Tip of the Month

4/15/2013 Train Your Dog to Run on a Treadmill

Treadmill Train Your Dog

One of the major causes of canine behavior problems is lack of exercise. Dogs are born to run, jump, chase and bite. If dogs donít have the opportunity to get the necessary exercise, they will probably develop underlying behavioral problems that owners arenít going to like. Learning to train your dog to use a treadmill can help her get the exercise she needs.. The treadmill lets your dog run regardless of weather; plus, it eliminates distractions and gives her a great physical and mental workout.

Dog & Treadmill Introduction

Start off by introducing your dog to the treadmill when it is turned off. Lure your dog on and off the treadmill, while making sure to praise and treat her when all four paws are on the treadmill and she is facing the right direction. If, by chance, your dog is hesitant to get on the treadmill, start counter conditioning. To do this, you should fulfill her daily needs on the treadmillóe.g., meals, treats, attention, etc. Once your dog has a success rate more than over 90 percent following the lure, introduce a cue. The cue can be a word or phrase tied in with the dogís action of having all four legs on the treadmill. Also keep in mind if you ever catch your dog on the treadmill, make sure to lavishly praise and treat her, making the treadmill a fun place.

Treadmill Desensitizing Your Dog

Now begin desensitizing your dog to the noise of the treadmill. Whenever your dog comes to you while youíre on the treadmill, treat and praise her. You can also treat and praise her for being near the treadmill while it is on. Once she grows accustomed to the sound, turn the treadmill off and have her climb up back onto it. Start the treadmill on the slowest speed, and have your dog stay close to your baited hand as the tread starts to move. Praise her for stepping forward on the track and reaching for the treat. Once your dog grows accustomed to this, you can place the treats at the front of the treadmill (the non-moving part) and encourage her to eat the treats.

Start Your Dog Slow

Next, start feeding your dog from the front of the treadmill; also itís also time to begin increasing the time gap between treats. As your dog adjusts to the treadmill, you can gradually increase the speed and duration of the sessions. (Do not treat your dog at higher speeds, as it could present a choking hazard). After a few weeks, your dog will be able to run on the treadmill from 5 to 10 minutes. At that point you can start increasing the time of each workout by 1 to 2 minutes. Build up gradually till you reach 30 minutes.

You should never leave your dog unattended or tie her leash to the treadmill. Running on a treadmill can give your dog a great workout. Providing your dog with regular exercise can lead to better behavior. Remember, a tired dog is a good dog.

As with all exercise programs, check with your veterinarian to make sure the pet is healthy enough..

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