1. How Much Time Will It Take To Train My Dog?
It really depends on you and it depends on your dog. Every dog is different and so is every human. However, we have found that if an honest effort is made and the training is consistent most dogs are easily walking on the treadmill within the first week. Each DogTread® K9 Fitness Kit is shipped with our specialized training system, which includes an instructional Treading for Dogs DVD and a 30-Day Treading for Dogs Exercise Program (with journal). Our Standard Treadmill comes with our easy to follow QuickStart Training Guidelines to get you and your dog up and running quickly!
NEVER LEAVE PET UNATTENDED FOR ANY REASON.
NOTE TO PET OWNER:
The DogTread® should be a positive experience. DO NOT TURN ON THE TREAD until your dog is very comfortable with it NOT RUNNING. Place treats, food, and toys on the treadmill to entice your pet to sniff around and climb on the treadmill. This should be done several times throughout the day. Your dog should be able to jump off and on the treadmill with no hesitation. Always be sure to reward this behavior to keep the experience positive. For some dogs, it may only take a few days to feel comfortable, others may have no hesitation. (Food direction works much faster and is a positive motivator for many dogs.)
Use a leash to help your dog become more comfortable with the DogTread®. After attaching a leash to your dog’s collar, place a favorite treat or food in the recessed holders to motivate your dog to get on the treadmill. Next, try feeding from one hand, while the other is holding the leash, just above the bone console to get the dog comfortable with keeping its head up on the treadmill. NEVER tie your dog to the treadmill, always make sure you are in control of the other end of the leash.
Now you are ready to turn on the DogTread®. Give treats (thumbnail size) one at a time as you increase the speed of the DogTread® to keep your dog moving at a natural pace. Use your leash as a guidance tool. Use your voice as a calm approval, but don’t over do it with too many words. The leash, your body language, your voice and treats all help your dog relax and enjoy the DogTread®.
Keep your leash slightly slack with no tension. Use it as a guide along with treat enticement to keep walking continuous. Do not pull the dog with force. If your dog stops walking while the treadmill belt is moving, simply apply slight gentle pressure to the leash to guide him. Make sure your dog is not walking near the back end of the treadmill which will adversely affect its natural stride. (Sit at the front of the treadmill to encourage your dog to stay forward.) Continue luring your dog to stay in position with a treat just in front and above your dog’s nose (i.e. pull the treat away from the nose) at the same time. Your session can remain short, stop with your dog in success even if it is only for 1-2 minutes. With each DogTread® session your dog will become more comfortable as you add time.
Use voice praise while your dog is walking as continued encouragement. When your dog is capable of staying on the DogTread® during an entire workout without trying to get off, then you may try removing the leash. Remember to always have positive activities happen on the DogTread®, like eating meals on the DogTread® or a mini massage immediately after a workout – they will soon love the exercise and the time you spend with them.
2. Pre-Treadmill Workout Guidelines
Health and Age Assessment: Before beginning, have a goal in mind: general exercise, weight reduction, toning, conditioning, or endurance building. (Before beginning any exercise program consult with your veterinarian to discuss any health risks and/or conditions that may restrict your dog's activity.)
Recommended Daily Use:
Puppies (3-5 months)
Time: between 5 and 10 minutes; just walk
Puppies (5-6 months)
Time: between 10-15 minutes; walk to fast walk
Puppies (6-8 months)
Time: 20 minutes; walk, fast walk, or supported trot
Puppies (8-12 months)
Time: 20 minutes; walk, fast walk, canter or supported trot
Time: up to 30-40 minutes a day or more at various speeds, depending on the breed and conditioning
Time: between 5-20 minutes using combinations of puppy times according to the health and condition of the dog
NOTE: Always be sure to add 5 minutes for warm up and and another 5 minutes for cool down walking before and after exercise. Watch for signs of fatigue or any discomfort and report that to your veterinarian.
Walk is the least tiring and the slowest of all gaits: Three legs support the body at all times, each foot lifting from the ground one at a time in a given sequence: right hind, right front, left hind, left front. Recommended for warming ups, cool downs, puppy, obese dogs, and seniors with muscular conditions or post surgical rehabilitation.
3. Why Should I Buy A Dog Treadmill?
Exercise means a better life for you and your dog. For years show dog owners, breeders, handlers, dog trainers and veterinarians have used and understood the physical and mental benefits that can be achieved with dog treadmills. They use them for rehab, focusing energy, toning muscles, behavior modification and improving overall vitality. In the past, the only dog treadmills available were big, bulky and expensive. Our goal as a company is to take this little-known training and rehab technique mainstream, so that EVERY dog owner and dog can benefit. Our DogTread® dog specific treadmills are reasonably priced, durable, portable in design, and best of all – we make them easy for any pet owner to learn to use.
4. What Size Treadmill Will My Dog Need?
In addition to the weight of your dog, a gait measurement is very important for selecting the right treadmill. Don’t purchase a dog treadmill that is too small which interferes with your dog’s natural gaits, as this can result in injury. Our website provides instruction to help you select the right treadmill for your dog(s). Please view the sizing guide, or call us at 888/966-2824 if you have any questions.
5. What If My Dog Won’t Use The Dog Treadmill?
In our experience, and in our discussions with other trainers and dog treadmill professionals, we have found that generally speaking, all dogs can learn to walk on a treadmill. If a dog has a problem learning to walk on a treadmill it is usually because the time spent introducing the dog to the treadmill was too short, or the owner did not provide consistent and adequate time training. Mostly, it is all in the approach and the energy behind your training that ensures success.
We would like to mention that some dogs with medical conditions or illnesses may not/should not use the treadmill. It is always wise to consult with your veterinarian before beginning any exercise program.
6. Is The Dog Treadmill Just A Lazy Way To Exercise My Dog?
If you believe that treadmill exercise for your dog consists of sitting on the couch eating ice cream and watching your favorite TV program, while your dog is tied to the machine behind the couch – then the answer is YES (and shame on you). But, if your life is hectic and you care about getting your dog the regular exercise it needs, if the weather makes it difficult to get outside everyday, if your dog is rehabbing from an injury or surgery, if your dog is overweight, if you own a service dog, if you live in a high traffic area, or if you personally are not able to get outside…then a dog treadmill is not a lazy way to exercise your dog. A dog treadmill is a smart choice that can in most cases help you maintain the health and well-being of your pet without drugs or surgery.
Exercising your dog on a treadmill should be a bonding experience…one that you both enjoy and do together. We believe that being outside with your dog is the best place to be, but we also know through our own personal experiences that it isn’t always possible. Ultimately, it's about the level of commitment you have to keep your dog healthy and happy without resorting to drugs and surgery. For most dogs, a walk around the block once in the morning and once at night is not enough.
The DogTread® allows you to still enjoy your leisurely walks, plus get your dog the more intense exercise it needs. Remember a tired dog is a good and HAPPY dog.
7. Should Treading Be The Only Source Of Exercise I Give My Dog?
The dog treadmill provides versatility, control and a mental stimulation that is not always achieved with a leisurely jaunt around the neighborhood, or a game of fetch. It takes mental concentration (focus) to stay on the treadmill and make adjustments to the various speeds. So you will see a noticeable difference in your dog's energy after a treadmill workout. That is why so many dog professionals use it in their training/rehab tool kit.
That being said – it should not be the only activity you provide your friend. Dogs still need to get outside and exercise their primal instincts. (Would you limit yourself to only one activity over and over again?) The goal here is a well-adjusted dog. Mix it up – get outside, play fetch games, socialize at the dog park, go swimming, go running. There are many activities you can enjoy with your dog. The DogTread® is just one of them.
8. Can't I Just Use A Human Treadmill?
You can and some do, but they were designed for humans, not dogs. Generally, teaching a dog to use a human treadmill is harder as they do not have dog-specific features, such as side enclosures that help to keep your dog focused and moving forward, and they are noisy. The console position is also not ideal, while you are in the initial stages of training. The belts on human treadmills are much wider and in some cases have end caps that stick up and can cause foot injuries if not properly monitored. Human treadmills are also not designed to handle the piles of dog hair, dust, slobber or urine that may invade the electronics and sensors. (If the treadmill is not serviced frequently the result could be that both you and your dog lose the ability to work out, and often times it will void your warranty.) The DogTread electronics are safely tucked away in an external box that is separate from the treadmill. The console is placed conveniently for easy access and control and the various sizes allow you to purchase the right size for your dog to give it full range of motion.
When using a treadmill you want to make sure that it's long enough not to shorten your dog's rear stride, which is bad for the lower back and hips and causes compensations that can lead to injury. Generally, human treadmills are not long enough for the stride length of dogs over 30 lbs. where the running surface needs to be 6-7 feet long.
Our larger DogTreads feature a flat folding space-saving design and many people don't have enough space to accommodate the size of a human treadmill permanently sitting in a room. The Small DogTread® measures 44”x21”x20”, weighs only 47 lbs., and is very convenient for small spaces with its space-saving feature that allows you to rest it on its nose for easy storage. It also has wheels that make it easy to move on your own.
9. What Are The Most Common Reasons For Buying A Dog Treadmill?
People are so busy nowadays that they just don’t have enough time to get their pets the intense exercise they really need. To bridge the gap, more and more owners are turning to dog treadmills.
Over 55% of the nation's 43 million dogs are now overweight (www.petobesityprevention.com 2/24/2011), with owners spending an average of $800 to over $1000 annually for pet obesity related health issues.
Our goal is to help you keep your dog healthy and cut down on the expenses of medical procedures, pills and diet food. We’d like to see more people exercising with their pets. When it isn’t possible to go outside the DogTread™ provides an alternative that is safe and fun for both pets and their owners.
Other reasons for buying a dog treadmill include: injury rehab (ACL repairs), poor weather conditions, not enough time, crowded dog parks, people who live in high traffic areas where it isn't safe to walk, they travel too much with their jobs, owners who are house-bound or have medical conditions, service dogs, for correcting bad behavior, SARDS/Canine Sudden Blindness (www.sardsawareness.org), humane animal shelter rehabilitation, etc.
10. How Much Assembly Is Required With The DogTread®?
For the Small DogTread®, the only assembly required is attaching the side panels and console tube. It takes approximately 15-20 minutes and only requires a screwdriver. It is easier with two people, but can be accomplished by one.
Assembling the Medium and Large treadmills can be accomplished in 5 minutes. The sides are already attached. It does require two people to help lift it out of the box without damage.
11. . How Long Does It Take To Ship The DogTread®?
All of our in-stock items ship within 24-48 hours unless a holiday lands during a shipping day. Then the product will be shipped the next business day.