FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do you get a dog to walk on the JOG A DOG?
To begin exercising, position yourself at the front of the machine (eye level with the dog). Fix the lead so that it is connected to your dog's collar under the chin and not at the top of the neck. Keep the lead loose so that it has a slight arc under the chin. Do not call your dog or use bait. Your dog will need to concentrate so the least you do to distract your dog the better. If others are in the room have them stand at the front of the treadmill as to not distract the dog. With one hand on your dog's lead, turn the switch to the on position. With the machine turned on, slowly turn the speed dial so the belt is creeping so slow the dog does not realize the belt is moving. As the dog slowly rides the belt back about 6-12", the dog will step forward and begin to respond naturally by advancing. After a few steps increase the speed slightly and allow your dog to adjust to the change in speed. Be sure to allow adequate time, following each incremental change in speed, for the dog to adjust. Repeat this process of increasing the speed and allowing the dog to adjust. Use the loose lead to keep the dog focused by jiggling the lead slightly if the dog looks up and breaks stride (rides the belt back) or if the dog looks off to either side.
What is the difference between JOG A DOG and other "dog treadmills"?
Please click here for a full explanation: What separates JOG A DOG from the rest of the pack?
Is JOG A DOG safe to use?
When it comes to safety we feel our product is the safest treadmill on the market. Our unique design eliminates front and rear roller shrouds that are known to catch nails, paws and even ears. There is no exposed wiring or hot circuit board inside the treadmill to come into contact with dog hair, urine, slobber, feces or cleaning solution. All the electronics are housed in the remote control box that is safely located outside and away from the running surface. The motors used in each JOG A DOG treadmill are totally enclosed (IP-54 rated) and designed to withstand sprayed water (urine), dog hair, feces, slobber and piles of dirt. JOG A DOG does not have side standing rails on each side of the deck or a front motor shroud to trip or stumble on. The running tread wraps around the visible front roller and is far less startling for a dog than a belt shooting out from under a front motor shroud. The speed is quickly and easily adjusted to respond with the dog as the dog learns the treadmill. If a dog stumbles the speed can be slowed instantly, using our unique speed dial, allowing the dog to recover without stopping or ending the session. The side guardrails are high enough to detour jumping yet provide a secure open feel that will not leave a dog feeling trapped or enclosed. The infinitely adjustable speed dial, sturdy running surface, high torque drive system and side guardrails all work together to provide a treadmill that dogs learn and adapt to quickly. Most dogs learn our treadmill systems in 90 seconds or less and that means less stress.
Does your treadmill have a safety clip to attach to the dog?
No, we feel safety clips are completely inappropriate and are mostly promoted by other companies because their treadmills utilize human treadmill controls where safety clips are already incorporated. Safety clips on human treadmills are necessary because the operator of the treadmill is also the user. The principle being if the user falls the user can't stop the treadmill. With dog treadmills the dog (user) is not operating the treadmill. The operator is you and you should always be in a position to slow or stop the machine quickly to recover or stop a dog from tripping or falling. This is where our instantly adjustable speed dial out performs the slow response time of an incremental push button speed control. A speed dial allows the user to increase the speed, decrease the speed or stop the treadmill instantly with one simple control device. For safety, a dog should have a lead attached and the slack will have to be adjusted accordingly to allow the dog to drift forward and backward the length of the treadmill while exercising. This makes an additional clip with a string attached to the dog, designed to shut off when the string is taut, grossly impractical. The lead and the string will always be working against each other creating an additional safety concern. In most cases, merely stopping the treadmill when the dog gets to the end does not prevent the dog from falling. A clip merely shuts the machine off after an accident has occurred. Accidents are prevented by having full and instantaneous control over the belt speed (speed dial) and being alert and responsive as the dog exercises. JOG A DOG treadmills are very high torque, when the speed is lowered the belt slows instantly enabling the operator to stop the running belt before the dog reaches the end.
Why is a dial preferred for adjusting speed over a digital keypad?
