David Tomlinson

David Tomlinson

Highly regarded writer and ornithologist

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…

Frog dog posture

I recently wrote about dogs that stretch out with their hind legs behind them – in the “frog dog” pose. Dave Seaborn from Abenhall Gundogs was one of several people who suggested dogs do…

Labrador and handler

A recent newspaper report suggested that a third of dogs develop some sort of cognitive decline from the age of eight, and two-thirds do so from the age of 15. Having known a good…

picker-up

It’s an indication of my age that the first partridge I shot was a wild grey, walked up in barley stubble on the North Downs. Today, the M20 motorway cuts through the site where I…

Sprocker spaniels

It’s a sad fact that in virtually every competitive sport there are those prepared to try to win or fix a result by unfair or unsporting means. Sometimes it’s for financial gain or it may be…

Beware of ticks like these

In recent weeks the weather has been both warm and wet. I keep a rain gauge in my garden: in the first six months of this year, I recorded over 400mm, more than…

dogs and pickers up on grouse moor

For most of us the shooting season is still months away. If, however, you are fortunate enough to work your dogs on the grouse moors, there’s just three weeks or so to go before the start, assuming…

Rescue dog

If you are looking for a gundog, there’s an alternative to the usual purchase of a pedigree puppy. Instead of buying a puppy, get a rescue dog, because there are hundreds…