Hunt test – an added challenge

14 Mar

If you’ve been following lately, then you are aware that we have been spending quite a bit of time training Ilsa and Gumbo for their upcoming hunt tests. No complaints from them – believe me :-). And if you live almost anywhere in the United States, you are most likely enjoying an incredibly mild winter and now an early spring. While the weather is wonderful and gives an added excuse to spend more time outside, it adds an extra challenge to our training.

“Better” weather usually means higher temperatures. These conditions are not necessarily ideal for bird dogs. In reality, this isn’t an extreme concern for a junior hunt test because the runs are short (15 min) and our Vs certainly won’t get worn out in that time. However, Gumbo tends to start panting easily when it is hot outside. This means his mouth is open making it much harder to use his nose to find birds.

Since temperatures have been reaching the 80s this week, we decided it would be best to get out Vs in better shape before hunt test time comes. It’s not that our Vs our really ever out of shape – life would be pretty miserable if they didn’t get their exercise, but we haven’t been running them quite as hard lately due to Gumbo’s recent conformation show. A lot of muscle tends to make it harder for sporting dogs to present well.

So Gumbo and I are enjoying the additional hour of daylight in the evenings by running together. He makes quite the excellent running companion – I just put a leash around my waist and we’re off. Ilsa would much rather run in pursuit of something than run with me. Luckily, warm weather tends not to affect her nearly as much as Gumbo.

Hopefully, this additional exercise will make us better prepared for any situation. We can’t control the weather, but we will do our best to be prepared for it. I hope you and your pups are enjoying nice weather where you are.


5 Responses to “Hunt test – an added challenge”

  1. dogdaz March 14, 2012 at 8:04 PM #

    Best of luck with the trials. Sounds like a good training plan. – DogDaz

    • Ben March 15, 2012 at 7:31 AM #

      Thanks for the words of encouragement.

  2. Anna March 15, 2012 at 7:36 AM #

    Yep, as much as I like the warmer weather it is not a hunting dog’s friend. If it is anywhere much above 60 degrees and the dogs are running they get hot. It also makes training harder as when panting they can’t scent as well… but you knew all that. at least the light might let me train in evenings which is more likely time wise anyway, so long as it is cool. Good luck with your running, I know Luna probably wishes I was a runner. Maybe I will dig out the bike. Swimming is also great cardio for them, and I love doing that with them in the summer, hopefully the river will stay at a decent level this year and allow us to take advantage of it.

  3. 2browndawgs March 16, 2012 at 7:17 PM #

    Our dogs are out of condition as well for these warm temperatures. We will probably do more water work until they are in condition. That is the good part of retriever tests…lol…we need to train land and water. We show our dogs in field condition because our show/hunt test seasons overlap.


  1. Ilsa is a new junior hunter! « A Tail of Two Vizslas - April 13, 2012

    […] want our Vs to have to endure that heat too terribly long before having to go out in the field. Our efforts to better condition our Vs seemed futile under these conditions. Luckily, there was a pond with some water on the back course […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: