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.

spaniel working cover

Teaching a spaniel to work cover

A: The more naturally you introduce her to working different types of cover, the better. Throwing a dummy into cover can make the process confrontational. If she is caused any pain by the entry, this could seriously affect her progress and her desire to retrieve. Avoid nettles, thistles, gorse and other such prickly covers until she is more experienced.…

Labradors and spaniels

There are big differences between Labradors and spaniels …

As the shooting season draws to a close it is time for us to reflect on what has gone well with our gundogs, but more importantly what has gone wrong and will need working on during the spring and summer months. For a few of us the search for a new shooting companion will start in earnest and the…

gundog in cover

What ground cover is the hardest for a gundog to work?

A multi-purpose gundog of any breed should be able to deal with anything that is put in front of it. But depending on what part of the country you live in, or whether you travel to work your dog, it may not come across certain types of cover and develop the different styles that are needed to…

Black Labrador bitch

Are DNA tests required for breeding gun dogs?

A: The advantage of DNA testing is that not only does it indicate if a dog is affected by an inherited disease but it also determines the likelihood of the dog passing on the disease to its offspring. Consequently it enables owners to make informed choices of suitable dogs to use to avoid breeding clinically affected puppies. For…

Petlog

What to do if your gundog gets lost on a shoot day

Make sure all the dog’s microchip details are up-to-date on the Petlog website  Upgrade to the premium account (£16) and if you have to register your dogs as being lost, Petlog will automatically inform all of their agents such as vets and dog wardens etc. Also, make sure you upload a picture of your dog so it can be…

dog sleeping by aga

Should gundogs live in the kitchen or a kennel?

Across the dog-owning fraternity there is one debate that always brings out a strong difference of opinion. Where should the dog(s) live? In the house or in a kennel? And there is usually no fence to sit on. Camps seem pretty divided on the issue and opinions run high as a kite. Google it and you get 11,700,000 results…

Gundog picking up a scent

Gundogs and scent

Scent is truly an act of God. We have no direct access to it, still less any ability to influence it: and yet nothing is more critical to the way our dogs work and the way we choose to handle them. For we see, time and again, how challenges that are almost effortlessly overcome can, in other circumstances, present…

Trained gundog

My dog ignores me out shooting

A: The dog may be trained to a very high standard but it is not mechanical and you, the handler, must form a strong bond with it and be trained how to handle your dog using commands delivered in a way in which the dog is familiar. Dog-to-human communication is not simple and you need to be able…

springer spaniel with dummy

Springer won’t deliver game

A: First, you need to work on recall in the training environment without the retrieving element. He should be encouraged using high-value rewards to come straight to you, then sit for a reward. I suspect that this may be the root of the problem, so working on his obedience and recall in this way will be the right…

Picker up with gun dogs

What’s a gundog worth?

Last week I started my 2016/17 picking-up season at my regular shoot, near Henley-On-Thames in Oxfordshire. During lunch there was the normal early season grumblings about how much people get paid and how such and such a shoot has increased its daily rate. I never get involved in these conversations, let’s be honest in “normal” life if someone offered…

Alfie and Arna

It was taken at the Ivy Farm Shoot near Sandbach in South Cheshire by Nigel Kirby. Thanks for sharing with us! Send your own colour, high resolution images to Shooting UK if you’d like them to be considered for publication. Landscape style works best for us. 

Kennel cough vaccination for dog

My dog hates having the kennel cough vaccine!

Neil says: Kennel cough is a bad name really. Most of the affected dogs that we see have never been near a kennel but have caught it in the park, on the street or at a training class. Or even at a shoot! The causal agent, Bordetella bronchiseptica, is airborne and, if it lands on the…

Ellie with Rizla at the Winkleigh Shoot in Devon

Five year old Ellie is pictured here with Rizla, who is a retired open field trial winner. Rizla and Ellie both love picking up and beating at Winkleigh Shoot in Devon. Ellie’s mum says:” Ellie has worked hard enough to have her very own first puppy called Wizla who she…

English springer spaniels

My trained English springer spaniel isn’t listening anymore

A: In view of his still young age and the fact that you have not kept his training up through the summer, I would definitely advise that you get in touch with his trainer. He or she will be fully aware of all the dog’s attributes and whether there were any issues in training initially. The trainer…

Terrier types

Terrier Types

  Hardwired earth dogs Patterdale/Fell Lakeland   Dual-purpose Bedlington Jack Russell Border Ratters Yorkshire Norfolk and Norwich Manchester English Toy Scottish West Highland White Cairn Skye Popular in Europe Fox (rough and smooth) Jagterrier   Vermin dogs Kerry Blue Soft-coated Wheatenhttp://www.shootinguk.co.uk/uncategorized/sealyham-terrier-pack-hunt-rats-on-the-river-taw-706 Irish Welsh Sealyham Airedale Lucas Sporting Lucas  …

Jumping terrier

Are terriers born anarchists?

Terriers bring a smile to our faces, whether the smug condescension of the handler of well-trained gundogs or the rictus of embarrassment that comes from having thought your dog’s behaviour could not get any worse before you discover that it just has. Quite a few owners of well-trained gun dogs have a terrier tucked away somewhere, usually dismissed laughingly as…

Golden retriever in field

How can I keep my dog’s teeth clean?

A: The build-up of tartar on dogs’ teeth seems worse in those dogs that are fed on all-in-one kibbled dog foods, especially when it is soaked with water before feeding. A more natural diet avoids this build-up occurring. A dog needs to chew to keep its teeth clean and raw marrow bones will have the desired effect. I…

gundog ready for the beating line

Get your gundog ready for the beating line

People often ask: “How old should my dog be before taking it into the beating line?” The truth is there is no straight answer — so much depends on the dog and the trainer’s ability. But the question every trainer should be asking themselves is: “Is my dog ready to go beating?” Of all the participants on a shoot,…

golden retriever

Why aren’t golden retrievers more popular in the field?

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 a good golden, trained to the highest standard, is every bit a match for even the best of Labradors. Though annual registrations…