WHAT DO YOU FEED YOUR DOGS TO GET THEM SO MUSCULAR?
We get a ton of emails & messages on the various social media sites asking questions like "what do you feed your dogs?" and "what type of workouts do you take them through?" are you strapping weights on them or what are you doing to bulk them up?"
So we thought it would be a good opportunity to walk anyone interested in learning more, exactly what we do during our workouts.
First to clarify: No amount of training, workouts or supplements are going to give your dog a "bullier" build if that build is not in the dog's genetics.
The best way to determine the build of your American Bully is to look at the parents. A lot of people will tell you to look at the pedigree, and while this is important, a dog can have several "big name" dogs in it's pedigree.. but if the parents don't carry the traits, the pedigree is almost useless.
There are a ton of 5X Dax or Miagi dogs that look nothing like Dax or Miagi. It doesn't matter how good the pedigree looks on paper, look at the two dogs in front of you.
We will cover genetics, differences between phenotype & genotype and what it all means in detail in a future article.
When we say "working out" or "training" our dogs: we aren't doing this to bulk them up or to add additional muscle. This is done for the health of our dogs. We want to keep them fit and athletic, more often than not it's done for the opposite.. to keep weight off our dogs.
We don't want any of our bullies getting overweight, and everything that comes with an overweight or obese dogs. “It’s not only the fact that obese pets face a shorter life expectancy, but it’s the quality of the life they’re leading in the first place.”
A few of the major health issues that obese dogs have to deal with include osteoarthritis, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart and respiratory disease, kidney disease, cancer, and more.
EXERCISE & HEALTH
Benefits of cardio exercises for your dog
There are many benefits of cardio training your dog including:
Weight loss/management due to calorie burn
Stronger heart and lungs for improved and more efficient circulation and respiration
Increased bone density which can protect against breakage during activity and aging
Increased number of red blood cells in the body, facilitating transport of oxygen
Improved behavior as intense activity can lead to a ‘runners high’ for your dog
Longer life as a byproduct of increased fitness and weight management
When training your dog, it's important to spend time teaching your dog certain actions, or commands. There are several basic dog training commands that every dog should know.
These cues can help you to keep your dog under control and give your dog a sense of structure and order. They can also help you manage a variety of common behavior problems. In some cases, a well-placed command word may even save your dog's life.
Basic command training not only gives your dog a sense of structure and order, but it will also deepen the bond between you both.
This breed is eager to please, and they are also curious and intelligent. Training them to use this intelligence through learning different commands will not only give you a happier, more well-rounded dog, but also one that is less likely to cause mischief around the house because of being bored.
Basic commands to start with include: Sit, Stay, Wait, Come, Drop it, and Lie Down. Reward them with a treat when they do well. Your dog will learn much quicker and enjoy training when it's fun for them and they receive a reward rather than discipline.
Aside from overall health and improving the quality & longevity of life for your bully, command training which gives the dog a mental workout, play is the most important things for a happy and healthy dog.
This breed is filled with some incredible and unique personalities.. let them come out. No dog should be kept locked up in a kennel, or locked up in the house all day. Let them be dogs and have fun.
They'll work off some of that excess energy, and you'll begin to have a better behaved and much less destructive dog around the house. If you were locked away all day and bored out of your mind, you'd tear up some shit too. I know I would.
Personally, Taste of The Wild Grain Free is our favorite. There may be food options that you prefer, and if it works for your dogs great. As we mentioned earlier every dog is different, and you should feed what gives your dog the best results.
It’s the yellow bag. You can order from Amazon & have it delivered which is a lot better than having to haul several bags out to the car and then unloading when you get home if you have several dogs.
Hypoallergenic Foods For Sensitive Stomachs
If your dog has severe allergies (bumbs on skin, eye mucous, constantly itching face, scratching at tail) The #1 Veterinary Rated Food is Acana (I like the Lamb & Apple)
There are many other great brands as well as unbiased reviews and a complete ingredient analysis on the Dog Food Advisor’s Website.
We see a lot of breeders using every supplement on the market, adding a ton of calories (and fat) into their dog's diets in an attempt to add weight to give their dogs or Stud a "bullier" look.
There is a big difference between the bone & mass that is desired in the breed and fat, or an overweight dog. The most important and often overlooked downside to a lot of these weight gainers, and mass supplements are the effects these can have on your dog's health.
If your dog carries the genetics for this desired build, there is no need for additional supplementation. Later in this article we cover food & supplements that we actually use and have had good results with.
