03180-A: Agility Dog Activity Load Measurement Using a Web-based Application and Handler-provided Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE)

Grant Status: Open

Grant Amount: $11,081
Debra Sellon, DVM, PhD; Washington State University
August 1, 2023 - July 31, 2024

Sponsor(s): National Beagle Club

Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: General Canine Health
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Canine agility is growing in popularity with a concomitant increase in interest in evidence-based practices that support optimal athletic  performance. There are no studies on the relationship between training and activity load and risk of injury in agility dogs. Validated instruments to record training load in sporting dogs are not available. In contrast, there is an abundance of information on this topic for human and equine athletes.

The researchers propose to develop and test a web-based survey instrument in which agility dog handlers can quickly and easily report a daily rating of perceived exertion (RPE) for agility-specific training activities (aRPE) and for all total daily activities (dRPE).  Investigators will ask 410 agility dog handlers of varying experience levels to complete the training and activity log daily for 30 days to determine rates of compliance. Successful completion of this project and subsequent validation will yield a simple, easily implemented tool that can be adapted to an application for smart phones. This will enable evaluation of canine activity load with a tool that is applicable to all sporting and working dogs.

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