How To Make My Pitbull Muscular: A Nutrition and Exercise Guide for Your Pitbull

🦴 Updated on July 20th, 2023

Red american pitbull terrier male muscular

Do you have a pitbull and wonder how you can help them achieve that signature pittie look? Maintaining proper nutrition and exercise is one of the most vital things you can do to help your furry friend get the thick muscle we all associate Pitbulls with.

If you have a pitbull or are looking to adopt one, keep reading to find out how to make your pitbull muscular.

Why Are Pitbulls So Muscular?

Before we dive into making your pitbull big, let’s look at why exactly they look this way. Unfortunately, Pitbulls have a tough history when it comes to their muscly looks.


For many years, pit bulls were known for having an aggressive nature. However, the public has begun to acknowledge this as a stereotype after years of public campaigns to bring awareness to the issue. 

Pitbulls became known as being aggressive animals due to unsafe breeding and bullfighting practices. People bred Pitbulls to be as strong as possible to win in dogfighting or bullfighting matches.

After bullfighting was outlawed, people turned to dogfighting instead. This sport is dangerous and a terrible practice. In most parts of the world, dogfighting is a serious offense. In the United States, dogfighting is a felony under all 50 states as well as federal law.

Nowadays, people tend to keep Pitbulls for their loving, loyal, and protective nature. Thankfully, their fighting days are a thing of the past, and these strong dogs can use their strength for good use.


Genetics is another factor that keeps pit bulls so strong. There are four recognized types of breeds of pitbull, which include:

The four most commonly recognized breeds share similar traits but are vastly different dogs. Depending on the breed of pitbull you have, their nutrition, exercise, and genetics will vary greatly.

Typically, all breeds of Pitbulls have been bred or share the common genes that make these dogs strong and full of muscle. Pitbulls are naturally muscular, and supplementing them with healthy diets and exercise will only contribute to their strong stature.

Diet and Exercise

Pitbulls are very high-energy dogs. They can run long distances and have the strength to pull a lot of weight. Since they are active breeds, they develop a lean and muscular body structure.

The leanness of a pitbull contributes to its speed and agility, while its prominent muscles boost its power and strength. 

With the best of both worlds, it is easy to see why anyone would love the breed.

How To Make My Pitbull Muscular

As mentioned above, pit bulls are naturally muscular on their own, but there are a few things you can do to help them achieve a stronger look. Providing a pitbull with a healthy, protein-rich diet and plenty of muscle-building exercises can boost your dog’s look.

The biggest factors that influence the look of any dog, especially pitbull breeds are:

  • Genetics
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Emotional health

These four leading factors are what will contribute to the look of your pitbull the most. Genetics cannot be controlled outside of selective breeding, so it is up to you to control the diet, exercise, and emotional health of your pitbull.

Pitbull Exercises To Build Muscle

Exercising with your dog is one of the best ways to build muscles. Strength and endurance training is a great place to start.

Keeping your dog engaged in exercise and including positive reinforcement will keep them both happy and healthy. It is important to never force or put negative pressure on your dog to get bigger, as this can drastically affect their emotional health.

Including high-intensity cardio and adding tools like a weighted vest can be a great way to bulk up your pitbull. The most important thing to note about weight pulling is to always consult your vet and monitor your dog’s limits to avoid injury.

Swimming, running in water, and uphill sprints are good ways to incorporate cardio activity. These exercises provide resistance and are a great way to avoid injury to your dog.

Other great and healthy muscle-building activities include:

  • Weighted fetch
  • Tug of war
  • Dog squats

What To Feed a Pitbull To Get Big 

Feeding your pitbull the correct diet is another leading factor in your dog’s weight and muscle mass. However, some dogs may weigh less than others.

As previously mentioned, genetics play a sufficient role in the size of your dog. If your dog descended from a line of smaller Pitbulls, it might not have the capacity to gain a lot of weight or muscle. Consult your vet for more on this.

It is also vital to never overfeed or force your dog to eat large quantities of food. Feeding your pitbull a high protein and low carb diet will contribute to their muscle mass. 

Maintaining a diet of at least 40% protein will assist your dog in building muscle. Adding in 40% carbs and 20% fat is crucial to bulking your pitbull.

Best High-Protein Sources

Using quality protein sources is essential to your dog’s diet. Some of the best types of protein for your pitbull are:

  • Lamb
  • Venison
  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Fish

It is important to note that feeding your pitbull lean meat is vital for bulking muscle. Using leaner meats allows your pitbull to break them down easier and have better efficiency.

Healthiest Carbs You Should Be Looking for

Carbs are the next most important thing in your dog’s diet. They are what give your dog energy to exercise for building their muscles. Some great sources of carbohydrates are:

  • Quinoa 
  • White or brown rice
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Bananas
  • Whole oats

Choosing Healthy Fats

Fats are the last essential food group for your pup. Many dog owners fall under the misconception that fats or carbohydrates may be bad for your dog’s muscle mass. Unfortunately, withholding these from your dog’s diet may be harmful to muscle building and overall health.

