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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My GSD easily gets tired when we train during the past few days now that it's really warm. Maybe 5-10 minutes he's pooped. I keep waiting for cloudy days but they never come when I want them. :evil: Any suggestions to condition a dog or to help him through the summer months?
 

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I would buy a cheap plastic kid's swimming pool and have the dog take breaks in it. Make sure the dog's belly and chest get wet, it's also good to try to get betweeen the rear legs wet if you can. Otherwise, just take some good breaks in a cool car or inside, offer nice cool water (I'll stick ice cubes in it on really hot days) and deal as best as you can.
All of this, of course, is after the dog has been cleared of any fatigue-causing illnesses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, I haven't gone to the vet yet, but it never really crossed my mind because he's okay when it's raining or cloudy. The ice cubes seem like a good idea--perhaps I could bring some along when we train. Right now all I'm doing is letting him take some sips from the water fountain. (Hope no one sees us though. :oops: )
 

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Sarah Hall said:
I would buy a cheap plastic kid's swimming pool and have the dog take breaks in it. Make sure the dog's belly and chest get wet, it's also good to try to get betweeen the rear legs wet if you can. Otherwise, just take some good breaks in a cool car or inside, offer nice cool water (I'll stick ice cubes in it on really hot days) and deal as best as you can.
All of this, of course, is after the dog has been cleared of any fatigue-causing illnesses.
And you want ONLY the parts of the dog where the blood vessels are exposed to the water (so to speak) to get wet. So the face, groin, belly, etc., but NOT the furry sides and back.

I learned this from Bob Scott and others (about soaked fur holding heat in and making it worse), and now Leo's and Pomfret's clubs have pools with water levels appropriate for the size of the dogs. The little dogs' pool has only enough water to soak them paw-to-belly, and ditto the higher big-dog pool.

Huge step we took at the club: reflecting awnings for the shaded part. I couldn't believe the difference between the old green canvas ones and the new reflecting ones.
 

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Connie Sutherland said:
Sarah Hall said:
I would buy a cheap plastic kid's swimming pool and have the dog take breaks in it. Make sure the dog's belly and chest get wet, it's also good to try to get betweeen the rear legs wet if you can. Otherwise, just take some good breaks in a cool car or inside, offer nice cool water (I'll stick ice cubes in it on really hot days) and deal as best as you can.
All of this, of course, is after the dog has been cleared of any fatigue-causing illnesses.
And you want ONLY the parts of the dog where the blood vessels are exposed to the water (so to speak) to get wet. So the face, groin, belly, etc., but NOT the furry sides and back.

I learned this from Bob Scott and others (about soaked fur holding heat in and making it worse), and now Leo's and Pomfret's clubs have pools with water levels appropriate for the size of the dogs. The little dogs' pool has only enough water to soak them paw-to-belly, and ditto the higher big-dog pool.

Huge step we took at the club: reflecting awnings for the shaded part. I couldn't believe the difference between the old green canvas ones and the new reflecting ones.
When the coat is wet, it no longer acts as insulation from the heat. The water will then transfer the heat directly to the dogs skin.
 

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Since starting my current drug class Monday the 19th, the weather has been unseasonably hot, even for the south. I make the handler carry an ice chest to the training areas with us, just in case. It's a good thing too, Wednesday, I had one dog nearly go into convulsions because of heat. We do work them hard. I noticed the dog's gait becoming rather unstable and told the handler to start applying ice. We do apply to the "armpits" well I guess actually they are leg pits, and then place the dog in the car. She was fine during training Thursday, I just watched them a little closer.

DFrost
 

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David Frost said:
Since starting my current drug class Monday the 19th, the weather has been unseasonably hot, even for the south. I make the handler carry an ice chest to the training areas with us, just in case. It's a good thing too, Wednesday, I had one dog nearly go into convulsions because of heat. We do work them hard. I noticed the dog's gait becoming rather unstable and told the handler to start applying ice. We do apply to the "armpits" well I guess actually they are leg pits, and then place the dog in the car. She was fine during training Thursday, I just watched them a little closer.

DFrost
Oh, right, the armpits are definitely a spot where the blood vessels are very close to the surface. Good spot.

Last week in NY people at the training demo I attended were discussing the subject. I hadn't really realized, prior to that, how the face is a good blood-vessels-close-to-the-surface spot too.
 

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Without ice, alcohol wipes frm a first aid kit work well for bringing down the dogs belly heat.
 

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Lyn...you wrote that after 5 - 10 minutes your dog gets pooped. If your dog is in decent shape, that's way too soon.

