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As we are approaching it's about time to pimp up the dogs diet ready for a busy season. . . . mine get a extra half cup of biscuits add sardines every other day and scrambled eggs on a Sunday. . . . what does everyone else pimp up their diets with?

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Our dog is nowhere near going to work yet, however. She gets 200g of meat from the butchers mixed in with her biscuits in the morning. Then I save any fish/meat trimmings up and mix those in probably every other night. I’ve tried her with eggs but she’s not a fan.

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4 hours ago, mgsontour said:

As we are approaching it's about time to pimp up the dogs diet ready for a busy season. . . . mine get a extra half cup of biscuits add sardines every other day and scrambled eggs on a Sunday. . . . what does everyone else pimp up their diets with?


What’s the extra food aiming to do? 🤔
 

If everything else remains the same, won’t the dog just gain weight / get a bit fatter? I’m not sure if that will help when it comes the season. 
 

Personally think you’d be better off getting the dog out jogging or running with a bike for a couple of miles at a good pace 3+ days a week. 

 

Food wise I feed mine BARF, when the season starts and his work load increases then I may look to feeding more calorie dense food... duck instead of chicken, lamb etc, food with more fat content. Raw green tripe, lamb ribs, chicken wings and drumsticks with skins on. It’s all good stuff and high fat foods should have plenty of calories. 
 

However leading up to the start of the season now I am personally cutting down on the dogs food. He’s had the summer to relax, gain a bit of weight and sleep, with not a lot of training thrown in. 

 

Will he looking to lean him up now and get him fit, you won’t see an athlete walking onto the pitch at the start of the season carrying an extra stone or two in weight. My rugby coach used to say to us lads, we don’t play rugby to get fit, we get fit to play rugby. I see it the same, we don’t work the dog to get him fit (although he will certainly peak when he’s working in the season), the dog should be lean and fit and ready to go as the season starts. 

They’ll be less likely to pick up injuries etc as well. 
 

Of course your dogs may already be very lean and fit, in which case carry on what your doing 👍🏻 Adjust the food when you need it. 

 

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It will depend on how hard u work ur dogs.

 

Are they just out wknds or every 2nd wknd sitting on a peg or even beating if walking to heel quite a lot.

Big difference to dogs hunting hard all day out a few days a week or more

 

While I would say it's important to step up ur dogs fitness, have seen a few dogs carried off the hill before early season, which probably means upping feed as ur upping exercise. 1 was even an FT dog just ran itself out going full pelt everywhere, so not a lack of fitness

I like my dogs to be carrying a bit of extra wieght at start of season as most dogs working hard will lose weight as season goes on.

I have a Springerdor for who it's a real struggle to keep wieght on by end of season.

I think drying ur dogs and dog jackets make a difference throu colder weather, getting dogs nice and dry and warm before kennel, and usually put warm water in evening feed after a shoot to warm them from inside.

All helps dogs keep there condition a bit better

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When I had a picking up team I always dropped the protein content to 20% during the close season and upped it back to 23% for the season. Now I only have one dog and don’t pick up commercially. 
I was taught that you walk the fitness into a dog, not run it. Works for me.

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Why ip before season up calories as workload ups or all your doing is putting fat on before wich I turn means have to work even harder as carrying more non Metabolically active weight. 
 

if your upping training and trying to put some muscle on then yeah a tiny bit more calories but otherwise 

extra calories on the work day and day after will work fine as a refeed. 
 

as some one said drying off will also help to keep weight on as not burning calories keeping warm 

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4 hours ago, London Best said:

When I had a picking up team I always dropped the protein content to 20% during the close season and upped it back to 23% for the season. Now I only have one dog and don’t pick up commercially. 
I was taught that you walk the fitness into a dog, not run it. Works for me.


How many miles a day/ week do you do? 
 

I have started walking mine more as hunting them on scentless / game less ground can just lead to him not hunting intensely... also on a lead walk can’t get into any trouble. 👍🏻

4 hours ago, chilly1981 said:

Why ip before season up calories as workload ups or all your doing is putting fat on before wich I turn means have to work even harder as carrying more non Metabolically active weight. 
 

if your upping training and trying to put some muscle on then yeah a tiny bit more calories but otherwise 

extra calories on the work day and day after will work fine as a refeed. 
 

as some one said drying off will also help to keep weight on as not burning calories keeping warm 


Bang on! Better off starting the season with a lean fit dog. It’s like trying to go for a jog carrying a bag of rocks or being overweight vs being fit and lean. The fit lean dog is bound to go better. 
 

