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Allan P

Standard of Stamina

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I often read about dogs having good wind or great stamina etc. I mooch about with one lurcher and he is pretty much on the go from the first minute Hunting like a Spaniel and putting in a runs we don't catch that much be I enjoy it, but its tough hunting with only one dog doing everything. I think I might have mentioned before that I work offshore on a 3 on 3 off rota :) and it takes me roughly 2 weeks to get the dog up to speed, by my last week at home barring an injury, he is up to a good 3 hours mooching/ Hunting with occasional breather when required depending on what's about, but you can see him fading a bit after that.

It is what it is where my dogs concerned , but I am just interested on what people expect/require of their Lurchers stamina wise?

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Sounds like he puts 100% effort in from the word go? So you can’t expect him to to keep 100% up all day, some dogs regardless of the breed are steady so never really tax themselves,I’ve walked out with lads who have said there dogs never tire,it was because they were lacking effort, you can work hard or long but not both,is he a bedlington cross?.

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It must be difficult for you having to more or less start from scratch each time you go home, but not so hard as it is for the dog. If he gets zero exercise when you're not there he will never achieve full fitness. Each time he starts to get a little fitter then you have to go away again, so it's no wonder he's never the conditioned athlete you would like him to be. You don't say what breeding he is, but generally speaking, the larger and heavier the dog, the longer it takes to get it fit and the more quickly it loses condition when not being worked or exercised. Not only that, he must often be working with sore muscles, which doesn't help. Stamina is very far from being a simple thing to judge or analyse. The heart, for example, is a muscle that needs conditioning just the same as any other muscle in the body. The fitter the dog, the more efficiently the heart is able to pump blood, and therefore oxygen, around the body.

Also, hunting up, chasing, hunting up again: it is almost a form of training, known as interval training: fast for a bit, slower for a bit, and so on.  It sounds as though he has plenty of want/drive, but the body can only do so much if it is not properly conditioned. Age, too, has a part to play, and a young dog recovers more quickly, gets fitter faster.

I'd expect most healthy lurchers of under 6 years of age, providing they are reasonably fit, to be able to hunt for several hours, but of course it also depends what they put up and what they are chasing, and how often they have to get into top gear and for how long. Lots of short runs on quarry that is either caught quickly or goes to ground is a lot different to long courses on stuff that just keeps running and running. Your question is not easy to answer given all the variables.

 

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He's around 26kg Bedlington/Bull/ greyhound, hes walked by my wife and daughter when I'm away but nothing serious. He has good prey drive in my eyes and would run till he drops if I let him. I am always judging him and call it a day when I see him flagging. I watch what he's like when getting up and how stiff  he is and judge from that whether to just go for a local walk or a mooch.

He's also been diagnosed with a heart murmur by the local vet and is on Vetmedin twice a day, but I am not 100 % he really needs this, this is why I am asking about stamina to be honest.

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I had a lurcher with a heart murmur who’s stamina was suspect when it was warm, if you had put that in your first post I would have said the murmur as probably affected his stamina.good luck with him.

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1 minute ago, Str said:

I had a lurcher with a heart murmur who’s stamina was suspect when it was warm, if you had put that in your first post I would have said the murmur as probably affected his stamina.good luck with him.

I was just trying to find out what peoples expectations of their dogs stamina is as a baseline for mine  that's the reason I didn't mention the murmur, just to see if he is way below average if you know what I mean.  I've  read and talked to people with dogs with heart murmurs and they have told me its no issue and the dogs fine.

The heat does play a massive part in his stamina but isn't that true with most or all dogs?

What I am really trying to understand is whether its the dogs fault my fault or a combination of both or he is actually ok for the circumstances.

He is 5 1/2, I would expect a dog to go on more than he does or am I expecting to much.

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By the end of this season is like my dog to be doing 5/6 hours lamping and running his last like he did his first but in that time I wouldn't see that many runnable rabbits maybe 10 - 12 rabbits if I'm lucky and he probably wouldn't catch most of them lol 

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Stamina and wind are 2 completely different things. I had a lurcher that had decent stamina would hunt up and bomb about all day, but You give him a Good hard run on the lamp n he would drastically fade, he had the wind of a tea bag.

