Older dogs and rough hunts...

Discussion in 'Gun Dog Forum' started by Golovkin, Dec 27, 2017.

  1. Golovkin

    Golovkin Senior Refuge Member

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    My 10 1/2 yr old chocolate lab is having a tougher time handling the cold, it was -15f this morning on the river and his feet started bothering him when he would get out of the water and walk through the snow. He also showed a hint of reluctance after about 10 retrieves so we called it quits after a dozen. He had a vest and was sitting on another vest and decoy bag with my heavy coat over him between retrieves. We were out for an hour and a half which was probably a half hour too long to be honest.

    The joyful enthusiasm that we started with was soon turned into a wore out dog. This wouldn't have happened two years ago, so I know father time has caught up, but what can I do to make his hunts more enjoyable and less brutal? He gets really sore that night and I hate seeing him like that.

    I know a few small streams that hold mallards, and those turn into short land retrieves, maybe some neoprene booties and short hunts? The weather might not warm up for the rest of the season and he would rather die trying vs. Sit at home.
     
  2. stephen brown

    stephen brown Senior Refuge Member

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    When the temperature dips then make it a short hunt or stay home and share a bit of breakfast with the dog.
     
  3. FieldLabLover

    FieldLabLover Elite Refuge Member

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    Is he on any pain meds? At least use Boswellia before and after or go to the vet and get some Tramadol. Time to look for a started dog or a puppy to have ready next year.
     
  4. Doc E

    Doc E Elite Refuge Member Sponsor

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    Agree - The Boswellia that I have is safe and effective and not expensive.
    Also, remember that the young and the elderly don't have good thermoregulation.
    They get hot easier and they get cold easier. This is true of all mammals.
    .
     
  5. Golovkin

    Golovkin Senior Refuge Member

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    He isn't on any meds, I'll look into those, thanks!
     
  6. Golovkin

    Golovkin Senior Refuge Member

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    Good to know, Thanks!
     
  7. WHUP ! Hen

    WHUP ! Hen Elite Refuge Member

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    There comes a time in any hunting dogs life that they should only be taken on easy hunts. I used to hunt quail, when we had them, and take the old guy to a couple fence rows where there was always a covey and let him hunt for 45 minutes to an hour and then home he enjoyed it and so did I. I have never pushed my Labs after 11 years of age. They went on easy hunt just like my Pointers. It’s not an easy thing to do but it must be done.
     
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  8. thatguy2

    thatguy2 Senior Refuge Member

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    Took my almost 9 yr old clf out Xmas day. Conditions were tough and I had to break ice. She fell through some ice that was just deep enough she couldn’t touch. She was all out panicking. We hunted awhile and didn’t get anything. When we got back to the truck she wanted in as soon as the tailgate dropped. The cold really bothers her sore knee. Told the wife the pup is doing the rest of the hunts this year unless it will just be a cakewalk.
     
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  9. negooseman

    negooseman Senior Refuge Member

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    I wouldn't even consider taking a dog, of any age, out when it's -15 unless the dog was in a heated area while not retrieving.
     
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