Stage 1 – Getting Your Dog On The Treadmill
Begin practice with the treadmill in the off position. Bring your dog over to the treadmill and let them sniff and feel out the machine at their leisure. Once they seem at ease, walk onto and off of the treadmill with them many (at least 3) times. Delay for a little longer each time, to make your pup apprehend that this is just a piece of furniture and nothing to fear. If your dog is very uncertain to follow you onto the machine, you can use a treat to coax them forward. Simply lead them onto the treadmill with the treat and relinquish it while they have all four paws on-board. Duplicate this process until your dog is comfortable standing on the non-moving treadmill.
Stage 2 – Walking
Once you can get to the stage that your canine will stay on the treadmill without jumping off, get them on the treadmill and then start the belt at it’s slowest setting. While doing this hold your pup (or his leash) and encourage them to walk. They are likely to be confused at first, but do your best to keep them on the treadmill, not letting them off until they are calmly walking for 10 seconds or so. As soon as you have 10 seconds of success, praise and treat the dog, then let them off.
Take a break for a few minutes, doing another fun activity such as playing ball or even giving your pup a belly rub. Whatever they enjoy!
Now repeat the entire process, this time for a 20 second treadmill jaunt. Keep incrementally increasing the period until the canine is relaxed walking for a few minutes at a time.
Stage 3 – Jogging
If you have your dog comfortably pacing at a slow pace for several minutes, the hard part is over! Now simply raise the speed gradually to a pace where your canine is comfortably jogging. You can encourage them by standing in front of the treadmill and praising.
As the days go by, it might help to keep a record of the current pace and range, so you are sure to increment either determinant gradually. Just like for human joggers and hikers, going too far or too fast when your muscles are not used to it can result in injury.
Things to Remember
Do not leave your dog unattended on the pup treadmill!
Go slowly. If your dog is really uncertain about the experience, go extremely slowly and make sure they are as comfortable as possible before you move on to the next step.
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