Teach Your Dog to Walk on a Dog Treadmill

Updated on October 4, 2017

A Great Alternative

When I got my last injury (an iliopsoas muscle pull) at an agility trial in January 2008, I had a lot of rehabilitation to do to get back in shape for running agility again. Mum helped me with lots of stretching and strengthening exercises, but she also taught me, a dog, how to walk on a treadmill to get additional exercise.

Even though I'm kind of scared of machines (like our Dyson and Mum's Sonicare toothbrush), the way she taught me helped me not be afraid of the treadmill. Now I'm a treadmill walking machine and I love it!

Walking on a treadmill is great exercise for dogs, like in the dead of winter when it's too cold for a walk, or during the extreme heat of summer. It's no substitute for a nice long walk, run, or hike, but comes in real handy when I need my exercise and can't get outside.

You can train your dog to walk on a human treadmill (or a dog treadmill), just like I do. It's easy . . . so sit back and learn how!

dog treadmill
dog treadmill

Before Mum taught me to walk on our treadmill (it's a human treadmill), she got a few tips from friends and from various websites. Here is what she learned and utilized to help me learn:

  • Place the treadmill so the dog isn't walking into a wall (very important).
  • Use clicker training if your pup is clicker trained.
  • Start by having the dog get up on the treadmill (without it running) to get used to being on the machine—and click, and treat!
  • Do this for however long it takes for your dog to be very interested in being on the treadmill.
  • Then, have your dog stand or sit near the treadmill, and turn it on.
  • Have your dog get used to the sound a few feet away from the treadmill, click and treat, and continue until the dog is comfortable.
  • Put your dog on a leash.
  • If your dog is light enough to pick up, I recommend starting the treadmill at a very slow speed and then placing your pup onto the treadmill using a treat as a lure. If they are big dogs, have the dog stand on the treadmill as you turn it on at a very, very slow speed, also using a treat as a lure to have them walk forward. Praise them, praise them, praise them!
  • Your dog may be a bit frightened at first, but stay calm and say encouraging words.
  • Keep trying these steps until your pup is comfortable walking on the treadmill.
  • Stand next to your dog holding his/her leash taught in an upright position as they walk on the treadmill, simulating a walk alongside you.
  • If your dog is still uncomfortable, you may want to stand in front of the treadmill, holding their leash for them to be in the correct position, and use a treat as a lure to walk toward you.

Pretty soon, your pup will be a natural at walking on the treadmill. But please remember, always supervise your dog, and use a leash/harness to keep them centered on the tread for safety. Don't feed your dog one hour before or after rigorous exercise.

Mum has me walk at a pace of a good trot like show dog trots in the competition ring. Now that I'm used to it, I walk on it about 20 minutes, two times a day, with a slow speed warm up and a slow speed cool down. Remember, I'm a working breed, so I am used to being very, very active. Have your dog walk on the treadmill from 5 to a maximum of 10 minute intervals to begin with, and increase the time very slowly, always watching them for any discomfort.

When your dog is finished walking on the treadmill, walk them around your house for a few minutes. Getting off a treadmill is very disorienting (you know how you feel when you get off the machine). Walking them around will help them get over their "sea legs!"

Here are a few more tips:

  • Make sure your treadmill belt is the right length for your dog. For smaller dogs, a human treadmill works just fine. But if you have a larger dog, like a Golden, you'll need a dog treadmill; the belts are longer and you need that to keep their stride natural.
  • To increase the difficulty for your dog and build more muscle, increase the incline on your treadmill. But make sure your dog can handle the extra "load" and increase very gradually.
  • Don't have your dog walk on the treadmill at least one hour before or after a meal. Just like swimming, okay?
  • Keep the treadmill clean from dog hair and drool. It's not good for the machine.
  • Make sure your dog's nails are clipped properly for their safety.
  • Have fun!

Does your dog walk on a treadmill?

See results

A cat's version of working the treadmill!

Give me some woofs!

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    • profile image

      invictus95 3 years ago

      First of all, your dog is awesome, and second of all I've never seen a dog using a treadmill before, so this is pretty cool to see! I <3 dogs.

    • Stephanie36 profile image

      Stephanie 4 years ago from Canada

      This would be great for dog owners! We tried putting our cat on the treadmill one time...he wasn't impressed. I would imagine it works much better for a dog.

