The summer months are normally associated with the physical slog necessary to prepare for another season of the Telstra Premiership but Canterbury halves Moses Mbye and Josh Reynolds have gone to work early on enhancing their skills for 2017.
The Bulldogs were bundled out of the finals series in week one after finishing the regular season in seventh position with the effectiveness of their halves pairing roundly criticised as they struggled to break opposition defences open.
Mbye ranked 14th for try assists in 2016 with 15 while Reynolds was 31st in the NRL with 11 and with a host of new faces pushing for a spot in the 17 in Round 1, back-rower Josh Jackson says the pair are doing everything they can to start the season in the right manner.
"At this time of year it's just working hard and trying to get the miles in the legs and get the conditioning right," Jackson told Bulldogs TV.
"We're doing a bit of ballwork and a bit of skills stuff as well so that's definitely changed up a little bit as well.
"'Moey' (Mbye) and 'Grubby' (Reynolds) are really working hard there to make sure that all the plays are going the right way.
"We're going to be pretty sharp I think."
Leading 6-4 at half-time in their Elimination Final against the Panthers, the Bulldogs were over-run to go down 28-12 and exit the premiership race, a finish Jackson insists has fuelled their pre-season intensity prior to the Christmas break.
"It's always disappointing to go out the way we did. The boys wanted to get in and train hard and rip in and hopefully do a bit better next year," Jackson said.
"We want to start the year really well and hopefully get that early top four spot. I think that's pretty crucial to being there at the back-end of the year.
"Training has been really good, really positive. We’ve got a lot of new blokes in the squad and a lot of younger guys as well so a lot of guys are going really good and there's a lot of competition for spots."