1. Don’t look at a puppy in the litter until it is running around the garden at seven or eight weeks of age
  2. Try and see them first thing in the morning before they have been fed, as they will move around better on an empty stomach!
  3. If you buy a puppy from March onwards you have more light available in the evening for gundog training
  4. As the summer months arrive, the puppy can play in the garden
  5. Always resist a bargain because a good gundog puppy won’t be going cheap
  6. Well-bred puppies will cost hundreds of pounds. The bitch having the pups will have had expensive health tests, plus there is the stud fee and cost of rearing a gundog puppy to a high standard of care and nutrition.
  7. Your puppy should be bred from good working stock
  8. Check the dam of the pups for temperament
  9. If you’re happy to spend hundreds of pounds on a day’s shooting – or on a decent gun – then it’s a small price to pay for a decade of work and companionship
  10. Don’t skimp on food quality, it’s false economy. Expect to pay around £5-6 a week.
  11. Jabs for the puppy will cost around £70
  12. If you are going to send your gundog puppy away for basic training at eight months old your weekly bills will be around £130 upwards.
  13. If you want a part-trained dog, only buy from a responsible breeder or someone you can trust
  14. Some gundog experts say that 70% of what a gundog achieves is down to the training and 30% down to the breeding
  15. Many field trial champions have been bred from good quality working gun dogs that have never competed in field trials
  16. If there was a right time to buy a pup it would have to be from March onwards as you always gain an extra hour of daylight in the evening which can be used for training.

Owning a gundog isn’t cheap and there’s no such thing as a bargain gundog puppy. Here’s what you need to look out for.

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