Again because other treadmills borrow their design from human treadmills they incorporate a digital incremental speed adjustment that is grossly impractical when working with dogs. Human treadmills utilize digital push button speed adjustments because the user is also the operator. The response time is purposely poor so the user, while jogging, doesn’t accidentally increase the speed too fast or too slow. The digital controls also alert the user with a beeping noise each time the speed is adjusted. When a dog is learning the treadmill, it requires great concentration. As you can imagine, a dog with a keen sense of hearing will be troubled by a beeping noise. Likewise, If the response time is too slow with human treadmills the user can always jump off onto the side standing rails if need be. Dogs do not have this option. When starting a dog from a dead stop or rolling a dog from a pace into a trot or not knowing what the dog will do next, the response time when adjusting the speed needs to be quick and infinitely variable. Utilizing a speed dial is quicker, smoother, safer and more practical for dogs. It's the difference between utilizing a mouse on a computer vs. the up down and side arrow keys.
FIVE (5) REASONS NOT TO USE A DIGITAL KEYPAD WITH DOGS
1. Focus: A speed dial allows you to focus on the dog and not the keypad. With one hand on the speed dial you do not have to look at it to adjust the speed. Simply turn the dial one way to increase the speed and turn the dial the opposite direction to decrease the speed. Turn the same dial all the way down and the unit stops instantly. With a keypad three separate controls are required to perform these functions. Focus is lost when you have to find the correct button on the panel to perform each function. One button increases the speed by a predetermined amount, another button decreases the speed and third control stops the treadmill.
2. Safety: With a speed dial, one dial performs three functions. Simply turn the dial one way to increase the speed and turn the dial the opposite direction to decrease the speed or all the way down to instantly stop the treadmill. With a keypad it takes three different controls to increase the speed, decrease the speed and stop the treadmill. One button increases the speed .10 MPH and another to decrease the speed .10 MPH. and a third switch stops the treadmill. With a speed dial, speed adjustments are smooth because they are not incremental. Fine increases or decreases in speed can be made so the dog can be brought to speed gradually without even noticing. This smooth and precise control decreases the chance of a dog tripping while learning and allows the user to instantly react to a dog experiencing trouble with coordination.
3. Response time: A speed dial is instantaneous, turn one direction to increase the speed and turn the opposite direction to decrease the speed. There are no preset increments. If you provide too much speed, simply roll it back a little - instantly. With a digital keypad the user has to repeatedly push a button to bring the treadmill to speed and then jump to another button and push it several times to decrease the speed. This creates a clumsy learning experience for a dog and introduces them to unnecessary stress.
4. Performance: There is never too little or too much speed. Use the dial to find just the right speed because it is infinitely variable. Digital keypads deliver in preset increments only. We all have experienced this with television volume. Either one setting is too soft or the next setting is too loud. Additionally, you cannot provide a burst of speed with a digital keypad. With a speed dial you can instantly roll a dog into a trot with a small burst of speed when the timing is just right. If you have a fast pacer, the speed dial will allow you to adjust the speed and transition your dog out of a pace and into a trot. If you provide too much speed instantly bring it down and catch a stumbling dog, you don’t have to shut the machine down and end the session.
5. Learning curve: Dogs will learn quicker because speed is adjusted smoothly and not in.10 MPH increments. There is no winning with a digital keypad; it's simply the wrong tool for the job. Each incremental jump in speed creates a small pulse in speed. The smaller companies make the incremental adjustments the more individual pulses are required to speed the treadmill up or slow the treadmill down. With humans this is not as noticeable because we are controlling the speed, we anticipate the speed change and we typically bring the treadmill to speed and then jump on. With a dog you are moving the dog from a dead stop and gradually transitioning the dog to speed. There is no smoother speed adjustment option. Using a digital keypad introduces your dog to unnecessary stress and substantially lengthens the learning curve. Any control that makes a beeping noise when speed is adjusted is not well thought out. Most dogs should be up and trotting in 90 seconds.
Will my dog urinate or poop on the treadmill?
