With 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.
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.
A 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: