Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences

Date of Last Revision

2024-06-04 07:26:23


Biomedical Science

Honors Course

BIOL 499

Number of Credits


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2024


The sport of sled dog racing has become popular in recent years, where teams of dogs navigate Arctic conditions anywhere from a few hundred to a thousand miles, usually within 10 days. To prepare for these competitions, dogs are subjected to rigorous training months prior to the race that results in significant changes to the physiology of their bones and muscles. This study aims to determine differences in gait kinetics between female and male sled dogs. Ten dogs, five females and five males, were recorded trotting from a lateral view for three weightbased trials to simulate different amounts of weight pulling on the harness. Markers were attached to dogs at major anatomical landmarks to determine 2D joint angles. The hypothesis tested was that female dogs will have significantly different joint angles, specifically at the shoulder and carpus (i.e., wrist), than male dogs. Mixed effect models with repeated measures on the individual were performed. Results indicated a significantly smaller maximum joint angle of the carpus in female dogs compared to males at 9 lbs of pulling pressure, similar to what is experienced while racing. No other significant results were reported, only partially supporting the hypothesis. Limitations include the lack of accounting for differences in conformation while standing in different individuals, variables such as age, and imperfect reflection of the dog’s attitude and performance while collecting data in a laboratory setting. These findings can aid in creating appropriate training regimens that reduce injuries and improve fitness of working dogs from any background.

Research Sponsor

Rachel Olson

First Reader

Qin Liu

Second Reader

B. Audrey Nguyen-Rudy

Honors Faculty Advisor

Brian Bagatto

Proprietary and/or Confidential Information


Included in

Biomechanics Commons



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