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…

Working dogs

All-round gundogs – do they exist?

Most of my friends have more than one dog, they may have a spaniel or two for beating, a retriever for shooting at a peg or picking-up and a few of them even have a “terrorist” (terrier) to keep the rodent population in check. But, just imagine that you could…

Ratting with terriers

What better way to clear a farm of rats?

The first rats came fizzing 
out before anyone was ready. Even Jay, the very model of lurcher sharpness, 
was taken by surprise as the rodents fled their burrows and made for safety. The terriers, tied to a gate post outside, burst into a frantic chorus of yelps and whines as…

Ferrets

5 ways of ferreting

Ferreting for rabbits can achieved in five different ways by a ferret bolting them. Some work better in certain situations, but they all have their place. Some of these methods can be combined together to improve effectiveness. Purse nets Purse nets are the starting point for those beginning a career…

Border terrier

What’s the best beating dog?

Beating dogs are the forgotten heroes of the shooting world. They far outnumber all the picking-up dogs and peg dogs put together, but they are largely ignored and seldom celebrated for the vital work they do. There are no competitions 
for beating dogs, so no equivalent 
of a field trial…

Sir Ian Botham

Interview with Sir Ian Botham

How and when did you get into shooting? I’m a country boy so it was a natural thing for me to do: I was brought up in Somerset and since I was 18 I’ve lived in the rural north of England. So basically I’ve been shooting since I was old…

shoot pigeons with semi-auto

Should you shoot pigeons with a semi-auto?

The gun you choose to shoot pigeons — whether decoyed, flighting or roosting — should always 
be given maximum thought if you are to shoot to the best of your ability. The gun must suit you and the bore size, weight, length of barrels and, of great importance, the gun…

dogs good for your health

Tail docking: Key facts you need to know

Tail docking: It is one of the most emotive subjects in the gundog world, so education is key to knowing where owners, breeders and vets stand on tail docking.

Wire haired Jack Russell terrier

What is a true Jack Russell terrier?

The working Jack Russell was bred to bolt a fox unharmed. Eddie Chapman tells the story of how this special skill has been preserved against the odds

Sealyham terrier

Ratting with a Sealyham Terrier

The phone rang, “Hello Nick, it’s Harry Parsons, what you doing next Tuesday?” A quick check of the diary and it looked all clear. “Fancy coming out for a day’s ratting?” As much as I hate rats, especially their scaly tails, I do enjoy a day’s ratting with the Working…

Ratting terrier

Ratting with terriers

I’ve been to a meet or two 
in my time: beagle packs on village greens; minkhounds 
on crumbling stone bridges that look as old as the river which winds beneath them; and foxhounds in the courtyards of austere country houses. But this was a little different. Bleary eyed, smelly, and…

lurcher with rabbit

The lurcher – a designer cross-breed dog

A gamekeeper once said to me that a lurcher was “any calibre of gun you require”. The lean, light “silent assassin” is a most versatile field dog and probably the oldest known designer cross-breed. There are variations to suit each type of land and each intended task, but all of…

Wire haired Jack Russell terrier

Can I use a Jack Russell terrier for rough shooting?

A: I grew up with cross-bred terriers which, being longer on the leg than the Jack Russell terrier, were more like hunt terriers. They were trained to work as gundogs by my father as well as working with the ferrets for rabbits. They would go to ground and bring out rabbits, always dead but still good enough…

Plummer terriers

A useful day out with some Plummer terriers

By their very name, terriers are dogs of the earth. In the past, before certain legislation was implemented, this varied and extremely valiant family of dogs did exactly that, going to ground in pursuit of their prey. Everything from badgers to otters was pursued by the smooth, the rough, the white, the coloured, the…

Liam Bell keeper

An interview with Liam Bell, chairman of the NGO

What did you do before becoming a keeper? I went to school! I never really wanted to do anything else. I remember my father, who was a chemical engineer, saying I’d make a good gamekeeper when I was 10 or 11 years old. I found out what one did and was hooked. It sounded like a…

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 Wheaten Irish Welsh Sealyham Airedale Lucas Sporting Lucas