5 Tips to Get Your Gun Dog in Shape


The heat of summer can be enough to keep even the most avid outdoorsman indoors, and it’s tempting to bring your gun dog into the comfort of air conditioning to avoid soaring temperatures. While there’s nothing wrong with helping your furry friend cool down, too much rest during the summer, combined with other factors, can make for an opening day with a gun dog that isn’t at its prime. Scott Vance of Smokin Gun Dogs says dove season is the most dangerous time of year for your gun dog.

Dog with hunter Photo by Smokin Gun Dogs

Dove season is just around the corner and it is quite possibly the most dangerous time of year for many working retrievers around the country… There are a few simple steps you can take to make sure your dogs opening day dove hunt this year is not his last.

1) Get them in shape! – Don’t let your dogs lay around all summer because you decide its too hot for them to exercise and get out. Make sure they get daily exercise during the cooler periods of daylight hours and make their routines strenous enough that they stay in shape. Swimming is a great morning or evening activity and many owners use this time to row a boat or take a fast walk/run as well. Multiple benefits to this one!

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Photos: Smokin Gun Dogs

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Shannon Rikard
Shannon Rikard is a freelance writer and photographer with a passion for conservation and wedding and portrait photography. The Archery Trade Association and National Wild Turkey Federation have published her work. A self-professed word geek, she enjoys Wheel of Fortune, crossword puzzles, and finding a dynamite synonym to illustrate any point. After starting her career in public relations with a national conservation organization, she ventured out on her own with Copper Door Studios.