Research into new heart medicines is being helped by these dogs. The dogs are exercised daily and trained to work with the researchers, by jumping onto weighing scales for example. Heart function is measured using ultrasound scanning, much like the scanning used to see the developing foetus in a pregnant women.
A literature reference on this model is: G. Hanton, B. Geffray, A. Lodola. Echocardiography, a non-invasive method for the investigation of heart morphology and function in laboratory dogs: 1. Method and reference values for M-mode parameters. Laboratory Animals (1998) 32, 173-182. Download this film here: http://www.understandinganimalresearch.org.uk/resources/video-library