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GPS and a dog with Dementia


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WI Outdoor Nut

I know this has been covered many times, but I can't say enough how technology has evolved with our dogs.  I have a 12 year old shorthair that is still in good shape, and still a very productive bird hunter.  However, he is fairly deaf and pretty sure he has a solid case of dementia.  I noticed this last fall hunting with him, and really started noticing it throughout the summer.  Hunting him the last few weeks, I am all but certain.  However, he is still putting birds in the bag.  If I did not have the garmin astro, I simply would not be able to hunt him.  He usually starts on hunting with me, then sometime in the next 1/2 hour, he simply loses me.  He will back-track to where we were, and frantically run back and forth.  I am assuming he is picking up my old scent from were we hunted before.  After a period of time, I need to walk back and get him, then we go on our merry way to continue on the cover.  I had him on the ground about 4-5 hours in 3 days of hunting.  In that period of time, and had the incident of him losing me at least 6 times.  It is a bit of an inconvenience, but that is about it.  When I hunt with others, I tell them upfront what I am dealing with, and most seem to get it.  I find it best to hunt small covers, that have swamps or some other barrier that is difficult for him to go around. 

 

Have others dealt with dementia with dogs, and if so, how much worse did it get through the years?

2020-9-19 Sam and Austin.jpg

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1 hour ago, WI Outdoor Nut said:

I know this has been covered many times, but I can't say enough how technology has evolved with our dogs.  I have a 12 year old shorthair that is still in good shape, and still a very productive bird hunter.  However, he is fairly deaf and pretty sure he has a solid case of dementia.  I noticed this last fall hunting with him, and really started noticing it throughout the summer.  Hunting him the last few weeks, I am all but certain.  However, he is still putting birds in the bag.  If I did not have the garmin astro, I simply would not be able to hunt him.  He usually starts on hunting with me, then sometime in the next 1/2 hour, he simply loses me.  He will back-track to where we were, and frantically run back and forth.  I am assuming he is picking up my old scent from were we hunted before.  After a period of time, I need to walk back and get him, then we go on our merry way to continue on the cover.  I had him on the ground about 4-5 hours in 3 days of hunting.  In that period of time, and had the incident of him losing me at least 6 times.  It is a bit of an inconvenience, but that is about it.  When I hunt with others, I tell them upfront what I am dealing with, and most seem to get it.  I find it best to hunt small covers, that have swamps or some other barrier that is difficult for him to go around. 

 

Have others dealt with dementia with dogs, and if so, how much worse did it get through the years?

2020-9-19 Sam and Austin.jpg

 

 

I think its more his deafness and possible diminishing eyesight issue vs dementia. My lost dog, a vizsla, lost his hearing and toward the last few years of his life only hunted him in more open terrain. No expert on this though. I think the dementia symptoms, if he had them, would be more observed at home when not hunting. 

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Just a thought wear a bell on you he would learn the that the sound is where you are (I'm thinking that would be easier than wearing the tracking collar and giving the dog the controller) ? If he cannot hear the bell wear something with your scent on it or Old Spice after shave pour some on a sponge wear on your hat? Your true buddies will not make fun of you I'm sure. Might be worth a shot for a few more hunts.

 

Good luck!

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Cooter Brown

I agree that's there's a good chance the deafness is the main cause.  I had an old dog exhibit very similar behavior--almost identical, really--and he was deaf as a post.  I didn't observe what I would call signs of dementia in his off-hunting behavior.  The GPS collar bought another season with a great old dog who was still putting birds in the bag.  I would never have hunted him without it.

 

Regardless of the true cause, I think you're handling it as well as you can.

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45 minutes ago, Okhotnik said:

 

 

I think its more his deafness and possible diminishing eyesight issue vs dementia. My lost dog, a vizsla, lost his hearing and toward the last few years of his life only hunted him in more open terrain. No expert on this though. I think the dementia symptoms, if he had them, would be more observed at home when not hunting. 

Yup totally agree. Great to get the old ones out though 

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Setters are known for deafness and I have observed similar baviour in mine as they aged. My current lewellin is 12 1/2 and will do the same thing.

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If my eldest pup was physically up to it, I’d definitely get a gps rig on her since she’s pretty deaf.  As it is, her spirit is strong but her body is failing her too quickly to actually hunt her this year. 
 

