dog friendly hotels in the UK

8 of the best dog friendly hotels around the UK

If your dog has served you faithfully during the season – and your other half also deserves a break, then a stay in a lovely hotel is a well-earned treat. Or maybe you’re just looking for a dog-friendly hotel? We’ve picked out eight recommendations. 1. The Royal Oak, East Lavant,…

Gundog puppies eating

Why raw chicken wings are possibly the perfect dog food

Fifteen years ago I changed my dogs’ diet to what is now generally termed a BARF (bones and raw food) diet. However, I prefer to call it 
a natural diet, because it is. I’m convinced it is the best way to feed a dog, although of course you have to bear…

Working cocker spaniel

Why the working cocker spaniel is such a popular dog

Time was when everyone had a black Labrador and was happy. Then there were chocolate Labradors for a bit. Now fox red Labradors seem to be having their moment. But the dog that seems to be really springing up all over the place is the working cocker spaniel. It seems that everywhere you look these…

spaniel puppy

Socialising dogs – some readers’ problems

Q: I have a 20-month-old Labrador dog who lives in the house with two Labrador bitches aged five and eight. He is being trained as a gundog and works fine with dogs that he knows. He was introduced to unfamiliar puppies from an early age and attended puppy classes. When…

electric collar on Labrador

Do electric collars have a place in dog training?

Defra is under heavy pressure from a number of organisations, including most notably the Kennel Club (KC), to ban electric shock collars, and has launched an online consultation to gauge public opinion. The KC’s arguments are clearly explained: “The Kennel Club believes that electric shock collars have no place in…

black Labrador puppy

What makes the perfect Labrador?

If you wanted to start an argument at a game fair, 
you couldn’t go far wrong with initiating a discussion about what the perfect Labrador should look like. Even the most casual countryside observer will be aware that there 
is huge variety in the breed. As it is the most…

spaniel puppies

Should you neuter your dog?

Neutering dogs 
has become such routine practice that I’m sure many people don’t give it a second thought. Bitches always seem to come into season at the most inappropriate time, such as the middle of the shooting season, so unless you want to breed from them there is a strong…

Border terrier

Gluten-free diets for dogs – when are they necessary?

Q: I am thinking about buying a border terrier puppy from a local gamekeeper. My friend tells me I will have to avoid feeding it gluten. But gluten-free diets for dogs are a load of old tosh, right?” A:  Your friend might be right. But he could be wrong. Border terriers…

Gundog training puppies

When should I start training my puppy to be a gundog?

Training a puppy should start from the very first day it begins life with its new owner. Whereas formal gundog training puppies can start at around seven months – depending on the youngster of course. The early days are crucial You need to establish a partnership and rapport early on…

Gundog breed Labrador

How to help a dog with arthritis

I agree, but many working dogs are affected by arthritis and it can be a very debilitating and frustrating condition. There are a number of steps you can take to help a dog with arthritis, improving quality of life. What is arthritis? Arthritis can be defined as inflammation of a…

Border collie with sheep

How to stop a dog worrying sheep

According to 
the National Sheep Association, there are more than 33million sheep in the UK, which means that every working gundog is certain to encounter a flock sooner rather than later. From a dog’s point of view, there are few animals that are more inviting to chase. Thoughts of sheep…

English pointer

Can I teach an English pointer to sit at the peg?

Q: I have been involved in shooting all my life, but 
have only begun shooting in 
a syndicate since retiring and have no experience of having 
a dog sitting at the peg. I have always fancied having a pointer primarily as a house dog, but also to take out a…

Puppy crate training

Crate training your puppy – how to do it right

I have decided on crate training for my new gundog puppy Briar.  When she whines to go out I will hear her.  I will also find it easier to teach her how to behave around my toddler in the house because she will have plenty of access to him. Crate…

sprocker spaniel

Just why is the “sprocker spaniel” becoming so popular?

A friend was torn between gundog choices.  Should he go for an English springer, or an equally speedy but rather smaller cocker? In the end he compromised. He bought a sprocker spaniel, combining, he anticipated, the best of both breeds. Sprockers becoming increasingly sought-after In recent years, sprockers — intended crosses…

English springer at Crufts

Why I won’t be bothering to go Crufts this weekend

Gundog day at Crufts 2018 is on the Sunday, the last and inevitably the most busy of the four-day event. This year’s show will host around 22,000 dogs and about 160,000 people will view them. To put that figure in perspective, last year’s Game Fair at Hatfield House drew 116,000.…