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Doggy Treadmill Protocol
Dog Treadmill Protocol & Dog Fitness Tips from the Animal League
A treadmill can be a great addition to your dogs current exercise program. In case of inclement weather or if you are feeling under the weather, your dog can still exercise. This is also a great way to get a dog to focus his attention since he has to concentrate on his footing.
It is imperative that the treadmill be introduced slowly under the following guidelines:
- Never force an animal on a treadmill. This tool is to be used to reduce stress, not cause it
- Supervise at all times
- Always start with the machine off
- Have the dog on a leash to establish control, not to use force
- Start by initially placing food, a toy or a bed on the treadmill, which ever motivates the individual dog
- Ignore the dog, giving attention only when the dog approaches the machine. When you notice the dog approaching the treadmill praise with the word "exercise" in a happy tone paired with a really good treat
- This is all that should be done for several sessions until the dog is approaching the treadmill without fear
- Once the dog is comfortable and in close proximity, you can LURE the dog onto the machine using food and stand at the head of the treadmill or straddle the dog depending on the individual treadmill
- Always use the word "exercise" as praise paired with food
Repeat all of the above steps (excluding the bed) with the machine on. Do not let your enthusiasm get the better of your judgment – GO SLOW!!!!!
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