How to Get a Dog to Use a Treadmill
Running on a treadmill can be a great way to provide your dog with a workout. If you have a busy schedule or live in an area where the weather or neighborhood makes dog walking difficult, a treadmill can be a great way to get your dog the exercise she needs. Training a dog to use a treadmill takes some patience, but with time and effort your dog should learn to use the machine with ease.
Set up the treadmill.Before you can begin training your dog, you'll need to set the treadmill up in the proper fashion.
- The treadmill should be positioned so it is not facing the wall and your dog will not be facing the wall when walking on it. You don't want your dog to think she's going to walk into the wall if she uses the treadmill.
Familiarize your dog with the treadmill.Your dog will not get on the treadmill right away. As it's a new piece of machinery, she will need time and patience to familiarize herself with the device.
- Always introduce your dog to a new treadmill with the machine turned off first. If a dog encounters a treadmill while it's on and making noise, she can easily become frightened.
- Allow your dog to sniff the treadmill and familiarize herself with the machine for a few days. Let her get used to the new object in her home.
- Try to turn the treadmill into a positive object. Feed your dog meals and treats around the treadmill. Place her water bowl and toys near it.
Get your dog to walk on the treadmill while it's turned off.Once your dog is familiar enough with the treadmill that she remains calm in its presence, try to urge her to walk on it while it's turned off.
- You can use treats to lure your dog onto the treadmill. While using the treats to get her to walk on the treadmill, use a verbal command like "Get on" to reinforce this behavior.
- Praise your dog the second she steps on the treadmill and give her a treat.
- Practice getting your dog on the treadmill a few times a day. Once she gets on the treadmill in response to the command "Get on" the majority of the time, you can move on to letting her walk on the treadmill.
Training Your Dog
Let your dog come near the treadmill while you use it.Once your dog is familiar with the treadmill while it's turned off, allow her to interact with it while it's running.
- Use the treadmill on the lowest possible speed in front of your dog. Allow her sniff the treadmill while it's in use and observe you walking on it.
- If possible, use the command "Get on" to see if your dog is comfortable walking on the back of the treadmill with you as you use it on a low speed. It may take a few days or weeks before she's comfortable enough watching the treadmill in action to climb on while it's moving.
Have your dog walk on the treadmill at its lowest speed.Once your dog is familiar with the treadmill in action, you can start having her use it while it's moving.
- Leash up your dog first. Hold the leash upwards as she steps onto the machine. Then, switch the treadmill on to the lowest setting.
- Your dog might adapt quickly to walking on the treadmill but she might also be frightened and resist. You may have to stand in front of the treadmill holding her leash and urging with treats and encouragement to stay on.
- Start small. Use 30 seconds to 1 minute sessions on the lowest setting until your dog is comfortable using the treadmill regularly.
Use positive reinforcement.Throughout the process of training your dog, use positive reinforcement to encourage her to use the treadmill.
- Use treats and praise when your dog stays on the treadmill.
- Dogs live in the present, so it's important to use reinforcement the second she correctly follows a command. As soon as she steps on the treadmill, for example, verbally praise her and give her a treat.
- If your dog begins to look unhappy or distressed, stop the session. Dogs use their faces and bodies to display their emotions. Some of the signs that your dog may be upset include his eyes being larger than normal, his mouth closed with his lips slightly pulled back at the corners, and his tail lowered between his legs or tucked up against his stomach.
Build up to higher speeds and longer periods.As you continue to make your dog use the treadmill, gradually speed up the intensity of the workout.
- Once your dog is comfortable on the treadmill for 1 minute, build up to 2-3 minute sessions and eventually 5-minute ones. Most dogs need 20 to 30 minutes of physical exercise a day, so try to work your way up to this timeframe.
- Depending on your dog's fitness level, you can experiment with different speeds and intensity levels. If your dog is overweight, you might want to strive to gradually increase her workout's intensity to get her in shape.
Choose the right treadmill.There are a variety of treadmill types and you want to make sure you choose the right one for your dog.
