Archive for Jun 2014

Whistle

June 12, 2014

I’ll admit it.  I love technology.  Especially technology that other people might consider “gimmicky”. And I love it even more if it has to do with dogs.  There was no doubt that the Whistle was right up my alley.  I bought one a few months ago to help track my aging dog’s activity level. We were having trouble determining what was the “right” amount of exercise.  She thought she could run and fetch for hours still, and while we knew differently it was hard to reign ourselves in when she kept acting like everything felt great… until the evening… when suddenly she was walking like she was 103 years old.

I’ve been dying to put one on the daycare dogs and today we finally did.  Sage got to be our first guinea pig.  Sage is a young boxer/lab cross who plays almost the whole time he is here.  He arrived at 7:35 and left at 4:00.  In those 8.5 hours he was “active” for a whopping 363 minutes (just over 6 hours).

The first graph shows the overall summary.  The blue bars are how “intense” his activity was – each bar represents about 20 minutes.  I love how you can see how his intensity (aka energy level) slowly dwindles throughout the day, with a brief spike at noon when a few new friends arrive for the afternoon and another spike near the end of the day – almost as if he knows he’s leaving soon so he better get some last minute fun in.

photo 1 Whistle

The next three are when you zoom in a bit to see more detail. Now each bar represents about 3 minutes each.  The little bits of blue you see starting at 6 a.m. is me.  :)  I put it in my pocket at home so I wouldn’t forget it.  I ate breakfast, made tea, brushed my teeth and came to work… all that equaled only 1 minute of activity. It then just sat on a collar waiting for Sage to arrive.

photo 2 Whistle

photo 3 Whistle

photo 4 Whistle

As you can see Sage didn’t sit still much at all.  There was a brief time at around 2:40 and just before 3:30 where he stopped moving for more than 3 minutes.  As far as I can tell the dogs need to be moving a fair amount for it to be considered as an “activity” minute.  The little white bars would probably register as “rest” and all the other minutes that aren’t accounted for in his “active” minutes would just count as “awake” but not active.  So for example if I give my dog a bone to chew for an hour, she has blue bars showing that she was awake and not perfectly still, yet it doesn’t register any “activity” minutes as she isn’t up walking around a lot.

As a comparison, here is an “active” day for my 9 year old dog Coulee.  You can see the little blip when we got up at 6 a.m., how she puttered a bit with us as we got ready, that I can home around noon,  we went for an hour walk at around 1, she probably barked at the window, or chased the cats around 4:40, my husband got home just before 6 when she ate, I got home after 6:30 said hello and then we played for a bit at 7 and then went to bed at 9.  (Yes I go to bed early!)  That was 81 minutes of activity total, with 60 minutes on a walk. So that means there was only 20 minutes of other activity as she putters around the house and in the backyard.  Quite different from Sage at daycare!

photo Whistle

If find the information on these things fascinating!  I can’t wait to put it on more dogs at daycare.