WooFWheel

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WoofWheel3With my new-found dog powered lifestyle, keeping my dogs in physical shape was quickly becoming my number one priority. I saw how physical fitness improved their quality of life and maintained their happiness. A hinderance to exercise routines was inclement weather.  Additionally, as they aged, I needed a way to exercise them in a more controlled environment. At the time, my free ranging options were limited. Therefore to supplement their exercise I turned to treadmill training. This hound round was an extension of the treadmill.

WooFWheel4

 

The hound round is a large dog sized hamster wheel. It is designed so that there is no lower support. All weight of the wheel and dog is carried by upper supports with rollers.  This ingenious design keeps the lower areas free of any working parts that could injure the dog. To add resistance, a generator is attached and can actually light a light bulb! Talking about dog powered sports! A treat dispenser motivates the dog and has adjustable speed settings, so that the dog gets a treat in a range from one every 6 turns to one every hundred. There is also a peanut butter belt, that moves as the dog spins the wheel, allowing the dog to eat more peanut butter. Lastly you can motivate the dog using the kibble dispenser. Once again, as they walk, their food is released.  All of these food options are to motivate the dog to learn to use the machine.  Food and heavy exercise is not advised with dogs because of bloating concerns.  Once the dogs have learned to use the device, the food encouragement is removed for more engaged exercise.

Woofwheel1A gentleman from North Carolina custom-built this for me. At the time, 2009, this was the largest he ever made. He had problems scaling up some of the features and certainly had problems transporting it (it’s a beast). But it turned out beautiful!.  A real work of technological art!

In hindsight, I would have designed this with a wider tread.  My dogs were intimidated by the narrow tread, I attached the 2x4s to help give them a sense of security.  Power assist would also help in the initial training of the dogs in its use.

Here is a copy of the supplied instructions:

HoundRound Instructions

2 COMMENTS

  1. […] We all know that sometimes we can run into situations beyond our control that can prevent us from going outside, such as severe weather conditions. In my area, we get an occasional blizzard and other weather related events that will keep us at home for an extended period of time. For these situations, I have customized a treadmill (click here to see the treadmill) that I use to run/walk the dogs. I’ve also had fabricated a custom built device I like to call the WOOFWheel, this is a wheel similar to what mushers use in Alaska for their dogs when at home. The wheel looks like a big hamster wheel that the dogs can run on, to air it out when we are at home! Click here to see the WooFWheel! […]

  2. I would like to purchase 2 exercise wheels for my sled dog kennel. Where can I get these or hire someone to make them for me? I will transport them myself. Thanks Annie

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