More on Feeding Your Beast

More on feeding (here is a link to a nutrition oriented post from a few months back that I started and never got around to finishing)

To recap some of the high points:

Feeding is based on need, need is based on output.

Keep it simple, only getting as complex as you plan on  when racing; the dogs need to learn to efficiently metabolize whatever nutrients you plan on offering them when on the race field.

Less is more.

Keep them guessing about quantity, composition and timing.

Also, a word on my dogs and their base feeding requirements.

I typically have very few females in training, but the ones that are in my team are very large, 55-60 pounds. They do not require a lot of food.

The males in my squad range from 55-65 pounds, tending to range closer to the high-end of the spectrum, and are mostly 2-3 years of age.These guys require tremendous amounts of food compared to the females.

During early summer training, June/July/August, feeding for me is a no brainer. On demand water, dry Blackwood 7000 1-2 times per day. As much as 1.5 pounds for the larger males. The weather is warm and the runs are easy, and I like to keep the dogs fit and just shy of “bulky”.

The kibble is offered after running in the morning, about 2/3 of the daily allotment for each dog, then 1/3 once the sun has gone down and the temp has cooled a bit.

Fall and early winter–this is where things get more interesting. In my experience, this time of year represents the highest caloric burn time of year, spiking in November and early December, then falling off gradually in the later part of winter. I bring in all of the elements that I described in the earlier post, meat, kibble, fat sources, some supplements– and start using them at will.

As of October 1st, we’re usually doing between three and four-hour runs, the weather has turned cold and the water crossings are all very deep and very cold. The dogs come in from running and spend quite a bit of time shivering while slowly drying off.

It’s very important that I keep up with their collective caloric requirements without killing their appetites.

I offer 1/2 to 3/4 of a quart of mixed food at any one feeding. Once it turns “cold”, I feed in the early morning, and run about 2-3 hours later on average. I feed them a light lunch either on the run or right after, usually lite soup and some fat snacks, alternating between marbled and blended.

Average meal menu (keeping in mind that I’m always tweaking the formula) for 26 dogs:

Morning-18 pounds ground venison; 10 pounds 7000; 1 cup salmon oil; LEAP. Mixed with just enough water to allow me to get a dipper in the bucket.

Midday-2 pounds kibble soaked; 5 pounds ground beef hearts; mixed with as much water as I can get them to drink; 1-2 tablespoons of blended fat.

Night-1/2 quart dipper of dry 7000 kibble, covered with plain water. Sometimes offered mostly dry, then offered clear plain water an hour later.

The above menu is a rough guideline. I change and swap major elements around on a daily basis, substituting the morning meal for the night meal, not giving them lunch but a heartier dinner, etc, etc.

This meal, combined with cold weather and my workout,keeps them looking quite lean and ripped while insuring that their appetites are nothing short of ravenous.

Thanks for tuning in–more to follow….


3 Responses to “More on Feeding Your Beast”


  1. More thoughts on feeding your beast « Jason Barron's Blog - April 20, 2011

    […] few more thoughts on training/nutrition, relating to these previous “competitive nutrition” based […]

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