Journal or Book Title
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Dog training may strengthen the dog–owner bond, a consistent predictor of dog walking behavior. The Stealth Pet Obedience Training (SPOT) study piloted dog training as a stealth physical activity (PA) intervention. In this study, 41 dog owners who reported dog walking ≤3 days/week were randomized to a six-week basic obedience training class or waitlist control. Participants wore accelerometers and logged dog walking at baseline, 6- and 12-weeks. Changes in PA and dog walking were compared between arms with targeted maximum likelihood estimation. At baseline, participants (39 ± 12 years; females = 85%) walked their dog 1.9 days/week and took 5838 steps/day, on average. At week 6, intervention participants walked their dog 0.7 more days/week and took 480 more steps/day, on average, than at baseline, while control participants walked their dog, on average, 0.6 fewer days/week and took 300 fewer steps/day (difference between arms: 1.3 dog walking days/week; 95% CI = 0.2, 2.5; 780 steps/day, 95% CI = −746, 2307). Changes from baseline were similar at week 12 (difference between arms: 1.7 dog walking days/week; 95% CI = 0.6, 2.9; 1084 steps/day, 95% CI = −203, 2370). Given high rates of dog ownership and low rates of dog walking in the United States, this novel PA promotion strategy warrants further investigation.
Physical Activity, Wellness and Health: Challenges, Benefits and Strategies
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Potter, Katie; Masteller, Brittany; and Balzer, Laura B., "Examining Obedience Training as a Physical Activity Intervention for Dog Owners: Findings from the Stealth Pet Obedience Training (SPOT) Pilot Study" (2021). International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 588.