against the increasingly intensifying up-and-down motions of the springpole, powered by gravity and your dog’s weight. These can be purchased or easily made:
Alternate use of the springpole with its spring-less counterpart: the flirtpole. This training device/toy engages hindlegs, back, and core as well as conditioning your bully to pay attention to you in moments of high activity and prey-drive arousal. Flirts poles are—you guessed it—a pole with an attached piece of rope with a toy or lure attached to the end.
Holding the pole you jerk, bounce, and “run” the lure in front of your dog activating it’s desire to chase. As you bully gets the hang of this new activity, entice him or her to jump off the ground to catch the lure, adding in even more muscle building benefits. Like springpoles, flirtpoles can be purchased or made—often for less than $10 dollars.
Both flirt and springpoles encourage jumping. Jumping (over hurdles or for play) is a great way to build endurance, stamina, and increase muscles mass in your bully. Always start off in short time increments and at low heights to gage your bully’s sense of balance and joint strength. Never conduct springpole, jumping, or flirtpole activities on concrete as this could injure your dog—always train on soft dirt or grass.
Like humans, dogs benefit from swimming in many ways: it builds endure and stamina and works the entire body—particularly smaller muscles that can be hard to target. While swimming may not add bulk muscle to your pit, you will see better performance over all and a more balanced physique means fewer injuries and setbacks, leading to quicker gains.
Introduce your bully to water when they’re young if you can. Never force your bully into water (Water training activities are not for every bully—and that’s okay) and take all proper safety precautions (including a lift vest) when taking your dog for a swim.
Like swimming pulling a lightly weighted drag can build lean and bulk muscle from whiskers to wag, but most be done with care to avoid inducing unnecessary stress or joint and tendon injuries.
Also like swimming, not all bully’s take to drags. Observe your bully carefully—wagging tails and a desire to participate (even if they’re not sure what to do at first) should always be present. Stop immediately if your dog shows signs of fear, stress, or detachment. This is the bully equivalent to heavy lifting—just as we need spotters, proper form, and must be careful to warm up muscle before an intense session—so do our bullys. Proceed with care and caution.
Also like us, our dogs cannot “spot reduce” excess fat. Firing up their resting metabolism with muscle-building exercise is key, as is good old fashioned cardio for those extra calories. The gold standard: a long moderately paced walk or a hard run. It’s good for them and you.
Muscles need protein to repair and grow after a work out—our and theirs. Ensure your dog is receiving a diet of high-quality protein with sufficient calories to give energy for training, minerals for healthy joints, bones, and tendons and protein to see those gains. In particular ensure your dog’s feed has:
1. 1-2 forms of animal-based protein as the first two ingredients (lamb, beef, chicken, fish, or eggs)
2. At least 20% crude protein (in the form of meat meals)
3. Enriched with vitamins and minerals for proper digestion and absorption
Consider supplements to fill in any gaps. (We know, this is about not using supplement, but they fit in nicely here.)
The best bulking, cutting, and obedience plans in the world are worthless if they’re not in sync with your current bully’s age and physical state. Pushing a young dog too soon (some bloodlines may require waiting up to 18 months or more), pushing an older dog too aggressively, or pushing an out of shape adult dog too quickly is harmful, extremely dangerous to your dog, and won’t yield the results you want. Always:
Pay close attention to how your dog responds to his or her workouts—stay alert for signs of injury (favoring paws, a reluctance to move, seeking seclusion). Pushing to hard to reach a goal is not worth a costly set back that can ruin weeks of hard work and discipline (and then some).
Keep your workouts intense, but fun—use the incentives that your dog loves the most. Training should always be positive—not punishment. Space out your bully’s muscle building routines, cardio days, and rest days as you would your own: leave rest time for muscle recovery (24-48 hours), and intermix fat-burning activities with muscle building and/or training.
Our bullys have to start somewhere—their cuts and gains take time and dedication, just like ours. Be patient with yourself and your bully—you’ll both be better (and stronger) for it.