Keeping dogs warm and dry will help them not burn too many calories keeping warm when out in the cold. Ensuring your kennels is warm, draft free and dogs are well dried and fed before being put away will help a lot. 
 

Keeping dogs warm in between drives with coats can help a lot, if they are worked hard. Years ago no one had dog coats, these days lots are using them. 👍🏻

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Interesting comments lads and will digest them over the next few days; really appreciated.

I purposely left the opening post general-ish for lots of comments to see what people said, to bring my situation in somewhat, I've always kept a strict eye on my dogs weight ( wish I could be as strict on myself ) and have lean/fit dogs ( ribs ' just ' showing yet muscular ) and don't ever seem to have a problem with lack of fitness but at the end of the season they look as if they have emerged from a concentration camp but during the height of the season just can't seem to get enough in them.

I thought I'd start the season off with a slightly plump dog ( but comments above mimic what I already do ) and have just started this week to start increasing fitness which in fact prompted me to write the post as assumed others are on the job too.

I go beating and picking Mon, Wed, Thurs, Sat and sometimes a Fri thrown for good luck and lets not forget duck flighting/goosing towards the end of the season after a day out so don't know how many miles we do but it's a pretty busy week and as mentioned above cold is an issue so warm & dry is paramount.

It's a great forum where we can all exchange ideas, concerns and thoughts as well as having a laugh too; everyday is a school day

 

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9 minutes ago, mgsontour said:

Interesting comments lads and will digest them over the next few days; really appreciated.

I purposely left the opening post general-ish for lots of comments to see what people said, to bring my situation in somewhat, I've always kept a strict eye on my dogs weight ( wish I could be as strict on myself ) and have lean/fit dogs ( ribs ' just ' showing yet muscular ) and don't ever seem to have a problem with lack of fitness but at the end of the season they look as if they have emerged from a concentration camp but during the height of the season just can't seem to get enough in them.

I thought I'd start the season off with a slightly plump dog ( but comments above mimic what I already do ) and have just started this week to start increasing fitness which in fact prompted me to write the post as assumed others are on the job too.

I go beating and picking Mon, Wed, Thurs, Sat and sometimes a Fri thrown for good luck and lets not forget duck flighting/goosing towards the end of the season after a day out so don't know how many miles we do but it's a pretty busy week and as mentioned above cold is an issue so warm & dry is paramount.

It's a great forum where we can all exchange ideas, concerns and thoughts as well as having a laugh too; everyday is a school day

 


Fair play mate your getting a serious amount of work into your dogs 👍🏻 
 

How many dogs do you have and what are you currently feeding them? Or what do you feed over the season? 
 

You can try adding more food if they will eat the amount / quantity needed. Gaining weight for dogs is the same as it is for people, you need to get enough kcals into them, if they have an excess of kcals they’ll gain weight. 
 

You can try a number of little tricks with feeding to keeping weight on the dogs, adding raw eggs, oil, sardines, tripe, adding chicken meat and skin, or changing to a different food with a higher protein and higher fat content. 
 

All of these tricks that people swear by have one thing in common when they work, the amount of kcals the dog is taking in is increased, and as long as it’s more kcals than they are burning off they’ll gain weight. 
 

You can just feed a bigger quantity of what you are already feeding but it depends if that turns out to be a massive amount of food. It can be easier to feed a more calories dense food. 
 

Some of the lads will feed racing greyhound food or even sled dog food. Reckon it gives dogs plenty of energy and stamina to work all day. 

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What you could do going off what you said working that amount it’s about extra calories after the work and giving them a small snack during day. 
something like spoon full of coco oil on the food or during the day or peanut butter ( non palm oil)  will help as high in fat and calorie dense 

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I've been pondering about this topic after all your kind comments and recon I'm not far off right so only a few little tweeks and hopefully the silent readers of this forum might have learnt something too by bringing it out in the open for all to read. . . . well done all on PW

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38 minutes ago, mgsontour said:

I've been pondering about this topic after all your kind comments and recon I'm not far off right so only a few little tweeks and hopefully the silent readers of this forum might have learnt something too by bringing it out in the open for all to read. . . . well done all on PW


Come on your got me wondering what you yourself are doing and feeding :P 

 

I enjoy reading about what everyone else is doing so I can compare and pick up little tips as I go :) 

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Must admit even after reading this I still like my dogs slightly bigger at start of season ( no ribs showng), but not vastly overweight) as very few dogs working hard don't lose some condition as season goes on.

