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Tag: Upland

Setter Tales TV Episode 5

Wade and the team head to North Central Iowa where Kinetic and Aiming for a Cure are featured in Episode 5 of Sweet Point’s Setter Tales TV.
 

Tailgate Health Checks After the Hunt

Kinetic Pro Staff Member Wade Kisner of Sweet Point Setters walks you through a post-hunt tailgate check for injury or irritation in your dogs.

The Season Diet: Feeding our Gun Dog During Hunting Season

This article was originally published in the November 2015 issue of The Iowa Sportsman magazine.

In most cases, our dogs are most active during the months of our respective hunting seasons.  Even dogs that train regularly during the offseason can be more active during the hunting months because they are guide dogs, or simply hunt hard a few days per week resulting in more calories burnt and more wear and tear on the body.

For maximum performance, as well as a speedy recovery it is crucial to feed our dogs properly.  I am asked frequently “What do you feed your dogs during the hunting season”?  The truth is that my dogs eat the same food year round.  With rigorous training year round, as well as hunting during the season, I feed my dogs something with a high enough protein content, as well as fat.  This way, not only do my dogs have a great energy source, but enough protein to repair and recover after a hard day afield.

My particular food of choice is the POWER Formula from Kinetic Performance Dog Food.  This blend contains 30% crude protein, and 20% crude fat, which is ideal for dogs that have high activity levels in their day to day routines (1-2 hour increments).  Let’s take a look at some key focus points when evaluating a food to feed your hunting dog during the season.

Multiple Protein Sources Upland Hunting Dog Food

Protein is what fuels muscle activity, so during the season when our dogs are most active it is important to have easily digestible sources of protein.  The food I feed has chicken, fish and egg (the fish adds other benefits I will touch on soon).

Multiple Fat Sources

For energy, a dog’s body (just like human bodies) will metabolize fat.  For that reason, adequate fat content is critical in maximizing the nutritional value of your dog’s food.  The POWER Formula that I feed my dogs includes chicken fat, fish oil and sunflower oil.  Fish oil is also rich in omega 3 fatty acid which creates healthy and durable skin, coat and paw pads to endure the hunting season.  So many issues in dogs can stem from a lack of proper fats; energy level, itchiness and dry pads.

Common Ingredient Profile

One benefit to the Kinetic POWER Formula that I feed that I think we should all consider when selecting our dog food is the common ingredient formula.  What this means is that a brand of dog food typically offers different varieties (for example “Adult”, “Sport”, etc.) but they all include the same basic ingredients.  The benefit here is that if you were to switch to the different blend (maybe switch to the higher protein/higher fat content food during the hunting months) it would be stress free on your dog’s digestive system.

Vitamins and Trace Minerals

It is not only protein that helps a dog’s body recover from vigorous activity.  Vitamins, chelated trace minerals, prebiotics and electrolytes all play a vital role in the process as well.  You will want to make sure that your food contains an adequate vitamin and trace mineral package, as I believe these components are what can really set one food apart from another.  For example, the food that I feed contains Betaine, which breaks down proteins and fats into more digestible form.  This is fairly unique in dog food, so I really appreciate this “feature”.  I also recommend looking at the ingredients list and seeing where potassium shows up.  Is it early in the list?  If so, that is great!  We as humans are told to eat bananas to reduce muscle aches, soreness, stiffness and cramping.  The potassium is what helps these symptoms and it is no different for our dogs.  Typically potassium is far down the list of ingredients, so the sooner, the better.  Another rare vitamin the food I feed contains is L-Carnitine which largely contributes to converting fat to energy.

