Everything you need to know about your gundog. This collection of information and advice covers field trial and working tests, gundog training and exercise, breeds and gundog health plus help with breeding and buying or selling your gundog.

Gundog anxiety

Dog first aid you need to know

Q:  Until recently I was fairly confident I knew the basics 
of dog first aid, but on hearing 
a friend’s story of how he had to deal with his dog when it got into difficulties recently, I realised 
I wouldn’t have a clue what to do should my dogs have…

cocker spaniel

Cocker spaniel versus springer spaniel: What owners need to know

Our two most popular breeds of spaniel Choosing between a cocker spaniel and a springer spaniel has never been more difficult. According to the Kennel Club’s (KC) figures, cockers are the most popular of the two, with 21,845 registered last year, compared with just 9,837 English springers. However, the KC…

dog at the vet

How to reduce stress for your 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 and are well aware of where they are as soon as the 
car arrives in the vet’s car park. These…

English spaniels

Is your gundog a fussy eater?

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 away on holiday. The dog was delivered with its bed, food bowl and a big sack of so-called complete food. “She loves…

Retriever on shoot

Retriever makes a noise

Q: My three-year-old flatcoated retriever has been a joy to train, is a really keen retriever and has been a good worker out on the shoot for the past two seasons, but she has just started making the faintest of noises in the back of her throat just before I…

Working gundog

How Camrosa can treat spaniels with skin problems

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 treating animals with skin problems, especially those caused by mites. Though I was aware of Camrosa, I’d never tried it, but when I mentioned…

springer spaniel

How gundogs scent

A gundog's sense of smell is one of its most valuable tools, but to take full advantage of this capability, it is important to understand how scent works.

English bulldogs are trendy dogs

Trendy dogs are not always the most healthy

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 with so many statistics, the results are fascinating but mustn’t be taken too seriously. I wouldn’t mind betting that cockerpoos…

Gundog puppies eating

Why raw chicken wings are the perfect dog food

It is close to 15 years since I changed my dogs’ diet from feeding so-called complete foods out of a sack to what is now generally termed a BARF (bones and raw food) diet. I prefer to call it 
a natural diet, as that is what it is. I’m convinced…

dog recall

How to teach reliable 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 
first soft “toot” of their master or 
mistress’s whistle, the amateur has 
animals that will be galloping over the horizon…

gundog with gunslips

Gundog unreliable at the peg?

Q: I am getting my first Labrador puppy soon, which besides being a family pet, will be my shooting dog in the future hopefully. I say hopefully as this will be the first one I have trained myself. I used to borrow my father’s dog to take out driven shooting…

Sealyham terrier

Ratting with a Sealyham Terrier

The phone rang, “Hello Nick, it’s Harry Parsons, what you doing next Tuesday?” A quick check of the diary and it looked all clear. “Fancy coming out for a day’s ratting?” As much as I hate rats, especially their scaly tails, I do enjoy a day’s ratting with the Working…

springer spaniel retrieving

Why you should beware of early neutering

David Tomlinson recently wrote about the physical downsides of early neutering for dogs of either gender, but the behavioural effects are less well known. Many people who experience problems with their dogs, especially male dogs, will be on the receiving end of assurances from all and sundry that any issues…

working cocker spaniel puppy

How to choose a cocker spaniel

Q: I have owned English springers for many years but after seeing a cocker trial I am tempted to change breeds to cocker spaniels. First I would like some advice or information on the differences in training. Eventually 
I would like to take part in competitions if I can. A:…

Ratting terrier

Ratting with terriers

I’ve been to a meet or two 
in my time: beagle packs on village greens; minkhounds 
on crumbling stone bridges that look as old as the river which winds beneath them; and foxhounds in the courtyards of austere country houses. But this was a little different. Bleary eyed, smelly, and…