Exercises for Dogs to Build Muscle

by Farmer Jack
Updated on

Anyone who hits the gym for regular exercise can attest to this: your body feels younger and better. If you need your dog to look and feel like yesterday’s puppy, you will apply the same treatment to him. Dogs live and feed within their enclosed kennel and a little exercise revives them and gives them an opportunity to connect with their masters.

Now, apart from a healthy protein-rich diet, your dog needs to flex every muscle that supports his motion. It should be a progressive culture as soon as your pup hits its active middle life. Let’s walk you through the various reasons to encourage dog exercise to build muscle.

6 Reasons for dog exercise to build muscle

While your intention is for your dog to maintain lean muscle, be cautious that you do not over-exercise your hound. Sudden continuous workouts without proper warm-up may cause muscle injury and days without any exercise.

On the contrary, you need at least 15 minutes every 5 days in a week for proper workouts. No strain in that matter. Check out the four benefits of regular dog exercise.

1. A balance in the dog’s posture

You can tell the difference between a frail hound and a strong one by their body language. The strong dog looks confident with a straight gait and top line. On the contrary, the weak one tends to bendand recoil for no reason. So, exercise makes your dog confident while improving muscle and overall dog’s gait.

2. Leg power and strength

The front and hind legs of a hunting dog determine its sprinting ability when it sees potential prey. Dog squats and leg lift exercise improves inner muscle strength and prevents unprecedented injuries. The work-outs should, however, be as regular as possible to break the monotony of the kennel life.

3. Strong pelvic region

The ability to sit or stand depends on the flexibility of the pelvic bones. Proper exercise opens up this area for easy peeing and other functions. Who doesn’t like the physique of wolves and foxes? Yet they spend most of their time chasing after hares in the forest.

4. Avoid weight-related conditions

Some dog breeds are small with thin muscle naturally. However, larger breeds like the pit bull terrier need the right kind of muscle for their protective roles. Instead of accumulating fat, the exercise burns excess calories while accommodating lean muscle. You don’t worry about obesity in an active dog, right?

A dog is man’s best pal. And the dog’s best trainer is a man. Your dog can learn and unlearn habits through his master. However, the process of dog exercise is not allsmooth. Your dog may happily take on some workouts while refuse to cooperate with others. That being the case, you need to try various ways to keep him fit. So, if you are wondering what exercises are good for dogs to build muscles, here is a list of simple workouts to try.

Best Exercises for Dogs to Build Muscle

Depending on the health and physicalcondition of your dog, you need to try several exercises with the help of a pet trainer. An older dog is more susceptible to muscle injuries if you expose him to strenuous workouts. 

On the other hand, a bone condition called osteoarthritis affects older dogs than their younger generation. That said, let’s look at six topmost dog workouts to strengthen the core, front and hind legs, or the rest of a dog’s torso.

1. Leg lifts

Let your dog reach out to treats that are a bit out of his reach. You can hang the dog treats on a rope and allow him to jump after them. Besides that, a playful game with him allows him to lift his paws which is strengthens his leg muscles.

2. Treadmill walk

Dog exercise on the treadmill works onboth the front and hind leg muscles. It may seem uncomfortable but your hound gets used to overtime. It also makes the pelvic region stronger for a balanced sit or stand position.

3. Dog walking

Although this seems like an ordinary activity, this is a perfect foreplay exercise to warm up and increase blood flow before your dog dives into engaging workouts. A 30 minutes walk minimizes constipation issues while giving your dog a chance to sleep peacefully.

It is a great exercise to strengthen the trunk and leg muscles and is good for dogs of all ages.

4. A game of fetching

You can involve other members of your family in this game for more fun. This requires your dog’s attention and it helps him to keep alert. Since he turns his head in all directions to have sight of the ball or toy to fetch, he can maintain a strong neck.

Besides, he also gets to build lean muscle while sprinting around to fetch his toys. On the other hand, your dog learns to pick up weights using his mouth while dropping weird habits like chewing and tearing objects.

5. Stairs climbing

A few steps up or down the stairs may feel like walking on uneven terrain. It is tough and it may leave your dog panting. However, with some moderation, it builds the core muscles leg muscles, and overall body strength.

6. Pulling weights

This is one way on how to build dog shoulder muscles without any equipment. It’s the equivalent of weight lifting. A trainer introduces smaller weights like a kg or less which he increases with every successful pulling effort.

The weight on your dog’s harness helps him to concentrate all his effort and energy on pulling the weight. It is a simple way to create lean shoulder muscles.

Take note:

  1. Do not force an exercise on your dog when he’s not cooperating.
  2. Over-exercise exposes your hound to risks of muscle injury.
  3. Let your vet spell the workouts if you have a sick dog or one with underlying conditions like dysplasia.
  4. Otherwise, have fun and take lead in the exercises. If your dog leads, it may also make him aggressive towards other people.

Can Muscle Wasting In Dogs Be Reversed

Muscle wasting may be a result of age, injuries, or other breed-related conditions. In some cases, it is reversible through a supplement or disease treatment. Besides that, you may have to try different nutrition while following a strict exercise regime from a known vet.

Ending Note

Exercises for dogs to build muscle not only contribute to your dog’s great body but also makes him less aggressive towards other people. It also reduces back issues and makes them flexible for dog sports. If you are looking for the best exercise for dogs to build muscle, check out our recommendations for middle to old-age hounds.

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Farmer Jack


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