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?

Labels: ,