Yes, in all likelihood your dog will urinate or poop on your treadmill at some time. Most people do not believe their dog will urinate or poop on a treadmill. The reality is they most certainly will. When you take your dog outside to exercise they are conditioned to do this. Exercise or trotting your dog will also "work loose" a constipated dog. Dog show handlers know this first hand, since it is common for traveling dogs to become constipated. The treadmills we have setup over the years for the Westminster dog show have become valuable for this purpose. So yes dogs will poop and urinate when exercising outside and at some point will do the same when on a treadmill. JOG A DOG is the only treadmill designed to withstand such an instance time and time again.
At what age should I start exercising my dog on a JOG A DOG?
Ideally, an exercise plan should be established when your dog is still a puppy and continue throughout your pet's life. The four JOG A DOG treadmills allow for a slope adjustment of 0 to 11 degrees. For dogs under two (2) years (until the growth plates have closed), we recommend that you not exercise your puppy on an incline. As your dog ages, exercise tolerance and requirements can be adjusted. Always consult your veterinarian before you change an existing program or begin a new exercise program for your dog.
Are certain breeds better suited for a JOG A DOG?
Like people, all dogs need exercise to maintain good health. Regardless of breed, JOG A DOG is a fun activity that you can do with your dog. Providing your dog with balanced exercise and individualized attention is the best way to spoil your dog. When introduced appropriately, dogs will beg to get on the machine (like playing fetch). Keep in mind, for most dogs, walking is not exercise. Walking is the most efficient (least tiring) means of locomotion for a dog. To truly provide exercise a dog needs to be brought to a trot (most difficult gait). Due to the difficulty and coordination required, a dog will rarely trot on its own. JOG A DOG forces a dog to trot steadily and consistently, thus providing a full body workout and reducing training time. Always consult your veterinarian before you begin a new exercise program for your dog.
How does JOG A DOG encourage a dog to trot?
Dogs will walk on the treadmill at slower speeds and will trot a slightly faster speeds. Due to the consistency of the belt speed, dogs will naturally break into a trot. Sometimes a dog will pace on the treadmill when learning because it requires less coordination and is easier for the dog to do. The pace is a gait form that is not encouraged for exercise since it is similar in nature to a stagger and represents poor form for exercise. If a dog paces on the treadmill it is typically due to coordination and they require more time to learn or "find their feet" on the treadmill. If a dog paces intentionally, then a quick sudden small burst of speed (speed dial) while pacing will typically place the dog into a trot. Another technique is to slightly lift up on the dog's lead, forcing the dog slightly off balance and out of sync. This technique will put the dog into a trotting gait. A gallop or canter is a gait a dog will use to cover a good distance at a high rate of speed. The gait is smooth and very efficient and therefore may not be the best for conditioning. Dogs typically will not gallop or canter on a treadmill due to the consistency of the belt speed. The drive and speed is irregular and hard to achieve on a consistent moving treadmill. This is why treadmill exercise is beneficial and requires less training time. The JOG A DOG forces the dog to trot in a coordinated, inefficient, synchronized movement that does not allow recovery by cheating (altering speed).
Will JOG A DOG improve my dog's reach?
Yes, To bring out your dog’s natural reach potential you need to trot your dog at a decent speed, straight ahead for a good distance. There is no better tool for this than JOG A DOG, it does all three better than anything available.
Will JOG A DOG build my dog's rear/front quarters and topline?
Building muscle requires resistance. If you want to build muscle utilize the 11 degree incline. If you do not wish to build muscle and only want to work on your dog's movement or provide a cardiovascular workout then do not use the incline. Trotting your dog on the 11 degree incline will provide a full body workout. You are not isolating muscle groups so your dog will build muscle in both the front and rear quarters to include the topline. Some competing products typically have an incline feature but it is very minimal. We recommend an 11 degree incline for an optimal workout.
At what age should a dog discontinue the use of a JOG A DOG?
Ideally, an exercise plan should be established when your dog is still a puppy and continue throughout your pet's life. As a dog ages, exercise tolerance and requirements will change. Always consult your veterinarian before you change an existing program or begin a new exercise regimen for your dog. Your veterinarian will want to perform a complete physical exam on your pet and discuss exercises that are appropriate.
