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.

old yellow Labrador

Giving your gundog a comfortable retirement

One of the most frustrating things about good gundogs is that their working lives are so short. A dog is typically three or four years old when it matures into the best you have ever had, but five or six years later you realise that his working life is approaching…

gundog

Can dogs get colds?

Q: My dog has suddenly started sneezing. Can dogs get colds and flu like humans? Over the 
past few days there have been persistent bouts of sneezing, runny nose and she snores when asleep as if her nose is blocked. So can dogs get colds? A: Dogs don’t get colds…

Working dogs

All-round gundogs – do they exist?

Most of my friends have more than one dog, they may have a spaniel or two for beating, a retriever for shooting at a peg or picking-up and a few of them even have a “terrorist” (terrier) to keep the rodent population in check. But, just imagine that you could…

teaching dog left or right

Teaching a gundog to go left and right. Should you?

This is not an uncommon question and, in my humble view, gundog handling is an important aspect of a gundog’s training and should not be discounted as simply being a “trick” or clever. If you plan to shoot over your dog, in any form, you will find it an invaluable…

Border terriers

Car sickness in dogs

A car sick dog is miserable and the condition can be caused by different factors. It may not be due to motion. For many puppies their first experience of travel sickness may be associated with unpleasantness, such as leaving his/her litter mates for the first time, or with a trip…

Labrador

Hypothyroidism in dogs. What owners need to know

Underactive thyroid – known as hypothyroidism Let me list your dog’s clinical signs: Lethargy Weight gain Bilaterally symmetrical alopecia Skin changes Itchy skin It would seem most likely that your dog has an underactive thyroid, referred to as hypothyroidism. In very large breeds, the condition 
occurs between two and three…

Secrets of the Hungarian wirehaired vizsla success

The Hungarian wirehaired vizsla (HWV) is a relatively new breed, created a century ago in Hungary by crossing smooth-haired vizslas with other pointer breeds — among them the German wirehaired pointer and the pudelpointer — to produce the dog we know today. Tough, all-purpose hunting dog The breed’s development was…

bloat in dogs

What you should know about dog bloat

Risk and factors of bloat in dogs A recent study by the Royal Veterinary College’s Veterinary Companion Animal Surveillance System, which looked into the frequency, risk factors and survival of dogs that had bloat, found that of the dogs that underwent surgical treatment, 80% survived. (It should be borne in…

gundog training with dummy

Gundog training – marking a dummy

The causes for problems marking a dummy Some young dogs can develop this quirk and, although it tends to disappear as time passes and they get experience of the real thing, it can be frustrating for the trainer. Eye contact is something that, as gundog trainers, we work hard to…

dry nose in dog

Can I do anything about my dog’s dry nose?

Q: My dog has a very dry nose that has started to become cracked, and food tends to get dried on after she has eaten. 
I wipe her nose after every meal, but it is getting no better. Is there anything else I should do? Is a dry nose in…

Clumber spaniels

A day’s shooting with Clumber spaniels for the first time

I love shooting over dogs, so when my friend Nathan Hawkins posted an open invitation to shoot over a breed I had never heard of — the Clumber spaniel — I jumped at the chance. Charming Clumber spaniels This is a breed that has been apparently superseded by springers and…

Avoiding hypothermia in dogs

Hypothermia in dogs

A: Yes. Under the right conditions dogs, and indeed any warm-blooded mammal, can suffer hypothermia. Hypothermia in dogs occurs when an animal’s core body temperature falls and stays below the normal range. The normal body temperature range for a dog is 38°C to 39.5°C (100.5°F to 102.5°F). Dogs with low body temperature will aim to conserve heat by…

dog at the vet

Ringworm in dogs – how to spot it and treat it

Q: My three-year-old Jack Russell may have a skin problem. He has lost hair in 
places on his face and ears; 
in patches that look rather like red-purplish bruises. He also 
has another patch on his chest, near his “arm pit”. What could cause this? A: From what you describe…

Border terrier

What’s the best beating dog?

Beating dogs are the forgotten heroes of the shooting world. They far outnumber all the picking-up dogs and peg dogs put together, but they are largely ignored and seldom celebrated for the vital work they do. There are no competitions 
for beating dogs, so no equivalent 
of a field trial…

Arthritis in dogs

Can you prevent arthritis in dogs?

Q: Both my elderly Labradors have suffered pretty badly from arthritis in later life. Is there anything that can be done to prevent this? A: Great question, but one to which there is no simple, conclusive answer. There are many treatments for osteoarthritis, but there is no doubt that the…