Feeding a dog food that accounts for some of the items described above will ensure that your dog is receiving appropriate nutrition during the hunting season.  Because of the high nutritional value from these factors, you will not need to increase their food intake (something several sporting dog owners do) to offset their increased activity.  This is the benefit to feeding a food blend that is geared towards a true sporting dog.  With the right amount of protein, fat, vitamins and so forth, your dog will receive the proper amount of nutritional value without having to overfeed (the body can only digest so much of these items before they essentially go to waste).  Of course the other benefit here is the economics.  Good food is not cheap, so being able to properly feed your dog with superior nutrition and make your bag last as long as possible is a great benefit to feeding premium food.   There may be situations where higher caloric intake is necessary (pregnant female, working dog that burns very high calories on a daily basis, etc.), but overall a normal daily serving (I feed twice per day) will suffice.

There are several great dog foods on the market, but in using my choice of food as an example I hope I am able to point out key factors you should look for when managing your hunting dog’s nutrition during the season.  Hunting dogs are athletes, and like all athletes, nutrition is one of, if not the important element in consistent performance and overall health.

Ryan Eder About Ryan Eder

Ryan is the President of the Upland Gundog Association and a longtime trainer of hunting Retrievers. You can learn more about Ryan and his training methods at the UGA website, www.uplandgundog.com.

Kinetic Partners with Sweet Points Setter Tales TV

Kinetic Sponsor of Setter Tales Web Series

Setter Tales Web TVWe’re proud to announce our latest sponsorship partner in the performance dog food arena. As a Kinetic advocate and promoter of bird dogs and upland hunting, Wade Kisner and the Setter Tales team are welcome new additions to the Kinetic team. Sweet Point’s Setter Tales web TV is a young but quickly growing media entity with fantastic production quality and great story lines.

“We love the quality of the Setter Tales program and all the people they bring to the table,” said Dave Dourson, Head of Sales and Co-Owner of Kinetic. “Their love of hunting and their passion for high performance dogs make Wade and the rest of the Sweet Point team a perfect fit for Kinetic.”

Setter Tales Program History

In 2014, Wade Kisner and his three sons launched the upland hunting web TV series, Sweet Point’s Setter Tales, a chronicle of daily life with his two English Setters, Sweet Lou and Adeline. This is truly a family project with son, Will, coordinating the camera crew and editing while Tyler and Travis appear on camera and provide hunt day coordination, dog management and story ideas. Using creative camera work, humor and unique story lines, Sweet Point’s Setter Tales hopes to entertain and encourage other families to build their own “Lasting Memories in the Field”. You can view episodes of Setter Tales on their Setter Tails YouTube Channel.

“We couldn’t be happier to bring on Kinetic as our Official Dog Food Sponsor,” added Wade Kisner, owner of Sweet Point Setters and Setter Tales TV. “After having issues with other foods for our very active dogs, we believe in the product having seen first hand how well it works in our kennel.”

About Wade Kisner & Sweet Point Setters

Wade Kisner of Setter Tales TVFor thirty two years Wade Kisner hunted Iowa’s most dangerous criminals before retiring as a special agent for the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation. These days he hunts for fun with his gun dogs. Based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Wade is the owner of Sweet Point Setters where he trains and raises master hunter quality English Setters using them to provide professional upland guiding services. For more information, visit Wade’s website at sweetpointsetters.com.

5 Most Important Obedience Commands for Upland or Waterfowl

A version of this article was originally published by Ryan Eder on UplandGundog.com in October of 2014.

The best part of the year for the avid bird hunter is when hunting season is just around the corner. If you’re a waterfowl hunter, chances are you have some kind of early season in September for teal or goose. If you’re an upland hunter, you’re just one or two months from chasing roosters in the field. Either way, as bird dog owners we’ve hopefully been training and conditioning our dogs throughout the off-season to keep them in shape and sharp on their skills. I’m not just talking about obvious hunting related skills like finding birds, marking and retrieving. I’m also referring to basic obedience and every day commands that are also extremely important in hunting situations.

Useful Commands for All Hunting Breeds

Depending on the type of hunting you do, and the type of dogs you hunt with, there can be differences in commands and styles. To account for these differences, I’ll do my best to keep this general and applicable to all types and breeds of hunting dogs. With that said, let’s take a look at some of the most important commands you’ll be using in the field with your dog along with a brief explanation of their importance and how to apply them.

