Why Is Your Pit Bull So Lazy? 5 Likely Reasons

pitbull puppy wanting to sit in the snow instead of playing with owner

You always heard that Pit Bulls are high-energy dogs, which is why you’re perplexed that yours is unmotivated and never seems to want to go outside and get some exercise. It’s a good idea to uncover the reason(s) for your Pit Bull’s laziness, as inactivity can sometimes be indicative of illness or disease. So why does your Pit Bull act so lazy?

Your Pit Bull may be lazy for these 5 reasons:

  • Personality trait
  • Improper diet
  • Injury, illness, or medical condition
  • Age
  • Conditioning

I’m sure you’re curious to learn more about these 5 reasons your Pit Bull may be lazy, and I’m here to deliver. Ahead, I’ll expound on each point above. I’ll also offer some great solutions to overcoming laziness in your Pit Bull no matter the reason!

Lazy Pit Bull? Here Are 5 Reasons Why Your Dog Doesn’t Want to Do Anything

It’s Just Their Personality

When deciding which dog breed is right for you, you probably use a resource like the American Kennel Club to research what the dog’s personality is like, right? You want a breed that gels with your own personality, which is why you’ve gravitated towards one of the four Pit Bull breeds.

The AKC calls Staffordshire Bull Terriers tenacious, brave, and clever. They say the AmStaff is good-natured, smart, and confident. I’ve seen the American Pit Bull Terrier described as courageous, obedient, strong-willed, friendly, loyal, and affectionate.

Yet here’s the thing about characterizing an entire breed of dogs with a few positive adjectives. Some Pit Bulls will indeed live up to those standards since the AKC had to get that temperament information from somewhere.

Yet not all dogs will check the boxes for courageousness, adventuresomeness, and the like.

Your Pit Bull might be the most loyal dog around, but they just don’t get excited about physical activity like other dogs in their breed do.

This isn’t all bad, as your Pit Bull likely has a relaxed, easygoing attitude. They don’t get up and start barking like crazy when the Amazon delivery driver pulls up and puts a package on your doorstep or when the pizza guy/girl comes.

They’re nonplussed about the household cat, and if a friend comes by, your Pit Bull doesn’t react much.

Exercising a Pit Bull that’s temperamentally chill and even lazy won’t be easy, but that doesn’t mean you should give up trying to do so. Every day, your Pit Bull breed needs at least 30 minutes of exercise, ideally 45 minutes if you can manage it.

Light exercise like rolling around on the floor playing with a rope toy won’t cut it either. Pits require vigorous physical activity like a romp around the yard or a trip to the local dog park.

Also, before you chalk up your Pit Bull’s laziness to their personality, I would recommend a checkup with your veterinarian. Yes, it very well could be that your Pit Bull is just a relaxed dog, but the other causes of laziness above could apply as well.

You would hate to learn that your Pit Bull has been sick or in pain and that’s why they don’t exercise when you assumed it was just their personality.

Your Pit Bull May be on an Improper Diet

What are you feeding your Pit Bull every day? Depending on how you answer that question, you could have the reason as to why your Pit Bull is so lazy.

You can make all sorts of dietary mistakes when it comes to feeding your Pit Bull, including overfeeding or underfeeding them as well as failing to notice your particular pit bull has a sensitive stomach. The sooner you can identify these mistakes and rectify them, the better.

Underfeeding Your Pit Bull

Depending on the age of your AmStaff, Staffy, or other Pit Bull breed, their dietary needs vary.

If you own your Pit Bull from birth, they should drink nothing but their mother’s milk for at least four weeks. Around the four-week mark, you can begin adding puppy food to their diet, but this food should be heavily diluted with water. Per serving, the food should comprise 1/4th to 3/4th water.

Some pit bull puppies will reject this food/water mix at four weeks old, and that’s okay. Try again the next week but still continue with feeding the dog their mother’s milk.

Around six weeks, your Pit Bull puppy might be especially interested in trying dog food, especially if they weren’t prior.

By week seven, feeding your Pit Bull puppy undiluted dog food is appropriate. You should have been weaning the puppy off mother’s milk between this week and the last, as the mother will want to stop nursing around this time anyway.