- Animal powered treadmills are specifically designed for animal use, and prices range from 0 to 0. If you don't plan on using the treadmill yourself and only intend to use it for your dog's workout, this might be a good option.
- Motorized treadmills, designed for human use, tend to be more expensive. Prices range from 0-,000 depending on what features you get. They can usually be used safely by dogs if you take proper precautions. If you plan on using the treadmill as well, you should get a motorized treadmill. If the device is only for your dog, you might want to save money and go with an animal treadmill.
Look for certain features.Depending on your fitness goals for your dog, certain features might be necessary.
- Incline control allows you to increase the intensity of the walking surface to make the workout more effective. If you're training your dog for fitness or agility events, or your dog is severely overweight, this feature can help get your dog in shape.
- Track length is based on the size of your dog. Smaller dogs, like beagles and and small terriers, would best be suited for a 29 by 14 inch length. Medium sized dogs, like Australian shepherds, boxers, and spaniels, would benefit from a 47 by 17 inch track. Anything bigger would require a 75 by 17 inch track.
- A treadmill with a time and distance meter can help you track how many miles your dog is running in how much time. This is probably only necessary if you're trying to get your dog in shape for a marathon or competition. It might not be needed for casual exercise.
Be safe.Certain safety precautions should be taken when using a treadmill with your dog.
- Do not feed a dog before a strenuous workout. This can cause cramping, abdominal pain, and even vomiting.
- Always use a leash, but never tie a dog to a treadmill and leave her unsupervised. This can lead to injury and even death.
- You should start off before each work with a slow, steady walk for a warm-up and then slow down the pace again towards the end of a workout to allow your dog to cool down.
QuestionHow do you train your dog?
Doctor of Veterinary MedicineDoctor of Veterinary MedicineExpert AnswerThis is a very broad question but the basics are to immediately reward (with small food treats) each times the dog does the command (or the approximate command.)Thanks!
QuestionHow do you teach a dog to walk on a leash?
Doctor of Veterinary MedicineDoctor of Veterinary MedicineExpert AnswerYou should encourage the dog to walk with you by feeding it small pieces of tasty treats.Thanks!
QuestionCan you exercise a dog on a treadmill?
Doctor of Veterinary MedicineDoctor of Veterinary MedicineExpert AnswerYes you can exercise a dog on a treadmill, but only on very low speeds. You can start with the treadmill completely off and have the dog walk back and forth.Thanks!
QuestionI have a 5-month old German Shepard puppy that I want to train to use a treadmill. I have read that you can over-exercise large dogs, causing orthopedic problems. How long/far do I let him go on the treadmill at this age?Abigail EdwardsCommunity AnswerUsually, you can train dogs to hop off when they get tired. try taking them on a walk to see what speed they usually go at, and how far they can go before they get tired.Thanks!
QuestionHow much exercise should a senior dog do on a treadmill?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerA senior dog (especially 10-15 years or older) should not be going on the treadmill. Most older dogs have frail joints and the treadmill can put stress on them. A light walk around the neighborhood should do the job.Thanks!
- Never leave your dog unsupervised during a workout.
Sources and Citations
Upload a picture for other readers to see.
In other languages:
Español: , Русский: , Português: , Bahasa Indonesia: , Nederlands:
Video: 3 Ways to Get your Dog Playing!
How to Knit Decreases
Gifts Fit For A Queen: The Fascinating New Display At The Palace of Holyroodhouse
Real Fight Club: A Guide To Calcio Fiorentino
Plant-Based Ranch Dressing Recipe
This Love Ambassador Nails Why Men Should Want to Date Single Moms
How to Broadcast Live on Instagram
How to Become an Athlete
UGG SpringSummer 2012 Lookbook
10 Reasons You Always Seem to Catch a Cold
Goodbye Girls’: What to Expect (Fashion-Wise) from Season6
How to Make a Power Chord
How to Break Up with Someone and Remain Their Friend