Sit Command

More times than not, I’m hunting with a retriever. I tend to be in a duck or goose blind most of the time, so I’m starting off with the “Sit” command. In the blind, one of the hardest things to train a dog to do is sit and be patient. No one likes a dog in the blind that’s constantly moving around, or a dog that’s not steady while birds are being called and hunters are shooting. A dog that sits well in the blind is more enjoyable to hunt with. That dog is also safer since a dog that breaks prematurely can be in the line of shooting. For you upland hunters, sit is still an important command whether you hunt with a pointer or flusher. For a flusher, you may want your dog to sit on a bird flush. For a pointer, even though you don’t want your dog to sit while hunting, having control of your dog in common areas while hunting at clubs or preserves is still pretty important. In my training program, “Sit” is also synonymous with “Stay”. By this I mean once I tell my dog to sit I expect them to remain sitting until released or asked to do something else. This level of control with your dog is critical both in and out of the field.

Whoa, Stop or Stay Command

Ryan Eder RetrieverTo you pointer owners, this command is no stranger. Getting your dog steady on point is a large part of hunting with a pointing breed. The concept of “Stop”, “Stay” or “don’t move” can apply to a number of situations in the field. If you’re hunting with multiple dogs, it’s important for them to honor another point or another dog retrieving a bird. While “Whoa” is not typically a command for this, the concept of “Whoa” is similar. It means “stay where you are, do not move”. This is an extension of the “Sit” command with a flusher or waterfowl dog; “stay where you are” being the message to the dog. There are times where I need my dog to stop and stay, such as when I see him heading for a road or barbed wire fence. Sometimes handlers choose to stop and sit their dog on a whistle, either way, the concept of “Whoa”, “Stop” or “Stay” is incredibly important when handling your dog in hunting situations.

Fetch Command

This is simply a matter of opinion, but my preference in a hunting dog is one that retrieves birds that we shoot in the field. Some people incorporate force fetch in their training program, other people teach “Fetch”, “Hold” and retrieving concepts other ways. Either way, and for obvious reasons, “fetch” or “fetch it up” is something many of us say to our dogs in the field. A dog that doesn’t retrieve well in my opinion can make or break a hunt.

Come or Here Command

Being able to call your dog to you in any situation is important. In fact, this is probably the most important command you’ll teach your dog. It’s the basis of retrieving back to the handler and the ability to call a dog back into range if they’re hunting too far out. Most importantly, this command is a matter of control and safety for your dog in the field. “Come” and “Here” tend to be the most popular commands for this, but many handlers will use a whistle recall as well. This may seem to be a redundant message, but the first time that you have a dog unable to come when called you’ll realize just how important it is.

Kennel Command

Every year I witness someone who wishes they would have tried to teach the kennel command better with their dog. In the home, it is nice to say “Kennel” and have your dog load into their crate without having to lure, push or pull the dog to get them into their crate. The same luxury exists in the field when you want to load the dog into the truck, crate, dog box or trailer after training or hunting. It can be very frustrating to have issues getting your dog loaded into their kennel after a day in the field. If you’re at a gun club or hunt test, or even just a field with hunting friends, it can be embarrassing having a dog that won’t follow this basic command. Make sure to work with your dog on this, and make sure they understand to load quickly, safely and on demand.

Practice at Home for Success in the Field

The basic commands covered in this article are just that. They’re the basics and the minimum standard you should accept from your hunting dog. Most of you probably have them covered and use them every day with your dog. Still, I do recommend practicing them and making sure the dog is sharp so that when hunting season rolls around you don’t encounter any unnecessary issues. Good luck to everyone this fall and happy training!

 

Ryan Eder About Ryan Eder

Ryan is the President of the Upland Gundog Association and a longtime trainer of hunting Retrievers. You can learn more about Ryan and his training methods at the UGA website, www.uplandgundog.com.