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Training Dogs on a Treadmill

We generally dislike treadmills for dogs, as outdoor activities provide essential mental and emotional stimuli - sights, smells, sounds, and more - that a treadmill cannot offer. Treadmills aren't a complete fitness solution for dogs, as they don't address muscle strength or flexibility.

 

However, treadmills can be useful in specific situations:

 

1. Starting Movement: Begin on the treadmill, then transition outdoors.

2. Motorical Problems: Low-activity treadmill sessions can be beneficial.

3. Owner Disability: Useful when the owner can't engage in outdoor activities.

 

First of all, measure your dog's length and stride to ensure your treadmill is long enough. A treadmill that's too short can harm your dog, so choose wisely or avoid using it.

Use a harness, happy tone, and treats to make the first experience positive.

Let the dog get on the turned-off treadmill, rewarding with treats.

 Let the dog stand on the treadmill, rewarding them, until he is confident with it. This step may take several days.

Start at minimum speed, encourage with treats, and reward any steps taken.

Practice multiple times, but limit sessions to two or three times.

Gradually increase speed and workout length to a comfortable trot.

 

 Safety and Caution

 

Always supervise your dog.

Keep speed and incline constant, avoiding preset programs.

Ensure your dog hasn't eaten before exercise and avoid drinking immediately after.

You, not the dog, should decide when the workout starts and stops.

Avoid strenuous activity in hot weather.

Aim for regular sessions, twice or thrice a week.

Prefer outdoor exercise and use the treadmill as a supplementary activity.

 

Training a dog on a treadmill requires patience, consistency, and supervision. While useful in certain situations, it should not replace outdoor activities. Remember: a tired dog is a happy dog, and a happy dog makes for a happy owner.

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