SP Kennel is a premier sled dog racing kennel in Two Rivers, Alaska, dedicated to the individual dog through excellent health, nutrition, training and specialized care.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Summer Research Means Summer Fun

A quick recap. Eighteen of SP Kennel's canine athletes are participating in a research project to determine the effects of electrolyte supplementation during varying exercise regimes on the dogs' overall hydration levels and ultimately their physical endurance. The results will be used to assist the US Armed Forces in training their military canine corps.

Our 18 research dogs are happily ensconced in their new kennel 'condo'. By this time, each has figured out the 'doggie door', so life is good. Actually I think they feel pretty special.

The researchers have randomly divided our squad of 18 into 3 test groups of six. For a six week period, the different groups will receive varying doses of electrolytes. Group One gets a full dose based on Dr. Davis' previous studies. Group Two get one half that dose. Group Three, the control group, gets no supplement added. Per Aliy, this is equivalent to pro basketball players drinking different amounts of Gatorade prior to a game.

Then the games begin! Three times per week each dog participates in a free run through the woods and along the trails of Two Rivers. This week we started with one hour runs. Each week the run time is gradually increased.

Successful free runs take planning. First, Aliy and Ryne chose research dogs who would stick close to their buddies and know the way home if they got separated. Secondly, Ryne takes 3- 4 test dogs on each run. She frequently keeps one dog on a leash since the animals tend to congregate together. Lastly, each dog is fitted with a gps transmitting collar to record location and the number of miles traveled in a given time period. Ryne keeps the gps receiver close by. Some dogs (Happy) like to stay close. Others, like Waylon, run happily around investigating every tree and rock.

Hope you enjoy this video of a recent research run. Do you think these dogs are enjoying the summer?




8 comments:

Linda Toth said...

"Oh man, what a great vacation this is turning out to be, right Happy?"

"You got that right, Hank. I love the luxury hotel. This vacation is great; usually we just hang around at home. That's nice and relaxing, but we should do this kind of trip more often!"

"Only down side is going back to work in the fall. It's my meal ticket and I love my job and my boss, you know? But it is work and paying attention - this is just plain a blast, right, Chica? Chica, Chica!"

margieb said...

very cool video, Aliy... I was inspired to whip up a glass of Gatorade and toast your research doggies...
They all look just great... but don't let any of them enlist in the Army... Would rather see them on the trail to Nome

Lisa B said...

Fun video, thanks for posting! So Tig, as the resident retriever, may not be part of the study but I see she's enjoying the benefit of free runs with the huskies. Perhaps teaching them to leap enthusiastically into the pond shown at 1:40 on the video? If she turns them all into water dogs you'll have a leg-up for charging through overflow on the trail.

Yes, I'd say the dogs are enjoying summer quite a bit. Hope all the humans are doing as well as the canines. Thanks for posting info about the research study to the Dog Log.

Marla BB said...

There're 2 funny looking Alaskan Huskies in that video, 1's all black & 1's all curly haired...
Are they part of the test too?:)
So awesome that they don't run away!
And you have no porcupines, right?...

Nancy Moreau said...

Looks like a great romp out in the beautiful state of Alaska! The dogs are surely happy!

Mari said...

I see a Jezebel! Looks like you guys are having a ton of fun!

Macgellan said...

Hang on for a second while I wipe the tears of joy from my eyes!

Margaret said...

Now this is what I call having fun!

"How're we goin' to keep'm down on the farm after they've seen Paris?"

Or, will there be harness rejection post study period?

I'll bet ChaCha is figuring that she will get the sublease on the condo...woof!!!