Blog posts for April 2018

 

What comes before a great working dog?

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Great Working Dog

What comes before a great working dog? A great working dog puppy!

To make sure your working dog starts off on the right paw, it’s important to set them up for success by giving them everything they need while they are a growing puppy. This way they can hit the farm running when the time comes.

What comes before a great working dog? A great working dog puppy!

To make sure your working dog starts off on the right paw, it’s important to set them up for success by giving them everything they need while they are a growing puppy. This way they can hit the farm running when the time comes.

Providing the right food is a big part of this. Puppies have very different nutritional needs to adult dogs. Compared to an adult dog, puppies need up to 3 times more energy for growth. Choosing a diet with animal based protein, such as Eukanuba™ Puppy, will help them develop strong, lean muscles. It’s also important to feed them controlled amounts for their breed size. For instance, a  Heading Dog puppy who will grow to a medium sized dog, should be fed a puppy food for dogs with an estimated adult weight of between 11- 24kg. A Huntaway puppy will grow to be larger, so should be feed a diet specifically for large breed dogs. This is because a larger breed like a Huntaway has a longer growth time compared to a medium size Heading Dog. These larger puppies should also stay on a puppy food for a longer time, around 18 months. The Eukanuba™ Puppy Large Breed diet contains tailored levels of energy, calcium and phosphorus to help promote optimal bone development, setting them up to be hard working adult dogs.

By feeding a puppy specific kibble that’s balanced and complete, there is no need to supplement their diet with anything extra like calcium. In fact adding calcium has been proven to cause issues with growing puppies that can cause lasting damage to their bones and joints. Working dog puppies have a lot to learn before heading out on the farm.  After six weeks, your puppy has developed just over 70% of their adult brain. With Eukanuba™ diets use of DHA, an Omega-3 fatty acid derived from fish oil, your working dog puppy will be smarter and more trainable. Now that has to be good thing!

Feeding your working pup well, helps to develop a dog that is far more capable of working longer and more efficiently in their day to day life, as well as potentially having an extended working life. Eukanuba™ Puppy provides everything your working dog puppy needs to grow into the strong, hard working athlete every farm needs.

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Body Condition Scoring

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Body Condition Score

Body Condition Scoring (BCS), is monitoring a dog’s condition in the same way you review your stock.

The most effective way to know how much to feed your working dog is to feed by eye. Just as you appraise your ewes and lambs body condition, so too can you appraise your working dogs’ body condition.

Body Condition Scoring (BCS), is monitoring a dog’s condition in the same way you review your stock.

The most effective way to know how much to feed your working dog is to feed by eye. Just as you appraise your ewes and lambs body condition, so too can you appraise your working dogs’ body condition.

What is body condition scoring?

BCS is a 9 point scoring system of your dog’s weight and body condition: 1 being emaciated and 9 being obese. By using this system you can easily tell if you need to feed your working dog more or less. The ideal working dog will be sitting at a BCS of around 4-5. Keep in mind that there are no half scores using this system.

How to body condition score.

Looking at your working dog from above, you should ideally be able to see their waist but not see any protruding hip bones or spine.

Looking from the side, they should have an abdominal tuck.

Ribs should be easily felt without being obviously visible.

If you can see the dog’s ribs, spine, or hip bones from a distance, you need to increase the amount of kibble you are feeding.

An important thing to remember is how much work your dog will be doing in the near future. If the season is just starting it’s a good idea to have them sitting around a body condition score of 5 so they can afford to lose a little fat as their work rate increases into the season.

Benefits of BCS

  • Easily track how much food your dog needs so that they can stay in top condition.
  • Being a standardised scoring system, it’s easy to communicate to your vet or any other professional when needed.
  • By making sure your working dog maintains an ideal body condition score, you can rest assured that they are ready for working hard on the farm.

For dogs to perform at their best, it’s important to feed them a source of good quality highly digestible protein such as that in Eukanuba™ Premium Performance. This supports strong, healthy lean muscles and tissue repair. Coupled with a good body condition score, farm dogs can be the lean, keen performance machines that every farm needs.

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