Hartwood Library

Desensitizing to a Treadmill

Using a treadmill can be a great energy outlet for your dog and can add mental stimulation. You want to work them up slowly to desensitize them to the treadmill, because it is new. If at any time your dog seems to become nervous, go back to an easier step.

Dog on Treadmill

  1. Lure your dog onto the treadmill with a treat and praise once he is on the treadmill. If he gets on it on his own accord, make sure to reward him. We want the treadmill to mean good things! If he seems timid, move slow, asking for a little more as he becomes more comfortable.
  2. Once he is getting on and off the treadmill, turn it on while he is next to it to get him used to the sound. Treat and praise when he relaxed with the noise.
  3. Now ask him to get on the treadmill with a leash and turn it on the lowest setting. Stand at the front of the treadmill, he may need encouragement with treats to keep moving. If he starts to slid backward, he should start to move again when he feels the leash. Keep the sessions short (under a minute) at first until he is walking well.
  4. Now start to increase speed. Be careful to not overdo it, some dogs won’t quit when they are tired.
    Start for a short amount of time until your dog is conditioned.
  • Never tie your dog to the treadmill.
  • Always supervise your dog;
    never leave him alone on the treadmill.