After a few weeks with Warrior, we now have permission to begin his Treadmill training! YAY!
This week, Warrior began eating breakfast on the treadmill. He has to wait until I give him the cue, “tread” before he steps onto the treadmill and approaches his food dish. He must “wait” until he is given the “all right” to begin eating. After eating, he must “clean up” by bringing me the Booda Bones and the food dish. Then “down” and “stay” on the treadbelt for 20-30 minutes. After that, back up to the kennel to rest for an additional 30 min. This rest is to help prevent “bloat,” a condition deep-chested breeds are susceptible to.
Although Warrior has had a prophylactic gastropexy, we continue with the recommendations for prevention (gastropexy is not 100%): feed twice a day rather than once, limited volume of food, limit water drinking right before or right after meals, limit “gorging” on water after exercise, do not exercise after water drinking, etc.
In a day or two, I’ll start walking briefly on the treadmill while Warrior just stands beside me and watches. I’ll give him lots of treats for doing this – just standing there watching me.
Then, next week, or the week after, depending on how Warrior does, I’ll start feeding him treats while standing at the head of the treadmill and he stands facing me on the stationary treadbelt. Once he thinks just standing there getting treats “for nothing” (in about a week), I’ll turn the treadmill on at lowest setting. He may want to “leap off,” but I’ll have him on tight lead on his harness. He won’t go anywhere. If he does, I’ll stop the treadmill and bring him back on the stationary treadbelt for more “just standing there” treats. May have to get Himself to hold him for me until Warrior thinks walking along on the treadmill getting treats is ok.
After that, all is fine and dandy! Once he “gets it,” he’ll be exercised on the treadmill on days I’m too “cripped up” to go out, or the weather is too inclement for us to take him up to the mall for a long, fast walk. (“Business break” before such activity is essential, of course!)
Goodie for the treadmill. I can hardly wait!