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As to stamina in general, this can be increased with training in exactly the same way as humans although there will always be a genetic limitation ie a greyhound is not a saluki.

To me the interest is the heart condition and the irregular exercise pattern. The Vetmedin, a Calcium sensitizers is a very useful treatment in heart murmurs  that the increases the pumping force of the heart whilst also expanding the blood vessels, allowing a better out flow, without some of the side effects of earlier drugs. The murmur will be a faulty valve which will cause some back flow into the heart reducing the efficiency to a degree, the extent of which will be dependent on the grade of the murmur.

In general exercise is good for the heart, if not overdone, but the irregular nature of the exercise may be a little problematic in causing strain rather than positive adaption. So going from very little exercise and a de-conditioned heart to high intensity exercise will likely be a risk and may well hasten the onset of heart failure and so shorten its overall life. But this needs to be balanced against the quality of life. I’d guess the dog gets great enjoyment out of its mooching sessions and so this enhances its life so balancing out the shorter life it may well cause.

The best scenario would be regular exercise to condition the heart as a baseline so the mooching puts less strain on the heart when your home. Does it chase a ball? If so great if not train it to, tug training on youtube will be helpful. Getting your family to do some ball work on their daily walks will help to maintain a baseline fitness, the relative intensity of the sprints with the relatively short recoveries between throws is likely the best option in the circumstances. 10 minutes ball work is better than a n hour pottering round the local park and a bit of both is perfect. Then as the dog is fitter it will be under less strain on the mooching sessions but make sure you then don’t increase the time of the sessions as this will put you back to square one.

Edited by sandymere
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ball work, good workout for dogs. gets the heart and lungs working plus the fast twitch muscles that walking does not do.

  

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1 hour ago, sandymere said:

 

As to stamina in general, this can be increased with training in exactly the same way as humans although there will always be a genetic limitation ie a greyhound is not a saluki.

To me the interest is the heart condition and the irregular exercise pattern. The Vetmedin, a Calcium sensitizers is a very useful treatment in heart murmurs  that the increases the pumping force of the heart whilst also expanding the blood vessels, allowing a better out flow, without some of the side effects of earlier drugs. The murmur will be a faulty valve which will cause some back flow into the heart reducing the efficiency to a degree, the extent of which will be dependent on the grade of the murmur.

In general exercise is good for the heart, if not overdone, but the irregular nature of the exercise may be a little problematic in causing strain rather than positive adaption. So going from very little exercise and a de-conditioned heart to high intensity exercise will likely be a risk and may well hasten the onset of heart failure and so shorten its overall life. But this needs to be balanced against the quality of life. I’d guess the dog gets great enjoyment out of its mooching sessions and so this enhances its life so balancing out the shorter life it may well cause.

The best scenario would be regular exercise to condition the heart as a baseline so the mooching puts less strain on the heart when your home. Does it chase a ball? If so great if not train it to, tug training on youtube will be helpful. Getting your family to do some ball work on their daily walks will help to maintain a baseline fitness, the relative intensity of the sprints with the relatively short recoveries between throws is likely the best option in the circumstances. 10 minutes ball work is better than a n hour pottering round the local park and a bit of both is perfect. Then as the dog is fitter it will be under less strain on the mooching sessions but make sure you then don’t increase the time of the sessions as this will put you back to square one.

Thanks for the reply, I have basically quit lamping with the dog due to his condition and when I am home I start off quite slow mooching  around an hour and build up from there because I don't want to put to much stress on him.  He loves  mooch and a hunt about and is always up for it.

He still has a great quality of life and I also discussed with the Vet that I am not going to stop him doing what he enjoys and if he drops dead out and about then in my opinion that's  better than retiring him and I enjoy getting out as well.

The dogs not interested in a ball but that's something we can work on. I am looking into getting a couple of ferrets  so hopefully he can be a part of that again.

Also thought of the dog walking route to keep him ticking over.

Think the best option is to quit offshore and be a full time pest controller and get a new dog :) .

 

Edited by Allan P
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