Treadmill advice please???

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Lizzie
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Treadmill advice please???

Postby Lizzie » Wed Sep 26, 2007 10:03 am

So most of ya'll know my issues: we need to build up the muscles in JJ's replaced hip, while not being too hard on his other hip which is still very bad.

Also, I'm pregnant and can't jog or bike with him. DH and I take both dogs for an hour-long walk every day, but JJ needs more than that to build his muscles, because a lot of the walk is spent sniffing and pausing and wiggling at people, etc.

So I'm starting him on the treadmill, and was just wondering if any of you use this method of exercise with your dog? I was hoping for some direction...am I doing this right? How long should the intervals be that we work up to? How fast should the pace be?

Here's what I've been doing; feel free to critique or advise me because I don't have experience in this:

JJ has always laid next to the treadmill while I used it since he was a pup, so he is not afraid of the noise or movement it makes. He is SUPER food-motivated, so at first I just said "treadmill!" and made him stand on the treadmill with all 4 feet, and then I would reward him with a little cheese. After a day or two, he completely understood the "treadmill" command and eagerly hopped on. So I turned it on to the very slowest setting and he sort of took to it immediately. I used tons of praise while he very slowly walked with the treadmill, and fed him bits of cheese.

After a couple of sessions like this, I increased the speed until he was walking at his normal pace. I had him walk for less than a minute, with lots of praise and treating, and then released him. He really didn't seem to mind any of this.

This has been the past couple of weeks or so. I feel that he is very comfortable walking on the treadmill and he is associating it with very positive and fun interactions, since he gets food rewards and lots of praise. He always jumps right on it as soon as he hears the cheese wrapper crinkling now. lol

ANYWAYS, yesterday I increased the speed to a fast walk so that he was walking quickly and steadily, but not trotting. I kept him on the treadmill (treating and praising) for 6 minutes. My plan was to do the same thing today, only go for 7 minutes...then 8 minutes tomorrow, etc. But, I don't know how long I should be working up to. 20-minute increments? Half hour? Should I increase the pace to a trot, or is fast walking good for now? If I increase the pace to a trot, should I decrease the time spent on the treadmill? Down the road when he is in shape, how long should he be spending on the treadmill per session, and how many sessions should he have per week? How slowly should I introduce increases in the speed and time spent?

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Lizzie
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Postby Lizzie » Wed Sep 26, 2007 3:25 pm

Awww come on! NO ONE can give me any advice on this? I just want to make sure I'm approaching this correctly... :sad:

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Postby BabyReba » Wed Sep 26, 2007 3:28 pm

lizzie, try doing a search, i know the treadmill discussion has been had a bunch of times before. there are even vids on here somewhere of dogs using the mill.

i don't have one, though i'd like to, so i can't offer any info.

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Postby Lizzie » Wed Sep 26, 2007 3:43 pm

BabyReba wrote:lizzie, try doing a search, i know the treadmill discussion has been had a bunch of times before. there are even vids on here somewhere of dogs using the mill.

i don't have one, though i'd like to, so i can't offer any info.


Thanks BR...I learned a lot through the search, but I can't seem to find any info on how quickly/slowly I should be increasing the speed and how long he should be on there for... :huh?:

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Postby concreterose » Wed Sep 26, 2007 3:51 pm

I am hesitant to give you any suggestions because of JJ's condition. Is there a canine physical therapist in your area that you could maybe consult with?

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Postby Lizzie » Wed Sep 26, 2007 6:48 pm

concreterose wrote:I am hesitant to give you any suggestions because of JJ's condition. Is there a canine physical therapist in your area that you could maybe consult with?


I understand...thank you anyways! :thumbsup: It is $175 to $250 just to consult with the physical therapist...we can't do it.

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Postby concreterose » Wed Sep 26, 2007 6:51 pm

Lizzie wrote:
concreterose wrote:I am hesitant to give you any suggestions because of JJ's condition. Is there a canine physical therapist in your area that you could maybe consult with?


I understand...thank you anyways! :thumbsup: It is $175 to $250 just to consult with the physical therapist...we can't do it.


Sheesh...that's expensive!!! I am so sorry to hear it. Have you tried searching yahoo groups for a group the specializes in dogs that have had hip replacement...I'm sure there's on out there as there are groups for everything. There should be people out there whose dogs have had the same surgery that should be able to help you. Good luck!

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Postby Lizzie » Wed Sep 26, 2007 7:26 pm

Thanks...I'll keep searching. For now, JJ has done 6 minutes at a fast walk today and yesterday, on top of his normal hour-long walk, and he doesn't seem stiff or sore or anything. I'm going to very slowly work him harder...tomorrow we'll do 7 minutes.

