How do you "build muscle"?

Talk about diets, exercise, and disease.
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Loki
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How do you "build muscle"?

Postby Loki » Fri May 14, 2010 5:41 am

Hi,

I have read a lot of the threads in regards to diet and conditioning which interest me a lot. I work with diet and health and I found it natural to try to do the best for my dogs as well. As both our pups are young I have been careful with the amount of exercise they get but Loki our Amstaff is now 10 month old and I have slowly started to increase his exercise. Both my fiancee and I are really active and the amount of exercise is not an issue and I think once Loki gets a bit older I would like to condition him as well as I can. The question I have is " Can you build more muscle on a dog or is it mainly genetics? If possible how would you do it?" I am interested in workload, type of exercise, diet (increase food) and so on. I would also want to know how much rest time the dog needs between sessions.

For the moment Loki is 26kg (57pounds). He gets fed twice daily of Dr Billinghurst's R.A.W BARF (680g or 2.6% of body weight) plus about 150-200 gram meaty bones (kangaroo tail, beef brisket, lamb brisket, lamb legs) everyday. I also feed him 4g fish oil and every second day 10-15 g of either flaxseed oil or coconut oil.

I would like to put some more muscle on him, and yes I do realize that he still got a bit more to grow but I want to give him the right "training and diet" from the start. Any advice is appreciated. Here is a recent photo of Loki.

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Image

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ProudMommy77
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Re: How do you "build muscle"?

Postby ProudMommy77 » Fri May 14, 2010 11:16 am

here ya go, it's a bunch of tips on conditioning dogs..viewtopic.php?f=29&t=134731 :thumbsup:

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FransterDoo
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Re: How do you "build muscle"?

Postby FransterDoo » Fri May 14, 2010 11:31 am

I'm glad to see that you are already feeding raw! I really, truly think that it has helped my dogs look their best.

Proudmommy posted up a great thread with some different kinds of exercise you can do for your dog.

Genetics do come into play. My older girl has these big, bulkier muscle and my non-pit bull 4 year old has some sighthound and lab in there and his muscle are much leaner and flatter.

If you post in the thread Proudmommy linked you to - it will bump it to the top of the section so folks are more likely to see it.


Do you have any sports in mind or are you looking for a healthly, in-shape companion for what sounds like a very active lifestyle?

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Loki
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Re: How do you "build muscle"?

Postby Loki » Sat May 15, 2010 12:51 am

Hi Again,

Thanks for the link to the thread. I actually read that one before. Maybe I should clarify what I am looking for more in detail. Maybe it is only me who are a "health nuts" as I am working full time in the fitness industry but I will try to give you an example. If a human train for a marathon or a 100 m sprint the muscles they develop are very different in appearance. Their diet also differs quite a bit depending on what energy system they use in their sport. I sport science we normally follow a FITT principle (Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type) ie. for a sprinter it might be 6 sessions a week over 4 days, at 95-100% effort, 30-45 min sessions type: strenght, power and sprint training.

Could anyone give me some tips on how to plan Loki's training and diet? In the conditioning thread it is more about how to get you do "conditioned" or lean rather than specific building muscle. I am not sure if this is possible in a dog but thought it would be worth to ask. For example should I increase him diet if I am working him harder? In that case how much and how? More fat, more meat (protein) or carbs??? Veggies.

FransterDoo: I would like to do some sport but is not sure what yet. I got a harness and I am getting him use to that so we can go skate boading or inline skating. Then again he LOVES water so maybe dock diving? I also thought about tracking as it seems like he got a strong nose. And it would be awesome to help with search and rescue. I guess he still is young and time will tell what he likes most. For the moment we are still working on obedience as he got into a bit of a teenage stage around 6-7 months and it felt like starting over from the beginning once more :) Ha Ha

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gooeydog
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Re: How do you "build muscle"?

Postby gooeydog » Sat May 15, 2010 10:01 am

A lot of it is genetics. You can influence muscle by exercise, but a "bunchy", short muscled dog is probably never going to be like a lean, long muscled dog; and the latter will never be like the former either, regardless of exercise. I have two dogs of the same breed (not pit bulls, mine is a couch potato), both fit and athletic, the younger one is considerably stockier and has larger muscles than the older one. He's a bit faster, but his heat tolerance is nothing compared to hers, and she can outlast him any day, even though she's 3 times his age. I keep his natural tendency to bulk up in mind, and try to select exercise that will promote leaner muscle, like swimming and biking at a jog. He loves to play catch, so we do that a fair amount, but I try to break up those sprints by hiding the ball and having him hunt for it. When I'm crunched for time, we play ball more, and it shows when we get back out on the bike, as we have to cut our distance and work back up. The older dog could fetch uphill all day, and she'd still look scrawny next to him, but even at 12 yrs old, she's still athletic and functional, I bike with her regularly, and she'll play ball for hours without fatigue, even in warmer weather.

It will take time and experimentation to determine what works best for your dog, there's not really an exact science to it. In my experience, "explosive" exercise (sprinting, especially uphill) will tend to build bulkier muscle, whereas lower speed exercise such as swimming or jogging will tend to build leaner muscle, but again, some dogs will bulk up no matter what you do with them, and others will always seem "flat".

In general, when increasing exercise on an already fit dog, you'll need to increase food, how much will depend on the dog (and even then, the dog's metabolism could be affected by weather/temperature, stress, level of activity during "downtime", etc), my dogs have a set portion for normal days, then I adjust accordingly for added exercise (at times, they may get up to twice their normal portion, but they're small dogs, so it's not really a huge increase volume-wise), or inactivity. They require more food in really cold weather (even though they're house dogs, we still spend about an hour a day outside on all but the most horrible days), other dogs will require less in cooler weather due to reduced activity. I like to feed about an hour after our bike ride (in the evening), you shouldn't feed and then take out for heavy exercise soon after, nor feed immediately after such exercise. If they're heavily exercised in the AM, I'll give them a snack, not a full meal, but maybe an additional 1/4 or 1/2 portion, or special "treat" sort of food. They eat mainly kibble (Natural Balance, moderate protein, fat, etc) with some add in meat/canned food.

