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Training Dogs on Treadmill

April 17, 2011

I’ve had many people ask me how I’m able to train my dogs to go on a treadmill.  Firstly, I owe it all to Cesar Millan (Dog Whisperer) for inspiring me and teaching me how to balance my dogs.  I do have small dogs, so it’s alot easier to manage.  Granted though, many of the dogs I foster are not leash trained so in case your dog is not use to being on a leash, please make sure they are use to a leash first.  I do say this in my video but I want to stress again, do not use this as a replacement to walking your dogs outside.  Your dogs should be walked atleast 30 mins a day outdoors.  It’s the only stimulation that they’ll have from the entire day of being between 4 walls.  And leaving them in the backyard doesn’t count either.  Dogs are not meant to be confined to the same environment 24/7.  They – just like us – need to explore.  You’ll notice how more balanced your dog will be when you walk him/her.

Exercising your dog on a treadmill should only be used as a temporary solution or as a supplement.  But it is good exercise and teaches them focus.  Atleast you’re putting your treadmill to use as opposed to collecting dust…heh heh.

In case it’s not clear in the video, here are some pointers:

  • Do not drag the dog onto the treadmill.  Guide them by pulling the leash.  But as soon as they move forward, relax the leash.  They should voluntarily go on themselves.
  • The first time, if the dog is very nervous, just leave them on there without turning on the treadmill. Give them a treat so they have positive association to the treadmill.
  • When you first turn on the treadmill, ensure that it’s at it’s slowest level only so that the dog realizes that the ground that they are on is moving.  Once they start walking more comfortably, increase the speed so that it’s a comfortable walk for them.  Don’t forget, dogs are not use to walking really slow so many times, just increasing the speed will calm them down and let them walk smoother.
  • On their first time, I would start off with 5 minutes and add 5 minute increments until about 30 mins.  Always make sure your dog comes off the treadmill on a good note.  So if they seem a bit nervous or anxious after, give them alot of praise.
  • Your dog can eventually run on the treadmill once he/she is completely comfortable with walking on it.  But you have to make sure you are standing along side the treadmill.

Hope you enjoy the video! Even if you don’t have a treadmill this is fun to watch.  It really is as easy as it looks.  Your dog should learn to walk on the treadmill off leash after a few times.

This next video was for fun – to prove that it is easy to treadmill train dogs.

Try it out and let me know how it goes!  Oh yes, if you’re going to buy a treadmill, please buy a regular one instead of a doggy treadmill.  They are much more versatile.

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2 Comments
  1. carolina permalink

    what would be a ideal treadmill size for a golden retriever?

    • you don’t have to buy a special treadmill for dogs. the standard size treadmill we use for our own fitness is great. the important thing is to start at a slower steady pace first so your pup gets use to it and always guide with a leash first. good luck!

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