gundog breedsWhat are the differences between the varying breeds of gundog? Which breed would make the best gundog for you? Should you choose a spaniel, a Labrador or a German pointer?

It all depends on the work you want the animal to do. Other dogs, like Sealyhams, specialise in pest control.

Below you’ll find an extensive list of the different breeds to help you decide.

Labrador | Spaniel | Vizsla | Weimaraner | German pointer | HPR breeds

Hungarian wire-haired vizsla

The rising popularity of the Hungarian wirehaired 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 their breed, as they are good-looking, steady and responsive workers. They do, however, create some consternation among new Guns who have never seen them…

Clumber spaniel

Clumber spaniel wins AV field trial

A Clumber spaniel won an any variety field trial last month — the first time this breed has done so in living history and only the second time since field trials began. The victory by three-year-old Midori Diamond Huddlestone (Rigg), in an any variety spaniel novice stake held by the Tyne Tees and Tweed Field Trial Association, against 15…

Working cocker spaniel

The working cocker rules, OK?

Time was when everyone had a black Labrador and was happy. Then there were chocolate Labradors for a bit; that was just a phase really. There seem to be a lot of fox red Labradors out and about at the moment, which is a relatively recent development but I dare say it will pass in due course, as…

Korthals griffon

20 things to know about the Korthals Griffon

The Korthals Griffon is known as the Griffon Korthals on the Continent Or the Griffon d’arrêt in France and Quebec It was founded by the Dutch breeder Eduart Karels Korthals in around 1873 He dedicated 20 years to developing and perfecting his “Griffon” It is fully recognised by the Kennel…

Cockerpoo gundogs

A cockerpoo as gundog?

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 in the beating line, and from what I saw they were doing an excellent job, hunting with enthusiasm and no fear of cover.…

Handler with Bracco Italiano

A day with bracco Italiano and spinone Italiano gun dogs

The day had been arranged by the Bracco Italiano Club, which had invited its friends in the Spinone Club of Great Britain to come along, Mike Fellows, the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation (NGO) regional chairman for Sussex having provided the ground on the shoot he keepers near Robertsbridge. Mike has worked voluntarily for the NGO for…

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

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…

Chocolate Labrador

Do chocolate Labradors deserve a bad reputation?

Chocolate is probably as synonymous with Christmas as the tree and the presents, but if you spot a chocolate Labrador on your shoot during the festive season it is likely to be the subject of some derision rather than celebration. But do these dogs really deserve their bad reputation in the shooting field? There is no clear-cut…

springer spaniel dream gundog

The dream gundog team

I’ll tell you what I want to see behind me when I am standing in a line of guns outside a likely looking covert. I want to see a bunch of pickers-up with sundry teams of likely looking dogs. I want them a good gunshot distance and where I can see them. I don’t want to…

cocker spaniels

The cocker spaniel

The spaniel is one of the oldest “type” of hunting dog and today the cocker and springer spaniel are among the most popular gundog breeds seen in the shooting field. Spaniels were especially bred to flush game out of dense brush. By the late 1600s spaniels had become specialised into water and land breeds. The extinct English water spaniel was…

Sprocker spaniels

Sprocker spaniel versus cocker spaniel

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 for personal glory, but it’s all about cheating. You don’t have to look far to find examples in cricket, cycling, athletics, even pigeon racing.…

Terrier

A closer look at the terrier

There is no doubt that the terrier breeds are the “hard men” of the canine world, ready to take on their quarry above and below ground. Most terrier breeds were developed in Great Britain and Ireland, and before legislation changed, they could be worked for quarry such as rats, rabbits, foxes, mink while traditionally they were also used to…

Black and yellow Labrador retrievers

Why is the Labrador retriever such a favourite with shooters?

A versatile breed, this hunting companion is the eyes and ears of its owner, can be used to detect drugs, explosives, open doors and even post letters. It can guard, jump, swim, and is the epitome of man’s best friend. No article on the breed would be complete without mentioning the Buccleuch Labrador. The Buccleuch Labrador In the 1830s, the 5th Duke…

Labrador

The allure of the Labrador

Last year, more than 32,000 Labrador puppies were registered with the Kennel Club; in the US that figure was over 150,000. This is certainly a dog with global appeal — but why? The first Labradors arrived from their native Newfoundland more than 200 years ago. The breed’s strong swimming and marking ability when retrieving…

HPR breeds

Hunt, point and retrieve – truly versatile dogs

Many years ago, when I started out photographing gundogs, I used to attend quite a few spring pointing tests and it was at these events where I not only saw my first HPR working in the field, but I also developed some lifelong friendships with a number of handlers that…

Bobbery pack

Will cross-breeds ever rule in the field?

While I appreciate the wealth of pure-bred gundog breeds, I would not hesitate to use a cross-breed working dog if it gave me an extra edge for a particular job. It takes months to train a gundog properly and minutes to ruin one, so it often pays to create a type…

Clumber spaniel retrieving pheasant

Clumber spaniels – a genuine gundog breed

During 2015 there were 217 Clumber spaniel puppies registered in Britain. Compare this with 10,500 springer spaniels and 22,500 cocker spaniels registered and you will realise that this is not a common breed. Historic theory The breed’s history is uncertain before the middle of the 19th century. One theory is…

pointing dog

Spotlight on continental HPR breeds

One of the founding fathers of modern electric blues music was a man known as Muddy Waters. A fellow black musician, bemoaning what he perceived to be the hijacking of their music — mainly by the American middle class — once voiced his concern. Muddy, far simply agreeing, responded: “Black, white;…