Would This Concern You (Lacks Heart Or Lacks Experience)?

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shaneroyce
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Would This Concern You (Lacks Heart Or Lacks Experience)?

Post by shaneroyce » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:30 pm

I was out in the hills with my 12 month old EP this morning and it was snowing, WET, and fairly cold! I usually hit the hills for about 2 hour hikes and the dog has no issues and loves it. Today, he got soaked to the bone early and after about 1 hour, he was DONE. He wouldn't range far from me at all, and was cold and shivering. He quit looking for birds and essentially had a look of "can we get back to the truck please?" He did this about 1 hour in, and spent the last hour hanging very close. I was out with a friend that had a 12 month old ES and a 4 year old EP along. His dogs were just as cold, but hunted the whole time. His dogs have been into a lot more wild birds and were extremely intent on finding them. My dog has not been on very many wild birds, and seemed to get sick of our cold "hike" in the hills. The other 2, with more experience, continued to hunt the entire time and made long casts to good cover. Do I have a dog that doesn't have a lot of heart, or does he just not have enough experience to know that birds were there if he'd keep hunting. Each of my friends dogs made a find or two, my dog had none, but he quit hunting an hour in! I did notice that his 12 month setter really ranged BIG (500 - 1000 yards) at times (he's trialed a lot, and told me this particular pup of his was pretty special), and his EP hunted 200 - 400 yards for the most part (this is where my dog typically ranges until today). What do you all think? Does my dog not have "heart"? By the way, these were the chukar hills we typically hunt and spend time with the dogs in.

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Re: Would This Concern You (Lacks Heart Or Lacks Experience)?

Post by Sharon » Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:18 pm

shaneroyce wrote:I was out in the hills with my 12 month old EP this morning and it was snowing, WET, and fairly cold! I usually hit the hills for about 2 hour hikes and the dog has no issues and loves it. Today, he got soaked to the bone early and after about 1 hour, he was DONE. He wouldn't range far from me at all, and was cold and shivering. He quit looking for birds and essentially had a look of "can we get back to the truck please?" He did this about 1 hour in, and spent the last hour hanging very close. I was out with a friend that had a 12 month old ES and a 4 year old EP along. His dogs were just as cold, but hunted the whole time. His dogs have been into a lot more wild birds and were extremely intent on finding them. My dog has not been on very many wild birds, and seemed to get sick of our cold "hike" in the hills. The other 2, with more experience, continued to hunt the entire time and made long casts to good cover. Do I have a dog that doesn't have a lot of heart, or does he just not have enough experience to know that birds were there if he'd keep hunting. Each of my friends dogs made a find or two, my dog had none, but he quit hunting an hour in! I did notice that his 12 month setter really ranged BIG (500 - 1000 yards) at times (he's trialed a lot, and told me this particular pup of his was pretty special), and his EP hunted 200 - 400 yards for the most part (this is where my dog typically ranges until today). What do you all think? Does my dog not have "heart"? By the way, these were the chukar hills we typically hunt and spend time with the dogs in.
Onehour of moving full out is excellent. I might get an hour and a half out of mine but we're not ready for any 3 hour Championships yet. :) I pick mine up before they reach the point you described. Your dog is still very young. Muscles and bones are still growing.
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Re: Would This Concern You (Lacks Heart Or Lacks Experience)?

Post by Maurice » Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:35 pm

Your dog shut down to save its life, wet cold is bad.. Is the dog thin with little fat?

Mo

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Re: Would This Concern You (Lacks Heart Or Lacks Experience)?

Post by Angus » Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:40 pm

Sounds like the pup did pretty good even if he could do more on other days. I don't want to be cold and wet in the woods either. Hypothermia and all.

Dogs have good days and bad days just like we do. He may not have been feeling well, or just got cold, or maybe something in his diet changed. Could have been a number of factors, but most likely he was cold. I would just continue your normal routine with the pup like nothing has happened. Keep an eye on him and enjoy.

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Re: Would This Concern You (Lacks Heart Or Lacks Experience)?

Post by shaneroyce » Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:48 pm

Maurice wrote:Your dog shut down to save its life, wet cold is bad.. Is the dog thin with little fat?

Mo
He is lean with very little fat. I have increased his diet, but he stays real lean. He has no problem going a couple hours, even in the cold. The wet seemed to be the difference today. When I say he shut down, I mean he stayed close to me and quit hunting hard or at all. He was shivering pretty good. He did not need carried out or anything. I guess I was surprised at how well my friends setter at a similar age did compared to mine. His has been out over 50 times, while I've only had mine out about 8 or so (I've only had him for about 6 weeks).

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Re: Would This Concern You (Lacks Heart Or Lacks Experience)?

Post by Angus » Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:55 pm

The Setter has a heavier coat which helps in those conditions. Also breeding and each dog can handle the heat and cold differently. You may find that the Setter tuckers out while your pointer is going strong in the heat. I wouldn't worry. :wink:


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Re: Would This Concern You (Lacks Heart Or Lacks Experience)?

Post by fuzznut » Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:54 pm

What your dog did wouldn't concern me either. Sounds to me he was just downright cold and miserable. At that point, if it was possible, it was time to put him up and let him get his body back to a comfortable temp
When you are far from the truck it's tough to do, but I don't think I'd worry about it at this point. Some dogs just can't handle that weather, especially youngsters with so little body fat!

It's something to watch for the future, and if you see it happen over and over again... then I'd begin to think it was something.
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Re: Would This Concern You (Lacks Heart Or Lacks Experience)?

Post by SHORTFAT » Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:13 pm

I agree with the other posts here... the English Pointers are more of a southern dog. I have one in Pa and she gets cold after an hour or so... my friends Setters are still going in the snow... but come summer, mine will still be going all day and the Setters are tripping on their tongues... I wouldn't worry about it too much... Best to learn a dogs limits, and doesn't mean to say less of a dog... . :wink:
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Re: Would This Concern You (Lacks Heart Or Lacks Experience)?

Post by zigzag » Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:32 pm

Aclimation and birds=drive. If the dog has not hunted in wet cold conditons and has never found birds in such conditions drive is diminished. JMHOP.

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Re: Would This Concern You (Lacks Heart Or Lacks Experience)?

Post by birddogger » Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:34 pm

Ditto on all of the above posts. I have seen it happen with good pointers with the wet and cold combined. He is still very young and wasn't finding any birds. He will be fine.

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Re: Would This Concern You (Lacks Heart Or Lacks Experience)?

Post by JIM K » Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:10 pm

ep is not really a cold weather dog.
i rasied labs with dad ,had them for 46 yrs.

i do everything i could to TOBY my lab to condition him here in pa woods. when he was year old he would ride ice bergs in river, i know, that was stupid.i did my best to keep him out of river in winter but he does not listen.
but i trained him inRAIN, HIGH WINDS, COLD, DARK,SNOW.BLIZZARDS,LIGHTNING,THUNDER .
i exposed him to everything when he was young.

IT HELPED A LOT.i can walk out of woods at midnight, blizzard, high winds and know toby is with me.
toby used to RUN to truck after hunting .he would leave me at times .so i started HIDING ON HIM. I MEAN I REALLY HID GOOD FROM HIM.
that ended the RUN TO TRUCK..... :lol:

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Re: Would This Concern You (Lacks Heart Or Lacks Experience)?

Post by highcotton » Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:22 pm

Maurice wrote:Your dog shut down to save its life, wet cold is bad.. Is the dog thin with little fat?

Mo
+1

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Re: Would This Concern You (Lacks Heart Or Lacks Experience)?

Post by Elkhunter » Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:12 pm

EP's are fine cold weather dogs, I have had EP's in Utah for years and have never had a problem with the cold. I hunted in Wyoming this year when the temp was in the teens the entire time and we never had an issue.

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Re: Would This Concern You (Lacks Heart Or Lacks Experience)?

Post by Jrclmn18 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:31 pm

He should acclimate if properly exposed with caution. You don't want to risk the health of the dog, but with experience, he will understand how to maintain his own body temp with hard work. My gsp is used for upland and waterfowl and flat folded up at 15 months old on his third duck hunt of his first season. He curled up in the bottom of the boat and wouldnt move after the first retrieve of the day. Granted, it was pretty cold for a south alabama duck hunt but it scared me. So I picked up and hurried back to the launch with him covered in my warmest coat. He was fine and now... Season two... I can't keep him out of the water on even the coldest days. Now I have to watch him to make sure he doesn't go too far. Seems that this type of issue rarely happens with older dogs as they know their sensitivities become minimized and are not as afraid of a cold day as the young pup they once were. We are the same as humans, we used to freeze our butts off as kids. Now it's just a good cold day in the woods, plains or water, but we can take it and we know our limits. Nevertheless, watch him close as they will lose their since of limits. Don't let his growing lack of fear hurt him. He should be fine as long as things can continue to be fun. Persistently bad experiences may end up hurting his confidence in his ability to continue on. Be careful, keep it fun for him too and he will be good to go all year in no time. Also,a good vest can go a long way.

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Re: Would This Concern You (Lacks Heart Or Lacks Experience)?

Post by gotpointers » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:03 pm

Conditioning and nutrition also come to mind along with lack of experiences. The three hour dogs at ames are not eating dog food that comes in a bag. :wink: The other breed owners would be estatic to see their dogs range out that big for that long.

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Re: Would This Concern You (Lacks Heart Or Lacks Experience)?

Post by jeff gruennert » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:52 pm

i have been watching your posts about this dog pretty close and am really excited for you. I would not worry at all my ep started out about the same way as yours got cold fast and did'nt have a lot of drive as a one year old. Just finished his fifth season on grouse lastwknd of january in northern WI twelve inches of snow and sub twenty temps for 6hrs I was almost able to keep up with him. The one thing i would caution you about is that the dogs need as much water if not more than when it's warm

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Re: Would This Concern You (Lacks Heart Or Lacks Experience)?

Post by Jrclmn18 » Sat Mar 24, 2012 5:40 am

jeff gruennert wrote:i have been watching your posts about this dog pretty close and am really excited for you. I would not worry at all my ep started out about the same way as yours got cold fast and did'nt have a lot of drive as a one year old. Just finished his fifth season on grouse lastwknd of january in northern WI twelve inches of snow and sub twenty temps for 6hrs I was almost able to keep up with him. The one thing i would caution you about is that the dogs need as much water if not more than when it's warm
Please explain on the need for water remark.

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Re: Would This Concern You (Lacks Heart Or Lacks Experience)?

Post by ibbowhunting » Sat Mar 24, 2012 6:18 am

maybe a hunting vest would him keep your dog a little warmer in poor conditions, which may help keep the fun meter up. just a thought.

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Re: Would This Concern You (Lacks Heart Or Lacks Experience)?

Post by mountaindogs » Sat Mar 24, 2012 7:10 am

jeff gruennert wrote:i have been watching your posts about this dog pretty close and am really excited for you. I would not worry at all my ep started out about the same way as yours got cold fast and did'nt have a lot of drive as a one year old. Just finished his fifth season on grouse lastwknd of january in northern WI twelve inches of snow and sub twenty temps for 6hrs I was almost able to keep up with him. The one thing i would caution you about is that the dogs need as much water if not more than when it's warm
I have also noticed water playing big role in very cold. Dogs use water to metabolize energy, and when metabolism is in high gear maintaining body temp alone can require more.

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Re: Would This Concern You (Lacks Heart Or Lacks Experience)?

Post by mountaindogs » Sat Mar 24, 2012 7:16 am

I have also notice young, first season shortcoated dogs resistant to swim in very cold water for very long. If the drive is there they all get over it by next season. I know swimming was not the situation, but it might be the same thing going on. Does seem a slight body fat, maturity, metabolic, conditioning sort of combined deal... like they need to grow up a bit to handle it as well.

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Re: Would This Concern You (Lacks Heart Or Lacks Experience)?

Post by AzDoggin » Sat Mar 24, 2012 7:39 am

Jrclmn18 wrote:
jeff gruennert wrote:The one thing i would caution you about is that the dogs need as much water if not more than when it's warm
Please explain on the need for water remark.
I interpret that as "Dogs need to drink water - stay hydrated - as much when it's cold outside as when it's warm outside." It's true - dogs and humans. Keeping the blood volume up allows for better circulation and better heating of the extremities.

Shane - your dog's a baby still - barely a teenager. Can't expect him to have the same resilience to all conditions that he'd have as an adult. Ideally - you want to quit an outing while the dog wants more...but gets tough when you are out there a ways from the vehicle. I wouldn't worry about it. Certainly DO NOT coddle, talk to, discipline, or give any attention to a dog in that circumstance. Let him work it out.

Usually activity = warmth, but I wonder if he wasn't feeling all that well for whatever reason, and that restricted his activity?

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Re: Would This Concern You (Lacks Heart Or Lacks Experience)?

Post by ultracarry » Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:05 am

The dog is fine. Don't worry about it.

I don't think mine needs to run in the rain or snow and won't make her. If we go hunting and it happens to be raining she will be out in full force, but why do it for a little run or to train. Not much in it for me or the dog to put them in and sit out the weather. Unless you are hunting. Killing birds is a good exception to that rule.

Btw there are some field trials at mile post 9 you should go to and run that dog in puppy... Let me know if you need the premiums.

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Re: Would This Concern You (Lacks Heart Or Lacks Experience)?

Post by DonF » Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:49 am

You must be a young guy? I'm not and you wouldn't catch my dogs out in weather like that because you wouldn't catch me in it. If I had labs you wouldn't catch me in it. When I was a young guy I did get my Hannah, GSP, out in some weather like that, she was miserable! I took her in right away. Sometimes I wounder about my dogs. Squirt and Bodie love being out in the snow and cold just doesn't bother them much, neither does cold and high wind. Never been out in the rain with them much but I'd bet getting soaked and cold would bother them.
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Re: Would This Concern You (Lacks Heart Or Lacks Experience)?

Post by Ralph Ford » Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:12 am

My guess is that the dog wasn't overly cold, maybe tired from chasing the other dogs that had seen much more time in the field. Maybe the older dog intimidated the young dog. Either way, move on to the next day and have fun. Get back to us if you see a pattern starting in this behavior.

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Re: Would This Concern You (Lacks Heart Or Lacks Experience)?

Post by RayGubernat » Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:28 am

shayneroyce -

Your youngster is just that...a youngster. Probably put it all out there and had nothing left. That is what a good dog does, especially when they are young. If the dog is thin...it ain't got nothin' to fall back on in the way of energy reserves.

Cold and wet will tear a dog down PDQ. I was up at Baldwinsville, NY a few times when a rain/sleet/snow squall came though while the dogs were running. You do not typically stop for bad weather once the brace is down, unless it is lightning, you cannot see(fog) or it is flat out horrible. Some of those dogs were running with a coating of ice on their backs and flanks.

That weather wore a hole in a fair number of them and slowed them down. Now keep in mind these were some of the best horseback shooting dogs east of the Mississsippi and they were in the absolute best shape they could be in because this was a one hour, national level trial.

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Re: Would This Concern You (Lacks Heart Or Lacks Experience)?

Post by shaneroyce » Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:17 am

DonF wrote:You must be a young guy? I'm not and you wouldn't catch my dogs out in weather like that because you wouldn't catch me in it. If I had labs you wouldn't catch me in it. When I was a young guy I did get my Hannah, GSP, out in some weather like that, she was miserable! I took her in right away. Sometimes I wounder about my dogs. Squirt and Bodie love being out in the snow and cold just doesn't bother them much, neither does cold and high wind. Never been out in the rain with them much but I'd bet getting soaked and cold would bother them.
I'm 38...younger than some, older than others. My 7 year-old son was with us. He got pretty miserable about the same time as the dog. The more I've thought about it, He went extremely hard (like he usually does) for a full hour and then pooped out. The cold did not help. He was also a little sick (diarrhea) a couple days before, but had seemed fine for the couple days prior. He was fine when he warmed up and is fine today. I'm sure with a little more age and bird-finding, he will learn to pace himself and stay excited because he's finding birds. It was a pretty miserable morning. I was pretty cold myself, and I was bundled up tight! The soaking wet was definitely the difference. He's been in those temps plenty in this state, but never that harsh, wet weather. A neoprene vest is in my future for this fall! Thanks for the reply.

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Re: Would This Concern You (Lacks Heart Or Lacks Experience)?

Post by shaneroyce » Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:21 am

RayGubernat wrote:shaneroyce -

Your youngster is just that...a youngster. Probably put it all out there and had nothing left. That is what a good dog does, especially when they are young. If the dog is thin...it ain't got nothin' to fall back on in the way of energy reserves.

RayG
He gave it all for an hour, and then he pooped out. The other dogs were older and had more experience...much more in one case and years more in the other. How do I put weight on a pup like this? He goes all out, all the time. I love how he works, but he sure burns the calories! Thanks for the replies everyone. Keep them coming. They are extremely helpful.

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Re: Would This Concern You (Lacks Heart Or Lacks Experience)?

Post by Jrclmn18 » Sat Mar 24, 2012 12:22 pm

High calorie food, as much as he will eat. Make it good, gravy it up to encourage to eat more. Higher fat content means higher calorie. Don't sacrifice good protein but calories in must be greater than calories out to gain weight in any scenario. Good luck as it ain't easy.

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Re: Would This Concern You (Lacks Heart Or Lacks Experience)?

Post by RayGubernat » Sat Mar 24, 2012 1:21 pm

I keep my dogs fit all year 'round, but I don't like them too lean. I really believe a dog that has a couple extra pounds on them is able to fight off stuff and be healthier. I think a dog with those couple exttra pounds has more reserve to draw on when conditions require it. I like to see just a hint of rib, especially the last two or three when they are a few feet away from me, but I don't want to see rib from across the yard.

The best way I know of to put weight on a bird dog is to feed them fat...pure fat.

When I used to hunt my dogs hard(4 days a week) for several weeks in a row...I would feed them raw beef fat as a supplement to their 30% protein/ 20% fat kibble.

