Your dog still needs to walk, though!
Luckily, there is an awesome and easy way to solve this dilemma.
Training your dog on a treadmill is a great way to close the gap between the exercise your dog is getting and the exercise your dog needs. It also comes in handy when it’s icy, sub-zero, or the Colts are on TV. Yes, it is possible to exercise your dog while you watch football or read a new book!
I want you to pay attention to these things on this video of the ENTIRE session:
1) I never let him run away from his fear. His first instinct was to get off and your dog’s first instinct will be the same. Even when I went to get him a treat, I did not allow him to casually walk off.
2) At one point Donovan fell off the treadmill. I handled this calmly and did allow this to define the session or to define Donovan’s life. With dogs, as with ourselves, it is important to “get right back on the horse” when we are knocked off – otherwise fear festers and the damage to our confidence goes from being momentary to long-lasting.
3) I break the session into little chunks. This means that I take the speed up and slow it down and then reward. This starts to form a pattern in his brain of what a “repetition” looks like. This is very similar to teaching a stay, but it is in motion.
4) Have fun! I put on some awesome Taylor Swift because that is good gym music and it keeps my mood light. I give lots of encouragement and I always believe that the dog and I will be successful in learning this new daunting task.
So if you’re unable to give your dog the 2, 45 minute walks he needs daily, you can add the treadmill to supplement this crucial part of your dog’s life. It’s not as good, but it’s way better than nothing.