I was at a Police K-9 seminar a couple of years ago and there was a presentation by a couple of Military working dog veterinarians. They focused on care of wokring dogs, treating traumatic injuries and getting high performance out of their dogs. These were vets that travelled to Irag and Afghanistan treating SF dogs. They discussed a study of feeding and nutrition of working dogs and what the results were. They found that dogs fed 2 meals a day, worked and performed better. A smal meal before any training, even tracking was better than working a dog on an empty stomach. This was even more important for kibble fed dogs than raw fed dogs. Because of the carbs and sugars in kibble, the dogs experienced fluctuating blood sugar levels and performance was impacted. For many years, I was under the impression or assumption that I should track my dogs on an empty stomach, until I attended this seminar. I feed raw and my schedule does not always allow teo feedings a day. That week during this seminar, I was working Boomer hard in detection work, building searches, tracking and aggression work. I had prepared his food into two feeding each day and was able to get him on a set schedule. I noticed an increase in drive, focus and more intense work. This with an already high drive and intense dog with a serious work ethic. Then I went to the vets seminar and really saw the correlation.
I think of it this way, it's like sending a six year old to school with no breakfast or lunch. The child will not be able to focus or learn as well, and will have behavioral issues in class. When ever I can I feed twice a day. I will give a "snack" in the morning before tracking and I have seen better results with young dogs, especially.
I have fed dogs their first meal on the track for many years, now I just do it a little differently.
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance”. George Bernard Shaw