    • profile image

      brenda-gossett-77 4 years ago

      This was a very informative , well put together piece that I know some of my canine clients will enjoy looking into .

    • Squiggli profile image

      Squiggli 4 years ago

      We tried walking with our Maltese a few years ago! He didn't care for it too much, and was actually afraid of it. However, I also know someone else who absolutely LOVES to walk their dogs on their treadmill!

    • Stephanie36 profile image

      Stephanie 4 years ago from Canada

      We actually tried turning on the treadmill with our cat once...he was not impressed! Walking your dog on a treadmill is great, though, especially for when the weather is bad.

    • profile image

      adoptionfirst 4 years ago

      This is a great exercise idea for dogs especially for my dogs! Since I tend to have many dogs at one time it is hard to give them all the exercise they need so this would be a great alternative if needed! Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      cafedangvamua 4 years ago


    • socialcx1 profile image

      socialcx1 4 years ago

      Thanks, enjoyed your lens immensely.

    • chrisilouwho profile image

      chrisilouwho 5 years ago

      such cute videos

    • JRsFavoriteFinds profile image

      JRsFavoriteFinds 5 years ago

      Great lens! I have seen the Dog Whisperer use treadmills for dogs. Thanks for the "how to tips".

    • ian-patrick-716 profile image

      ian-patrick-716 5 years ago


    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great lens.

    • mrdata profile image

      mrdata 5 years ago

      Cool lens! Thanks!

    • DavidJH profile image

      DavidJH 5 years ago

      What a lovely lense, about a great topic!

    • profile image

      piotrek18061970 5 years ago


    • profile image

      khatha0808 5 years ago

      I love two Corgis working together. So cute video.

    • opatoday profile image

      opatoday 5 years ago

      Amazing thank you

    • suepogson profile image

      suepogson 5 years ago

      Great! Bit sad that the cat treadmill is facing a wall though - wouldn't it be nicer if they could see something? Or is the point that they can't run off it? Your one looks much nicer!

    • daisychainsaw lm profile image

      daisychainsaw lm 5 years ago

      What a clever, lovely dog; looks like a collie, like my dog, they are very clever.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Very nice lens :)

    • JeffGilbert profile image

      JeffGilbert 5 years ago

      Definitely a great thing for those winter months, especially for people who live out in areas where it gets very cold. However, I keep getting visions of George Jetson walking Astro. :) Great lens.

    • profile image

      mwiener 5 years ago

      This gives me a lot of ideas what to tell my daughter about taking care of her dog. Or, perhaps, I can just pass the lens to her. Thanks!

    • profile image

      antonioknapp7 5 years ago

      wow, never thought you can teach a dog to walk on a treadmill

    • leesholden profile image

      Lee 5 years ago from Derbyshire, UK

      Haha useful but funny lens! Great video

    • karen-stephens profile image

      karen-stephens 5 years ago

      I love the cat video.. ha ha

    • BAMditty profile image

      BAMditty 5 years ago

      I've always wondered how that would work out... Really cool that it works!! :D

    • DesignSpace profile image

      DesignSpace 5 years ago

      ....This is quite possibly the most awesome thing I've ever read.

    • CynergySoftware profile image

      CynergySoftware 5 years ago

      Oh this is so cool! But would make me even lazier then I already am :)

    • amytrumpeter profile image

      Amy Trumpeter 5 years ago from Oxford

      Wow, great lens! I didn't know that you could get doggy treadmills!

    • viscri8 profile image

      viscri8 5 years ago

      I should very well teach myself too to walk with a dog -- and THEN teach the dog to walk with me on a treadmill!

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 5 years ago from Vermont

      Hi paw to Johan!I think I need to get my cat Terra on the treadmill!

    • Donallphin profile image

      Donallphin 5 years ago

      I have a dog treat company and one of the most amazing thing I witness almost daily is the shear numbers of overweight dogs that don't get the opportunity to get proper exercise. Great lens. Very informational.

    • profile image

      mistaben 5 years ago

      Brilliant idea, Very fun lens, loved it =)

    • profile image

      dellgirl 5 years ago

      You really put a lot of thought into this, itâs very helpful and so informative! I learned a lot, thank you for sharing.

    • profile image

      AnimalHouse 5 years ago

      Treadmills are great exercise not just for humans but also for dogs. This help dogs to keep their body in good condition.

