The thieves stole the dogs from an alarmed area of the shooting schools’ compound where the dogs were being kept for social contact.

The dogs, a liver and white springer spaniel, a golden cocker spaniel, a black cocker spaniel puppy and a golden cocker spaniel puppy (all bitches), are microchipped.

Lains Shooting School, which is also home to Mullenscote Gundogs, was highly commended in last year’s Countryside Alliance Awards.

Three of the dogs stolen belong to members of the training team, including Howard Kirby, the owner of Lains.

Mr. Kirby has put up a £4,000 reward for any information leading to the recovery of the dogs and the apprehension of the thieves.

He said: “I have elaborate alarms to protect my dogs – many owners will have no security at all and they may be very vulnerable.

“These callous thieves obviously have no respect for other people’s property or feelings.

“These are much-loved dogs and I am heartbroken.”

Anyone with any information regarding the theft or the whereabouts of the dogs should telephone 01264 889467 or 07979 479941.