BTW, a dog's metabolism is waaaay different than ours. It can thrive on a diet that is 50% fat.

I would go to the supermarket butchers during the summer and fall when they had a beef sale and get several pounds of beef fat. Usually I would get if for free or REAL cheap, like 10 cents a pound. I would cut up and cube up the fat and freeze it in 1/4 lb. portions in ziplock bags. Easy to handle, quick to thaw. If I knew a butcher, I would have them freeze up a bunch of fat, run it through the grinder frozen and bag up the pellets of fat.

A quarter pound of beef fat in the dog's kibble with some warm water would go a long way toward keeping their weight up. If I saw too much rib, I would up it to 1/2 lb. per feeding.

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Re: Would This Concern You (Lacks Heart Or Lacks Experience)?

Post by fuzznut » Sat Mar 24, 2012 2:42 pm

On the pure fat added to the dog food.... if you do this, start it slow. I had a dog come down with a case of pancreatitis that ended up costing a bunch at the vet and the dog being pretty sick. We think he got into something, but now they want him on a lower fat diet.

A very high fat diet can wreck havoc with some dogs. Not all obviously, but with some

Some dogs that get pancreatitis end up being diabetic.... just a word of caution.
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Re: Would This Concern You (Lacks Heart Or Lacks Experience)?

Post by Sniper John » Sat Mar 24, 2012 3:16 pm

I would not worry too much over one bad day. Even the best dogs have a bad day for various reasons.

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Re: Would This Concern You (Lacks Heart Or Lacks Experience)?

Post by SCT » Sat Mar 24, 2012 3:25 pm

zigzag wrote:Aclimation and birds=drive. If the dog has not hunted in wet cold conditons and has never found birds in such conditions drive is diminished. JMHOP.
+2 Pups need to get into birds and have fun doing it. I would make sure the next few trips are fun and he/she can get into birds. It could still be nasty weather but get him/her into birds before the first half hour goes by. Your friends dog hung in there and they wanted to hunt because they've had more exposure so they have more drive. Also, you can get some good high calorie canned dog food (Inova) and supplement his regular food to get his weight up. Most importantly though, get him into birds and get that hunting drive built up.

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Re: Would This Concern You (Lacks Heart Or Lacks Experience)?

Post by ezzy333 » Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:06 pm

SCT wrote:
zigzag wrote:Aclimation and birds=drive. If the dog has not hunted in wet cold conditons and has never found birds in such conditions drive is diminished. JMHOP.
+2 Pups need to get into birds and have fun doing it. I would make sure the next few trips are fun and he/she can get into birds. It could still be nasty weather but get him/her into birds before the first half hour goes by. Your friends dog hung in there and they wanted to hunt because they've had more exposure so they have more drive. Also, you can get some good high calorie canned dog food (Inova) and supplement his regular food to get his weight up. Most importantly though, get him into birds and get that hunting drive built up.
I would forget anything happened out of the ordinary and go out again tomorrow. I wouldn't worry about it, I wouldn't change feed, and I would remember it and not expose the pup to that again or at least quit when he does. To me this whole thing is a non-event. I also don't do anything different when I get cold one day other than take an extra sweater the next day.

Dogs and people do get cold but almost always the people get cold first.

A one time experience in any field is not normally anything to base a change on. If it happens several times then take note and see if there is some reason or something needs changing to solve the problem.

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Re: Would This Concern You (Lacks Heart Or Lacks Experience)?

Post by SetterNut » Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:05 pm

Cold wet weather can be really dangerous. My hunting partner had a close call two years ago with his dog.
It was a rain snow mix, and the wind started to blow some. Right at 32F. His dog got hypothermic. It was pretty scary.
Where his dogs do better than mine in the heat with the shorter coat, my setters do better in the cold and wet.

A wet dog with some wind will loose body heat fast, even a longer haired dog. Be carefull.
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Re: Would This Concern You (Lacks Heart Or Lacks Experience)?

Post by bigdaddy » Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:53 pm

He's only 12 months old and you want to make generalizations about him from one outing?

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shaneroyce
Rank: Junior Hunter
Posts: 78
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:49 pm
Location: Southwest Idaho

Re: Would This Concern You (Lacks Heart Or Lacks Experience)?

Post by shaneroyce » Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:32 pm

bigdaddy wrote:He's only 12 months old and you want to make generalizations about him from one outing?
No. I'm just trying to learn from other's experiences and thoughts and gain as much info as possible. I learned a lot from the replies on this thread. Thank you all for your thoughts. They were helpful.

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