The number of people using dog treadmills is increasing every year. They are used by professional dog trainers to help them train their dogs for events such as sled pulling evens all the way through to disabled dog owners to help their dog get exercise. In this article, we will be taking a look at how to get your dog to walk on a treadmill.
Some dogs can be a little underconfident with treadmills at first but this does usually pass. These tips and tricks will help you get your treadmill as quickly as possible.
How To Get Your Dog To Walk On A Treadmill
When looking at how to train your dog to walk on a treadmill you have to keep in mind that this is a process. You should always move at your dog’s pace rather than try and rush it. Walking or running on a treadmill is usually a brand new experience for your dog. Trying to rush it will often set your progress back.
The introduction between your dog and its treadmill is usually underestimated but it is an important stage. This stage is even more important if your dog is from a shy or small breed, a large new object in their territory may be intimidating to them. That said, some dogs are the exact opposite and love to investigate and will jump on the treadmill without a second thought.
If you think your dog may be nervous of the new treadmill, make sure it is turned off for the initial introduction. The loud noise and moving parts of the treadmill may make your dog even more nervous.
You can prep the treadmill with your dog’s favorite treats before the introduction. This can help encourage your dog to get on the treadmill the first time it sees it. If it does, be sure to offer plenty of physical and verbal praise as well as additional treats. If your dog is still nervous of the treadmill, try getting on it with the dog and playing with it to help it relax.
If you have purchased the treadmill as a way to help your dog exercise then there is a high chance that your dog is out of shape and unfit. It is recommended that you initially set the treadmill up at walking pace, an overweight dog should not be out of breath or need to hang its tongue out to cool down for its warm up.
Unfortunately, there’s no exact speed setting for this on the treadmill. This is because all dog breeds have different leg lengths meaning they move at different speeds. Most manufacturers will provide a guide in their info pack to help you decide on the correct speed for your dog. A warmup should last at least five minutes but no longer than ten.
If you are using a dogPACER treadmill then you can fasten a dog harness and leash to the crossover bar. This will keep your dog in place while it is exercising. We have never tried this ourselves but there are multiple reports of other dog owners having success with it.
Getting Your Dog Off The Treadmill
Before upping the speed of your dog’s treadmill, it is important to teach your dog that it can quickly and easily get off the treadmill if it chooses. Although you can do this by hand if you choose, it is much easier if you use a dog treat lure to extend your reach.
Fit some of your dog’s favorite treats to the treat lure and then hold it one either side of your dog as its walking on the treadmill. It is best to initially do this when the treadmill is running at a slow speed. Your dog will usually follow the treat lure to get the treat as you lead it off the side of the treadmill. Once complete, repeat the process with the other side of the treadmill.
Repetition is key, you want your dog to be fully aware that it can walk to either side of the treadmill to get off it if it chooses. Repeat this process as many times as you feel required.
Upping The Speed
Once your dog is used to its warmup speed you can begin to increase the pace a little. As the dog owner, you will be able to test and adjust to a speed you feel is relevant to your dog. As we mentioned earlier, most dog treadmill companies will provide you with instructions on how to work out the best walking and running speeds for your dog breed and build.
Other Popular Methods
The video below shows another popular method of how to get your dog to walk or run on a treadmill.
Is A Dog On A Treadmill Cheating
There is an ongoing discussion between dog owners if putting a dog on a treadmill is cheating or not. In all honesty, we feel that using a high-quality dog treadmill is an excellent way to give your dog some exercise if you can’t get outside for some reason.
Just remember the secondary reason you would usually take your dog for a walk, to potty! If you are disabled and struggle just to get out of the house then this article on training your dog to go potty in an apartment may be helpful to you.
How To Get A Dog To Run On A Treadmill
If you want to get your dog running on a treadmill rather than just walking then follow our process above. After a week or so of treadmill use, ask yourself if you feel your dog is confident enough with the treadmill to run on it.
If you do, simply increase the speed of the treadmill for your dog. As we have mentioned a few times throughout the article, there is no set speed to get your dog to run at. Different dogs have different sized body parts so each dog breed and build is different. As we also mentioned, most dog treadmill brands will ship a leaflet with their product offering advice on how best to use their treadmill with various different dog sizes.
The Best Treadmill For A Dog
It comes with a number of breed-specific computerized fitness programs for various dogs so you can just select a program and let your dog exercise as you like.
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normanack – dog on treadmill – https://flic.kr/p/37d3n