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How Much Exercise Does a Pit Bull Need – Our Vet Approved Answer


Apr 14, 2023
pitbull terrier


pitbull terrier
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Pit Bulls are a controversial and divisive breed that some claim are lazy and others consider energetic. The name “Pit Bull” is given to certain dog breeds that fit the standard, namely physical characteristics such as head shape and body size. American Pit Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, and American Staffordshire Terriers (alongside mixes of these and other breeds) are all commonly labeled Pit Bulls, so it can be tricky to determine how much exercise these spirited dogs need.

Each dog will have its own physical activity levels and energy, alongside how much interaction it needs from its owners. These traits depend on the breed (or mix of breeds). However, on average, a Pit Bull needs around 1 to 2 hours of exercise a day to keep them healthy and happy.


How Much Energy Do Pitbulls Have?

Pit Bulls are high-energy dogs originally bred for bull baiting, hunting, and dog fighting. Despite this bloody history, many Pits are very intelligent and love to use their energy for positive sports such as fly ball, agility, and obedience. Pitbulls are spirited and highly muscular dogs, so their energy levels are usually high, regardless of their size or lineage.

Pit Bulls are highly driven and agile, and many are excellent competitors. They excel in fly ball, agility, weight pulling, and lure sports. They’ve even been used as dependable working dogs; some are employed in the American police force and as search and rescue dogs. Their energy levels often match their enthusiasm for people.

american pitbull terrier dog playing
Image Credit: Nata Bene, Shutterstock

How Long Should I Spend Exercising My Pitbull a Day?

Pit Bull owners should be prepared to live an active lifestyle with their dogs, as they can keep going and going! Since Pit Bulls are so athletic, engaging them in daily exercise is crucial to their well-being. Generally, a Pit Bull should exercise at least an hour a day (usually between one to two).

The amount of exercise needed will vary depending on the individual’s age, preferences, and health, but since Pit Bulls are intelligent and energetic dogs, having exercise sessions spread throughout the day will keep them happy and help avoid potential boredom, frustration, or unwanted destructive behavior. Just remember not to exercise your dog straight after a meal time, as some large dogs can be prone to bloating, which is life-threatening. Also, when walking your Pit Bull, watch out for frostbite in the winter months and overheating and the risk of heat stroke in the summer.

Are Pit Bulls Intelligent?

Pit Bulls are fairly intelligent dogs! If you take a look at two of the dogs commonly included under the “Pit Bull” umbrella (Staffordshire Bull Terriers and American Staffordshire Terriers), they ranked as average in intelligence on the dog intelligence scale by Dr. Stanley Coren, a psychologist and canine behavior researcher.

While they’re not at the top of the pack in intelligence, they’ll still be able to learn new commands quickly (for American Staffordshire Terriers, within 15-25 repetitions) and get at least half the commands right that they hear for the first time. However, this will all depend on the mix of breeds that make up the Pit Bull.

Woman training a pitbull in the park
Image Credit: YouraPechkin, Shutterstock

Where Am I Allowed To Exercise My Pitbull?

Different laws and local restrictions might apply to your Pitbull depending on the state and country you live in. For example, in the USA, each state has different laws regarding banned breeds.

The following states have restrictions on Pitbull ownership in cities or statewide:

  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Ohio
  • Wisconsin

Which Breeds Are Pitbulls?

American Pit Bull Terriers and American Staffordshire Terriers make up the “core” breeds most associated with the type, but other breeds mixed with these dogs have similar traits, such as Staffordshire Bull Terriers and Bull Terriers.

Other “bully” breeds are commonly mistaken for Pit Bull Terriers, showing how easy it is to mistakenly identify a dog as a breed with so much stigma attached to it.


Final Thoughts

Pit Bulls are energetic dogs that excel in agility events and love exercising with their owners. Depending on their parent breeds, they need plenty of mental and physical stimulation. Pit Bulls descend from the Bull and Terrier breeds that made a name for themselves in dog fighting rings in the UK. However, these days, most Pit Bulls are living in shelters across the United States and waiting for a home.

Featured Image Credit: Eve Photography, Shutterstock

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