Canine Treadmill Training: Problem Solving
The possibilities are endless as to what will challenge your dog the most on the treadmill. But here are a few
that we have encountered over the years.
This one by far is the most frustrating challenge, but preventing it is easy.
Let the dog out to go to the bathroom before the workout!
I also keep a close eye on the dog's movement. If they begin to move funny (stride changes),
their back end starts to hunch, or they all of a sudden start sniffing the belt, I will turn off the treadmill
and quickly get them outside.
After a while, you will be able to read the body language of your dog to determine if they might need a bathroom
Lastly, if you continue to have accidents regardless of the bathroom breaks, run your dog on the treadmill
opposite of the times you feed.
Going to Position 2 or 3 prematurely will result in dogs trying to jump off
the treadmill. I recommend staying in Position 1 for the first two weeks. Then work with a short but loose leash
in Position 2.
If you are having instances where your dog jumps off a few times in a session, you should revert back to
1 for a while
before going back to Position 2 or 3.
Have your dog sit on the treadmill before it is allowed to jump off when the exercise is complete. This will
imprint in the dog's
mind that it must stay on the machine until released.
Forging during canine treadmill training is common in high drive dogs at the beginning of the workout.
There are several ways to address this and the best solution will vary per dog. However, you can try giving a
verbal correction ("No"), or use back pressure on the leash to help burn off the initial energy.
You can also turn on the incline right at the beginning of the workout to burn off their initial energy. After a
couple minutes, most dogs will settle – but forging in the beginning is usually the byproduct of a lot of
energy and excitement to get going with
If your dog does a lot of forging, I do NOT recommend Position 2. This frontal position of the trainer / handler
will only encourage the dog
to run faster or come through the front of the treadmill.
Lagging can be the result of several things. The first and most obvious could be that the dog is tired.
If your dog is panting, drops of saliva are coming off of the tongue, or your dog is struggling to maintain
position at the front of the treadmill (lagging), it is most likely time to do the cool down and end the session.
Lagging can also be the result of increasing speed too soon in the canine treadmill training process. If lagging
occurs in the first three phases of training, most likely you are moving at a pace too quick for your dog. Slow
down and do intervals. Dogs need to build up stamina and build the necessary muscles to do longer workouts.
Lagging can also be the result of asking too much of your dog early on. Maintaining a schedule and gradually
increasing the workout will prevent lagging.
Remember, not all dogs are created equal. Dogs that are more laid back (couch potatoes) might not be as motivated
or enthusiastic about the treadmill. These dogs will require a ton of praise and motivation to engage in their
canine treadmill training.
Canine Treadmill Training: Conclusion
If you introduce the treadmill and train your dog properly, not only will this be a safe way to exercise your
dog, but they will love the physical and mental release they get from the exercise. You can exercise your dog
year around and have a much healthier and happier canine companion.
Please feel free to contact us if you have questions regarding canine