What are BarkPoints? Are they steps?
Marcus Prado avatar
Written by Marcus Prado
Updated over a week ago

BarkPoints are a proxy for total physical activity.

As much as we all understand human steps easily, the dog step cycle is one of the most complex and fascinating wonders of mother nature. It’s so complex that veterinarians almost never mention steps in their research with accelerometers.

Another problem with steps is that it’s not a rigorous scientific metric. For instance, a 1-mile run will get your dog fewer steps than a 1-mile walk, although he/she’s being “more active”.

On the other hand, distance measurement (e.g. miles) derives from certain assumptions about strides and gaits, which are not straightforward given the variability of the dogs out there.

So we developed our own point system, which we describe below.


A proprietary point system that measures physical activity in line with best veterinary practices in terms of “activity counts” generated from 3D accelerometer readings. Accelerometer readings are taken multiple times per seconds and integrated over a 1-minute epoch. A similar point system is widely adopted by researchers who run clinical studies using accelerometers on dogs.

In simple words, the more the sensor moves on your dog’s collar, the more points it collects. Resting accounts for few points per minute.

If you’d like to learn more about what’s typical for dogs of various breeds, ages, weight and other parameters, check out FitBark Explore.

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