Mammal Mondays: Going Nowhere Fast

A few weeks ago, I wrote about Sherman’s treadmill. Even my own mother seemed floored that I’d invest in exercise equipment for my dog, but trust me when I say that little treadmill is the best fifty bucks I’ve spent in quite some time.

Sherm loves his treadmill. Often now, when I try to let him outside to pee or sniff things in the yard as dogs are apt to do, and he sits instead facing the door to the basement, where his treadmill is installed in my very green spare bedroom. After I open the door, he picks his way cautiously down the stairs and waits to be let into the spare room; as soon as that bedroom door is open wide enough for him to weasel through, he’s on the treadmill, waiting eagerly for me to push the magic “go” button.

Here we go!
He knows what he's after.

Initially, I had to use a leash to secure Sherman to the treadmill for his indoor walks. I’ve also positioned an old table next to the treadmill to create a narrow “chute” on the treadmill so he can’t try to bolt off the side of the machine. Sherman caught on right away, and now walks beautifully until I turn the treadmill motor off, without a leash or any other type of restrait. The speckled one walks because he likes it. While he walks, I sit on the futon in front of him, from which I shot most of these photos, and mark quizzes or write blog posts.

I think he's smiling.

Occasionally, I even turn the speed up and let him lope along in the basement, and he races along gleefully until I decide he’s had enough and I crank it back down.

Sometimes, it gets a little too intense.

The treadmill has been a godsend for me, since Sherman is getting much more effective physical exercise than I can give him on our walks; Sherm does have twice as many legs as me, so it’s no surprise I can’t keep up with him. We still have outdoor walks, which we both truly enjoy, but the treadmill forces Sherman to think about his balance and to keep his body moving without the distraction of the many sights and, more importantly, smells, we encounter out in the neighbourhood or the park.

One of the most critical responsibilities of having an very active breed of dog, particularly in the city, is exercising that pooch, and Sherman is more relaxed now that his batteries are completely depleted more often. A very small investment has already paid for itself several times over. It’s a win-win situation.

We're waiting for Little House on the Prairie.

Please don’t tell Sherman how happy I am with my treadmill purchase: I’m afraid he’s going to get greedy and ask me for a rowing machine.

copyright 2011:

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Hooray! I was hoping you would post pics of Sherman on the treadmill! I think that is a great solution to the active dog issue. I wish more pet owners were as responsible as you!

    1. Thanks! It’s going very well for us, and I hope maybe other people who read the post realize it’s not just The Dog Whisperer who can work a pooch on a treadmill.

  2. FL Liz says:

    I would think it would be hard to start – didn’t he think it was scary that it moved under his feet? He does look very happy on it! ha ha at rowing machine. Doggie-Bow-Flex after that??

    1. I don’t think Bow-Flex is in order: if the darn dog gets any more muscular, I’ll definitely be in trouble. Sherman did pretty well on the treadmill at home from the first day, although there were some rough spots to iron out the first couple attempts. He started treadmill time initially at daycare, where they put him on when he was too exhausted to fight it, so it was a familiar feeling when I bought a machine to use at home.

      It’s really funny how eager he is to run now. I wish I were as motivated to work out as my dog!

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