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Hunt, Point and Retrieve (HPR) dogs are not often seen in the beating line, but they are very versatile gun dogs used for roughshooting, picking-up and deer stalking. Here is a round-up of all our posts on the HPR breeds and what you can expect from them.

German shorthaired pointer

The German shorthaired pointer

The very first time I saw a German shorthaired pointer (GSP) working was about 25 years ago. I had been invited to photograph an HPR (hunt, point, retrieve) spring pointing test on the Waddesdon Manor Estate in Buckinghamshire, and the first dog to run was a white and liver-ticked dog called Swifthouse Basil. I was truly impressed by…

hunt, point and retrieve gundog?

Which is the best hunt, point and retrieve gundog?

Though it is not a claim I have ever heard him make, Rory Major has almost certainly trained and competed with more breeds of gundog than anyone else in the business. He has trialled everything from retrievers and spaniels to setters and most breeds of hunt, point and retrieve gundogs (HPR). His successes include making-up the…

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…

dogs and pickers up on grouse moor

The pleasure of working dogs on a grouse moor

For most of us the shooting season is still months away. If, however, you are fortunate enough to work your dogs on the grouse moors, there’s just three weeks or so to go before the start, assuming that grouse stocks are robust enough for shooting to begin on 12 August. However, since the introduction of medicated grit, grouse populations no longer…

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…

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;…

How to shoot over your dog

Over the past couple of months we have looked at taking your gundog into the beating line or being part of a picking-up team, but the ultimate for any gundog handler has to be shooting over your dog. It isn’t easy and not for the faint-hearted, but these guidelines should help.…

Brittany spaniel

Rule Brittany

France and England may be separated only by a narrow stretch of water, but the difference in our shooting culture could hardly be more different. Shooting is hugely popular throughout France, but the French word used to describe it — la chasse — neatly sums up our continental cousins’ approach.…

gundog with gamebird

Retrieving: to deliver or to devour?

We often talk about dogs being natural retrievers, but the truth is that there can frequently be a tension between the dog’s instinct to return the shot game to its handler, and its natural desire to devour the bird on the spot. In his excellent book, Dogwatching, zoologist Desmond Morris…

Continental pointers in action

It was over 25 years ago when I first saw an HPR (hunt, point, retrieve) pointer working. I was photographing a spring pointing test and the dog was a German shorthaired pointer called “Basil.” I can clearly remember him casting out over a field of winter wheat, he was running…

HPR Championship

The first HPR Championship for 17 years was held at the Swinton Estate in North Yorkshire, David Tomlinson reports

Coast the Hungarian vizsla becomes dual champion

Hungarian Vizsla: Essex-based Bitcon Gold Coast at Northey JW (also known as Coast) has become the first gundog of its breed to be recognised as a dual champion for its working and show abilities.

Gundog breeds: Why buy a Weimaraner?

Weimaraner: These distinctive German dogs are often misunderstood but, in the right hands, the Weimaraner can be excellent gundogs.

HPRs on Trial

David Tomlinson attends his first HPR trial, an Open held in Norfolk, where the eager dogs and their handlers battle to win in some challenging conditions

The vanishing Weimaraner

The vanishing Weimaraner

Intelligent, strong and agile, the Weimaraner was once thought to be about to eclipse the Labrador, so why, asks Heidi Sands, have they fallen so far out of favour?