Some great sources of fat to include in your dog’s diet are:

  • Fatty fish
  • Eggs
  • Extra virgin olive or avocado oil
  • Organic no sugar peanut butter
  • Hemp or flax seed

Including fat is important in your dog’s diet; however, you must monitor fats closely to avoid overfeeding.

What To Feed a Pitbull Puppy To Get Big

If you have a young pit bull, you may be wondering what you can feed your pitbull puppy to gain muscle. You can feed your puppy similarly to a grown pitbull in smaller amounts. Be sure to monitor the intake and decrease the amount for younger dogs.

Making sure you introduce strength-building foods at the right age is essential to your pitbull’s health. Consult your vet before starting any new feeding regimen at any age. It is crucial to know that your puppy is ready for solid foods before starting the diet.

You can increase the amount of food given to your pitbull as it gets older and has an increased appetite. It is critical to monitor the food intake closely due to the pitbulls’ nature to overeat and the risk of obesity.

In addition to this, feeding your pitbull highly-digestible, nutrient-rich proteins, like lamb and venison in Backcountry Raw Infused, is vital for bulking muscle.

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Emotional Health

Keeping your dog emotionally healthy is one of the most vital things about owning a pet. Because of this, it is not surprising that their emotional health may affect their physical health.

If your pitbull is neglected, scolded frequently, or not shown love and affection, it will become unhappy. Pitbulls are an intelligent group of dogs and are in touch emotionally.

When a dog becomes unhappy, their symptoms are similar to that of humans. They may not want to eat or exercise and have lost all motivation. This can be prevented with bonding and appreciation for your dog.

If you want to build your dog’s muscles, you must also create a bond with your pitbull. Without a happy environment, your dog may be resistant to a diet and exercise regimen vital to creating the signature pittie look.

Some ways to keep your dog happy and build a connection are:

  • Positive reinforcement for good behavior
  • Bonding activities like walking or fetch
  • Affection and appreciation
  • Kind words and speaking voice

Keeping your dog happy is the key to keeping your dog healthy. Without a happy dog, your pitbull may not want to follow the changes you would like to see to make the muscles happen.

What Do I Need To Exercise My Pitbull

Using the right tools may be very helpful when bulking your pitbull. There are a few different options available to exercise your dog in safe and efficient ways.

One of the most popular tools to exercise your pitbull is weight-pulling harnesses. It is important to use these pieces of equipment with caution and to monitor your dog while using one. 

These harnesses allow your dog to pull heavy items to provide resistance strength training. When using a weight harness, you should never push your dog too far past its limit. If done safely, weight pulling can be a great muscle-building and mentally stimulating activity for your pitbull.

muscular American pit bull terrier dog tugging on a toy

Another great option is a spring pole. Spring poles allow your dog to exercise with little work from you. Typically, people will hang these from trees, and the dog will hang from the rope attached. This will strengthen all parts of a pitbull, including the jaw.

One last option for pitbull strength building is a durable chew toy. Pitbulls love to chew and are known for their strong jaw and bite force. If you want to exercise your dog’s jaw, providing them with durable chew toys may help them dramatically.

Exercise Without Equipment

You may think that keeping a pitbull muscular may require equipment; however, exercise can be done on a budget. Activities can be done with little to no money with the right mindset.

If you are looking to exercise your pitbull on a budget, there are many things you already own that can be of great use. Some activities you can do with little to no equipment include walking, tug of war, fetch, sprints, and swimming.

Using things around your house like an old t-shirt for tug of war or an old stick for fetch are great ways to build muscle for free. You can also take your dog to a local lake or ocean if they are friendly for some running or swimming.

What Is the Right Age To Train a Pitbull?

It is good to instill positive behavior in your dog as soon as possible. Pitbulls can begin training as young as eight weeks old.

It is vital to be patient and kind when training any dog, especially training young dogs as it may become frustrating. Pitbulls are naturally high-energy dogs and may become excited when puppies. Luckily, Pitbulls are easy to train, breed, and produce results with patience.


Below are some frequently asked questions.

What breed of pitbull is the most muscular?

The American Pitbull Terrier is one of the most muscular dog breeds and is among the top spots for Pitbulls.

Are Pitbulls naturally aggressive?

Pitbulls, contrary to popular belief, are not naturally aggressive dogs. They are, however, naturally strong and muscular.


Pitbulls can be a great breed to own for a variety of reasons. One of the biggest reasons people get pit bulls is attributed to their looks and strengths. 

Incorporating a healthy high protein diet with plenty of lean meats is a great way to supplement your pitbull’s diet. Adding in high-intensity cardio and resistance strength training can be a perfect addition to your dog’s routine.

If you want a strong-looking pitbull, it is also crucial to enrich your dog’s life with love, affection, and mental stimulation to keep them engaged in exercise.

If you maintain these simple steps, your pitbull will be walking amongst the big dogs in no time.

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Picture of Sarah Alward | Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Sarah Alward | Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Our resident DVM helps review every article to ensure we always provide scientifically accurate, up-to-date information. She’s proud to help provide pet parents everywhere with the info they need to keep their pets safe, healthy, and comfortable.