Once they can handle solid food regularly, your Pit Bull puppy will eat frequently, but not large quantities of food. You want to feed them between four and six times each day, but only a quarter cup of food. If your puppy seems especially hungry, you might increase the quantity to half a cup, but not too often!

What about their diet in adulthood? A Pit Bull needs at least three cups of food per day, ideally for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Failing to feed your Pit Bull the recommended food quantities above can have all sorts of unfortunate effects on their health. Your dog may be undersized to its breed standard.

They could have malnourishment, which manifests in symptoms such as it’s ribs showing too much, hair loss, shedding more than usual, dandruff, body odor, and stinky breath.

Food is energy for dogs as much as it is for people. When your Pit Bull doesn’t have energy from food, then of course, they’re not going to want to get up and go for a walk. In severe cases, they may be physically incapable of doing so.

Overfeeding Your Pit Bull

The next dietary mistake that can affect your Pit Bull’s penchant for physical activity is overfeeding them.

If your Pit Bull has you wrapped around their finger, you’ll give them whatever they want. Maybe that’s an extra cup of food here and there (okay, it’s pretty often). Perhaps you feed them table food or you give them far too many recreational bones as treats or rewards.

Whatever the egregious error, your Pit Bull is packing on the pounds. It seems like the more you feed them, the lazier they get.

That’s because by this point, your dog is likely overweight. All those extra pounds put pressure on your Pit Bull’s joints and bones, making it harder to get up and walk around.

Feeding Your Pit Bull Foods with Ingredients that Upset Their Stomach

It seems like almost every time you feed your Pit Bull their dog food, they throw up or have runny diarrhea. There is no itching or red skin like with a dog food allergy, but something is still obviously wrong.

Your Pit Bull might have an intolerance to certain ingredients in their food. They may also have a sensitive stomach. Since your Pit Bull can’t keep their food down, they’re not going to have the rambunctious spirit that’s normal of their breed.

They Have an Illness, Injury, or Medical Condition

When you’re injured or under the weather, you don’t want to hit the gym, right? Your Pit Bull is the same way. Whether they’re hurt, sick, or both, they’ll be incredibly lethargic, which you could mistake for laziness.

Pit Bull Illnesses

Dogs don’t really get colds or flus like we people do, but they can still be sick. Perhaps your Pit Bull is still reeling from that plate of dog food they ate this morning or they have a urinary tract infection or ear infection. The discomfort from the infection will certainly dissuade them from getting out of bed.

Pit Bull Injuries

Pit Bulls can play rough with other dogs. Yet there’s a difference between play-fighting and real fighting, and you need to be able to identify which is which. If your dogs are getting seriously violent with one another, you must have a means of safely breaking it up before one or both of your dogs get hurt.

Watch your Pit Bull at the dog park too. I’ve said this many times on the blog, but the reputation of the Pit Bull as being this big, ferocious predator is often hugely overblown. Your Pit can be intimidated by other dogs, sometimes ones that are not bigger than them. Don’t just assume your Pit Bull can fend for themselves around another canine.

If your Pit Bull does get injured, it’s not always as overt as a bloody, gaping wound. Bone fractures, for example, are not an injury you can see.

Here are some signs your Pit Bull might be injured:

  • Faster heart rate than normal
  • Changes in breathing pattern, as the dog’s breathing either becomes shallow or very fast
  • No interest in eating
  • Hiding from you and your family
  • Quiet behavior
  • Snapping at you and acting moody
  • Will not tolerate being touched
  • Growling, yelping, or crying if you get too close

Pit Bull Medical Conditions

If your Pit Bull isn’t sick or injured, it could be they have an undiagnosed medical condition. The number of diseases and conditions in dogs is so many that I can’t cover them all, but here are a few relevant ones that could masquerade as laziness in your Pit Bull:

  • Bladder stones, which some dogs are susceptible to more frequently than other breeds
  • Any gastrointestinal disease, including gastric dilation volvulus, pancreatitis, and/or gallbladder mucocele
  • Cushing’s syndrome, which can cause lethargy and muscle weakness as well as a pot belly and increased urination; Cushing’s can be a sign of a pituitary gland tumor
  • Hypoadrenocorticism, which leads to weight loss, shivering, diarrhea, and vomiting
  • Any circulatory and/or cardiovascular disease
  • Elbow and hip dysplasia, which makes getting around painful
  • Hypertrophic osteodystrophy or hypertrophic osteopathy, two bone diseases
  • Congenital vertebral anomalies, which affect normal spine development from birth onward and make walking and playing difficult
  • Panosteitis, which targets the forelimb and hind leg bones in mid-sized and bigger dogs
  • A luxating patella, a condition that prevents the dog from walking normally
  • Depression, which may cause mood changes and disinterest in all areas of your Pit Bull’s life

They’re Old and Can’t Keep up Anymore

How many birthdays has your Pit Bull celebrated? If the answer is a dozen or so, you have to cut them some slack. Most Pit Bull breeds live 12 to 16 years, so at 10 years old, your Pit Bull is approaching the end of its life or at least its golden years.

You cannot realistically expect your Pit Bull to be able to run an agility course or even run so much at all anymore. If they can get out of bed of their own accord and take a walk with you, consider that a win.

You’ve Conditioned Them to be Lazy

Not all causes of Pit Bull laziness are completely dependent on them. It could be that you’re conditioning your dog to become lazy and stay that way. For instance, every time you overfeed them, you’re only further resigning your Pit Bull to its fate. That’s true too when you feed the dog people food, which your Pit is not supposed to have.

If you try to get your Pit Bull excited about a walk but they just roll over in their cushy doggy bed and you let it happen, that’s conditioning them too. You let them win, and this tells your dog that if they ignore you when you tell them it’s walk time, they can get away with not going out.  

I know you love your Pit Bull and you want to give them the best life possible. That’s why they’re so incredibly spoiled. What you have to recognize though is that the best life for your Pit Bull is one in which they’re active every day.

Great Solutions for a Lazy Pit Bull to Try Today

Now that you have a better idea of why your Pit Bull might be exhibiting some lazy tendencies, let’s talk about how to get your dog ready for a more active lifestyle!

Get a Vet Checkup

I can’t stress this enough. Since pets can’t talk to us the way you and I can have a conversation, determining what’s wrong with your Pit Bull is not always easy. Your vet will know what to look for in your dog, be that signs of injury, illness, food insensitivity, or disease.

Even if your Pit Bull gets a perfectly clean bill of health and you know their laziness just comes down to their personality, it’ll have still been worth taking them to the vet.

Start Your Pit Bull on a New Diet

Your Pit Bull likely needs a dietary change if that’s what’s causing their laziness. Talk to your vet about the quantities of food your Pit Bull should eat based on their size, weight, and age.

Make sure that you maintain this diet every day.

If you overfeed your Pit Bull and they’re overweight or obese, your vet will suggest a specialized diet. Your Pit Bull may have to eat low-calorie food or you may be told to reduce serving sizes.

You’ll also have to toughen up and get used to resisting your Pit Bull’s whining, crying, begging, and puppy dog eyes and stop giving them table scraps. Doing this is for the good of their health!

What if your Pit Bull has a sensitive stomach?

Switching to a food that’s formulated for their stomach is a wise idea. These sensitive stomach foods use bland ingredients like chicken and rice that are less likely to upset your dog’s tummy. You can also try making home cooked meals with those two dietary staples.

Make an Exercise Schedule and Stick with It

For the Pit Bull with a lazy personality or the one that has been conditioned to be that way, a daily exercise schedule will help them slowly unlearn their lethargic behavior. At first, it might be hard to push your Pit Bull out the door, so you can use some treats to incentivize them. The keyword there is some, as you don’t want to overfeed your Pit Bull!

Have a backup plan for what you two will do to exercise when it’s rainy or snowy. I’ve talked about this on the blog, so make sure you check out my post full of fun, awesome indoor exercise suggestions!

You have to put in the time to exercise just as much as your dog. Even when you’re tired, overworked, stressed, or not really feeling it, for the health of your dog, you must be willing to get up and go.

When creating an exercise schedule for your Pit Bull, make sure it’s realistic according to their current weight, health, and age. Older Pits can exercise daily, but they won’t do nearly as vigorous exercise as a younger dog.

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