Daily treadmill time makes Nala a calm happy hound

2011-06-16 00:00

WE have a Boston terrier called Nala Moonbeam, fondly referred to as Sample Size as she never grew to full-breed specifications. Early on we knew she would challenge us. Walks in the park were impossible. She would hear or see something and off she went, ignoring our desperate calls to return. Puppy socialising ended abruptly when she decided she’d had enough of the funny looks the Australian cattle dog was giving her, twisted out of her collar and charged. The cattle dog retaliated and Nala got badly bitten. We had a problem.

Doreen Stapleberg (our local expert on all things canine) suggested we begin agility work to help Nala expend energy and learn to focus. We began individual clicker training to help Nala, especially with the recall problems. Nala loved it all. With tons of patience and Stapleberg’s Sunday lunch leftover chicken treats, Nala became more confident and her recall improved. However, in any class work she still wanted to eat the other dogs.

During this time we were watching The Dog Whisperer. Our problems were reflected in so many of the cases. According to Cesar Millan there was much we could do to regain balance in her life and our lives. Our somewhat slack discipline policy had to change and our overindulging “love you to death” approach was hurting her. The amount of exercise she was getting was also not enough.

Therefore, for Christmas 2010 Nala got a treadmill. Millan’s dictum, “Exercise, discipline and love” (in that order) became our motto. With much calm, assertive breathing and good-quality treats (biltong of course), Nala began her gym programme. She loved it. None too soon, as on December 26 two new Bostie siblings arrived.

Nala now runs every morning for about 15 minutes and comfortably reaches speeds of up to 10 km/h. Soon her siblings were also competing for time on the treadmill. In Nala’s case the benefits were almost instant. Starting the day well exercised and thus drained of all excess energy, she turned out to be an amazing older sister, accepting the new pups into her pack without effort. She now also hosts an informal weekend get-together of other Bosties and it is a phenomenal sight to see nine Bosties tearing around our garden with Nala and her football in the lead.

NOTE: It requires only human patience and good treats for a healthy dog to begin running on a treadmill. It is, however, most important that you start slowly and always stay within the boundaries of your dog’s abilities.

Running on a treadmill is also indicated for older dogs, dogs in post-operative rehabilitation or dogs suffering from degenerative joint disease. In these cases, it is imperative that you do so with the help and guidance of your registered animal physiotherapist.

For more information, you are welcome to contact us at kalin@telkomsa.net.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.