If u start them too lean u have no where to go when ur dogs lose a bit of condition.

 

I used to take feed up grouse moors for lunch but not done it for a few years now I have more dogs, would get to complicated feeding them all up the hill.

I have heard of some boys taking cooked pasta up with them to give dog a handful at lunch, which I thought about trying this year.

Do add a handful of cooked pasta  to my dogs feed throu the season or after shoot days and does put a bit of wieght on them

 

Missed my 1st day last week with an injury to myself hopefully get out in a couple of weeks time, and try the pasta

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40 minutes ago, scotslad said:

Must admit even after reading this I still like my dogs slightly bigger at start of season ( no ribs showng), but not vastly overweight) as very few dogs working hard don't lose some condition as season goes on.

If u start them too lean u have no where to go when ur dogs lose a bit of condition.

 

I used to take feed up grouse moors for lunch but not done it for a few years now I have more dogs, would get to complicated feeding them all up the hill.

I have heard of some boys taking cooked pasta up with them to give dog a handful at lunch, which I thought about trying this year.

Do add a handful of cooked pasta  to my dogs feed throu the season or after shoot days and does put a bit of wieght on them

 

Missed my 1st day last week with an injury to myself hopefully get out in a couple of weeks time, and try the pasta


 

It’s all very individual. Some lads are working their dogs on a small farm shoot once a week or a fortnight. 
 

Some like the OP are working their dog several days a week. 
 

I did one small shoot last year beating that was about 10am start and normally finished by 12.30-1pm. We got invited on another towards the end and it was 9am start and went on all day finishing about 4-5pm... the dog was bloody knackered by the end of that day as simply not used to it (and not fit enough... my fault that). 
 

 

I have however always been told that dogs get most of their energy from fats, not carbs. So taking pasta to feed dogs won’t be as good as fatty foods. Think some give pork pies etc as it’s very high fat content. 
 

That pemmikan bar is a mix of fat and glucose I believe. 

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Aye ur mibbee right but I know the pasta on top off there food came from a very knowledgeable lab trialler/breeder that has been doing it since the 70s. Not many tricks he doesn't know

Definately worked for me with 2 dogs I struggle with to keep wieght on and another lad I pick up with always struggled with his lab.

 

I dare say carbs are more instant energy for lunch time on the grouse, are fats not a slower harder to access energy?

If similar for humans fat burning heart beat/exercise range is pretty low/slow heart beat speed, doubt dogs are ever going slow enough to be 'fat burning' assuming metabolism is similar

 

The boys that told me the lunch time trick work there packs on moors 5 or 6 days a week this time of year, and there dogs work hard, usually running 6 or 8 dogs each most days.

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21 minutes ago, scotslad said:

Aye ur mibbee right but I know the pasta on top off there food came from a very knowledgeable lab trialler/breeder that has been doing it since the 70s. Not many tricks he doesn't know

Definately worked for me with 2 dogs I struggle with to keep wieght on and another lad I pick up with always struggled with his lab.

 

I dare say carbs are more instant energy for lunch time on the grouse, are fats not a slower harder to access energy?

If similar for humans fat burning heart beat/exercise range is pretty low/slow heart beat speed, doubt dogs are ever going slow enough to be 'fat burning' assuming metabolism is similar

 

The boys that told me the lunch time trick work there packs on moors 5 or 6 days a week this time of year, and there dogs work hard, usually running 6 or 8 dogs each most days.


That’s some serious amount of work. 
I only go off what the trialling lads I know do and have taught me. 
 

One now says he only feeds his dog once a day in the evening. A fit dog should digest a gut full of food overnight and have energy to go in the morning when given a good meal apparently. 
 

Myself however I usually feed mine morning and night (pup is getting more than twice a day).  
 

He said a marathon runner or sprinter won’t have a massive breakfast and then go run a race as it’ll just slow you down apparently. 
 


 

Some of those dogs however working a full day non-stop are surely going to run out of energy without being topped up at some point 🤔 those pemmikan bars, I’ve heard a small fun size mars bar is good and others give pork pies. 

