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Topic Review (Newest First)
08-28-2014 04:22 PM
Pioneer53 Joy Henderson Pulling Harness

Looks like this may be the harness in question... Nothing on the protocol though.
08-28-2014 12:08 PM
RocketDog * I should clarify our daily route is 2 miles to the top of the saddle, so four miles round-trip.
08-28-2014 11:52 AM
RocketDog I'm going to add my .02, as I'm sure Blitzkrieg will hang on my every word.

You can diss backpacking all you want but I have hiked my dog on a regular (4-5 times a week) basis since October of the year he was born (he was born in June). Many different mileage routes, but I am lucky to live in a small mountain range and there is a great little route right behind my house that is 2 miles and 1200' of elevation gain that is really a 'daily' thing for us. I put his pack on his second fall, and I usually fill it with about 5-7lbs for these, but even without that, navigating the rocks, climbing, short bursts of sprinting (game, which now we use as training and fun) muscled him unbelievably. His vets, his breeder, the people who work at the local pet store where I get his food (there are several hunting dog owners who compete in field trials on a regular basis, and they always comment on how nice it is to see a dog, particularly a GSD that is so muscled), everyone who pets him is always like "Wow! He's got some serious muscle under there".

I haven't ever put him in a ring so I don't know about his endurance there, but his general endurance is great. He can hike 10-12 miles in 90 degree weather without blinking an eye, and still be up for romping around camp-- he acts like he barely went around the block (he packs more weight on actual backpacks-- and these aren't 10 mile walks around the block, either). On one hike, a ten miler with 4,000' of gain in the first 6 miles, we banked on some creeks still being available to refill our water bottles, as we only took 4 liters with us. The highs that day down in the nearest town were listed at 92, hiking on the switchbacks in the alpine zone in the sun felt the same. No creeks, it was mid-July and they were gone already. The dog only got a liter, and did fine. My husband, on the other hand had to have two liters because he was cramping up in the quads.

He runs 8-9 milers with me about 4 times a week, and we've had a summer that was very hot--we had three days in July below 90, and August was pretty nice too. He can swim like nobody's business. And don't even get me started on his endurance in the cold. 10 degree days are his favorite. FTR, post-holing in the snow for a dog builds great endurance and muscle.

He isn't always jumping up and down from rocks, either. He climbs a lot. My running race times have improved greatly since I started hiking with him on a regular basis, and I am glad I started hiking him young. I think it really helped his muscle development, plus it helps him retain the muscle he could lose running those distances. If he wasn't a lc I'd post a pic of him.

Of course, if you live in flat land, then I don't know.
08-28-2014 11:28 AM
Galathiel I live in East Texas and we just don't do a lot in the summer. The humidity combined with the heat is hard on a dog that lives inside. I can't acclimate him as I don't have a secure place at the moment that I would trust to leave him for extended periods of time outside, so we just play for shorter periods of time (20-30 minutes) and then he comes inside to cool off. It takes a lonnnng time to cool off.

He would definitely benefit from acclimation to the temperature. I think your dog probably would too, moreso even than extra conditioning.
08-28-2014 11:19 AM
Lilie I have a game dog. Game dogs don't just fight other dogs. I have to make sure he remains in top condition. I do leave him outside during the day to help him acclimate to the heat. I make sure that his exercise does not include a lot of repetitive movements - like running in a circle or a lot of quick jerky movements on his legs.

To build drive, endurance and still remain relatively cool, we have a remote control boat that we use in the pond. He'll chase it until the battery goes dead.

I do a LOT of free running. We go to Agility classes. I work him in a controlled bay pen.

I have seen some folks utilize chain to help build muscle. It is along the same line as weight pulling. The dog drags large linked chain. I don't do it. My thought is if I want my dog to be in his best physical condition, I need to get off my butt and work him.
08-28-2014 10:58 AM
lhczth The weight drag I have seen is done at a walk. You might be able to use an agitation harness for lighter weights. They are designed though for a different back tension than dragging a weight. They are designed for use with the ring on the back where as pulling harnesses are designed for weights from behind and lower. Make sense?
08-28-2014 12:57 AM
Blitzkrieg1
Quote:
Originally Posted by szariksdad View Post
Have you also tried to work your dog to where she is tired for the lets say the retrieve but have her do one or two more. I think Ivan encouraged this with an argument that the dog would be tired for the trial but had to work through the trial tiredness, might want to try that angle to for conditioning.