How old is your dog? How in shape is he? How do you condition him? How does he spend his day?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
He's 10 months old. I might have overexagerrated a bit, I'm not exactly sure how long it takes for him to get tired, but for example earlier, we've only done maybe 4 dumbbell retrieves and some heel/drivework before he slowed down and started 'screwing up', so to speak. When it's raining we could easily go 20 minutes doing various things and by the end his recall would be lightning fast. I take him for a few miles walk each day after some obedience and then he spends 8-10 hours in the crate (includes nighttime), most of his time is spent in the house. He's of the proper weight, with the outer ribs showing, and is on a raw food diet.

Are there any other exercises we can do to help increase his stamina? I know for sure he's not in 'peak condition', but have no idea what else to do without overtiring him.
 

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Jerry Lyda said:
The best exercise is swimming. It's hot so lets get wet.
Excellent suggestion!

One of my daughter's BTs joined me in her pool in Massachusetts. So I'll go so far as to say "The best exercise is swimming -- dogs and people together!" :lol: :lol:
 

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Another +1 for the swimming suggestion. I like to take my dogs to the lake in the summer. Even my dog that doesn't care for swimming likes to retrieve out of the lake.
 

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Swimming is great but I have seen dogs get too hot even swimming

I carry a cooler with the following in it just for heat but have not needed it too much - better safe than sorry It has:

Gel packs
Washcloths soaked in water and frozen in plastic bags (I love these!)
Ice water and a small mister in which I keep ice water - you can find it at garden shops - it is like a mini pressure sprayer.

After training mine get a long cooling spray between the back legs with an open spray pattern - in between a mist and a stream (I would not apply ice water directly to skin)

Also don't understimate moving air. Mine have both been fine in a vehcile that was 90-95 (that was the air temp, not like the car was adding) with fans on high -- crates are open wire - I am using the 02Coool fan hooked up to a 12 volt deep cycle battery just for the dogs (It moves a LOT more air than those chinszy 12volt car fans or those battery dog fans)
 

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We (the people I train SAR with) have found that intense conditioning is a must to prevent heat exhaustion.

In my experience, dogs who are put through a regular conditioning regimen are far less likely to suffer from the heat and also recover faster from training in the heat.

If you do a google search for canine heat exhaustion, you'll find a few articles from the hunting dog web sites that adress the importance of conditioning and also offer suggestions on a conditioning regimen.

http://www.gundogsonline.com/Article/keeping-your-dog-cool-Page1.htm
 

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.......and there are several threads on the board on heat tolerance / conditioning.

As well as diet and heat tolerance.

what you don't want to hear is that if your dog is in the A/C all day and taken out to work in the heat .... that is harder on them than if they are in the environment in which they will be worked.

My compromise (when I can keep my family away from the thermostat) is to jack it up as high as I can tolerate (usually around 80) ...
 

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QUOTE NANCY:what you don't want to hear is that if your dog is in the A/C all day and taken out to work in the heat .... that is harder on them than if they are in the environment in which they will be worked. END QUOTE

Very good point, Nancy! This is a very important thing to consider, which most people overlook.
 

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I agree dog should be conditioned above all first, (dont keep in air conditioning on regular basis). I also load up 65 gallons of cold well water if I know is going to be hot and sunny. It has been great hit when group training and someone drags along kiddy pool. Can be purchased for under 100.00 at local farm & fleet stores. Takes a couple days to warm up above 70 degrees. I mainly use when tracking on hot sunny day will give you more drive on long tracks by total soaking at the start.

Dan Reiter
 

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Lyn Chen said:
My GSD easily gets tired when we train during the past few days now that it's really warm. Maybe 5-10 minutes he's pooped. I keep waiting for cloudy days but they never come when I want them. :evil: Any suggestions to condition a dog or to help him through the summer months?
To add to the other excellent suggestions, my aunt gave me a neat idea she uses with her border collie at the dog park: she wets and freezes bandanas to tie around the dog when he gets overheated at the park! She puts it around his neck with the triangle in front, and keeps extras in a cooler in her car along with his water and ice. She said she's also used this trick with her sister's lab/chow mix and my brother's English bulldog. I think it goes along with teh "armpit" info (b/c that's mostly where the bandana falls).

We're being extra careful with Achilles this summer b/c we came from a much milder climate (Germany) and we're having trouble adjusting to the southern weather, so we can just imagine how the dog feels. Right now he's sleeping through the hottest parts of the day by choice, so I've been following his lead and doing training and exercise in the early morning and late night when it's coolest out.
 
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