Monday, October 24, 2011

Comparison Walks

For a long time I've been meaning to attach a GPS (aka my iPhone) to the girls to see how far, and how fast they go on our walks.  Not surprisingly they are quite different.  I tried to duplicate the same walk for both the girls (aka same path, same level of energy/enthusiasm and same amount of time).  This is our standard "tight timeline walk" and it usually takes us around 40 minutes.  The backpacks (which held the GPS) did change their behaviour a little bit - Lacey was less sassy (and therefore ran a little less than usual) and Coulee's long lead outs were shorter and less frequent, especially at the start of the walk.  But it is as close as I'm going to get unless I buy a GPS to attach to their collars or I condition them to their packs more.

Lacey's Walk:
- she traveled 1.58 km
- we walked for 39 minutes
- her average speed was 2.4 km/hr
- her maximum speed was a whopping 25.3 km/hr.  This surprised me, but it was probably only for about 5 seconds.  LOL
- her highest average speed over a one minute period was 6.2 km/hr

This is the route Lacey took:

As you can see, Lacey sticks pretty much to the path.  I doubt her stats and map would be much different than mine.  She just putters along at her own pace.  She often stops to sniff and then just runs to catch up.  She has occasional bouts of sassiness where she'll attempt to beat Coulee to the toy, but that usually lasts for 5-10 throws at most.  She is pretty content to just putter along (just like her mama).

Coulee's Walk:
- she traveled 3.59 km
- we walked for 38 minutes
- her average speed was 5.7 km/hr
- her maximum speed was 33.1 km/hr
- her highest average speed over a one minute period was 14.8 km/hr

This is the route Coulee took:

Coulee is a fetching machine (when I let her be).  That wide loop you see in the middle is her "leading out".  She often drops the toy at your feet and then takes off.  She does a long loop and doesn't expect you to throw it until you've made eye contact with her.  She'll start to glance over her shoulder as she hits the 3/4 mark of her loop to see when (and where) you are going to throw it.  I try and throw the toy so that she doesn't have any sharp corners and can just keep running along the smooth path she has chosen.  Ideally, she'll be able to catch it just as it is coming down to land.  We used to have our system down to an art form so that she was able to catch more than 50% of my throws, but lately we've had our timing off.  We need to get back in the groove with each other - we are just out of practice.

You can see where Coulee petered out on the way to the river... she just walked along the path with the toy in her mouth.  After the river, she felt refreshed a bit (I took the GPS out of the backpack while the girls went to the river), but she was definitely slower during the second half of our walk.  Her endurance isn't what it used to be. 

I wish I had done this a few years ago when Coulee was in great shape.  I'll be repeating this again in the future to see how different things are.  It will be a great way to track how much the dogs slow down as they age, although I'm hoping that Coulee's will actually be faster in 6 months after I whip her back into shape.


Amy said...

What type of GPS do you have? This looks like it would be fun!

Paws on the Run said...

Amy, I just use the MotionX-GPS app on my iPhone. I think there is a free version, but this is the paid one - about $2 if I remember right.

K-Koira said...

Its neat seeing the trails and everything. If you wanted to go for a cheaper version, they have pedometers you can attach to your dog's collar that records their number of steps. You wouldn't get as many cool stats about the walk, but it would give you a lot in the way of basic info.

Stacey said...

i have to get this app!!!

have to say, i did giggle a little when i saw coulie's walk! definitely a fetcher!

Marlene said...

What a great idea! Love the stats, and, the great visual effect.

Mary Lou said...

I HAD to smile when you described how Lacy STOPS AND SNIFFS areas before CATCHING UP!! ;-}
My Beagle/German Shepherd mix, Rose, DOSE THAT, AS WELL!! Dogs will be dogs.... ;op

WigglyZack said...

Wow that is so cool to look at the GPS and so crazy how Lacey and Coulee are so different in their tracks along the trail.

Squishy said...

That is the coolest thing!! My girlfriend has it for when we condition our endurance horses but to attach it to the dogs is a great idea!