Allowing the dog to drink water during training - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-21-2014, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
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Allowing the dog to drink water during training

I have heard several times recently, by different trainers, the importance of stopping training (or working) at some point and allowing the dog to relax and drink water.

Besides the obvious, to hydrate the dog, is there any specific reason for this? Does it help the dog to 'set' in it's brain what it is learning?

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-21-2014, 05:31 PM
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I guess it would depend on the environmental conditions and the length of the training, but I have never brought water for dogs for a typical hour or two hour training classes (2 hours, 2 dogs, 1 after the other) with drive time, the dog is without water until I bring them home, could be 3 hours, could be six, depending on whether I have other stops.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-21-2014, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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I'm curious. I've been to two different venues, one working and one training. Two different professionals. Both stopped mid and told us to water our dogs. It hasn't been over 70 here at. And training / working was about an hours length.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-21-2014, 05:42 PM
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Maybe something new.

I don't know. We work a lot outside, and people are encouraged to bring water for their dogs.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-21-2014, 05:43 PM
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I always force water/rest breaks on my dog while working. Every 30-45 minutes of scentwork.

I don't want him gulping down gallons but do want about 8 oz or so. I even throw some treats (zukes minis) in the water because he will drink the water to get to the treats.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-21-2014, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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Nancy - do you think it helps them 'clear' their scents (for lack of a better word)? Kinda like a re-boot?

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-21-2014, 05:58 PM
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Not sure of that. Scentwork is hard on the dog because of how they use their nose. The airflow is different when they are scenting than when they are just running around and cooling efficiency is impaired.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-21-2014, 06:02 PM
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I have always been taught, when doing scent work, that if the dogs nose and scent receptors get dry they cannot scent as well. Depending in the day, I always water my dog every 45 minutes. But I also preload in the heat.

Breaking for water also forces the dog and handler to stop, assess and reboot.


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-21-2014, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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Well, that makes 'Scents!' (Sorry, it's late and I'm ready to go home!)

Thanks everyone!

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-21-2014, 06:19 PM
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It depends what you do. If you are on a search - have a bottle in your hand and give him just a sip every 20 minutes, it is important to keep his olfactory system wet in order to follow traces of the odour on trails (whatever you want him to recover). But, if you sent him through wacky agility courses several times, or the decoy decided to give your dog continuous swings, or it was of any other vigorous exercises - leave him well long enough to cool down before you water him, because excess water can affect his heart. Avoid overheating in a warm weather, it takes some time to adapt to summer temperatures and drinking too much water doesn't help it. I use furminator almost daily last time, not all dogs have fully moulted yet.
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