It’s with a heavy heart that I have to report that we have to end our study. During one of our coordinated play times, there was a fight between a couple of the male dogs. One of the alpha male dogs ended up biting the throat of another male dog and killing it.
As a result, one of the female dogs attacked the surviving alpha male dog and killed it.
It was a truly devastating day. Unfortunately, we had to put down that female dog. Once a dog kills like that, it’s very difficult to rehabilitate them.
As for the rest of the dogs, we have placed them in good hands with the local adoption agency that we had gotten them from.
Personally, I am extremely upset that we aren’t going to be able to conclude the study. We were starting to obtain some promising data that certainly would have produced conclusive results.
I don’t think I’m going to attempt to start up a similar study. I found myself bonding with the dogs and was devastated by the ultimate loss of three of them.
I’m not sure what I’m going to channel my efforts on going forward, but I’ll certainly let you all know.
We have finally reached phase 2 of our study! Despite a few bumps in the road, we have made it!
We are so excited to begin phase 2 tomorrow. We plan on having the bootie group walk around in them for 15 minutes.
We’re not sure how the dogs are going to react. Quite frankly, after seeing the temperament of these dogs the past couple of years, I highly doubt that they’re going to react well.
However, the only way to tell is to actually put the booties on the dogs and see!
We plan on having the dogs wear the booties for 15 minutes for the first week, 30 minutes the week after, and so on, until we hit 1 hour per day per week.
After that, we’re going to take a break for a month and resume the same increments.
The last time that we updated, we talked about how we were looking for a solution that would prevent our dogs from getting injured, which would render our study useless.
Over the past few weeks, we have been testing the idea of segregating the play groups. We’ve only been placing four dogs in each playgroup, for four hours at a time. We then rotate two of the dogs from one playgroup to another, and vice versa. Rinse and repeat for the 20 hours that the dogs are awake.
This gives all of the dogs exposure to one another, while controlling how much chaos the dogs are exposed to.
It also helps that the dogs are beginning to show characteristics of adulthood.
This should greatly lessen the amount of energy that they’re going to be wildly expending.
Soon enough we’ll be able to head on to phase two of the study.
Things have been going pretty well with the dogs. Considering how hyper they all are, we have only had a few, minor accidents. A couple of the dogs have acquired little nicks and scratches here and there. Fortunately, none of the dogs have had any major injuries to their legs or muscles.
We’ve consulted with several leading researchers and have determined that if one of our dogs has injured their leg during their adolescence, that our study could be in jeopardy.
With that in mind, we are juggling how we want to proceed going forward. We know how important it is for all of our dogs to socialize.
Not only do we want them to be well-developed, but we want them to expend all of their energy. These dogs are not meant to be pent up all day and night.
In fact, by exercising the dogs, we’re actually going to be able to get much more accurate results of our booties research.
Think about it – dogs that are in people’s homes aren’t pent up all day. They are running around all crazy. Then their owners decide to go outside and put booties on the dog.
We want our dogs to have a similar growing up experience in order to replicate the real-world scenarios.
We’re really going to have to put our head’s together on this one. I’m sure that we will find a solution!
The dogs have continued to grow. We have done a good job thus far of keeping the dogs in a stable, controlled environment.
As you can imagine, this is going to be a long-term study. If things go as planned, we will be studying these dogs for over 10 years.
Hopefully, and I really mean hopefully, our theory proves incorrect and all of these dogs live long, healthy lives.
Anyways, back to the dogs. They’re growing stronger and stronger everyday. It’s amazing how fast labradors grow. It seems like just yesterday we were picking them up from the adoption agency. Now they’re all around 50 pounds and full of energy.
You think having two hyper dogs is bad? Trying having 8.
Good thing we have plenty of funding! These dogs go through so much dog food and dog toys 🙂
We supervise the dogs for a period of 20 out of the 24 hours in a day. During the other 4 hours, each dog is left in their own dog playpen to rest. Typically, each dog will take a nap during the day, but it’s not a good sleep. This is because the other dogs are always looking to play and constantly nibbling on each other’s ears. As you can imagine, you’re not going to get quality sleep with all the rough-housing going on.
Phase 1 of our research has gone relatively well. For the most part, we’ve been collecting a group of local dogs that are going to be participating in our study.
In order to have control over the dog’s environment, we have adopted a litter of 8 labradors from a local adoption agency.
We originally wanted to have owners bring their dogs in to volunteer for the ongoing research, but ultimately we concluded that there would be too many extraneous factors that could impact the results.
By having all of the dogs living within our research facility, we’re going to be able to control what they are exposed to.
We’re separating the dogs into two groups – booties and no booties. None of the dogs are going to be receiving exposure to the dog booties until they are fully developed around the age of 2.5.
There are a multitude of factors that can influence the growth of a dog’s muscles and bones. If our theory is correct, then exposing the dogs to booties at a much younger age could definitely tip the scales of our results.