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by Leonard B. Hanna


When you have a dog matched it is very important that you put him in proper condition for the battle.
When two dogs are equally matched every other way, it is usually the best conditioned dog that wins.

It takes about four weeks to get a dog in good fighting shape.


To start with be sure that he is strong and healthy and free from worms. Begin by leading him a couple of miles in the morning allowing him to stop along at intervals, and when you return with him give him a good rub down and put him in his quarters until in the afternoon, then take him out for a three mile run. You can go on a
wheel or in a vehicle but keep him out of the dust as much as possible. And all through your training
allow him to stop and empty out when he chooses.

Keep him off of too hard a road, and every day after you bring him in wash his feet in a solution
made by putting a spoonful of tanic acid in a pint of water. This will keep his feet sound and well.

Lead him the two miles every morning of this first week if possible, and in the afternoons increase his run
one-half mile every day. Always give him a good rub, using nothing but your hands, after these runs in the afternoon, and wait until he gets thoroughly cooled off to feed him. He is to be fed only once a day and his meals for the first week should consist of bread and meat chopped together--cooked meat--and it is all right
to moisten it with the soup from where the meat is cooked, but do not make a slop of it.
Always have fresh, clean water for the dog to drink.

The amount of food varies under different circumstances; some dogs require more than others.
Work effects them differently and the climate and season of the year also make a difference.
Just feed him enough to keep him strong and not fatten him.

There will be days when the weather is so that you cannot take the dog out and you will have to work him indoors. On such mornings as these let him play with a ball or pull on the end of a rubber hose for 30 minutes; and in the afternoons work him one of the following ways he likes best..

Thirty to sixty minutes on a tread mill.

Or put a cat in a cage and have a harness on the dog and put him on one end of a ten foot leash and you take the other end, and let the dog get as close after the cat as possible not to get hold of the cage, and you keep pulling him away from it to one side and the other, back and forth, and keep this up till he is winded and tired. Stop occasionally and wash out his mouth, but give him very little time to rest.

At the end of the first week he can stand forty minutes of this, and there is nothing to beat it except road work.

He will now be rounding into shape and will have lost two to five pounds, according to the size of the dog.


Morning walks, same distance.

Afternoon runs, increased one-half mile each day. Same food as first week. If his feet are bothering him any, bathe them daily in denatured alcohol. At the end of this second week he should be about to weight.
Ordinarily a 35 pound dog will condition at about 32 pounds; a 50 pound dog at 45 or 46 pounds,
and a catchweight dog will take off 6 to 12 pounds.


This is the hardest weeks work. Give him same walk of mornings. In the afternoons give him fifteen minutes
of the tugging exercise, either on hose or after cat, before starting on his run.

Increase his afternoon run one-half to one mile each day. Feed him the same except in the middle of this week begin feeding him three ounces of cheese at each meal and keep it up through the rest of his training,
also include in his feed one-half pint of sweet milk, let him drink it just after his meal of solid food.


Walk mornings and afternoons same as third week, feed the same,
and do not forget the good rubbing after work-out.

The second day before the battle give him only light afternoon work, and the day of his fight only lead him
out a while in the morning. Arrange it so that his feed will come just 24 hours before the contest.

You can now feel sure that you have him in as good or better condition than his opponent.