I don’t believe what some people are saying about dogs being totally unable to absorb carbohydrates... if that was true, then all the pet dogs being given biscuits and bread and treats wouldn’t be so fat would they?! 🤣 so dogs clearly can get kcals from Carbs. 
 

 

BTW scots lad, what do you feed yours at the moment? And how often? 
 

A bloke I know was feeding FourFriends - Power... it’s a for huskies and sled dogs that are out pulling all day!! Think it was 30% and 30% fat 😮 ... he reckoned the dog would go non-stop for very length periods when worked mind. 

 

Edited by Lloyd90
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I've went up to twice a day recently but usually once throu close season.

Must admit I just feed wagg, tried all sorts over the years, had a liccarus all-sorts delivery from local pet shop last year with bags of loads of different kinds and they still did better on wagg.

I used to get greyhound feed but my old Springer never liked it, he's retired to my folks now so might give it a go again sometime shortly.

 

Tend to only feed a half usual portion on a shoot day morning and only if atleast 2hrs before I expect them to be working, but feed the extra night before and that night again.

Usually feed dry but on shoot night mix with warm water and now will add hand full off pasta on top too

 

I'm not working my dogs just as often as that, can't afford too, could get  6  days a week but still need to work, unfortunately.

In past I've had a few years pushing 100 days

This year prob only be once a week on grouse and prob 3 days a week on lowland but usually back to back most Fri sats and usually pick up a duck flight Fri nite, occasionally a sat morn and then flight ducks myself on the sat, so can be long days and occasionally cold up here. 

For that moor I'm going back to this year dogs are in motor back off 6 and seen it being 9 some nights when get home

Sometimes think we're off our heads doing it, but that moor is a cracker and owner and keeper look after us.

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On 18/08/2020 at 18:57, Lloyd90 said:


Come on your got me wondering what you yourself are doing and feeding  

 

I enjoy reading about what everyone else is doing so I can compare and pick up little tips as I go  

Basically I we do our fair share and upon reflection I had it about right for what I do 

In summer 1/2 builders mug of cheap biscuits with enough water for them to float and a big spoon of natural yogurt for breakfast/ a full mug at night with any of our scraps, I add a tin of sardines every other day and scrambled eggs on a Sunday to enhance the fact I use cheap biscuits

On working days a tin of sardines with yogurt and water for breakfast, a couple of hot dog sausages at lunchtime with a scrap of pork pie, at night 1.5 mugs of biscuits with pasta

I think I'll add some palm oil free peanut butter to lunchtime menu and pay even more attention of drying/keeping warm between drives

Again thank you all it's been a good topic I reckon

 

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3 hours ago, cocker boy said:

Feed good quality kibble and you don’t need to add anything at all. 

I have always fed dry food/kibble since the early ‘70’s. 
But I have spent nearly four years trying to find a dry food my current dog will eat. 
She only seems interested in tinned meats. It’s driving me mad...and bankrupt!

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23 minutes ago, London Best said:

I have always fed dry food/kibble since the early ‘70’s. 
But I have spent nearly four years trying to find a dry food my current dog will eat. 
She only seems interested in tinned meats. It’s driving me mad...and bankrupt!


Have you tried RAW / BARF? 

3 hours ago, cocker boy said:

Feed good quality kibble and you don’t need to add anything at all. 


I think more people would benefit from getting their dog properly fit pre-season, than changing the food about pre-season. 
 

Getting the dog out doing several times at a good trot a few times a week will get them proper fit, much more than a slow walk around the block, and pay dividends when working. 

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Not tried raw food, but bones don’t seem to suit her.  
I always used Skinners at 23% protein in the season and dropped it to 18 or 20% in Summer, but she would rather starve. She seems to like any I try for about three days then stops eating it. Best success with dry food was cheapo Worker Wagg. She ate that for about six weeks but now won’t look at it. I began to wonder about her teeth but there is nothing wrong.

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19 minutes ago, Lloyd90 said:


Have you tried RAW / BARF? 


I think more people would benefit from getting their dog properly fit pre-season, than changing the food about pre-season. 
 

Getting the dog out doing several times at a good trot a few times a week will get them proper fit, much more than a slow walk around the block, and pay dividends when working. 

I reckon it would work well on a few of the owners too 🙂 

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