David Tomlinson

David Tomlinson

Highly regarded writer and ornithologist

dog at the vet

It is always amusing sitting in the waiting room of a veterinary surgery and seeing the various customers come in. Many gundogs, of course, are petrified of visiting the vet…

English spaniels

One of the remarkable things about dogs is that they will apparently happily eat the same thing every day, every week, throughout the year. A skinny spaniel stayed with us recently while its owners were…

Working gundog

FOLLOWING A RECENT column when I wrote about problems with working spaniels’ ears, I had a charming letter from Edwina Le May, founder and director of the company that markets Camrosa Ointment. It is aimed specifically at…

English bulldogs are trendy dogs

I am a diligent reader of dog stories, 
but one I missed earlier this year 
was a regional map of dog-breed popularity, based on Kennel Club registrations in 2016. As…

dog recall

If there is one 
thing that sets the amateur handler apart from the professional, it is reliable dog recall. Whereas the professional has dogs that come galloping back on the…

Gundogs

Neutering of dogs is something that most of us take for granted. If you’ve got a bitch that you don’t want to breed from then it makes sense to spay…

hunt, point and retrieve gundog?

Though it is not a claim I have ever heard him make, Rory Major has almost certainly trained and competed with more breeds of gundog than anyone else in the business. He has trialled…

Hungarian wire-haired vizsla

Every season I enjoy a day or two brushing — that’s Norfolk for beating — on a shoot where the gamekeeper, Tracie Rickman, is a Hungarian wire-haired vizsla (HWV) enthusiast. Her dogs are brilliant advertisements for…

Sprocker debate

Earlier this month, I did something I’d never done before: I bought a copy of The Sun. I’d had a tip-off that the paper included a gundog news story, and sure enough, on the cover…

Cockerpoo gundogs

I must admit that I’ve never seriously considered the potential of the cockerpoo (cocker spaniel-poodle cross) as a gundog, but a recent encounter on a Sussex shoot did give me food for thought. Four cockerpoos were…

golden retriever

One of the mysteries of the gundog world is why golden retrievers are a comparative rarity in the shooting field, especially compared with the ubiquitous Labrador. Fashion undoubtedly has a great deal to do with this, because…

gundog photographs

IF YOU ENJOY photography, few subjects are as satisfying to take pictures of than dogs, while working gundogs are perhaps the most pleasing, and challenging, of all. Whenever I attend a gundog event I always take…

Gundog ears

All our gundog breeds have floppy ears though, of course, some are a great deal floppier than others. Labrador ears may turn downwards, but they are functional and only covered in short hair, which might…

cocker spaniel puppy with mother

A recent press release from the Kennel Club (KC) on the perils of buying dogs on the internet was picked up by most of the newspapers. In case you didn’t see it, I will…