playful puppies

Buying a puppy – what should I know?

What breed? Choosing the right breed of gundog puppy has to be the foremost consideration. You will have to not only decide what breed will suit your shooting requirements, but also your lifestyle. Remember, most gundogs will only work in the shooting field for three or four months of the…

Brushing dogs teeth

Tips on keeping your dog’s teeth free from tartar

Dog tartar removal and prevention Dental disease in dogs is primarily caused by food particles and bacteria building up at the base of the teeth near the gum line, causing the formation of plaque. If this plaque is 
not removed, minerals in the dog’s saliva combine with the plaque to…

male or female dog

Dog or bitch? Which is easiest to train?

Q: I have been looking for 
a yellow Labrador bitch puppy for some time but I always seem to miss out on the bitches and there are only dogs left. This will be my first gundog and I was advised to get a bitch as they are easier to train.…

polydipsia in dogs

Why is my dog so thirsty? Is she ill?

Excessive thirst (referred to as polydipsia or PD on veterinary case notes) is not in itself a diagnosis, but it may be indicative of disease. There are, of course, some “innocent causes”, such as hot weather, prolonged exercise, change to a dry diet or increased salt in diet. Sometimes, all…


Buying your first gundog – what you need to know

Q: “I’m about to embark on acquiring my first gundog and I would like some advice as to what breed to buy and whether to get a puppy or a part or even fully-trained dog. Also, I’m not sure whether to keep it indoors or outside in a kennel and…


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…

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…

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…

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…

English springer spaniel

How well do you know your gundog vocabulary?

Things can get very confusing in the gundog world when we use different gundog commands or words for different breeds. For example, spaniel people tend to use “hup” to get their dogs to sit. Does anyone know why? So here’s our definitive guide to gundog commands and phrases Action and…


Is this the best way of “dogging-in?”

Dogging-in means using a dog to push straying pheasants from the boundaries of a shoot back into the middle. This time of year the 
majority of keepers face 
this seemingly never-ending and infuriating task. Time-consuming and impossible without a dog The art of pushing wandering poults back to the 

dry nose in dog

Should dew claws be removed?

Q: We are hoping to have a litter from our springer spaniel bitch and were wondering what the situation is regarding the removal of dew claws. Does this need to be done by a vet? A: No, not necessarily. While the mutilations clause of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 makes…

fox with mange

Beware the mangy fox

Q: We have foxes in our garden and one has a lot of bald, sore-looking patches, especially over its head. A friend suggested that the foxes have mange, which could be passed onto our dogs. What do you suggest we do? A: Foxes can suffer various types of mange and…

springer spaniels

Help! My young springer ‘freezes’ on a shoot

Q: I have a problem which seems difficult to solve. My young springer has just turned two and started going shooting in January, which was fine, she hunted well. 
We just went out with a couple 
of friends to shoot the odd cock pheasant and rabbit. I took her to…