I have watched Ivans vid, I think that is a method you have to be careful with when it comes to certain dogs. To much and you might end up with a very flat dog.
I have personally done this with certain elements of the OB, rewarding with a thrown ball some tug, then making the dog miss then back to OB. Rinse and repeat.

I also usually throw OB into everything to do with toys from Frisbee to two ball and mix it into the play.

I definitely believe that this helps conditioning but you cant really go beyond 10 mins before things start getting too sloppy.
08-28-2014 12:48 AM
Blitzkrieg1 Good feed back.

@ Ayotrimz It probably a combo of both the heat, fitness and maintaining drive without reward for an extended period.

Assuredly the dog has not been conditioned to long enough intervals without reward. This is partially a training and age issue for sure which is being worked on.

However, the dog definitely fades faster in the heat then in cooler conditions.This has been noted in the training I do at home.

I do believe that a higher level of physical fitness would create a dog that lasts longer in the heat and stays in drive longer.

The weight drag is very interesting, is this done at a walk or run? Can you use an agitation harness or does it have to be a weight pull harness?

Unfortunately there is no water near by so swiming is out. Biking is not something I have tried for some reason thats a good idea.
08-28-2014 12:36 AM
Colie CVT I know that I'm not particularly a person who is the all out person for fitness, but I have noticed that I don't usually have to worry about my dogs as much when its hot out or when it's cold out. They are constantly ready to go onto the next challenge, have learned to pace themselves and are all in rather good physical shape.

Like others, my dogs do a decent amount of swimming. Instead of biking or treadmill however, I tend to take them on hikes and adjust the level of what they're doing or carrying on them to how long we get to be out. Generally speaking, for a shorter hike, I will find some kind of natural element (like a large rock or hill) and either ask them to go up onto it or toss something down the hill a few times for them. Let them start getting a little tired, then move out onto the trail again, letting them keep moving. I try to make goals out of where I will hit water (unless its next to the trail the whole time). Longer days, I tend to just pack water on the dogs so that they're carrying a bit more weight even if we're not going as fast. I also try not to ask them to jump on or go down hills much if we will be out for some time.

Yesterday was the annual See Spot Splash event for the local humane society. I took my boys down and they literally wanted to swim for a solid 45 minutes. I had to make them take breaks, holding onto the two bumpers I had (which some times meant that I had to play dodge the yellow lab who wants my bumpers) and simply making them have to wait. Some times this worked out. They'd just stand or sit near me, eyes on me and the bumpers. Other times they'd decide to go after a ball or we'd suddenly find ourselves in the midst of a few dogs (they had a max of 50 at a time in the pool areas - small and large).

Even when I took them toward the exit, they were both still willing to run about. And neither of them actually laid down in the car until they knew for sure I was driving somewhere far rather than just taking another stop to one of the trails they love nearby. My dogs are all definitely in better shape than I am lol.

However, I will add that the state of air conditioning in my house is fairly minimal compared with most people. We don't have central air. We have a few portable air conditioners and a lot of fans. The house can be warm in the summer, even if we try otherwise. Generally speaking, if I feel its too hot in the house for the dogs, I will take them somewhere with water or wet them down before they come into my room (since it is smaller with a unit in it). The heat does not seem to bother my dogs as much as it does others. I keep a sharp eye on them, water them where appropriate and attempt to always find a way to get them wet somehow.

Don't know if anyone else has ever noticed, but when dogs who had been kind of tired and hanging around, suddenly seem to get the zoomies if they get the chance to wet themselves within a river or pond or even puddle! Least that's been my experience with my crazy dogs lol.
08-28-2014 12:25 AM
szariksdad Have you also tried to work your dog to where she is tired for the lets say the retrieve but have her do one or two more. I think Ivan encouraged this with an argument that the dog would be tired for the trial but had to work through the trial tiredness, might want to try that angle to for conditioning.
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