Why is exercise important for senior dogs?
Exercise is important for your elderly dog for many reasons. First of all, exercise helps maintain a healthy body weight. Being overweight may lead to a number of health problems. It places excess stress on your pet's heart. When the heart doesn't function properly, other organs may suffer including the brain, lungs, liver and kidneys. Over time, these problems may become severe enough to cause life-threatening conditions. Osteoarthritis is degeneration of joints. This problem may develop during a pet's geriatric years causing pain and discomfort. Excess weight on these joints can speed up the disease. Believe it or not, moderate exercise can help to delay the continued degeneration of joints that are affected with osteoarthritis. Your elderly dog's mental health may also benefit from exercise. Activity keeps oxygen and other nutrients like glucose (blood sugar) at optimum levels in the brain. The brain is like every other organ in the body in that it requires good nutrition. As mentioned above, DO discuss your dog's exercise program with your veterinarian. Your veterinarian can let you know if your pet has any health problems that might be exacerbated by some types of activity but not others. You need to know what type of exercise is safest for your elderly dog; you also need to know how frequently and for how long it should be done.
Can my dog use a
There are many things to consider before running a dog on a treadmill designed specifically for people. Keep in mind, humans have a shorter gait than most dogs and thus require a shorter treadmill. Dogs are not stationary like people and will drift forward and back while exercising. Additionally, larger dogs distribute weight more broadly than people do and have twice the pressure points on the moving treadmill surface (lack torque). Mechanically, human treadmills have side running boards on each side of the treadmill deck (trip hazard), a front motor shroud (stumble block), caps over the rear rollers (paw traps), exposed hot electrical circuit boards and wiring in the treadmill near the front roller (urine, hair and feces creates a safety and durability concern), digital push button increments to control the speed (inadequate and have a poor response time), unsealed bearings and open motors that cool by forcing air (dog hair) into the motor and across the windings. Other factors to consider are treadmill durability, tread comfort and side enclosures to keep the dog focused and centered on the treadmill. Additional note: A large number of our customers have told us they tried a human treadmill and other "dog treadmills" before purchasing a JOG A DOG. Not only is it more difficult to get a dog started on other treadmills, human treadmills are sensitive to dust (let alone piles of dog hair). The JOG A DOG treadmill is maintenance free and has NO electronics at the head of the treadmill where the motor is located. All the electronics are safely placed inside the remote control that is placed outside and away from the treadmill running surface. Our industrial motors are IP-54 rated to prevent particles the size of dust and splashed water from entering them. Piles of dog hair, urine, feces, slobber and dirt are never a concern with JOG A DOG!
What happens if I run my dog on a treadmill of improper length?
Exercising your dog on a treadmill of improper length will constrict the dog's movement by shortening its stride. This may result in a peculiar gait. JOG A DOG has created four treadmill sizes designed to meet the exact exercise requirements necessary to accommodate any size dog. Please keep in mind, just because a dog can trot on a treadmill, does not mean the treadmill is the most appropriate size. Dogs need room to "float" back and forth the length of the treadmill to trot naturally and to encourage the dog to reach and extend. Likewise, as they tire, they need room to fall behind.
Should I use a JOG A DOG as the only form of exercise for my dog?
No, when used in conjunction with other forms of exercise, the JOG A DOG allows versatility in your dog’s exercise regimen that will insure the dog uses all its muscles to the full and is in peak condition. There are a number of things you can do along with the use of a JOG A DOG to keep your dog in excellent shape. Here are a few ideas:
Take your dog for a walks.
Use a dog walking service. A large number of metropolitan areas offer them.
Do you bicycle? If so, and your dog knows how to heel, you can find a device that hooks directly to your bicycle for 'roading' your dog. It is spring loaded so a jerk from the dog shouldn't cause a crash.
If your dog loves to play fetch, do it outdoors and really let your pet stretch out into a full run.
If you have access to a grassy or sandy hill, allow your dog to run up and down it.
Take your dog swimming! Swimming is an excellent form of exercise for dogs.
How much does it cost to ship a machine?