    • jdeeze profile image

      jdeeze 5 years ago

      My neighbors dog is obese, you best believe I emailed this great lens to him!

    • amitsarkar lm profile image

      amitsarkar lm 5 years ago

      I think good lens...

    • profile image

      jillian22 5 years ago

      I'll give it another try.

    • KatPalmer LM profile image

      KatPalmer LM 5 years ago

      Thanks for this lens. We couldn't get our dog to walk on the treadmill until we took your tip to move it so it's not facing the wall. Now she loves it!

    • profile image

      luqman-ali-31105 5 years ago

      it's great work

    • profile image

      keri-dennisfulmore 5 years ago

      Im so gonna try this.

    • Petzard profile image

      Petzard 5 years ago

      HAHA... What a great exercise for dogs:) Woof!

    • uneasywriter lm profile image

      uneasywriter lm 5 years ago

      I don't know how but my dog already seems to know how to do this. She loves walking on a treadmill. Good lens!

    • greenqueen09 profile image

      Laura 5 years ago from Australia

      Thankyou! I will try teach my dog to walk on a treadmill.

    • rooshoo profile image

      rooshoo 5 years ago

      My sister's dog desperately needs to get on a treadmill. He's sweet but a bit on the chunky side! Great lens.

    • Mr-Panda LM profile image

      Mr-Panda LM 5 years ago

      I love the videos! I taught my puppy how to do this a few years ago, and she got the hang of it eventually!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I like your Site very Informative..Lets Be Friends

    • profile image

      patrick-j-hargis 5 years ago

      Great Lens!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Brilliant idea, and a wonderful lens!

    • profile image

      MeandmyArrow 5 years ago

      My dog won't even walk around the neighborhood--too boring we think. She just sits down on the road; would rather chase chipmunks when we walk in the woods! Not sure we'll make it it the treadmill but it sounds great for most dogs!

    • profile image

      jimmyboy88 5 years ago

      good, i don't have to walk my dog so often :)

    • abarth76 lm profile image

      abarth76 lm 5 years ago

      Good idea especially if you ave a very active dog.

    • JonTempleton profile image

      JonTempleton 5 years ago

      That's great, but how about teaching my wife?

    • profile image

      StephenObrion 5 years ago

      First a treadmill... next is a skateboard!

    • profile image

      ghoulfriend 5 years ago

      Too cute! I wish my jack russell terrier would use the treadmill. She needs it! (Or maybe I do.)

    • profile image

      Dianeyp LM 5 years ago

      This would be perfect for those really cold days in winter!

    • profile image

      dantheman098 5 years ago

      i like that, sounds rather successful

    • profile image

      FreddieHanger 5 years ago

      I'll try to teach my dog this but I doubt I'll be successful... lol

    • BillyPilgrim LM profile image

      BillyPilgrim LM 5 years ago

      Great lens - couldn't stop laughing at the dogs on the treadmill x

    • anne mohanraj profile image

      anne mohanraj 5 years ago

      interesting lens!

    • bwet profile image

      bwet 5 years ago

      what a hilarious lens. love it. never knew that there are threadmills for dogs!

    • profile image

      RuralFloridaLiving 5 years ago

      Very funny! Enjoyed reading your lens.

    • profile image

      RuralFloridaLiving 5 years ago

      Very funny! Enjoyed reading your lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great article! Very valuable tips on how to train our pooches to walk on a treadmill including getting on and off it, in regards to both their safety and enjoyment.

      Once they get the hang on how to use it, they will get their exercise regardless of the temperatures outside in the comfort of their home.


    • squidstorm profile image

      squidstorm 5 years ago

      Awesome if you don't have a park nearby :)

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 5 years ago

      I'm not sure our cats would be excited about this idea. They're more into toilet paper unrolling, like your cartoon! I salute any dog who masters the skill.

    • suzy-t profile image

      suzy-t 5 years ago

      Great Lens. Adorable written. Blessed and pinned to my SquidAngel page.

    • ziggyzane profile image

      ziggyzane 5 years ago

      Good lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Really cool lens! Definitely a good exercise for our pets!

    • OliviaDaughter LM profile image

      OliviaDaughter LM 5 years ago

      Absolutely wonderful lens.

    • poorwendy lm profile image

      poorwendy lm 5 years ago

      Neat idea. Those dogs looks so cute running on a treadmill.

