How to Teach a Dog to Walk on a Treadmill

By Jenny Nolan / October 6, 2018

Cleaner Paws is a mother-daughter run blog. Together we have over 40+ years of professional pet grooming experience and we hope to pass some of that on to our readers throughout our in-depth and non-bias reviews and buyers guides.

We do not accept sponsored posts however we do include affiliate links throughout our posts and we receive a share of the revenue generated from your purchase which contributes to the running of CleanerPaws.com.

This review guide was updated in December 2018.


It is vital that pet owners understand just how important exercise is for their dog.

By nature, dogs have evolved to be active, and you should do everything you can to raise a fit and healthy pet, which means regular exercise.

Just like us, building good habits can have a knock on effects in other areas of your pet’s lives as well.

When we’re in the habit of regularly hitting the gym, this exercise also has positive impacts on our sleep routine, and overall mood and the same goes for your dog.

Just like us, as your dog grows older, or becomes less agile became of aches and pains they can become demotivated to exercise and this instinctive drive to exercise can drain.

Investing in a treadmill for your dog can be an excellent way to exercise your pet in short bursts, all year round.

However, once you’ve purchased a treadmill for your dog you now have to teach them how to use it.

Here are our top five best tips for training your dog to use a treadmill:

Teach Your Dog Slowly – Your dog is not familiar with the concept of a treadmill. This means at first they may approach the machine with caution and you should ease your pet into the process.A great way to go at your dog’s pace is to introduce them to the treadmill and familiarize familiarise them with the machine before turning it on. If you move to fast and look to get your dog running at full pace straight away, they will only shy away from the treadmill in future.

Step On – Step Off – This step will see you continue to familiarize your dog with the equipment by getting them to step on to the machine when it is turned off and then step off again comfortably. This will just get them used to the treadmill and teach your dog they have nothing to fear.

Face the treadmill away from a wall – Once again, because your dog isn’t familiar with what a treadmill is they also don’t know how one works at first. Facing the machine at a wall may unsettle your dog when it starts to move and disorientate because they feel like they will eventually walk into it.

Reward your dog with treats – Just like training your dog to anything new it is important to reward them with treats when they behave well. When you familiarize your dog with the treadmill and get them to step on and off while it is still switched off, reward your pet for doing this. You should also continue to reward your pet as they get used to the treadmill.

Keep your dog on a leash – Just like when walking your dog outdoors it is important that you keep them under control and on a leash when using a treadmill. This is to ensure you have full control over your dog and that they don’t make a dash from the machine. If you want you can check out the best dog harnesses for running which will let you control your dog when you increase the speed of the treadmill.

About the author

    Jenny Nolan

    Hey, I'm Jenny and along with Mom Sue the main contributor here at Cleaner Paws. As a mother-daughter partnership, we absolutely adore animals and together have over 40 plus years of pet grooming experience!

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