Shipping charges are from Ottawa Lake, Michigan to point of destination. We charge exact shipping using the most cost effective carrier. Please use our inquiry form to request an exact quote. All shipping orders are confirmed with our customers before payments are processed.
Do you have a distributor in my area?
Sorry we do not distribute at this time. We manufacture and sell our products direct from our facilities in Ottawa Lake MI. Ordering direct from JOG A DOG, LLC is the only way to purchase from our JOG A DOG product line. We ship regularly across the U.S. and other countries around the world!
Why do your treadmills have less horse power (HP) than others on the market?
The short answer is our motors cannot be compared to competing products because we do NOT utilize treadmill duty motors. We use only industrial rated motors in all of our treadmill systems. To add perspective, our 1 HP rated motor weighs 50 lbs. and is the largest and highest HP rated motor that can be run on a 110 volt AC power source (your standard wall outlet). Regardless of what other motor manufacturers stamp on their motors, you cannot exceede our 1 HP motor size without a 220 volt AC power source.
About Horse Power Ratings:
1. Horse power is a ratio of RPM and torque (HP = TORQUE x RPM/5250). Without knowing the RPM or torque of a motor, horse power by itself is mostly irrelevant in determining quality and performance. It's the equivalent of comparing gold value by the ounce without knowing the karat weight (purity).
2. Some motors are rated for peak duty (initial startup) and some are rated for continuous duty (sustained use). Peak duty ratings are meaningless.
3. Industrial motors are regulated by NEMA and IEC. Treadmill motors are not regulated so ratings vary among manufacturers.
4. The ratings on treadmill duty motors lack integrity because it is a numbers game of increasing the RPM (see formula above) or rating the motor for 180 volts DC (not achievable with a standard 110 VAC outlet) or by rating the peak performance of the motor. Rating the horse power at peak performance is not sustainable for any longer than a second or two so those ratings are obviously intended to mislead.
What to look for when comparing our motors:
1. Rating Conformity: Regulated by NEMA and IEC governing bodies.
2. Ingres Protection: IP rating of 54 (penetration protection from solids the size of dust and sprayed water from all directions).
3. RPM/Torque: 1,750 RPM and 36 ft-lbs. of torque (compare to over 4,000 RPM and 15 ft-lbs.).
4. Insulation Rating: Class F3 (F3 motors can last 30 times longer than lower insulated motors - avoid Class A, B and non-rated).
5. Duty Rating: Continuous 90 VDC. (peak ratings are meaningless).
Dog Treadmill Motors - 5 Simple Rules
1. You will be hard pressed to find a motor of any quality in a treadmill that retails for under a thousand dollars.
2. High RPM spells trouble - they heat up, lack torque and bearing life is shorter (more revolutions each minute).
3. High RPM and no Class F insulation means more heat and less tolerance to heat resulting in short life and other problems.
4. Open motors that cool by forcing air through the vents and into the motor are NOT suitable for use with dogs.
5. Motors rated IP-54 or better will prevent problems caused by dog hair, urine and humidity.
What do I do if my unit needs serviced or repaired?
We stand behind the quality of our products and provide a lifetime warranty (all parts) to the original purchaser. Due to the quality of the components we use, our treadmills are designed to be free from maintenance. All the parts in our products are industrial grade and are typically used in conveyor systems equipped to run reliably in harsh dirty environments. We have never had to replace a motor and all the bearings in our units are double sealed. All the electronics to power the motor are in the remote control box, not inside the treadmill, which is easy to detach (remove lid and unplug) and send in for replacement. By sending the control box in for replacement, you just replaced all the electronics in the treadmill - it's just that easy! Our treadmills are easy to work on and all replacement parts are in stock should they need to be replaced.
How do you clean the treadmill?
Use a hand-held spray bottle (fill with water and a small capful of detergent) and spray the deck/running surface and wipe with a towel (don't try this with other treadmills!). If you need to get under the deck or need to clean a poopy mess, the axle of the front and rear roller is spring loaded. Simply push the axle to the inside of the frame and remove. This will provide slack to clean under and around the running surface.
What is the proper machine for my dog's weight?