    • profile image

      Jan_62 5 years ago

      Love this lens and all the videos! it really put a smile on my face, thanks!

    • profile image

      Aleayah 5 years ago

      Check. I will surely try this on my pup.

    • mysweetjane lm profile image

      mysweetjane lm 5 years ago

      I'm going to try this! One of my dogs def needs to lose a little bit of weight to get rid of the beach ball on legs affect

    • chadwik05 profile image

      chadwik05 6 years ago

      Definitely going to try this!

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image

      hntrssthmpsn 6 years ago

      Awesome! I have a dog. I have a treadmill. I have to try this!

    • profile image

      RykiBergstrand 6 years ago

      Guess who used this simply to be more lazy? Yeah, this girl! haha

    • profile image

      GRM 6 years ago

      This lens is really cool. I had always wondered how dogs learn to walk on the treadmill, and now I know. Johann, Daizy says hi, and says she wants to learn too!

    • sunny saib profile image

      sunny saib 6 years ago

      good one,, hello johann! :)

    • profile image

      stargoldteam12 6 years ago


    • profile image

      faber80 6 years ago

      It's definitely a good exercise for our dogs.

    • arcarmi profile image

      arcarmi 6 years ago

      Cool! I was wondering if it would ever be possible to get my dog on the treadmill!

    • JohannDog profile image

      Johann The Dog 6 years ago from Northeast Georgia

      @jennalee1374: Thank you!

    • JohannDog profile image

      Johann The Dog 6 years ago from Northeast Georgia

      @anonymous: Good for you Mandee and your pups!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I have 2 dogs, one is a regular treadmill LOVER! I have to fight for my own time on it! The other is just a year old and is still getting the hang of it but its GREAT! I have a small house and they get to burn off the extra energy they build up, as well as it being better for them than being sedintary. Not to mention I live in Sunny Florida, so often times its just too, too hot for a long walk or its raining! Treadmills have been a godsend for me and my pups!

    • profile image

      PaulRyan 6 years ago

      Prefer the cat version (below). :-P An interesting read though. :)

    • profile image

      apuppyslife 6 years ago

      Great lens! Will have to try this.

    • jennalee1374 profile image

      jennalee1374 6 years ago

      I am so happy to see people teaching others about clicker training and positive reinforcement! Makes me so happy! Great lense and I will definitely use the information :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      My little havanese just seems terrified of the treadmill but I'd love to get him walking on it for those cold days.

    • profile image

      neujunior 6 years ago

      It's a great exercise not only for you but for your dog as well ...male dog names

    • profile image

      Aleayah 6 years ago

      I really like lense! super WOW

    • profile image

      racko09 6 years ago

      wow i like it :D

    • LM 829917 profile image

      LM 829917 6 years ago

      woofy goog

    • lunagaze profile image

      lunagaze 6 years ago

      Great lens, I want to do this but I am just so worried something might go wrong and result in a dog with a broken neck.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      When we walk, she says Trot and then when I walk close to her, I think, she clicks and I get a treat. Iâm not sure exactly what sheâs doing yet but i hope to figure it out soon. There was my mat on the floor by the camera and I like running to my mat, because I get lots of clicks and treats there! And then on the jumps too, they are fun.

      URL : http://www.addvalue.com.au

    • profile image

      Funny_Beekeeper 6 years ago

      I might consider getting one treamill for my dog especially during the winter season when it's impossible to go on alk because of snow or bad weather. I like this lens, you gave me some great ideas how to spend time with my dog and how to keep him fit ;)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      This Lens was so enjoyable. Nice idea writing from the dog's perspective. I don't own any animals. We have 6 children combined the oldest being 14 and the youngest is 6 months. They keep us busy for now.

    • jordanmilesbask profile image

      jordanmilesbask 6 years ago

      Wow, I should try this with our dog TyTy.. Great Lens!

      Please come and visit my lens - https://hubpages.com/animals/cute-pet-dog

    • profile image

      tifanny1bt 6 years ago

      Dogs skills and abilities is increasing from generation to generation. Who know we might teach them to use the computer. :-)

      Great lens by the way. Good Luck.

    • JohannDog profile image

      Johann The Dog 6 years ago from Northeast Georgia

      @anonymous: Fixed, thank you!


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