My dogs aren't really conditioned, but we do "play" type exercise like catch every day, and bike 5-6 nights a week, though the distance varies, we usually do several "moderate" rides, one or two long, and one or two short per week, depending on what we feel like. I swim them at least several times a week in the warmer months, sometimes every day. In addition to those "regular" things, a couple times a week I let them use either the flirtpole or springpole, and we go to the beach so they can climb on the rocks at least once a week. Amount of rest needed will vary, my guys rarely have a day of complete "rest", but if we do a lot on a given day, we might do less the next day, or I'll choose something to do which will complement the previous day.... if we bike 6 hilly miles on pavement to the park one day, we might only play ball in the yard and swim the following day. My goal is to ensure that they stay sound and healthy into their senior years so they can maintain the activity they need to stay happy, sane dogs, and so far, it seems to have worked well.

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Re: How do you "build muscle"?

Postby SquirrelDog6 » Mon May 17, 2010 10:08 am

Green Tripe can really help out with muscling. I have a Whippet that's on the thin side and this is what was recommended to me by my breeder/vet for muscling. Standard Process also makes a good natural supplement called Canine Muscular Skelatal support. This stuff kept my girl fit even through recovery from an injury. Nothing like good long walks to muscle them up and jogging, if your vet approves. I also borrowed the technique of cavelitti pols from the horse world. I line up some weave polls on the ground and have them trot over them. This helps suck up the tummy and muscle up the back. I try to play alot of tug with my girl and for a slim dog, she's ripped! Oh and if you do go with green tripe Before Grain makes a good one that's just tripe in a can no added grain, but do start slow, like a tablespoon at a time with each meal, gradually increased to half a can. If you give it all at once, he'll get the runs. roflmao

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Adrianne
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Re: How do you "build muscle"?

Postby Adrianne » Mon May 17, 2010 11:12 am

SquirrelDog6 wrote:Green Tripe can really help out with muscling. I have a Whippet that's on the thin side and this is what was recommended to me by my breeder/vet for muscling. Standard Process also makes a good natural supplement called Canine Muscular Skelatal support. This stuff kept my girl fit even through recovery from an injury. Nothing like good long walks to muscle them up and jogging, if your vet approves. I also borrowed the technique of cavelitti pols from the horse world. I line up some weave polls on the ground and have them trot over them. This helps suck up the tummy and muscle up the back. I try to play alot of tug with my girl and for a slim dog, she's ripped! Oh and if you do go with green tripe Before Grain makes a good one that's just tripe in a can no added grain, but do start slow, like a tablespoon at a time with each meal, gradually increased to half a can. If you give it all at once, he'll get the runs. roflmao

Interesting!


Side note, OP, where do you get kangaroo tail??

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FransterDoo
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Re: How do you "build muscle"?

Postby FransterDoo » Mon May 17, 2010 11:52 am

They live down under, Adrianne! I thought the saaame thing for a minute.

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Adrianne
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Re: How do you "build muscle"?

Postby Adrianne » Mon May 17, 2010 12:48 pm

FransterDoo wrote:They live down under, Adrianne! I thought the saaame thing for a minute.

awww makes sense lol

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Re: How do you "build muscle"?

Postby WackyJacki » Mon May 17, 2010 6:47 pm

Duh Adrianne. In Australia it practially rains kangaroo tail :crazy:

Back to the OP, I think your dog looks great and in time, with continued raw feeding and lots of exercise you will get him to his genetic potential :)

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Loki
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Re: How do you "build muscle"?

Postby Loki » Wed May 19, 2010 4:06 am

He he...

Sure I assume that roo tail could be a bit hard to get hold of in the US but here is it one of the most affordable bone-meats at AU$ 1.50 per kilo. I have also succeded to source chicken carcasses at a good price. I really liked the info about the green tripe and it seems really good, thank you Squrrildog6. Unfortunately it seems to be almost impossible to get hold of in oz. I will see if I can find a farmer so I can get some when they kill a beast.

Each country has their own "favorite" local food. I have increased Loki's food through meaty bones and hopefully he will fill out a bit. Once again... any training tips to increase muscle "full muscles" would be appreciated.

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ProudMommy77
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Re: How do you "build muscle"?

Postby ProudMommy77 » Wed May 19, 2010 6:07 am

conditioning to build the muscles is kind of like finding your own rythm with things. Swimming, is one of my favorite muscle building exercise, it allows for a resistant work out, but low impact on joints. I like to mix it up as much as possible, dragging chains, carpet mill, flirt pole, spring pole, swimming, even chasing a ball, hiking up hills, etc. These are all things that will help build the muscle up.

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Loki
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Re: How do you "build muscle"?

Postby Loki » Fri May 21, 2010 9:06 am

It seems like physically training dogs in a bit of a trail and error kind of exercise. I have just increased Loki's food a bit. he now got 500g pre-mixed BARF and another 500g of meaty bones every day. I also give him fish oil, flaxseed oil and glucosamine. I will slowly conditioning him over the next few months and post some photos in the gallery section as we go. Thank you for all your advice. I have noticed that he already filled out a bit and knowing he is only 11 month old I guess he still got some growing to do.

Also got "controlled unleashed" today so I can channel the muscle once we get there :nana: excited!


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