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Eric Wettschreck

Preperations

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It's a bit off yet, but never too early to get ready.

I have a HUGE pointer. He has pretty full run of the 3 acre yard keeping bunnies and cats and possims and other critters away, and this keeps him going. However, a while ago I looked at him and said, "Dude, you fat." Hey, a lazy spring and summer of loaafing (in a dogs world) will get them that way.

I know hunting season is a ways off yet but I expect more than 15 minutes in the field from my dog. I'm not going to be the preachy dude or the guy that claims to be some kind of expert dog fitness/trainer type guy, but hey, fat is fat in a dog or in a person...fat is fat and ya just can't hunt for 3 hard days iffin you're fat.

Knowing this I've started working out Jeffrey....the really big shorthair. Knowing he roams the yard and doesn't spend all day sleeping on the couch helps, but he still needs some work to get ready for November. I've been tying him to my wheeler (I don't jog) and taking walks. This went on for aboot 2 weeks. Now, we run. Not real fast, but he's running. Soon, he'll be runnin about 3 miles a day (tied to the 4 wheeler).

Starting the dogs now, slow at first, will help come huntin season. I realize there are a lot of different ways people use to get/keep the dogs in shape for hunting season. No matter your method, and I'm no expert, I say don't wait until the last minute. Start now and start slow and build strength and endurance.

Good luck to all yous guys out there, now and this fall!!!

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Excellent advice Boilerguy. I saw a lot of overweight dogs at the Gamefair this weekend. There are lots of ways to get your dog in condition for fall hunting. Running, swimming, and my favorite, pulling weight work great. That and restricting the diet a little will whip'em into shape in short order.

The best is to not let them get out of shape in the first place but it happens. I generally cut back food after winter to keep the weight off so my little GSP is never more than a few pounds over her hunting weight. But I don't keep her in shape either and start roading her in Aug/Sept to build up muscle and stamina.

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