Whether you have a gray-muzzled veteran curled at your feet or a fresh-faced puppy bouncing around the room, now is the time to be thinking about gundogs. Spring brings the year’s real “dog days,” with warm-but-not-too-hot temperatures being perfect for training, conditioning and/or exposure to new situations and elements. The following items will serve at home, in the field and in between this season.
SPORTDOG SPORTTRAINER 1275
An excellent tool for training at distance is SportDOG’s SportTrainer 1275. The collar has a ¾-mile range and 10 levels of static stimulation with low, medium and high ranges as well as vibration and tone options in select modes. The transmitter has an easy-to-read OLED screen, and large control buttons make changing stimulation levels and switching between dogs easy. The collar is remote-beeper and -launcher compatible and is expandable for up to 6 dogs with the company’s Add-A-Dog collars. Lithium ion batteries (which last 20 to 40 hours in the transmitter and 140 to 160 hours in the collar) can be recharged in 2 hours. The SportTrainer 1275 is waterproof and submersible to 25 feet. Colors: black and orange. Price: $220.
YETI TRAILHEAD DOG BED
After a hard day of training, your furry best friend deserves to relax in comfort. The two-in-one Trailhead Dog Bed from YETI features a Home Base and a removable Travel Pad. Padding consists of a high-density foam core sandwiched between a lighter-weight foam for extra comfort and support—with the pillow bolster encircling the bed feeling like a mattress topper. The EVA-molded base is durable and sturdy, and a waterproof bottom protects the foam from moisture. Exterior dimensions: 393/8" (l) x 291/8" (w) x 6½" (h). Weight: 10.3 pounds. Color: charcoal. Price: $300.
EUKANUBA PREMIUM PERFORMANCE DOG FOOD
Whether training, conditioning or hunting, it’s essential that a gundog be fueled properly. For 50 years Eukanuba has been producing dog food focused on performance and nutritional science. The company offers a number of breed-specific foods (including one for Labs) as well as foods based on breed size and activity level. Premium Performance 30/20, for example, contains 30% protein and 20% fat to promote building lean muscle and sustained energy in adult dogs for hours of consistent running. Eukanuba also offers foods formulated for puppies, including Medium Breed and Large Breed foods that contain specific protein-fat blends as well as natural fiber, prebiotics, calcium and phosphorus.
K-9 KONDO DOG DEN +
If you want to spruce up the outdoor kennel, think about adding a K-9 Kondo Dog Den +. This industrial-strength doghouse is made from 22- and 24-gauge steel and is insulated throughout. The sleeping compartment slides in and out of the outer shell for easy access and cleaning. The kennel door features a 6” rain shield and is designed to minimize flapping in the wind. It also can be locked open for added ventilation. The Dog Den + will fit dogs up to 110 pounds and is guaranteed to be chewproof. A Hound Heater can be ordered and installed as an added heat source. Dimensions: 35" (l) x 24" (w) x 31" (h). Colors: silver, white and tan (shown). Price: Starting at $340.
K-9 Kondo, k-9kondo.com.
LUCKY DUCK LUCKY KENNEL
For getting your dog safely to the field and back, Lucky Duck’s new Lucky Kennel is engineered for strength and durability. The one-piece roto-molded kennel weighs only 38 pounds, and the company says it has withstood the impact of 630 pounds being dropped on it from more than 8 feet. Features include a reversible injection-molded door, a locking paddle latch, numerous ventilation holes, a pitched floor for drainage, heavy-duty lift handles, powder-coated tie-downs and non-slip rubber feet. Multiple kennels can be stacked for easy storage. Exterior dimensions: 32½" (l) x 22½" (w) x 24½" (h). Price: $500.
Lucky Duck, luckyduck.com.
LACROSSE ALPHA AGILITY BOOTS
For laying a drag trail, scent-free placement of a bird launcher or simply training in wet grass, LaCrosse’s Alpha Agility Boots will keep you dry and comfortable. Premium hand-laid rubber over a 5mm neoprene core provides waterproof protection, and a flexible outsole makes for easy walking. The boots have a removable EVA footbed, a moisture-wicking polyester lining and a rear gusset that offers adjustability at the calf. A kick-off heel plate allows for hands-free removal. Available uninsulated or with 800- or 1,200-gram Thinsulate Ultra. Height: 17". Weight:
4 pounds. Colors: Realtree Edge (shown) or Mossy Oak Break-Up Country. Price: $130 to $150.