I agree. You’re   doing good by her. 

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My best dog , Zack is going to be 13 in January . Last two seasons were exactly as you speak . I don't believe it's dementia and I don't believe it's his eyes .  He sees fine except from distances . He has become very vocal when hungry and wanting to go outside . He was always a dog to stretch the boundaries looking for birds , that's what I fear . North Maine woods are huge . 

I run him with an Alpha and a bell . He checks back but sometimes runs within 50 yards and can't hear me . I dread trying to find him on point at the end of the Day . I try small Covers as best I can . It's a shame to waste such talent . 

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Some whistles are frequency adjustable, you might get one and play around with it, there might be a frequency he still hears well

 

just a thought, they are commonly called silent dog whistles and are available from gun dog supply or amazon

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11 minutes ago, gunsrus said:

My best dog , Zack is going to be 13 in January . Last two seasons were exactly as you speak . I don't believe it's dementia and I don't believe it's his eyes .  He sees fine except from distances . He has become very vocal when hungry and wanting to go outside . He was always a dog to stretch the boundaries looking for birds , that's what I fear . North Maine woods are huge . 

I run him with an Alpha and a bell . He checks back but sometimes runs within 50 yards and can't hear me . I dread trying to find him on point at the end of the Day . I try small Covers as best I can . It's a shame to waste such talent . 

 

Running any dog without tracking in this area is ill advised.  There is just too much ground and very few people.

 

Perk

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2 hours ago, WI Outdoor Nut said:

I know this has been covered many times, but I can't say enough how technology has evolved with our dogs.  I have a 12 year old shorthair that is still in good shape, and still a very productive bird hunter.  However, he is fairly deaf and pretty sure he has a solid case of dementia.  I noticed this last fall hunting with him, and really started noticing it throughout the summer.  Hunting him the last few weeks, I am all but certain.  However, he is still putting birds in the bag.  If I did not have the garmin astro, I simply would not be able to hunt him.  He usually starts on hunting with me, then sometime in the next 1/2 hour, he simply loses me.  He will back-track to where we were, and frantically run back and forth.  I am assuming he is picking up my old scent from were we hunted before.  After a period of time, I need to walk back and get him, then we go on our merry way to continue on the cover.  I had him on the ground about 4-5 hours in 3 days of hunting.  In that period of time, and had the incident of him losing me at least 6 times.  It is a bit of an inconvenience, but that is about it.  When I hunt with others, I tell them upfront what I am dealing with, and most seem to get it.  I find it best to hunt small covers, that have swamps or some other barrier that is difficult for him to go around. 

 

Have others dealt with dementia with dogs, and if so, how much worse did it get through the years?

2020-9-19 Sam and Austin.jpg

Hate that reference your dog,  I have 3 setters 10 yrs old  litter mates started them on eye drops supposed help with controlling cataracts. I had ole setter the granddaddy of other 3 lost him one time this was before tracking collars he had went deaf he was 13 lost him one evening lucky went about 5 miles and folks called me lucky loves didin,t get him. Thats when realized  dog went deaf. Yes we all get old if we survive. Gun dogs that that have been shot over a lot seem go deaf sooner than hounds and house dogs,

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reference dementia just inter act with dog alot maybe 1/2  pervegan tablet  for memeory loss can,t hurt

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I have a 12 year old Welshie that acts exactly like you describe. She is deaf.  Can’t hear a thing but still loves to hunt.  I would not hunt her without the Astro, I would lose her for sure.
I have a 14 year old GSH that I think has dementia and hearing loss, a bad combo.  She acts like she doesn’t know me sometimes and has started indiscriminately going to the bathroom in the house, even with the door open.  She came inside the other day after being outside for a couple hours and squatted and peed.  We took her to the vet and she didn’t have a UTI.  She is a kind, gentle soul and has been a great dog over the years but I don’t think she has a clue on what is going on around her.

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WI Outdoor Nut
3 hours ago, bill said:

reference dementia just inter act with dog alot maybe 1/2  pervegan tablet  for memeory loss can,t hurt

 

Everything I saw was for humans.  Did you use this on a dog in the past?

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Sounds like deafness.  We extended Floyd's old Britt's career for two years with gps collar.  She couldn't hear us.  She'd have to see or scent us before she could check back on us.  Gil

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