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Breathing heavily during training


I have 13 month old English Setter that I believe is breed fairly good. Though the father & mother are not champions the grandfather is Destiner, son of Performer and so on. On the mothers side there is Tomaka and Tekoa Mountian Sunrise. On to my question. I have been working my dog since late August religiously daily. I have noticed that the dog really breathes heavy during short 30 minute training sessions in my pasture. What I'm hoping is as the weather cools the dogs breathing habits will improve. I have ran into one covey of quail in my pasture while check cording the dog. The dog pointed and held the birds and this was a pretty hot September day. This was his first encounter with birds. Recently here in October the weather has been in the 60's here in Kansas. I have been taking him on longer walks the last couple of weeks and think I have seen a slight improvement with his breathing, but still concerned. While on some of these walks in prime quail territory he has given me a couple false points. It does'nt seem like the breathing problem is slowing him down any, he really likes to go. In fact what I am seeing after check cording (quartering) him for six weeks is not actually translating to what he wants to do in the feild which is run. I know he knows what I want and very shortly I am going to turn the check cord loose and put him on a electric collar to reinforce what he has already been taught. My question is do you think his breathing habits will change as the weathers cools. I'm afraid he may pass birds if he is breathing out more than he is breathing in. Thank You very much for any input you may give me.

Thanks for the question, as usual it's difficult to tell much without seeing the dog but I like the fact you are starting an early, progressive exercise program for your dog. I'm going to assume also that you haven't noticed coughing, the dog is on a heartworm preventative and hasn't shown any signs of tiring too easily. If the problem persists after the weather cools than have your vet take a listen to the chest, maybe even take a radiograph to be sure nothings wrong. I guess since he's in "prime quail country" I could force myself to visit Kansas for a consultation.....purely in the interest of science of course! Hope you have a great season.

Dr. Mike

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