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mackesr 08-29-2018 05:34 AM

Does your dog hunt doves?
I originally broke my GSHP on pheasant and quail, but last year I finally had a really good place to dove hunt and took her out. As always in Va. this time of year it was very hot and humid. The birds were not flying very much at first and some of our group were getting shots and my dog would react to them and want to retrieve their birds. I would have to continually check her from going to retrieve their birds and she did not like it one bit that I would not let her. She eventually settled down and the birds started flying more towards the late afternoon and she ended up retrieving all nine that I shot plus I took her over to a fellow that had lost some in the tall grass and she found those as well. Overall I think she did pretty good. The problem was that she was so geeked up that it was hard to get her to drink water and I was afraid she was going to overheat, even in the shade. We found out later that evening that one guy who brought his overweight lab had to take the dog on an emergency run to the animal hospital which is pretty far away and the poor thing died before he could get it there. Dove season comes in this Sat. and its been blazing hot here the past couple days so not sure if I am going to take her this time. She just got checked by the vet with a clean bill of health but she has gained some weight since last year. Its supposed to cool down a little to the mid eighties tomorrow but still pretty hot and humid. I would hate for her to go down like the other fellows lab did so I am going to make a decision on Sat. before heading out. I would love to continue to train her on dove as it sure is nice to have a dog to find downed birds as they are sometimes difficult to locate, but not at the expense of my dog.

Oldtimr 08-29-2018 06:20 AM

My first setter went down on me on day that started out in mid 60s in the early morning but got to 70s in late morning, we were hunting quail and chukars. He just layed down and couldn't get up. I put some water in his mouth with one of the two squeeze bottles I carry and then wet his belly down real good. Then ran back to my truck where I had a gallon of water and drove across the fields to her and got her to drink and cooled his belly some more. I won't hunt a dog anymore when it hits 70. Just the excitement of hunting heats them up, coupled with ht temp is not good for the dogs.

mackesr 08-29-2018 07:06 AM

After that experience I sure understand why you wouldnt want to go through that again, Oldtimer! My dog is kenneled outdoors all day while I am at work and she is acclimated to this Va. heat but she is not working in it the way she would if hunting. I sure would hate myself if she were to over heat like yours did, though I could understand how easily it could happen in your case as the temps were so low when you started out. I am leaning heavily to keeping her home at this point. She loves to hunt but its just not worth the risk.

archeryrob 08-29-2018 10:01 AM

My lab is half English and half American and favors her stocky English mother. She does great in the winter but gets hot fast. Also like Old Timer said She about gets hot just being excited being out hunting and hearing the guns load up. I will take her later season dove hunting when the temp drops, but I got too much time and love invested to risk her life. Besides, if I heat stroked her and killed her, I am not sure my family would let me back in the house!!

I have read a lot on the waterfowl forums in the past of guys doing the same thing and having the dog keel over and die from heat stroke. They will run until they crash. If you ever hear them making that sucking sound were the tongue kind of binds in the throat from panting so heavy you better get them whetted or iced down.

Don't think being keep outside makes her better to run in the warm weather as she does nothing when its hot. They know not too, but you get them hunting and they will fight instinct to rest to hunt and work until she dies.

mackesr 08-30-2018 10:16 AM

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A friend of mine said he could hear the heavy breathing of that poor lab just before they hauled her off to the animal hospital which was probably just as you described. I would never forgive myself for doing that to my Xena, that's for certain. No dog would deserve that. There will be plenty of times to hunt when the weather cools off. She is my first bird dog and I had no idea what I was doing when training her but she sure does hunt hard and finds the birds. I always tell people that she has taught me more than I ever taught her.

mthusker 09-12-2018 07:21 PM

If your going to hunt a dog with warm temps, you as their owner have the responsibilities to keep that dog in top shape, get it acclimated to conditions. I live here in Montana, our grouse and hun season started labor day weekend. It can be miserable hot or very cool. I run my pups twice a day almost every day all year long, during the summer, early and late, with a few day's thrown in at Ft. Peck lake for water training. If your going to hunt on hot days for any bird, I would suggest you do it near a water hole, so the pup can have the ability to drink and take a dip. I have no idea how anyone of you keep your pet during the year, whether they are house dogs or kenneled outside. I believe it would be tougher on the house dog getting acclimated then one that lives outdoors. Most pups I have been around, offered water, will drink if they need it, how about keeping dog in a wire kennel while hunting, with a water bowl in it, that way you still have ventilation and the dog will not be as wired if it were out side of it, keep it in shady place.

Jack Ryan 09-12-2018 07:31 PM

Wow! I'm glad I read this. I have a GWP pointer and I never thought it would be harder on him than me. I take him with me just on exercise walks a couple times a week just to keep us both in shape but we are BOTH pretty old and walk 4 miles most outings. He does about 3 times as far as me walking out but slows down when we turn around.

I was thinking about starting to use the bicycle just to let him do a little more with out lapping me. It has been getting in the 50's here at night now. Would it really kill him before he just takes a break?

Oldtimr 09-13-2018 02:39 AM

JW, you sweat to help cool your body on hot days, dogs do not sweat they can only shed heat through the bottoms of their feet and by panting. An excited hunting dog and high heat is a dangerous combination, just the excitement of hunting heats up a dog. This weather has been crazy hot this year, I hope the temp gets better before archery season opens.

mackesr 09-14-2018 09:50 AM

I ended up not hunting my dog that labor day weekend as it was in the 80's. We ended up out in the back section of a huge corn field with a hay field that bordered it. Had to find any shade possible to get through the hottest part of the day so was glad she did not come with me. Turned out that the doves were not flying anywhere near like they did last year and did not get many opportunities so she did not miss out. One guy brought two yellow labs and they seemed to do ok. He had an awning set up to provide shade, which I thought was a good idea.

Erictheguy 09-16-2018 04:56 AM

I have a dachshund that practically chase any moving thing in the forest. Dachshunds are good hunting dogs as hunting is innate in them.

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