I did put an ad in the paper, it ran yesterday, asking if anyone in my area has an indoor pool they're willing to let us use for JJ's recovery. It's worth a try, right? This is CT and there are lots of millionaires around here...maybe one of them is a generous dog lover...here's hoping!


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Postby BabyReba » Wed Sep 26, 2007 8:27 pm

lizzie, if you ask around, you may find a canine aquatics center in your area . . . or just a doggie pool. we have 2 or 3 actual swim centers in our area and we also have one or two pools that you can rent for your dog by the 15 minute segment . . . prices range from $15 for 15 minutes to $75 per session with a qualified rehab expert . . . i've taken advantage of them over the years for reba, and they were great therapy for her joints.

good luck.

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Postby ZiggysMom » Wed Sep 26, 2007 10:48 pm

I second the swimming idea-- it's great muscle building exercise with very low joint impact, so you can get a whole lot more exercise in before you have to worry about over-doing it on his other hip. If he likes to swim, that would be the perfect thing for him! Go to the lake with a tennis ball and see how much you can get him swimming!

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Postby Lizzie » Thu Sep 27, 2007 6:52 am



Wow, thank you so much! I can't access yahoo from work, but I'll definitely check these out later. :thumbsup:

BabyReba wrote:lizzie, if you ask around, you may find a canine aquatics center in your area . . . or just a doggie pool. we have 2 or 3 actual swim centers in our area and we also have one or two pools that you can rent for your dog by the 15 minute segment . . . prices range from $15 for 15 minutes to $75 per session with a qualified rehab expert . . .


Thanks...I did research it and we have a canine/equine hydrotherapy center, that's the one that costs $175-250 just for the initial consult, and then you pay by the session after that ( I think it was $30 or $50 per session, depending on if you did swimming/treadmill or just swimming) We just can't do it...the money tree has been picked clean with JJ's surgeries, and we have to save up to get his other hip done. We have to do his physical therapy on our own.

ZiggysMom wrote:I second the swimming idea-- it's great muscle building exercise with very low joint impact, so you can get a whole lot more exercise in before you have to worry about over-doing it on his other hip. If he likes to swim, that would be the perfect thing for him! Go to the lake with a tennis ball and see how much you can get him swimming!


We had him swimming in a friend's pool over the summer, but it's fall now and we're in New England so the pools are closed and it's getting too cold for that. I did put an ad in the paper for anyone who had an indoor pool that would let us use it...it's a long shot, but you never know.

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Postby BabyReba » Thu Sep 27, 2007 10:14 am

I was thinking more along the lines of "fun swim" places where you can rent the pools by blocks of time--minutes, half hours, hours. Most dogs only really need about 15 to 20 minutes of swimming before they get a good workout, so it's usually pretty reasonable.

I really don't know the geography or CT or where you live, but I did a quick Google search and there is a place with a fun swim pool for dogs in Farmington. They also do therapy, but swimming on your own is much cheaper, $25 per session.

http://www.canineclubhouse.com/clubhouserates.htm

That doesn't help you with treadmills, but I thought I'd let you know it exists in case you were interested.

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Re: Treadmill advice please???

Postby IamaDick » Sat Sep 29, 2007 10:25 am

Lizzie wrote:
ANYWAYS, yesterday I increased the speed to a fast walk so that he was walking quickly and steadily, but not trotting. I kept him on the treadmill (treating and praising) for 6 minutes. My plan was to do the same thing today, only go for 7 minutes...then 8 minutes tomorrow, etc. But, I don't know how long I should be working up to. 20-minute increments? Half hour? Should I increase the pace to a trot, or is fast walking good for now? If I increase the pace to a trot, should I decrease the time spent on the treadmill? Down the road when he is in shape, how long should he be spending on the treadmill per session, and how many sessions should he have per week? How slowly should I introduce increases in the speed and time spent?


Sounds like you are doing it correctly, praise training and rewarding is the best way to teach a dog on the mill, you want them to always think of good things when they are on it, that way they enjoy it and you arent fighting your dog to keep him on.

With your dogs condition, honestly, i wouldnt do anymore then 10 minute sessions. The idea of building up a minute a day sound reasonable, however i personally would only work every other day. This gives the muscles time to heal. I would build up to 10 minute sessions at a fast walk (not running, probably the same speed you are going now) and stay at the 10 min. for a week or so. Then possibly break it down into 2 session a day for 6 minutes a piece, then 7, etc. And build up that way. The treadmill should work out well, however you dont want to injure JJ hips anymore either so i wouldnt go over the 10 min. a session.

Eventually you may even do a 30 sec. sprint or something, this being a ways down the road. Good luck.

The pool idea would be great.


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