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Discussion Starter #1
I am curious: Those of you who train heavy, do you give your dog a yearly break/vacation from training? and if you do how long? I am thinking of giving my young dog a break over the holidays. She is 21 months old and we have heavily trained 5-6 days a week since she was probably 2 months old. She loves to train and expects to train every day but I think a rest will do her good. Its winter and right now we are doing a single mark and 4 blinds a day with multiple and retired marks on the weekends with Monday off. I feel she is doing pretty good at this stage and definitely could keep going without a rest and no issues but my gut says give her brain a rest for the holidays? Thoughts?
 

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well, I know a lot of the older dogs do go home for the winter break. Young dogs don't get too much of a break though. Maybe a week or less. I'm still out training my dog. He won't get a break per se but the mood is different during the winter. More relaxed sometimes breaking off earlier in the day. Maybe not train as many days either due to rain or whatnot. its cold so water work doesn't happen although yesterday and today they did some water work but not a ton. I actually prefer the winter training. Just nice, fun, relaxed, dogs are frisky and seem to have a nice time.
 

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One of my mentors is a strong believer in giving the dog a break, even in the summer. Exercise them to keep their muscle tone up but not training. Most of the time that break makes them focus more in training. He has been doing this for a very very long time!
 

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Due to my work schedule, my dogs are unfortunately granted a training vacation every weekday from mid-November until early February, there's just not enough daylight before I go to work and it's dark after I return home. But they get worked on weekends, typically a few set-ups in the morning and drills in the afternoon. Not ideal, but it's the best that I can do.

As for true let's-have-fun breaks, the co-owner of my best dog (you know who that was) would take him duck hunting ... they'd go 2 - 3 times a week for a month ... and no training occurred during that month! It would take me a week or so to get him sharpened up and focused*, but he loved hunting and I never felt that it was detrimental in any way.

FTGoldens

*Sharpened up and focused is in regard to the dog, not the co-owner ....:wink2:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the replies, we are going back to training on Monday. I have had enough of her being lazy stretched out on the couch eating popcorn with my wife and watching TV late at night. She also lays sideways in the bed and takes all my covers and hogs the pillow. Enough is enough!!!
 

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Thanks for the replies, we are going back to training on Monday. I have had enough of her being lazy stretched out on the couch eating popcorn with my wife and watching TV late at night. She also lays sideways in the bed and takes all my covers and hogs the pillow. Enough is enough!!!
That'a boy Lee! Take control of the situation!!!
BTW, be careful of the use of pronouns ... the "she" in your next to last sentence can be construed in a couple ways .... (Just watch'n out for you ....)
Have a great weekend!
FTGoldens
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks FT Goldens :) Just to clarify the "she" I was referring to is the 21 month old fluffy who thinks she is a human :) Have a great holiday!
 

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We take a break and work on obedience trials. It's really different when your dog is within 40-50' of you all the time. Versus out in the field. You have to mix it up to keep things new for you and your dogs. Otherwise it becomes too much of grind.
 
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