Fabricated from a single piece of carbon steel, the JOG A DOG frame is guaranteed to withstand the weight impact of any size dog. Therefore, when selecting the appropriate machine for your dog, you must only consider the proper length and width necessary to accommodate body movement.
Do you rent machines?
Sorry, we currently have no rental program.
Why is your treadmill so expensive?
When you consider the quality of our treadmill systems, backed with our limited lifetime warranty (limited to original purchaser), we feel our products are priced competitively. In business for over 40 years, we realize that quality comes at a cost to the consumer however the tradeoff is a product our customers will enjoy for a lifetime. No other treadmill manufacturer offers a limited lifetime warranty on all parts. JOG A DOG treadmills are fabricated using high-quality, industrial grade, components throughout. Each treadmill is hand assembled, from start to finish, to insure the highest quality in craftsmanship. Our motors are industrial grade and are totally enclosed (IP-54) to prevent the passing of dog hair through them. Conventional treadmill motors are far less expensive and are NOT industrial and cool themselves by drawing air (ie.. dog hair) through the motor and across the windings. Likewise, there are no exposed circuit boards or exposed wiring at the head of the treadmill to come into contact with urine, hair, slobber, dirt, feces and other debris. We design and build our products from the ground up. We borrow none of the short comings from less expensive conventional treadmills (we are not a human treadmill with sides and relocated control). We also utilize industrial grade motors that are typically more expensive than than the total cost of competing treadmills. Our products may be priced higher but because you are buying direct from the manufacturer and we are utilizing higher quality and more expensive components, we feel our products are a much better value by having far less markup than less expensive competing products.
Do you offer any discounts?
Yes, for multiple unit purchases we will provide a discount. Please call or use our inquiry form if you are considering a purchase of two or more treadmills.
What is your warranty and return policy?
We guarantee three things. First, each JOG A DOG machine offers quality and performance unsurpassed by any competitors. Second, each machine has a limited lifetime warranty on ALL parts (limited to original owner). Third, if you are not satisfied with your treadmill you can return it within THIRTY (30) days for a full refund (all shipping expenses paid by customer). We will NOT charge you a restocking fee.
Will a JOG A DOG help my dog's hip dysplasia?
Treadmill exercise may be particularly beneficial for dogs with dysplasia because little active extension of the hip joint is required; rather, the treadmill passively extends the hip by pulling the limb back. The dog then actively advances the limb. This activity may be especially beneficial early in the conditioning program while other treatments are started. Additionally, weight loss results in greatly decreased progression of osteoarthritis. Appropriate exercise and training will also maintain muscle mass that will help improve stability of the hip joint, maintain endurance and maintain the health of the articular cartilage. Consult with your veterinarian.
Do you sell other products?
JOG A DOG, LLC specializes in the manufacturing of high-end treadmills designed explicitly for exercising dogs. We also customize our products to meet the individual needs of our customers. ast modifications included an accessory to exercise mice and rats. In one instance, we modified our machine so a camera could be mounted underneath for studying the gait of alligators. elieve it or not, one machine was purchased to exercise penguins.
Do you sell used machines?
The demand for used JOG A DOG's is very high. Therefore our customers have little difficulty selling their used machines without our help. Additionally, as a manufacturer and retailer, it is not economical for us to deal in our own used equipment. Occasionally, we have demonstration models that we discount $100.00 off the purchase price. Our demonstration models are primarily sold at the shows we attend. Please see our Show Schedule for details.
Do your machines go faster than 12 miles per hour?
Yes, we can make our treadmills run faster, however, please keep in mind that our machines are engineered to provide conditioning. When conditioning a dog it is crucial to emphasize proper form and movement and NOT speed. The least efficient means of locomotion (most difficult) for a dog is a trot. A trot is a coordinated synchronized movement that will insure your dog uses all its muscles and achieves a full body workout. Like a person lifting free weights, emphasis is about form and not how fast the weights are moved. We have had no complaints referencing speed.
How long do I run my dog on the machine?
