|Ace (B/M), ready to go!|
To my mind, the very best method to get old Buck in shape for the upcoming bird season is "roading"- a method by which a dog will run and pull on a heavy object at the same time. The benefits to the muscles and cardiovascular system are tremendous, in a short time. Brian Lynn, at Outdoor Life Magazine, just published an excellent article about dog conditioning, in general, and roading, in particular. (Click HERE to see the article.)
I've made a few roading videos over the years viewable on YouTube. (Click HERE to view.)
I highly encourage you to use some form of roading in your dog's conditioning. Off a bicycle, perhaps. I don't have the numbers, but I would be confident saying roading is more than double the benefit of letting your dog run free. My dogs really enjoy it, which is another mystery of life.