What is Doggy Treadmill Training?
Exercising your dog on the treadmill: Why is it beneficial?
Proper treadmill techniques and etiquette… The simple fact is we are trying to help our clients help their dogs become healthier and happier. Physical exercise is a dog’s primal need. Physical activity is very important for every dog’s well being. A balanced dog will be tired from physical and psychological challenges. In order for your dog to be fulfilled you need to stimulate their natural mental and physical needs. You must burn the dog’s excess energy to maintain a healthy state of mind. Teaching your dog to walk on the treadmill will strengthen the heart muscle, generally improve their behavior and release stress.
We will never tell you it should take the place of a walk. Walking your dog is the best bonding experience you can do for you and your dog. At least a 45 minute walk every day is always the best option for your dog but we live in a world that sometimes does not allow us to fulfill that need for your dog. If you do not have the time to exercise your dog before work or after work etc., you can put them on the treadmill for a work out so that you know your dog’s needs have been met. If you are not fulfilling your dog’s needs, your dog will let you know by possibly becoming destructive, obsessive behavior, separation anxiety or even aggression. Dogs are naturally migratory therefore if they are left in a house or even back yard for long periods of time without exercise they become unhappy and unfulfilled. If you are one of those humans, then learn a different way to exercise your dog and fulfill their needs-try the treadmill.
Tracy was taught the proper procedure of treadmill work when in Los Angeles, California, in August, 2006, for the training program at ZEN4K9. Treadmill work is used for rehabilitation, weight control, and for working those breeds with a lot of excessive energy. There are proper ways to get a dog on and off a treadmill. If your dog is overweight you just cannot expect him/her to start running a mile. There are steps that need to be taken to gradually work your dog up to a certain speed and distance. This is a controlled and supervised environment. We work on manners when they are finished, such as sitting when the treadmill stops and waiting for a command to exit the treadmill. After the session we always give a rub down and nuzzle massage because touch is always the best way to communicate what a good job the dog has done. Initially most dogs are taught on a leash to get on the treadmill, we use the leash until they are comfortable with the sounds and motion of the treadmill. There are also treats involved in the beginning to reinforce the behavior we are looking for. We start the treadmill at a very low setting and increase it gradually. Usually we can get your dog walking on the treadmill “leash free” after a few visits, but every dog has a different learning curve.
It’s true; a tired dog is a good dog! Some of our clients jumped at the opportunity to start their dog immediately on the treadmill. Some of our clients were apprehensive that we couldn’t get their dog even close or on the treadmill at all. But we have proved that your dog can always learn new things with patience and consistency from us. It is a very natural process for dogs to work, they are stimulated by it. The dogs that have been on the treadmill have absolutely loved it. We have given them a job to do; they complete it and then they are rewarded for it. They are proud and happy. So far, owners have been astounded at their dog’s progress and have seen a change in behavior almost immediately. For those owners who thought their dog would never be able to walk on a treadmill have been given a new chance to trust that their dog can always learn new things if given the opportunity to.
Please do not try this at home before you ask for guidance. If not performed properly you could potentially harm your dog physically or introduce a new fear for your dog. You must always be in a calm state of mind before you start. Remember dog’s read your energy and body language; if you’re feeling pressed for time or uneasy about the process than we suggest you not exercise your dog this way. Once your dog is trained to use the treadmill, we can show you the proper technique so that you may use your own treadmill at home.