Maximum Heart Rates for Humans and Dogs
Sport scientists typically use heart rate measured in beats per minute
As an indicator of how hard an athlete can and should exercise
aerobically. There is an optimal "training zone" which is generally between 50-75% of the maximum heart rate. In humans, the maximal
heart rate is about 220 beats per minute, so the training zone is
about 150-175, depending on the age of the individual.
Problem is, dogs have maximal heart rates far above humans and
far higher than most Agility fanciers are aware of. During exercise,
the canine heart can beat 300 beats per minute, which would prove
fatal to any human athlete. At 300 beats per minute, the canine
heart pumps several times every second! By the time your own feet
begin to hurt and you're running out of air, your dog is actually just
getting warmed up. In reality, dogs have to work very hard to reach
the upper levels of their training heart rate zones. Workouts that are taxing for humans exert the dog much less. For example, running at a rate that exhausts humans is far below even the lower range of the canine training zone for a fit dog.
So is your dog really receiving enough exercise, just running loose in the yard? It’s been my observation, the dog will just go lay in the shade.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Preparing Your Dog for Your New Baby" class we teach at several local hospitals, we point out to expectant parents that if their dog gets up and leaves if the baby crawls in the dog's direction, this is a clear sign the dog is uncomfortable with the child's presence. The other side of the coin is that, at least in some circles, fear is cited as motivating behavior even when there are no observable signs of fear. For example, some folks believe that despite offensive body postures, a threatening dog is actually fearful and is choosing an "I"ll get you before you get me" tactic. Because we can't ask animals how they are feeling, we use physiologic and behavioral measures to make inferences about their emotional states. If folks are now claiming we can no longer rely on these indicators then it seems we are back to anthropomorphic guess work in our efforts to determine whether an animal's behaviors are fear related or not.