1 October 2020

How to introduce my dog to your Dog Runner treadmill

1.Introducing your dog to the treadmill:

The best way to start depends on the age of a dog. For example, a puppy or a young dog might need a bit more time to explore the treadmill as would an older, more experienced dog.

To start, it is always a good idea to give the dog the chance to explore the treadmill. In the beginning, you can let the dog simply sniff the treadmill and guide him on to it with some pieces of food. Reward him for going onto the treadmill and help him to feel comfortable. Some dogs will just jump on to it and are ready to start! Other dogs will need a bit more time to relax and adjust.

Once you can see that the dog is feeling comfortable, it can be helpful in the beginning to attach the dog to the crossbar with the line and the harness. Once the dog has more experience, there are many dogs that will run ‘free’ on the treadmill.

2. Starting the treadmill:

To start with the best position for the handler is to stand in front of the treadmill so the dog can see the handler straight in front of him, and the handler can motivate the dog to walk. The treadmill will start slowly, and you should give the dog the chance to get accustomed to this speed and movement. In the beginning, it can be enough to just walk a few minutes at this speed, then stop and let the dog relax. When you can see that the dog is feeling comfortable, you can slowly increase the speed.

In the beginning it is best to have a few short sessions so the dog adjusts gradually. While the dog is walking, the handler can help/motivate the dog with his voice and piece of food or toy to make the forward movement and to stay in position. Don’t let the dog move too much to the rear of the treadmill. Once the dog is doing well, it is best to give them the chance to experience the incline function in an easy, calm way. So, the basic rules to introduce a dog is to take it slow and easy,and give the dog a fair opportunity to discover everything about the treadmill!

3. Training your dog:

Once the dog is feeling ok on the treadmill, you can make the sessions a bit longer and vary the training with different speeds and intensity. After the warm up, you slowly increase the speed and see what speed is still comfortable for the dog. Once the dog is used to running on the treadmill, and after a few sessions, you can start to make the trainings more intensive. When you increase the speed you need to make sure the dog is trotting.

You can go for a relaxing session and let the dog trot on a low speed
or you can choose an endurance training and let the dog trot on an easy speed, but for a longer duration.

You can also choose an interval training by making the dog run at a low speed and, for example, use the incline, switch back and forth from flat and low speed, to a higher speed, back to low, and so on.
So there are many ways to organize good trainings on the treadmill!

Still, very important, is to always watch your dog while he is on the treadmill! With the remote control, you have the option to move around the dog and watch him from every angle, his movement and how he is adjusting, and even to change the speed or incline from a ‘distance’.

4.General advice:

It is very important to take the time to warm up the dog, so give him a few minutes to walk on a low speed and warm up, then at the end you can let the dog walk a few minutes at a low speed to cool down.

Also important is that you make sure you don’t feed the dog or let the dog drink very much before the training, and also after the training, to give the dog enough time to completely cool down before a large meal or a lot of water.

The ideal length or intensity of a training is different for every dog, and can change day to day, so please make sure that you always stay with your dog and watch over him while he is on the treadmill!! Evaluate his level of comfort on a constant base, and try to keep a written record of your training, including speed, resistance, duration, and any other things you notice during the sessions that you may want to refer to later.

Last but not least: have fun and enjoy the benefits of your training with your dog on your Dog Runner Treadmill