Sunday, March 31, 2013

Maggie seems bent on self destruction

I spent the weekend with family at my folks' cabin near Tehachapi (southern sierra nevadas).  Each day I walked with the pups from their place (5700') to the top of Bear Mountain (7,000'), a very pretty hike and good exercise for all.  Saw several mountain quail, always a treat.

Maggie as usual was a walking disaster ...

First day she got a bit lost, not a big deal, that's why I have the Astro on her.  Took 20 minutes to run her down though.

Second day she was out on a cast for longer than usual so I whistled her back before continuing down the mountain.  She came back slowly, and when she got close she looked "punch drunk", staggering and tripping as she walked.  It was way too cold for snakes so I looked her over a bit and then headed down the mountain.  Looked more carefully when we got back and found a 1/2" gash under her left armpit.  Cleaned it up well with betadayne, applied some antibiotic ointment, and used three staples to hold eveything in place.  Not really a bad cut, skin was not pulling, everything pretty clean, it should heal up well.

She recovered completely by the end of the day and now I'm wondering what happened.  Maybe she was running hard, catapulted off a large rock, and landed in brush / more rock?  Can't really know, but glad that she seems to be OK.

Thank goodness for the Astro.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Less protein, more fat, better nose?

A new study reported by Science Daily suggests that decreasing protein to 18% and increasing fat intake improved dogs' detection ability. AKA, the sniff test.

Veterinarian Joseph Wakshlag, chief of nutrition at Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine, and his team found that decreasing protein intake to 18% and increasing fat intake improved dogs' sniffing abilities. Less protein results in a faster return to normal body temperature after activity, which translates to better olfactory ability, according to Dr. Wakshlag. The study used a new research technique, completely evacuating residual fumes from testing areas, that contributed to higher detection accuracy, suggesting dogs' detection abilities are better than previously thought.

This suggests that the high protein kibble options so often preferred may be a contributing cause to slow recovery to normal temperature after exercise. Might be worth some study if it would improve recovery rates.

Thanks to Charlie Hjerpe DVM for sending along the link.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Jessi at Seven Months

Most of month six was spent on yard work: working on her recall (here), healing, and whoa.  A pinch collar and e-collar were introduced in the process, for correction, after the here, heel, and whoa commands had been used many times in preliminary yard work.  At this time Jessi is responding well to these commands in the yard and in the field.

I have been running Jessi regularly in the bird field.  Initial bird work was begun on pigeons planted in launchers.  I will generally only put birds out for her one in every three times in the field.  By running her "dry", between her sessions with birds, it reduces the likelihood of false points, and when I do put birds out it's always in a different location.  She is holding her point well, waiting for me get to the front before rushing in to flush, then chasing for quite a distance.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Shadow Oak Bo article on Strideaway

An interesting article on Shadow Oak Bo by Tom Word on Strideaway...

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

How we roll...

I have been refining my hunting truck set-up and thought I would share the latest iteration. I still have the 4 dog topper and will use when needed, but I liked the idea of something a bit more flexible. 

My truck is an older (2001) F350 that does great towing my Airstream or my fishing boat. But I needed to add a few things to make it convenient for hunting trips. 

As a useable base, and to provide easy access to the contents of the truck bed, I installed a full length, roll-out Bed Slide that is 48 inches wide. On top I put an ARE shell with swing up side windows. The windows provide access to a Line-X coated ply box that sits within the bed rails - over the forward part of the bed. 

On the Bed Slide I fitted a poly 35 gallon potable water tank (48" X 18" X 10") and a small electric pump. This provides a means to carry plenty of water when I need to refill the tank on the Airstream or when camping out of the truck or if I just want to douse a dog.

My excellent friend and fellow blogger, Pete, made a very nice gun and 'stuff' drawer that fits on one side of the Bed Slide - leaving room for a storage box or a sliding tray for my Engel 45L fridge/freezer. Pete built it with 'double decker' drawers that occupy the center area and, somehow, boxes of sixteen gauge loads fit exactly in the top drawers. Thank you, Pete! The wire dog crates go on a piece of carpet on top of the box - ratchet strapped securely to the Bed Slide.

This works out to be a pretty good way to carry a couple bird dogs, four guns, a generous amount of ammo, a ton of hunting crap, a lot of water and nearly anything else you need to haul along.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Snake break training, etc.

I took Maggie & Rosie to snake break training this morning.  It was done well by a very experienced professional.  During the "final exam" after the training each of them caught scent of the snake from several feet away and them moved rapidly in the other direction.  I'll also have them re-innoculated with rattlesnake vaccine when that comes due.  Seems worthwhile to take all possible precautions considering the risk to the dog and the cost of the vet care.

I've been working on Maggie's "whoa" when we walk in the mornings.  I'll whoa her when she runs within 100 feet of me, then throw gravel and such into the grass as a distraction.  She's holding staunchly now.  More work on pigeons next weekend.