Hopefully all of us have been preparing for the season by keeping our dogs (and ourselves) in shape. We’ve done this a few different ways. I mountain bike and run during the summer. To get and keep the dogs in shape, we include some free running, running from horseback, roading from an atv, and in the case of one of my dogs, running in a harness with some welding cable attached. Each of these activities work the dog in different ways and I always try to keep it balanced, not overworking any one area.

I love having a few helpers along!

Daisy dragging cables. This conditions and keeps the dog close at the same time, which can help with patterning, handling, etc.

Free running

Roading from an atv

A picture of me, two of my horses, and the canine crew after a good workout from horseback.

We don’t usually start hunting until October, so until then I will just have to read of your adventures! Have a great season, everyone!


8 Comments Add yours

  1. Well Said Kim!Hopefully the summer conditioning will pay off on my dogs tomorrow! We’re headed to blue grouse country at 0’Dark-30.I enjoy your posts!!!!Shawn

  2. Kim:My regimen is walking 3+ miles per day on a hilly course with part of it being uneven turf. Helps with balance for an old coot.I also keep my weight under strict control. I am only 5 # heavier now than when I graudated from high school 52 years ago!I also shoot lots of skeet so my gun handling should be confidant and quick. I wish I had the facilities to run Pride when I get her but I don’t — she will be an urban dog. She’ll have to make do with those long walks and an added shorter one each afternoon when I have time.In 14 days we’ll have her.Walter

  3. Kim Sampson says:

    Have fun grouse hunting, Shawn!Walter, I think your workout regimen is excellent. There’s a lot to be said for staying in good shape year after year. It allows us to enjoy every phase of life without wasting time thinking of all the stuff we could be doing if only we were in better shape. I think you’re awesome!Pride is lucky to be coming to such a great home. I’m excited for you!KimPr

  4. Kim:What are you clipping to Daisy’s harness? (You did say ‘cables’ — but I can’t figure out what they are.) How do you stop them snagging? Our younger guy runs fast + free all the time, but I’d love to give him a little more weight to keep his muscles developing. Our challenge is that we’re in woodlands, so I’m worried about him getting snagged up.bestA+M+M+J

  5. Kim Sampson says:

    Andrew, the cable is rubber coated welding cable. It is expensive but a pair of them will last a long time (just replaced mine after 6 yrs of use). The roading harnesses I use have side rings as well as a top ring. Not all of them do, so I look for a harness with both. The rubber coating allows the cable to slide through the thick sage brush we have around here so I would assume it would work for you too. The cables are a lot safer than chains, which tend to get caught/wrapped around everything, but I don’t ever run a dog with any weight attached where I can’t see him or have a way to track him…you wouldn’t want him to get hung up somewhere and not be able to find him. The cables work great but be prepared for a bit of sticker shock when you get the final bill!Kim

  6. Dale Hernden says:

    Another method for keeping the cable or chain from snagging is to run it thru a piece of garden hose.I also use hose to keep my horse tie outs from snagging or wrapping around their legs.

  7. Kim, I was just wondering why you don’t hunt forest grouse in Utah. When does the season open? I have heard that the hunting is pretty good. With all of the steep terrain, it is good preparation for chukar hunting, which I gather is your bird of choice. Andy

  8. Kim Sampson says:

    Andy, I am sorry I didn’t respond to this sooner but I just read it!I guess the biggest reason is because I’m usually involved with field trials until the end of Sept. and then go right into the chukar hunt. It looks like fun though! Kim

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