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How to improve a dog's speed and stamina?

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After watching few videos on youtube, I ended up randomly watching videos of "pitbull workouts".

 

One of these was putting a dog backpack on the dog and make several sprints. Increase the weight in the pack and repeat. Over several sessions and weeks, it is meant to improve the dog's speed and explosive power.

 

What do you think of such speed-orientated workouts? How do you improve your dog's stamina, speed and explosive power?

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I know you are getting a puppy soon, and you may be asking the question for future reference, but (as you may already know), a puppy needs to grow up healthy first. So I would be waiting until s/he was at least a year old before I started any 'conditioning' for stamina.

 

During the puppy months, I think it is beneficial to work on rear-end awareness and some balancing and other exercises that teach the dog that they have 4 limbs and how best to use them. Also some core exercises - but don't overdo it.

 

As far as stamina, I have heard of trialers that will run their dogs using an ATV to get them in condition after the easy winter months. So running, more core exercises and anything similar to what humans may do - swimming, hiking, jogging, etc.

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Personally I would not pay much attention to what pitbull trainers do. I've seen them do some pretty stupid things.

 

If my BC had a problem with speed and/or stamina I would first rule out anything physical, including doing blood work. If that didn't uncover anything I would consider mental stress. Does the dog understand what it's being asked to do?, does it enjoy what we are asking it to do?, are we putting too much pressure on the dog? are we over training, over trialing etc. Is the dog the proper weight? being fed nutritious food?

 

I agree with all of what the last poster said. I don't think we need to do weight training with our BCs they are not bred for that, but conditioning is important. All dogs should have some opportunities to run in extension.

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Maybe I'm just ignorant, but I'd probably wait to determine if my dog had an identifiable issue with speed, power or stamina before working on this. Otherwise I would work on overall health, proprioception and lots of hikes and core strengthening tricks and see where I end up.

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The only conditioning my agility trainer (who has had a very successful agility career) reccomends is doggy 'push-ups' which is a dog going from a sit to a stand without stepping forward. It's more for hind end awareness than conditioning, however she said dogs that regularly do doggy 'push-ups' seem to be more successful at jumps. But that could be due to the fact they are just very aware of where their back legs are.

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Oh gosh. Unless you are getting a border collie to work, I promise you, you do not want or need to increase their speed or stamina. :lol:

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I honestly would not even think about it unless you found fitness was an issue with your dog. For a city dog, too much fitness might prove a problem to live with! :P


For dogs who work regularly, the work is generally conditioning enough. If I am going to be running my dogs in some particularly big trials with stuff like extra-big outruns, challenging sheep and perhaps hot weather, then I'll make an effort to take my dogs out for hikes once or twice a week, besides training them once or twice a week. I live in the country amidst areas with no livestock, so they can romp and run off-leash and get all the fitness they want, while I stroll along admiring the sunshine.

Some people do take their trial dogs with them jogging or have them run beside an ATV, if they feel that would benefit them. But the sort of thing that people do for/with pit bulls are not really applicable. Border collies are bred to have the lean muscle of a long distance runner with no excess bulk, plus good heart and lungs. Pit bull people want their dogs to be very muscular and stout. Apples to oranges, as I see it.

As for explosive power, until you've had your border collie kick dirt in your face as he launches off on his 30 mph outrun, you ain't seen explosive power. B)

~ Gloria



~ Gloria

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As for explosive power, until you've had your border collie kick dirt in your face as he launches off on his 30 mph outrun, you ain't seen explosive power. B)

 

~ Gloria

 

 

 

I agree with Gloria in the post above ^^^. Apples to oranges. Lean muscle vs. bodybuilder type muscle.

 

And with respect to 'explosive power': I do agility with my dog and will try to watch the top tier dogs (regardless of breed) run the course when at trials. IMHO, one of the reasons border collies do so well is because they do have the explosive power to power out of turns. Other dogs can be as fast, but the collies can get ahead on the tight turns that require deceleration, jump and turn, and then acceleration to the next obstacle. They really dig in.

 

And yes, my car and my legs have suffered gravel sprays from my young border collie being released from a stay. :)

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I don't find that I start thinking about maintaining strength and endurance until my dogs are about 6 or 7 or so. My main choice for maintaining fitness is hiking. Just plain old "we walk through the woods together whenever I can manage it" hiking.

 

Prior to that point, ordinary exercise, activity, and training seems to keep them quite fit. I did do some rear end awareness with my puppy, but that was as much for enjoyment and bonding as physical training.

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With my previous two Border Collies I had access to a park that had a paved trail. I taught them to run with my bike off-leash. It was really fun. I could cruise on my bike and one ran ahead, one ran beside and I could admire their grace and speed without getting completely out of breath. They got an awesome workout in a short amount of time.

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With my previous two Border Collies I had access to a park that had a paved trail. I taught them to run with my bike off-leash. It was really fun. I could cruise on my bike and one ran ahead, one ran beside and I could admire their grace and speed without getting completely out of breath. They got an awesome workout in a short amount of time.

 

How I wish I had a bike path or dirt road I could take my dogs on! Years ago we lived in a place that had miles of irrigation canals with dirt roads on the banks, and we could ride for miles. Our dogs were in tremendous shape! :)

 

~ Gloria

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How fast would you go? Im stuck with city biking and so far generally only go as fast as my boy can trot. Would LOVE to go fast though!

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