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    • Rick

      Members Only Fluid Forum View   08/08/2017

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JPowell

Getting in Shape

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Just wondering what other people are doing to condition/run thier dogs for the upcoming Pheasant season?

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Might seem sort of simple but my lab absolutly loves to fetch the kong frisbee. he could do it all day. Now that its cooler I can do it more often, it gets him tired. Also kept a bunch of pheasant wings from last fall. I duct tape them to a dummy and throw it, he loves that too. Keeps me in some sort of shape.

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I just try to get mine out for long walks each night and lots of fetch and running around the yard. I try to for the most part keep him in fairly good shape year around. He is only a 1 1/2 years old Britt so I need to get him to use up some energy anyway. I know some people that have the set-up with their 4 wheelers so they can realy get the work in for the dog.

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Nothing frown we found out our 8 YO springer's kidneys are not so good, so her hunting days are over. Vet said she needs a "stress free life". I'm thinkin', she sleeps in our bed, naps throughout the day, gets fed, how much stress does she have!! She will now be a happy non hunting house dog until she can chase pheasants forever.

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With a mature dog I would hop on the bike and take him for long walks...but more at a jogging type pace. Others will do this on 4 wheelers or whatever they have available. We start shorter then increased distance as we progressed over a number of weeks. If you can get onto dirt roads or something along those lines it also helps build up the toughness of the pads of their feet, which is very helpful when your dog is doing a lot of hunting. The point is to get them back in shape and conditioned to continuous durations of exercise.

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What kinda of distance are we talking? Yards, Mile, Miles? I like the toughness of the pads thing...i never thought of it that way.

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Could be anywhere from starting out around 1 mile to going 10 or more miles. Kind if up to the individual and their dog, and the hunting you expect to do with your dog.

I know multiple people that do a lot of upland hunting that road up to 4-7+ miles a day, 3-5 times a week. Most are not doing this on sidewalks and tar roads.....but dirt roads, grass, etc. Usually at a trot.

I personally was only doing up to 2-3 miles at a trot (no running), mostly daily toward the end right before hunting season. I think I started in late August. But my dog had known joint issues before I even started so I did not want to push him very hard.

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My wife and I go jogging with the dog. She'll go up to 6 miles and I'll go up to 4 miles. I also have a roading harness that I hang chains off of to give her resistance so she builds muscle and strength. I let her pull that while I walk behind her.

Swimming is also a good option. My dog loves to swim.

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It's a lot of work but I try to keep him in hunting shape all year long. We can't wait for the season. Also, top dog power sticks are a great tool to keep the dog going during the hunting season. A great energy source. I didnt think my dog needed it with him being so young, but I did notice a difference on the second or third day of a trip or weekend.

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I have been running him down the gravel road and he has taken to it quite nicely. these cool nights and mornings have been great form him. i don't think it will take to long to get him in shape and ready for the Pheasant opener. What are these power bars that you give you dog?

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