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Monday, September 27, 2010

A blood tracking dog as a canine athlete

Joeri in a hot pursuit of a cottontail rabbit.
Active blood tracking dogs should be treated as canine athletes. Unfortunately, sometimes handlers focus on intensive training on artificial lines, yet they forget about other necessary components required for the optimum performance.

These include physical conditioning and a proper diet. If you want to have a canine partner with adequate level of stamina and enough endurance to take 2-3 deer calls a day, you really have to take a good care of her and condition her in advance of the hunting season. In our case we run our teckels on rabbits all summer. It really conditions them physically and mentally in preparation for the deer tracking and field trialing season. We don't recommend it for inexperienced young dogs as you really want to focus them mainly on blood tracking. But once they know what they are doing and have 1-2 successful deer tracking seasons under their belt, running them on rabbits should not be a problem. It will do more good than harm.

This is a list of resources with good information on physical conditioning and proper diet:
Optimum Performance. Getting the Best out of Your Dog. by Robert L. Gillette, DVM, MSE
Effect of Diet on Hunting Performance of English Pointers by Gary M. Davenport, PhD, Russell L. Kelley, MS, Eric K. Altom, PhD andAllan J. Lepine, PhD
Performance Dog Feeding by Arleigh Reynolds, DVM, PhD, DACVN and Jill Cline, PhD
Does Diet Affect Field Trial Performance by Martin Coffman D.V.M. & Eric Altom Ph.D
The Nutritional Requirements of Exercising Dogs by Richard C. Hill

1 comment:

Stan said...

Good Info! So far, I've found it pretty easy to exercise my pup on days when we're not training....If I walk at a good pace, she has to trot to keep up! An unexpected treat of owning a short legged dog! LOL