Is this a safe speed on the treadmill for my pup? - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-09-2011, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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Is this a safe speed on the treadmill for my pup?

Hi all ,

I'm looking for a little guidance here on what is a safe speed for my pup to walk/run on the treadmill. He is about 10 months right now and last time we weighed him he was 72lbs. The max speed in this video was about 4mph. Depending on the speed, I adjust the incline up and down as well.

By the way, he loves using the treadmill. It took about five 20 minute sessions (and LOTS of treats ) to teach him what to do, but now he can't get enough of it!

Please let me know what you think!
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-09-2011, 11:37 AM
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Typically its recommended not to use a treadmill until a dog is over 18 months, though super short 1-2 minute sessions with treats can definitely be done before then to teach the dog that it's fabulous.

Looking at his size, he's probably about to outgrow that treadmill....if you watch him move on the treadmill (tak ea video clip frm the side) and watch him trot on the ground, you will probably see a much shorter stride on the treadmill.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-09-2011, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RedDogs View Post
Typically its recommended not to use a treadmill until a dog is over 18 months, though super short 1-2 minute sessions with treats can definitely be done before then to teach the dog that it's fabulous.

Looking at his size, he's probably about to outgrow that treadmill....if you watch him move on the treadmill (tak ea video clip frm the side) and watch him trot on the ground, you will probably see a much shorter stride on the treadmill.
Other than the possible shorter stride length, what's different about the treadmill than walking outside? He isn't pacing on the treadmill...
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-09-2011, 02:30 PM
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Dogs should not be doing "long" forced walks on leash either. If you are on trails or turf (not sidewalks) it is not as big an issue. The situation is until a dog is about 18 months their growth plates have not closed. Until then they are susceptible to more injuries and repetitive motion can aggravate starting arthritis.

Now I am not saying in any shape of the word, anyone is wrecking their dog. I have no choice but to leash walk on sidewalks. I try to mix it up with trail walks, off leash (or long leash) runs at parks with the pup picking the speed. The best is to be careful to not over do anything. I LOVE bike running my dogs. They like it too. We don't do that with our pups yet, only the mature dogs.

Just keep in mind they are not fully grown until between 18-24 months and pick your activities intelligently you will be fine.

I have heard (no experience) that dogs need a human tread mill with an 8' deck to truly work with their stride. I would love one... no space. I would think slow speeds, short periods are not going to hurt.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-09-2011, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Maxs Mom View Post

I have heard (no experience) that dogs need a human tread mill with an 8' deck to truly work with their stride. I would love one... no space. I would think slow speeds, short periods are not going to hurt.
Where does one find a treadmill with an 8' tread? I believe mine is about 5'6'' long and even the ones at my gym aren't that long.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-09-2011, 08:44 PM
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Specially m ade for dogs...and unfortunately they tend to be very expensive.

Moving at a shortened stride ... I don't know enough about physiology to know exactly how/why this is bad, but imagine walking at 3/4 your normal stide, for a period of time... it could contribute to abnormal muscle development and I'm not sure what else, hopefully someone here has a more complete response!
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-09-2011, 08:48 PM
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Your pup is much too young to be using a treadmill or do any forced running of any kind. You shouldn't even run with your dog until they are at least 18-24 months old. Any younger than that, their joints have not yet fully developed and the impact of the hard surface can cause permanent long-term damage. Also, a human treadmill is less than ideal for dogs. You can actually buy treadmills that are made specifically for dogs. Definitely keep your pup off the treadmill.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-10-2011, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jwemt81 View Post
Your pup is much too young to be using a treadmill or do any forced running of any kind. You shouldn't even run with your dog until they are at least 18-24 months old. Any younger than that, their joints have not yet fully developed and the impact of the hard surface can cause permanent long-term damage. Also, a human treadmill is less than ideal for dogs. You can actually buy treadmills that are made specifically for dogs. Definitely keep your pup off the treadmill.
Just to clarify, the fastest Grady goes is about 3.5 MPH, and the furthest he has gone is about 1/2 of a mile. Grady is not being forced to run and moves at no more than a brisk walk.

Having said that, do you still think its really that bad? Sorry, I'm not trying to be thick headed, I just really want to be clear.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-10-2011, 10:33 AM
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Ok here is my honest opinion

Everyone is correct -i'm sorry to say it but for his interest it is best to wait until they are at least 18 months old. I know it totally can be a buzz kill and I didn't believe it until I talked to my vet and she said that it could cause early arthritis etc if he gets too much exercise at this point. -I couldn't believe it myself.

Here's what I would do. stop by the vet or call; ask them what they recommend for a 10 month old GR puppy. That way you know your doing whats best.

He looks happy on the tread mill; it's great exercise but don't forget walks are not just physical stimulation for dogs but also mental so make sure he still goes for a daily walk for mental exercise -along with your training of course.

Always watch him on the mill and since he is trained I would remove the leash. If he were to fall -heaven forbid- no matter how quick you are it is always better that he just roll of it. Then risk getting a burn if he;s dragged -even for a little bit.

This will also remove the -forced exercise; if he's done he can get off himself sometimes dogs are in pain and will hide it. Let him tell you if the limits your set are too much for him or not.

Since you are exercising him so much make sure you always tell your vet so they can keep a special eye on joints etc.

You have a beautiful boy
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-10-2011, 10:36 AM
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I know for me the treadmill is much more challenging than walking outside because it is constant. I would think it is the same for dogs: no chance to rest or change the pace. Dogs are sprinters, not endurance runners. They generally don't just run and run and run.

What does he do when he's not tethered? My guess is that he would want to hop off and hop on. Of course it isn't safe for him to get on a tready when the belt is moving. But I would be curious as to how long he would 'choose' to be on it at any pace.

I also see the shortened stride. Much better to take him for a walk with some jog intervals.
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