Monday, 18 June 2007
How many times should I feed my gun dog everyday?
Jeremy has been breeding gun dogs for over 25 years. He is a member of the Kennel Club and lives in Lancashire and is well known as a writer on country sports and rural issues.
Mark is an 'A' panel Kennel Club judge for spaniels and has represented England six times in international gundog events. He trains and breeds labradors and spaniels at the Cheweky Gundog Kennels in Yorkshire.
JEREMY SAYS:Dogs are carnivores and after a kill or a meal in the case of the domestic dog a carnivore sleeps to enable its food to be digested. The period after a feed is the quietest time in any kennels as dogs usually curl up and rest. We feed our kennel dogs twice a day with a small meal in the morning and the main meal about 4.30pm.
I am a stickler for regular feeding times whenever possible, but if your circumstances mean you have to feed your dog in the early evening and then undertake a training session soon after I would consider re-organising your routine.
Many dogs, particularly Labradors, bolt their food which makes it even more important to allow them time to digest it. Perhaps you should consider giving your dog his main meal in the morning and then giving him a smaller meal after you have trained in the evening.
Dogs carrying a full stomach will feel uncomfortable during training - a distraction you don't want. Alternatively you could make sure your dog is fed his main meal mid-afternoon so it's well ahead of his training session. But don't let the light nights make you overdo the training either too much all at once can be counter-productive.
If you have have any gundog related questions/queries then please send them in to:
Gundog Questions, Shooting Gazette, PO Box 225, Stamford, Lincolnshire, PE9 2HS.
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