Running Dogs on a Treadmill

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Running Dogs on a Treadmill

We all live busy lives; however, it’s very important for our dogs to get the regular exercise they need (just as we do). It is possible for your dog to get great exercise by running dogs (more like trotting) on a home treadmill! A treadmill can be especially useful in months of harsh climates where you and your dog may be unable to get outside often. The nice thing about a treadmill is that it’s safe, convenient and you can easily make a daily routine out of it. Although this isn’t for every dog, we’ll take you through the general steps of introducing your dog to the treadmill and what to expect.

Disclaimer: Puppies or special needs dogs should never attempt. Please be very careful with your dogs around exercise equipment and never leave them unsupervised!

Running Dogs on a Treadmill in 8 Steps:

1) Make sure dog has gone potty first and does not have a full stomach.
2) Build Motivation and Basic Trust with the Dog
3) Introduce to treadmill from all sides
4) Turning Treadmill on and off
5) Finding the right pace
6) The correct amount of time to run
7) Weaning off leash
8) Building a habit

Notes: Do not rush these steps! It could take days or weeks before your dog progresses through the whole process. You must build up your dog’s comfort level at each step before moving on to the next step.

Lastly, don’t be surprised if your come home to see your dog sitting on the treadmill waiting for you to turn it on!



  1. Rob Healey April 6, 2018 at 8:05 pm - Reply

    Excellent video, thank you.
    My 20 month Labrador has been using the treadmill since about 16 weeks old, Today I’m searching to see how long and what speed I should use. I see I can go faster and maybe longer.

    The only problem is she gets bored and jumps off. I don’t use a lead, perhaps I should?
    Is the lead on your treadmill permanently fixed? Is that OK?

    Something I learned early on is that exercise loosens the dogs bowels. If they’re almost ready to go to the toilet, then 4-8 minutes on the treadmill will make the dog want to pee or poo (or both). So I try to use the treadmill after toilet times..


    • Dog Guru April 6, 2018 at 8:22 pm - Reply

      Hi Rob! Speed and time varies depending on the dog’s age, breed and overall fitness level. It’s better to go at a slower speed for longer than the other way around. We suggest a nice trotting pace like you see in this video, or slower. Your dog is jumping off because he knows he can. It’s no different than if it was you on that treadmill. If you know you can quit early and jump off, you’ll be tempted to do so, but if you had someone else there (e.g. a personal trainer) holding you accountable and encouraging you to keep going, you would push on. We know that exercise is a great aid for the body and mind, so if you believe the treadmill is able to positively affect your dog’s well-being like we do, then you’ll take the steps to hold him accountable to staying on the treadmill for longer periods of time. Initially, you can use cardboard or a plastic crate to prevent jumping off. Attaching a groomer’s lead is also acceptable; however, you must be monitoring your dog at all times if you have them tethered in any way. Our online training program provides a whole sub-program that involves treadmill training. Check it out if you’re interested! Thanks and Happy Training!

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