This is not a breed specific question. Each dog is different and even the same dog will behave differently on different days. This means the operator of the treadmill should know the dog's limitations and should know how to read the dog. Reading a dog is a form of communication where the handler understands how the dog is feeling and understands exactly what the dog needs. For example, every dog does something to alert you when it wants to go outside or is hungry. Simply put, if you do not know how to properly read a dog you should not exercise your dog on a treadmill. Know your dog’s limitations and know the signs when your dog needs you to slow down or end the exercise. Typically a dog will maintain a position near the front. As the dog tires it will begin drifting in an attempt to recover from the exercise. At this point you should know how far to push your dog by calling the dog forward before slowing the treadmill down. Because the exercise is consistent, 15 minutes on a treadmill is not equivalent to 15 minutes behind a bike or anything else. When trotting behind a bicycle the speed is slightly irregular. This change in speed makes a huge difference in training times since the dog is able to recover quickly with slight alterations in speed. As a general principal do not begin an exercise regimen until the dog is completely acclimated and can trot on the treadmill without concentrating. A good indication the dog is acclimated is when the dog trots comfortably on the treadmill in good form and maintains position when the head is lifted. Start with just a few minutes daily and gradually build up about 15-20 minutes. If you feel your dog needs more than this, begin a session in the morning and one in the evening before feeding. When introducing the incline start with just a few minutes and gradually build duration over time as previously discussed. The incline is a muscle building exercise and should be treated different than exercising without a slope.
Can you adjust the incline of the machine?
Yes, the rear elevation supports allow for a slope adjustment of 0-11 degrees. The large model DC6 has an easy lift/lower four position adjustment.
Does the dog need a harness?
No, your dog should always run freely with slack in the lead. It is not recommended to ever use a harness of any type. In fact a harness makes learning more difficult because the loose lead is used to maintain focus when learning. With a harness you lose control over the dog since it is difficult for the dog to feel a slight jiggle of the lead needed to keep the dog focused. Always use a lead to provide control over your dog. The lead should always have slack and used as an aid to keep the dog focused.
What is the difference between JOG A DOG and a non-motorized slat or carpet treadmill?
Non-motorized treadmills are a completely different exercise than motorized treadmills. In general, dogs will trot on a motorized treadmill and dogs will canter or gallop on a non-motorized treadmill. These are two completely different forms of movement (gait). for a dog the trot is a symmetrical movement requiring great coordination and is the least efficient (most difficult) means of locomotion. For these reasons it is the best form of movement for exercising a dog. The gallop or canter on the other-hand is a very efficient means of movement that a dog will typically use to cover long distances at a good speed.
Additionally, to build muscle there has to be some form of resistance. With motorized treadmills the resistance is the dogs own body weight trotting up a slope. Non-motorized treadmills require a harness where the dog presses forward into the harness and swipes its paws to spin the running surface underneath. Typically the running surface is free-spinning where the tension (resistance) is adjustable. The resistance to build muscle is not the dog's body weight but the swiping of the dog's limbs to move the surface below. Part of the difficulty is the jerky-ness caused as the paws strike the free-spinning running surface they are moving. This jerky-ness forces a dog into an asymmetrical gallop or canter type gait for smoothness and efficiency. Dogs on a motorized treadmill will trot freely (symmetrical movement) without a harness because the belt moves at a constant rate and the dog will adjust to the belt speed.
Non-motorized treadmills are more popular with aggressive "bully" breeds. Typically the dogs require encouragement and baiting to press into the harness to alleviate body weight so they can achieve quick bursts to drive the running surface. Motorized treadmills provide a long distance steady trot where muscle development can be achieved by increasing the slope (resistance). For conditioning and exercise, form (gait) is everything and the best form for exercising a dog is slow steady trot. Like lifting free-weights, results are achieved by utilizing proper form and not by how quickly the weights are moved. A motorized treadmill is the best form of exercise because it provides controlled consistency while forcing a dog to trot, drive and move naturally. Dogs have a different cardiovascular system than people and recover quickly when exercise is slowed or altered. The constant movement of the treadmill running surface eliminates cheating (recovery by altering speed) and therefore shortens training time.