Using A Treadmill To Exercise Your Dog
By Jennifer Broome of Quinebaug Kennels
0:31 Announcer: GundogsOnline.com helping you get the most from your hunting dogs.
0:38 Hi, I'm Jennifer Broome and welcome to Quinnebaug Kennels. We're upstairs in our indoor training facility and today I'm going to show you how we teach some of our puppies how to go on a treadmill.
I love teaching all the dogs who come through our program how to go on a treadmill because we find a lot of people have treadmills at home just as their exercise treadmills. And while this is a special dog training or dog exercising treadmill, you can use your own home treadmill, hey bud, to also exercise the dog with the treadmill.
1:12 It just takes a little bit of patience to get them on. And first before I begin turning the treadmill on and off, I like to get the pups comfortable with going on the treadmill.
So why do I put these guys on the treadmill?
You're a little worried here, huh?
Well, first and the easiest thing is that it exercises them. And often folks will say, well, it's raining out or it's too cold and I can't exercise my dog today. Well, a treadmill is a great outlet for their energy and it's a great form of exercising our pups. But beyond that not only is it physical exercise, it's a great form of mental exercise.
And here's the scenario. As a human we can go outside and we can jog. We can go for a relaxing jog on the street. We can let our mind wander and not really pay attention to where our feet are. But, when you're at the gym or you're home on your treadmill you have to concentrate pretty seriously to make sure that you don't wipe out off your treadmill.
So, (laughter) he's ready to go.
2:07 And that same form of concentration really helps to drain the excess energy of concentration from our brains just as much as it does the dog's. So there's a two fold response I think for the treadmill training. And that's the outlet of physical exercise and energy and also the mental energy.
And then lastly I think one other bonus with the treadmill is it further teaches dogs coping skills to deal with things that they might not like. They don't like the treadmill, we'll get on it and deal with it. And it just further helps to desensitize and socialize these dogs, our hunting dogs or our family pets to help make them more well rounded.
2:44 So I have here a Münsterländer, a small Muensterlander pup. He's a hunting dog here at our facility in training. He has been on this treadmill before, not a whole lot, but I'm going to show you how we teach it to them, how we reinforce and how I can do a nice exercise program with him.
So I'm going to take Bodie around the back of the treadmill, just have him come up on it.
And turn back around and go off it again. If the dog's not comfortable with going on it, I'll just pull him right up and I'll just insist
Good boy. There you go.
Now I wouldn't want to scare him with this so I don't need to turn it real fast. But I'm going to slightly start to increase the speed. It's turned off right now but I'm going to start to slightly increase the speed. So he's just going to begin to walk. I've found that most of the dogs are most comfortable with a trot of even a little bit of a run. The walk they get a little frustrated with.
3:37 Even those this has an L-shaped holder here, I don't tie the dogs up. I don't do this when I uh, I make sure I supervise the dogs all the time. I would never just leave them on this because certainly they can get hurt and I would never really tie them up. There's no need to it to do that.
I found that with my retrievers, they've been on this so much that they actually really enjoy the treadmill. I can use the command treadmill; they jump on and they'll exercise. They get about 15-20 minutes on here and they're absolutely exhausted.
So here we go with Bodie. We're going to go nice and slow to begin with. The movement's going to scare him just a little bit, possibly the noise.
And I'm just kind of hanging out here with him, guiding him, going at a slow walk. Now pick it up to a little trot.
4:34 A fast walk and a little trot.
Good boy. Good boy. There we go. Good.
4:45 And now I'm going to give him a break and go right back down and stop it.
(treadmill noise stops)
4:49 Treadmill's a little noisy. But you see he's not really stressed. I gave myself the opportunity to teach it with the walk, go to a trot. And this is how I practice it with these guys. Don't tie them up. I stand here and I support them and they really have to concentrate. So they get a wonderful workout physically and mentally. And I find that I can take my dogs out and easily exercise them for well over an hour, but even my most physically fit dogs get completely physically and mentally spent within 15 minutes on this treadmill.
So what a way to utilize your shorter amount of time, a device that many people have in their homes. And if you don't have it in your home, usually you can acquire one at a yard sale or even if you were to buy a new one and it's a great way to exercise our dogs.
So let's give it another try with him. I don't want to scare him. Go nice and easy.
5:57 There. That's about the pace that I like him to go, a nice little trot like that. Good. Thatta boy. Good.
(treadmill noise stops)
6:11 I think that it's really important to make your first several experiences on the treadmill with your dog positive experiences. We don't need to keep them on here for long periods of time. You can sort of work them into it over the course of a week or two of up to 15 or 20 minutes of time. We don't want them to fall off of it. We don't want them to learn to be able to jump off of it. So again, take your time and you'll find your dogs really enjoy the treadmill and they'll jump right on because they really enjoy the source of exercise.
So good luck. Take your time and have lots of fun with your pup and get that exercise even on the rainy or cold days.
7:10 Announcer: GundogsOnline.com helping you get the most from your hunting dogs.