The effect of a traditional and a stick gang-line on the body position of working sled dogs

Pittet, F, McGowan, CM ORCID: 0000-0002-1946-9584 and Hyytiainen, HK
(2021) The effect of a traditional and a stick gang-line on the body position of working sled dogs. COMPARATIVE EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY, 17 (3). pp. 285-294.

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<jats:p>This study aimed to investigate the effect of two different gang-lines on the pulling angle of sled dogs. It was hypothesised that dogs would run with a straighter angle of pull (in relation to the main-line) in stick gang-lines (STICK) than they would do in traditional gang-lines (TRAD). Eight sled dogs, divided into two teams, ran a 3.1 km trail twice in both types of gang-lines, pulling a quadbike on dry ground. Each dog remained in its team in the same position (side of gang line, and forward or back in the line) for both runs, using both types of lines in randomised order between the runs. Markers were placed on the dogs and on the main lines, and the runs were recorded by a video camera. The dogs’ angle of pull measured from the video recordings was compared between the two conditions. Thirteen positional measurements for each dog during each run were taken. The dogs were used to running in TRAD and were not acclimatised to STICK. Data was analysed using Wilcoxon and Spearmans rho tests. Data regarding individual dogs (n=13), teams (n=52), dogs’ placements in teams (n=4), and gang-line related pulling angles (n=104) was analysed. Overall, the position of the dogs was straighter when pulling in STICK, than when pulling in TRAD, with a median of 19° (inter quartile range (IQR) 24.75°) and 32° (IQR 25.75°), respectively (<jats:italic>P</jats:italic>&lt;0.001). Between the two teams, there was no significant difference in pulling positions when running in STICK (<jats:italic>P</jats:italic>=0.543), but there was in TRAD (<jats:italic>P</jats:italic>&lt;0.001). In individual assessment, six of the eight dogs ran in a straighter position (<jats:italic>P</jats:italic>=0.003 to 0.046) in STICK. Dogs running in the front of both teams pulled significantly straighter when in STICK (21°; IQR 23.75) than in TRAD (median 39°; IQR 18; <jats:italic>P</jats:italic>&lt;0.001).</jats:p>

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: pulling position, kinematic, dog welfare
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2021 16:53
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2023 11:16
DOI: 10.3920/CEP200049
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