Activities For American Bandogges

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Introduction

American Bandogges are another group of big dogs that tend to embody the very concept of a "gentle giant." The term "Bandogge" doesn't refer to one specific dog breed; rather, it refers to any canine that results from mixing a member of the Bulldog family with a member of the Mastiff family of dogs. Slap the country that the dog originated from in front of the word Bandogge and you've got one of these big dogs in your corner. American Bandogges can participate in a number of activities that call for them to put their massive frames and strong builds to work. We've put together a list detailing a few of them below.

Strength Training

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
30 - 45 min
Items needed
Frisbee
Fetch Items
Water and Nutrition
Activity description
Like the term Bandogge, the concept of strength training a dog has a number of different implications to it. As a general rule of thumb, an activity would only qualify as a strength training exercise if your dog's muscles are being exerted in a noticeable way; exercises where weights are incorporated would definitely fit the strength training mold as well as incline exercises and certain water games. Many strength training activities don't require much set up at all, allowing you and your dog to try them out no matter the weather. Best of all, most of the equipment needed to strength train your dog is usually pretty cheap.
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Goal of strength training
The end goal of strength training is to help your Bandogge improve their innate strength by introducing them to activities that'll put their bodies to the test. Your dog's muscles will first be broken down by the intensity of the workouts you two get into (this is the reason humans feel sore after a good workout) only for the body to gradually rebuild said muscles stronger than before.
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Range of activities
On the easier end of the strength training spectrum, we have incline exercises; by simply doing the same sort of activities that you'd do with your dog normally but on a slanted surface, your dog's muscles will be tested in new ways. Playing frisbee, fetch, tag, or hide and seek on an inclined surface would all be considered beginner strength training exercises. In terms of harder activities, any that involve your dog using weights or weighted pieces of equipment would qualify.
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Carting

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
45 - 60 min
Items needed
Dog Cart
Harness
Bungee Cables
Activity description
Dog carting is an activity of big dog breeds that, like strength training, calls for them to use their natural strength and size to accomplish a goal. For this activity, that goal would be pulling a cart from one place to another while a human sits in it. Bandogges, as well as most other Mastiff breeds for that matter, tend to take to this activity very well as they sort of have mushing in their DNA. That being said, this activity is a lot more involved than one might expect and things can get quite sticky if one doesn't properly plan them out.
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Dog carting basics
Dog carting is meant to be a fun activity for both dogs and their human companions in which a canine pulls a cart with no more than two humans from one destination to the another. If you've ever seen a horse cart or a horse trolley, then you'll have a pretty clear picture of what dog carting will be like. Dog carting isn't the hardest activity a dog can participate in, but one should be mindful before diving in head first.
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Light and slow
When you first introduce your dog to this activity, try to keep things light and slow early on. Begin by having your American Bandogge wear the harness around the house for a few minutes each day so that they can get used to the feeling of it. After you've hooked your dog up to their new cart for the first time, don't board it; instead, walk alongside your dog so that you can help them get used to the weight and feel of the cart. You can also do this by allowing only one person at a time to board the cart and then heeling your dog whenever they begin moving too quickly.
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Weighted Sled Pulling

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Any Day
Moderate
Hard
45 min
Items needed
Dog Weight Sled
Harness
Bungee Cables
Weights
Activity description
In terms of physically taxing activities that your dog can try out, it doesn't get much harder than this one. The idea behind weighted sled pulling is definitely self explanatory enough - your Bandogge will have to pull a weighted sled from one area to another, in a similar vein to carting. Sounds simple enough, right? But what makes weighted sled pulling harder than carting is the difference in the goals associated with both activities; whereas dog carting is meant to serve as a fun means of alternative transportation, weighted sled pulling is meant to push your puppy to their physical limits. At the end of a carting session, your dog shouldn't necessarily be exhausted. By the end of a weight sled pulling session, your dog is guaranteed to be winded but will be all the stronger for it.
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What is weighted sled pulling?
Weighted sled pulling is a lot like carting or even mushing in the sense that your dog will attempt to pull a certain amount of weight to a set location while they're wearing a harness attached to the sled. The sled in question is essentially a modified weight rack with an attachment at the bottom that will allow your pet to pull it without worrying about friction. These sleds can be racked, or fitted, with weight plates that are separated by 5ths, with the lightest weights weighing around 5 pounds and the heaviest weighing around 45 pounds.
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Weight sled training basics
As with just about any activity that involves lifting weights, it would definitely be a good idea to start with little or even no weight early on. Giving your dog some time to get used to the weight sled is crucial to their success in the long run and will pay off in spades. Let them get used to pulling the sled around for a few weeks without any weight before adding on any of the plates.
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Making progress
After your dog has had enough time to get used to pulling the sled without any added weight, they'll be ready to start working with weight plates. In order to help them make progress, start with the lightest weights first; outfit the sled with 5 or no more than 10 pounds of weight and let your dog work with that for a week or two. After you begin to notice your dog no longer struggling with the weight, add about 5 more pounds of weight and then work with the new amount for another week. Keep this up until your dog has reached their limit.
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More Fun Ideas...

Guard Dog Training

Many Mastiffs and Bulldogs are adopted for the additional purpose of serving as a guard dog as well as a companion. Guard dog training can actually help your dog learn to become more disciplined and well behaved, very much in the same way that obedience training can. If you think this activity would be a good fit for your dog, then check around your area for reputable guard dog trainers near you and talk to them about guard dog training further.

Trick Training

American Bandogges can benefit from being taught new tricks occasionally in the same way that any other dog can. If you'd like your American Bandogge to be able to sit, stay, lay down, or roll over on command, then set aside some time every day that you can dedicate to teaching one of those tricks using a treat and simple commands.

Conclusion

The American Bandogges can learn to become a great addition to a person's family given that they're provided with the proper structure and pet rearing needed to help them reach their full potential. As you may have come to conclusion while reading this guide, caring for an American Bandogge is a fairly demanding task; if you're an inexperienced dog caretaker or if you feel that you won't be able to accommodate an American Bandogge's particular needs, then you should likely consider adopting another kind of dog. But if you're as hardy and active as most American Bandogges are, then we feel that you'll be a good fit.