MARK WHITEHOUSE SAYS: I never let colour change my judgement of a puppy.

If I am choosing a gun dog puppy he must look like a dog, have good confirmation, a good square shaped head and very good bone structure.

If I am choosing a bitch she must be very flighty, have good body movement with a low tail action, and be eye-catching at all times.

Both sexes must have lots of natural ability- hunting is one of them and retrieving is another.

To demonstrate the puppy’s ability to hunt you can throw a small handful of puppy food onto the garden.

Most young puppies will hoover it up and continue to hunt even when it is all gone.

To test their potential retrieving abilities, tease the young puppies with an old sock and let them chase about with it – this way they are carrying and retrieving without any pressure.

The puppies that stand out in both areas of hunting and retrieving always make the best ones, even at such a young age.

For more gun dog breeding advice click here