Using a Treadmill to Exercise your Giant Schnauzer

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Using a Treadmill to Exercise your Giant Schnauzer

A great, underestimated activity to help exercise your Giant Schnauzer is getting them on a treadmill created specifically for dogs to use.

Of course, treadmills are not going to be a replacement for taking your Dog outside, enjoying a walk and interacting with man’s best friend, however they can have a huge benefit, especially if the weather is too hot to go out, or if you are training your Dog up for a sporting event/competition, or even to help with recovery after a period of poor health. Remember, when the weather reaches higher temperatures pavement tends to melt a tad and get sticky, this can damage your Dog’s paws. If you have a spare room that is Air Conditioned, or a cool garage, and you are able to place a treadmill there, this will allow your Dog to feel more comfortable.

However, when considering using a treadmill for your Giant Schnauzer, there are some important factors below to consider before you go out and purchase a treadmill for your bearded beauty. 

Things to consider before purchasing a Treadmill for my Dog:

Many owners purchase treadmills intended for Humans and if you have a smaller breed dog you might get away with it.  However, some dogs have been subjected to injury, not intentionally, but as a result of using incorrect equipment.

  • The #1 reason not to use a human treadmill for your large Dog: The length of the Track on the Treadmills intended for Humans, are generally much shorter than the ones intended for Dogs.  This may be ok to use for a small Dog, you may be able to get away with it, however not for bigger breed Dogs such as Giant Schnauzers. Why?  Because Humans use two legs, our gait isn’t the same as a Dog, who of course use four legs, which means their overall gait and stride needs a longer track.  The appropriate length treadmill track for a large breed Dog is around 72 inches. It is worth noting that continually using incorrect equipment can cause long-term damage to a Dogs joints and gait.
  • Good quality Dog Treadmills, are wider than most human counterparts, this is to allow the Dog to fully extend their body and move correctly. Whereas human treadmills would restrict this natural movement due to the width difference.
  • If you look at a human treadmill, you will notice that it has gaps down the sides, between the track and the treadmill. This is fine for us humans, but this can be lethal for Dogs paws and nails, and even result in a leg injury.  Good quality Dog Treadmills will have the track/belt, close to the edge.
  • Dog treadmills like the dogPACER Treadmill also have the control panel and emergency cord, in a easy to access position, so you don’t have to go and stand by the side of your Dog, which could distract him/her, in order to work the control panel and so on.
  • Think about vibration and noise too. Many treadmills for humans are noisy and vibrate quite a bit.  This is likely to be counterproductive for the Dog, and may deter the Dog from moving forward with treadmills.  The treadmills that are specifically for Dogs however, are much quieter and have significantly less vibration too.  As Dogs paws are very sensitive to vibration, it is likely to be less stressful than a human treadmill may be.
  • When looking for a treadmill for your Dog, why not take a look at the dogPACER Treadmill.  A good quality treadmill meant for dogs has safety panels at the sides.  These also help keep your Dog’s focus and looking to what is in front of him or her.

Once you’ve had a look through the points to take into consideration, prior to making a purchase, you can relax a little.  Treadmills can help you give your Dog a fantastic workout, and this in turn is going to help keep your giant schnauzer’s mind healthy too.  By starting out gentle, and introducing the treadmill carefully, you can look forward to your Dog getting plenty of mental and physical stimulation.

What age can my Giant Schnauzer start to use a treadmill?

Giant Schnauzers, over the age of 2-years-old, (fully grown once the growth plates have closed) will be able to use the larger of the two dogPacer Treadmills.  This model is suitable for Dogs weighing up to 179 lbs.  

 Once you have purchased a treadmill for your Dog, you need to take time to get your Dog accustomed to using this equipment.  It’s never a good idea to just place your Dog on to a machine and start it moving.  There are plenty of videos online to show how to get your Dog used to the machine, and the dogPACER Treadmill, comes with a training guide as well.

The smaller model, dogPacer mini, is for Dogs weighing up to 55lbs.

Although many owners do exercise their puppies on treadmills, it is not a practice we recommend.  Too much exercise at a young age, before the Dog’s bones are fully formed, can lead to serious health issues, and by the time we notice a problem, the damage could already be done.

 With puppies, mental stimulation will help disperse the bundles of energy they have.  Playing games which also include teaching them to use their nose, not just their eyes to find things, will help tire puppies out.  Puppies of course need lots of rest, so maybe consider playing games for around 20-minute sessions, a few times throughout the day.  Giant Schnauzer puppies don’t need to be running around in order to play games; they can also have fun in a controlled way, and in a way they can use that brilliant mind they have!

 If you are in doubt as to the amount of physical exercise your Dog/puppy should be getting, please contact your Dog’s breeder or maybe have a chat with a local Dog trainer or Veterinary surgeon and they will be able to guide you and give you advice on the correct amount of exercise for your Dog, and answer any questions you might have.

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