Do Dogs Really Have Abs? (The Hidden Six Pack)

do dogs have abs

Ripped, shredded, lean, jacked. All the terminology that are used to describe someone who is muscular and very well-defined. A term that doesn’t apply to me, unfortunately.

When someone is that fit or lean, one of the most obvious muscle groups that is noticeable would be the abdominal muscles or ‘abs’.

Having abs or a visible ‘six pack’ has been an elusive dream for many ever since the word ‘dieting’ became mainstream. Many of us have tried but failed.

Abs form a major muscle group for humans. But do dogs have ads as well?

Yes, dogs definitely have abs as well and they are an important muscle group for dogs. Even though all dogs have abs, most dogs won’t have abs that are very visible due to the layers of skin and fur. It is important to keep your dog physically active to maintain the strength of its abdominal muscles.

In this article, we will be taking a more in-depth look at your dog’s abdominal muscles and how you can keep them strong.

What Do The Ab Muscles Help With?

Human abs are important as they help support the core of our body. Our abs help to stabilize our movements in all planes. They also protect our organs, spine and help with the elimination of waste.

Try taking a poo or pee when your abs are really sore. It feels twice as difficult and painful.

There are four important muscles that make up your dog’s abdominal wall.

  • Obliquus externus abdominis
  • Obliqqus internus abdominis
  • Transverse abdominis muscles
  • Straight abdominis muscle

Although our canine friends do not have the same anatomy as us, their abdominal muscles serve to help their bodies in a similar fashion as well.

Why Is Having Strong Abs Important For Dogs?

dog running

I am pretty sure that I can count with my fingers the number of dog owners out there that make a conscious effort to train their dog’s abs.

Dog owners don’t really realize the importance of strong ads in their dogs.

A strong set of abdominal muscles can help your dog with the following:

  • Maintain good balance
  • Improves performance and mobility
  • Ensures flexibility
  • Stabilizes the back

If your dog has a weak core, it can start to show signs of poor balance and posture, lack of mobility and excessive sway when walking.

How Can You Strengthen Your Dog’s Abs?

You don’t have to train your dog 7 days a week in the gym unit it has visible abs. Most dogs will benefit tremendously from a simple exercise routine that targets the abs and helps in building muscles.

You would still need to maintain your current outdoor exercises like walking, hiking or jogging with your dog. These activities help with the overall well-being of your dog.

Here are some specific exercises for your dog’s abs.

Stand To Sit Exercises

This first exercise is rather straightforward. All you need to do is to get your dog to sit and then stand.

Make sure that your dog holds each position for a few seconds before giving the next command.

If you think your dog can handle the extra intensity, get your dog to stand before it fully sits and vice versa. Think of it as ‘Doggy Squats’.

This version is rather taxing so don’t go crazy with it.

Walking Uphill And Downhill

Walking up and down a slope engages our core muscles a lot more than we think. Balance is required to ensure that we don’t topple forward or backward.

You can be sure that you are giving your dog’s core a good workout by doing a few repetitions up and down a slope.

Do note that slope walking is more stressful on your dog’s joints and cardio system. Not something you want to do on an unfit dog or a bulldog.

Leg Lifts

Here’s a simple exercise that you can do indoors with your dog. Get your dog to lift up one of its paws high enough so that it’s balancing its body weight on just 3 legs.

Your dog will have to engage its core to keep its balance.

I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that I tried this exercise myself and I couldn’t last 10 seconds on each leg.

Definitely need stronger abs.

As your dog gets better with this exercise, you can try increasing the amount of time that it keeps the paw up.

I’ve seen dogs that are strong enough to lift up one front paw and one back paw.


Teaching your dog how to roll over is more than just a cool trick. Your dog has to engage its abs in other to do so.

Don’t just make your dog roll in one direction. Do it both ways to give the side ab muscles a good workout.

Tug Of War

There’s nothing more intense than a good old tug of war match between two equally matched teams.

Having a tug of war playtime with your dog is a great way to work on its core muscles.

Your dog will be intensely using its abs to maintain balance and pull you back as much as possible.

Don’t be surprised or embarrassed if your dog beats you most of the time.

What Are The Most Muscular Dog Breeds?

If you are on the lookout for a dog that looks impressive with visible abs, you won’t do well with dog breeds like the Golden Retriever, Sausage dog or Chow Chows.

You would want a dog breed that has a history of being used to hard labor or bred for their guarding abilities.

Here are some muscular dog breeds.

American Pit Bull

pit bull

When I think of a dog that’s buff, the pit bull comes to mind. These medium-sized dogs are built to look like bouncers outside a nightclub.

Their short fur and thin skin make it a lot easier for their muscular build to show through. It is very possible for a pit bull to have visible abs. Shaving your pitbull might not be a good idea due to the type of coat that it has.

These dogs were once bred for the barbaric sports of dog fighting and bull baiting. Thankfully, the law has since banned these cruel activities.

Pit bulls these days make great family dogs and would make any intruder think thrice about trespassing.

Cane Corso

The Cane Corso is a large and powerful dog that looks like it eats other dogs for lunch. This dog has visible muscles that can be seen rippling beneath its short fur.

The Corso is part of the Mastiff family and were once said to be war dogs during Roman times.

You need to be a very experienced dog handler to keep this dog under control.

Its powerful movements and love for being active all the time require a great deal of commitment and attention.


greyhound running

We don’t usually picture a Greyhound as being a dog that has visible muscles. But think of the sprinters that you see during the Olympics.

Those runners aren’t built like marathon runners. They are heavily muscled from head to toe. This is because big muscles are required for a quick push off the start lines and maximum. speed.

Greyhounds are bred for speed. They are bred as hunting dogs that can take on critters that move and change directions very fast like rabbits.

Despite their craziness on the racetrack, these dogs make great family pets due to their sweet and affectionate personality.

Why Does It Look Like My Dog Has Abs?

It is possible for your dog to have visible abs if it has short fur and well build. For a dog’s abs to show, it needs to have a lower body fat percentage and be relatively muscular.

There’s nothing to be concerned about if you can see your dog’s abs. Your dog will be the envy of many dogs and their dog owners when you take it out for a walk.

Do Dogs Have Belly Buttons?

Since we are on the topic of abs on dogs, here’s a trick question.

Do you think your dog has a belly button?

The answer is … yes.

Your dog has a belly button hidden somewhere on its tummy. It is a lot harder to see compared to yours because of the fur on its tummy and it isn’t as large as a human’s.

When your dog was in its mother’s tummy, it was connected to the placenta via the umbilical cord to its belly button. This is to supply oxygen and nutrients to the puppy.

Leave a Comment