SUPPLEMENTS WE ACTUALLY USE
Overall Health, Coat, Nails
Having a lot of dogs will give you the opportunity to meet several vets. We’ve had the pleasure (and displeasure) of meeting several of the top vets, Dietitians and specialists over the years in multiple states. Most have different opinions and recommendations, we’ve tried several (if not all) of the most popular supplements.
This highly palatable, super concentrated powder provides added protein, essential amino and fatty acids, all vitamins and minerals, plus over 30 unique nutrients that improve the overall wellness in dogs of all ages. ProBalance helps increase activity, maintain optimum condition, recover from injury or surgery, and has been shown to push back the normal age-related diseases.
Out of all of the ones we have used, this has given us the best results with our dogs.
It’s also great for pregnant females. When litters arrive, females who have been supplemented with this product have noticeably bigger and more developed puppies.
We use this supplement on all of our dogs. I swear by this stuff. Before two weeks I noticed a huge difference in our dogs coats, nails, stool and an increase in their energy levels. This stuff is great, and provides a balanced nutrition to your dog without over doing it on any of the ingredients. It is sold out most places online, but you can get it here.
We are not a paid affiliate, and will not receive any benefit if you buy this product. It just really works.
A multi purpose vitamin is sometimes recommended after 9 months of age. But when it comes to vitamins & supplements remember more is not always better!
These chicken flavored soft chews are specially formulated to promote healthy joints, improve mobility, and ease discomfort from hip dysplasia and painful arthritis.
They’re loaded with essential vitamins like C and E, minerals, essential enzymes and powerful active ingredients including glucosamine, chondroitin with MSM, hyaluronic acid, energy-supporting co-enzyme Q10, yucca schidigera, plus salmon and cod oil for a healthy skin and coat.
The formula is independent lab tested for safety and efficacy, and is proudly made in the USA with no unnecessary additives or palm oil.
You do not need to over do it on the supplements. If your dog has the genetic make up to have a “bullier” build it will mature into that, if it doesn’t all the supplements and training in the world aren’t going to add on the muscle mass you desire.
DHA is one of a few supplements we add to our dogs’ diets on a daily basis. Salmon oil is a great source of DHA if it’s the right salmon oil.
Why Is Salmon Oil Good For Dogs
Salmon oil is very high in both EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which are omega-3 fatty acids.
EPA and DHA are helpful for your dog because if you have insufficient amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, you can develop deficiency based diseases, including:
Gout, Allergies, Poor immune system, Eczema, Poor coat: cracked hairs, Increased shedding, Poor wound healing, Poor growth, Poor renal function, Liver disorders, Dermatitis and other health problems.
Proven benefits from EPA and DHA include:
Improves the coat and skin, making it soft and shiny.
Reducing inflammation that can lead to conditions such as arthritis.
Helps to prevent skin allergies.
Helps with Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
Regulates the immune system.
Calming overactive immune systems for dogs with allergies or autoimmune diseases.
Aiding in mental development of fetuses and puppies.
Improves cognitive function in older dogs.
Lowers blood pressure and triglycerides.
Provides support for dogs with kidney disease.
Fights heart disease.
Is preventative against cancer.
Helps promote weight loss in overweight dogs.
Helps in producing more collagen.
Useful in the treatment of kidney problems (frequent urination, loss of appetite)
The appearance of joint problems is lessened.
Can help to slow cancer cell growth.
Helps cachexic (the muscle wasting associated with some cancers)
Mobility & Joint Support
TRP-Tri-COX Soft Chews Joint Support Dog Supplement
TRP-Tri-COX Soft Chews Joint Support Dog Supplement contains a unique blend of ingredients that target all aspects of joint health in dogs.
The unique blend of ingredients in TRP-Tri-COX helps maintain normal inflammatory and immune response in the joint. TRP-Tri-COX also provides the cartilage building blocks, antioxidants and muscle support that are necessary for proper joint function.
Unique blend of powerful ingredients like glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, UC-11, EPA, and DHA support healthy joint function in dogs
Helps maintain normal inflammatory and immune response in the joint
Provides the cartilage building blocks, antioxidants and muscle support that are necessary for proper joint function
Soft chews with a highly palatable liver flavor that makes administering to your dog easy and enjoyable
Ideal for senior dogs with moderate to advanced joint aging. Also helpful for dogs recovering from surgery or injury
Consult with your veterinarian before using this product in animals with clotting disorders, being treated with anticoagulant medications; diabetes, or any other metabolic disorder causing hyperglycemia; history or urinary tract stones; known allergy to shellfish
ArthraPro is a scientifically advanced joint care powder that provides a concentrated level of ingredients proven to support and maintain healthy hip and joint function.
