Walking the dogs with AW

tedley

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 3, 2009
24
9
Sacramento
I'm about ready to purchase an apple watch and have a question about how it tracks waling.

I have two 70 lb. GSDs and take them on a 5K walk several times a week. I have read that the watch tracks walking/running by arm movement. I'd be wearing the watch on my left hand, but I also hold the leashes in my left hand. As a result, my left arm makes considerably less movement due to holding the leashes. Would this reduction in movement decrease the AW's ability to accurately record the distance of my walks?
 

Mlrollin91

macrumors G5
Nov 20, 2008
13,475
8,685
Ventura County
Yes. It would drastically reduce the accuracy. Even when I go for walks/runs and hold a water bottle in my left hand, it reduces the accuracy because the weight prevents a full arm swing. You would either need to wear the watch on your right wrist, or hold the leash with your right hand for full accuracy.
 

FrisbeeK9

macrumors 6502a
Jun 26, 2006
625
234
I'm about ready to purchase an apple watch and have a question about how it tracks waling.

I have two 70 lb. GSDs and take them on a 5K walk several times a week. I have read that the watch tracks walking/running by arm movement. I'd be wearing the watch on my left hand, but I also hold the leashes in my left hand. As a result, my left arm makes considerably less movement due to holding the leashes. Would this reduction in movement decrease the AW's ability to accurately record the distance of my walks?
I'm left handed and wear the watch on my left hand as well as hold my dogs leash with the left. I haven't noticed any less accuracy on my walks. The activity app tracks my movement on the map. Maybe I'm missing something.
 
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tedley

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 3, 2009
24
9
Sacramento
Yes. It would drastically reduce the accuracy. Even when I go for walks/runs and hold a water bottle in my left hand, it reduces the accuracy because the weight prevents a full arm swing. You would either need to wear the watch on your right wrist, or hold the leash with your right hand for full accuracy.
That's good to know. Thank you!

I usually have my iPhone in my pocket. Would the phone and the watch sync and choose the higher total assuming the lower totals missed steps, or would one device take priority?
 

Newtons Apple

Suspended
Mar 12, 2014
22,764
14,917
Jacksonville, Florida
That's good to know. Thank you!

I usually have my iPhone in my pocket. Would the phone and the watch sync and choose the higher total assuming the lower totals missed steps, or would one device take priority?
Just checked and my iPhone and AW agree to the step.

Interesting as I leave my phone on the desk at times when going out into the warehouse. Does the watch over rule the phone or does the phone over rule the watch?
 
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SDColorado

Contributor
Nov 6, 2011
4,262
4,205
Highlands Ranch, CO
I'm left handed and wear the watch on my left hand as well as hold my dogs leash with the left. I haven't noticed any less accuracy on my walks. The activity app tracks my movement on the map. Maybe I'm missing something.
I have not either. I have taken a route with my dog /left wrist/leash in left and haven't noticed a significant difference in tracking, when taking the same walk without the dogs.
 

Mlrollin91

macrumors G5
Nov 20, 2008
13,475
8,685
Ventura County
That's good to know. Thank you!

I usually have my iPhone in my pocket. Would the phone and the watch sync and choose the higher total assuming the lower totals missed steps, or would one device take priority?
Just checked and my iPhone and AW agree to the step.

Interesting as I leave my phone on the desk at times when going out into the warehouse. Does the watch over rule the phone or does the phone over rule the watch?
Yes. The watch is default over the phone. So what you are seeing in health is only the watch. Therefore in the OPs situation, steps would not get counted. You can set it up for the phone to be default but then watch wouldn't keep track.
 
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SDColorado

Contributor
Nov 6, 2011
4,262
4,205
Highlands Ranch, CO
From what I understand, the tracking by the AW is a lot more sophisticated than simple arm swing and makes use of several sensors, including the heart rate monitor, 3-axis accelerometer, Gyroscope and GPS, either from the phone or AW2. The heart monitor supposedly to assist in telling the AW, whether you are really moving, vs waving vs just moving your wrist. The GPS to help calculate your total distance traveled over a certain time and divide it by the average step.

Which is why calibration is so important. CNet had an interesting comparison of devices where a calibrated AW did very well, while the uncalibrated watch, not so well...

https://www.cnet.com/news/smartwatch-step-counter-and-distance-tracker-accuracy/

My advice, if you generally walk your dogs, would be to calibrate the AW while walking the dogs. That is likely to provide you with a more accurate result when dog walking.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
30,292
30,538
There is apps that measure walking distance with GPS data from the watch,much better for walks in terrain.
That's true, I guess it would depend on the terrain that you're referring to. But I also want to caution that certain apps are Horrible in tracking the data.
 

matrix07

macrumors 601
Jun 24, 2010
4,917
1,413
OP, my advice would be use Outdoor Walk workout when you walk the dog. That way it will not matter if you swing your arm correctly 'cause the watch will use GPS to determine distance anyway.