Activity Types: Doggy Math

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What is a Doggy Math?

Doggy Math is a problem often used to introduce EXCEL to students for the purpose of data collection and comparison.

Here's the problem:

Mr. Lafleur buys a dog. He takes him to the vet for a checkup. The vet tells Mr. Lafleur that his dog need 36 square feet for his pen.

Mr. Lafleur goes to a fence company owned by Mr. Fontenot to have a pen made. He informs Mr. Fontenot of the size pen the vet suggested and says, “I guess you make it a 6 foot square.” BUT, Mr. Fontenot says, “Oh, no! Your dog will not really have room to run an exercise.” Mr. Fontenot suggest the pen be 12 feet or even 18 feet by 2 feet as this size pen encloses 36 square feet but also gives the dog a longer distance in which to run.

Download the EXCEL file. Use the work table at the top to find out if Mr. Fontenot is correct. Then, answer the other questions on the sheet.

What dimensions will give the dog the MOST room to run around?
Suppose the fence costs $10.00 per foot. If the only requirement is that the pen encloses 36 square feet as the vet suggest, what shall Mr. Lefleur do?

What shape pen costs the least?
What shape pen costs the most?
How many pen choices does Mr. Lafleur have?
List each different pen shape with its cost in the cells below!

Click here for the best solution to the problem!!

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Candace Figg, PhD
Brock University
Faculty of Education, Teacher Education Department
500 Glenridge, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada L2S 3A1
(905.688.5550, x5347)


Jenny Burson, EdD
University of Texas at Austin (retired)
Education Department, Curriculum and Instruction
jburson@mail.utexas.edu