The proprietary Alvia Joint Support Complex provides key nutrients that have demonstrated their ability to support joint health, maintain synovial fluid levels, repair damaged cartilage, and increased muscle, ligament, and tendon strength.
Nutramax Cosequin Maximum Strength (DS)
This joint support supplement is formulated for adult dogs and contains glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and MSM.
These tasty chewable tablets are easy to administer and can even be disguised in your furry friend’s favorite food.
Best of all, Nutramax is a number one veterinarian-recommended brand, so you can feel confident giving this joint supplement to your pal.
All 3 of these joint supplements work, and they work well unlike many of the options marketed as the top joint supplements.
We are not suggesting you use every single one of these, we are listing the Top Brands that we have used in each category.
Contains a probiotic proven to promote normal intestinal microflora
Increases levels of beneficial bacteria
Promotes a strong immune system
Helps reduce flatulence in dogs
Contains a guaranteed level of live microorganisms
Convenient single packets, easily sprinkled on your dog’s food
Weight Gain/Adding Mass
Adding Mass Before A Show or For Use On a Dog That is Underweight
Satin balls are a great way to quickly add on weight for an underweight dog, or for an upcoming show or event in cases where your Stud has lost weight due to breeding, being around females in heat (many are not interested in food when that’s present) or losing weight due to other reasons.
Again this isn’t going to make your dog look like the dog to the left (only genetics will do that) but it can help in the situations mentioned.
“Satin Balls” are a total canine diet. But be careful, it will put weight on a dog fast, if you feed enough. It can be feed by itself, but because it is so rich and high in calories, I only feed as a supplement.
So, if you have a sick dog needing to be built up or an underweight dog dog with little or no appetite, they may do very well on “Satin Balls” as a supplement.
Don’t mix or hide Satin Balls in with kibble. your dog will make a mess trying to get to the Satin Balls. It is perfectly fine to freeze Satin Balls in pre-formed and weighed portions.
When mixing the ingredients, it is a gooey mess. There are many sites with recipes for “Satin Balls”, but I chose the following, because it breaks the recipe down into various sizes.
SATIN BALLS RECIPE:
10 lbs cheap hamburger (high fat %)
1 large box Total cereal (about 12 cups cereal)
1 large box uncooked oatmeal (about 15 cups oats)
10 raw eggs
1 15oz jar wheat germ
10 packages Knox unflavored gelatin
1 and 1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 and 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
Pinch of salt
If your dog has a sensitive stomach, food allergies, or reacts poorly to raw food it is ok to cook
“Whole Wheat Total” cereal (blue box) comes in large 1 lb 2 oz size (about 12 cups settled) and a smaller 12 oz size (about 8 cups cereal), which would work in Little Dog or Half Recipe. But in the long run, the large size is more economical. Don’t get Raisin Total or Lo Carb. Total.
Uncooked Oatmeal like “Quaker Old Fashioned Oats” and less expensive supermarket house brand, come in large 2 lb 10oz size (15 cups oats) or smaller 18 oz size (about 7 cups oats).
15oz jar of wheat germ is about 4 cups. Some stores only carry a 12oz jar of wheat germ, which contains about 3 and 1/4 cups of it.
Vegetable oil/coconut oil-but use a good one. I use olive oil.
An important piece of the puzzle is the relationship between dog and handler. In order for the dog to enjoy what he is doing and feel comfortable and relaxed in the ring, he needs to have a strong connection with the handler, whether the it's his breeder, owner, or a professional handler.
Positive reinforcement training can help strengthen this bond. Again, training methods that focus on positive reinforcement, rather than physical punishment, allow the dog to trust and feel safe with his handler. In turn, this allows the dog to relax and enjoy strutting his/her stuff in the ring.
PREPARING YOUR DOG FOR SHOWS
There are three core behaviors that a show dog must learn to do well. He must be able to “gait,” “stack,” and be examined.
Gaiting means moving at the proper speed and in the proper position without pulling on the lead, so that the judge can evaluate how the dog moves.
Stacking means he must be able to stand still on the ground (if he is a small dog, he must also learn to stand still on a table), so the judge can observe the dog and form an opinion as to how the dog appears when standing still.
Finally, a show dog must be able to stand still and remain calm while a judge examines him. The judge must actually put his or her hands on the dog to determine the overall structure of the dog.
We hope this article covered the basics on healthy exercise & training for your bully, gave you a place to begin on show and command training and food & supplements that actually work.
Remember, every dog is different. These are the brands and techniques that have worked for us. If you have something that's working well for your dog then stick with it.
But get your dogs out, get them active and you'll notice a huge difference in the health and happiness of your furry friend.