Labradors in pickupHere’s just about everything you need to know about gundogs. This useful collection of information and advice covers field trial and working tests, gundog training and exercise, breeds and gundog health plus help with breeding and buying or selling your gundog.

If you’re looking for a companion in the field, browse through our section on different gundog breeds to help you decide.

History of dogs

You’ll also find interesting reading on the history of different breeds, for example the backgrounds of the Clumber spaniel, Vizsla and the difference between a Parson Russell and a Jack Russell. We’ve also written about the increasingly popular Sprocker.

Or if you have a query about gundog health – which could be something as simple as how often to feed your dog through to wondering whether gundogs get hypothermia, you’ll find the answer in our health section.

Our panel of veterinary experts have a wealth of experience to help you take the best care of your gundog, whatever the breed.

protect dogs from horsefly bites

How can I protect my dogs from horsefly bites?

Q: I usually take my two Labradors with me when I tend to my horses and have noticed that there seem to be a lot of horseflies around this year, which can give 
a nasty bite. I generally spray myself with insect repellent to keep them away from me, but…

English setter

Should dogs drink ice-cold water?

Q: I have heard that I should 
not allow my dog to drink 
iced water in hot weather because 
it causes bloat. Can you tell me 
if this is true? If not, can I safely give my dog iced water? A: As far as I am aware there is 
no real…

constipated dog

What treatment can I give my constipated dog?

Q: My Labrador seems to get constipated; she gets into position to relieve herself but 
with no success. What can be 
done to relieve constipation? A: Constipation is a relatively common digestive disorder 
and most dogs can suffer from a bout 
at some point during their lives. Feeding a diet…

heatstroke in dogs

How to treat heatstroke in dogs

Dogs do not sweat like humans; they don’t have sweat glands, except for a few on the foot pads and on their noses. When they become warm dogs pant, exhaling overheated air, breathing in fresh, cool air and lowering their core body temperature. When a dog is confined to a…

Jack Russell hop

Why does my Jack Russell hop, skip and jump?

There are two likely possibilities and I am afraid each might require a surgical intervention, which is not what you will want to hear. Luxating patella The patella, or kneecap, sits in the knuckle-like trochlear groove at the front of the thigh bone or femur. It has an important job.…

golden retriever

Why aren’t golden retrievers more popular in the field?

One of the mysteries of the gundog world is why golden retrievers are a comparative rarity in the shooting field, especially compared with the ubiquitous Labrador. Fashion probably has a great deal to do with this, because a well-trained golden is every bit a match for even the best of Labradors. Golden retrievers – relaxed, easy to…

springer spaniel puppy

Should I have my springer spaniel puppy castrated?

Q: I have a nine-month-old male springer spaniel puppy that has recently started trying to mount bitches even though they are not in season. I have been 
told it might be best to have him castrated. What would you advise? A: Before deciding on puppy castration, it is important to…

silver Labrador

Would a silver Labrador be right for you?

What exactly is the right colour? The Kennel Club’s breed standard states that “any shade of gold or cream” is acceptable for golden retrievers, while the American KC requires “rich, lustrous gold of various shades”. Colour is a contentious issue in many breeds. However, when it comes to controversial coat…

Roan springer spaniel

Spaying an older dog. Should you?

Q: I took my eight-and-a-half-year-old bitch to the vet because she was being a bit slow with her food. It transpired that she was having a phantom pregnancy. The vet advised that 
I have her neutered, but I am wary of this because of her age. What do you think?…

Yellow Labrador

Most dog attacks are by Labradors. Seriously?

I have just been alerted to a story in The Times that the breed of dog blamed for the most dog attack claims in the UK is the Labrador. This doesn’t surprise me at all, despite the fact that almost all the Labradors I have met have been big softies,…

Labrador in water

Do Labradors really originate from Newfoundland?

Q: I read that Labradors originated from dogs used by fishermen in North America and were used for helping to retrieve nets from the sea and estuaries in their country of origin. Interestingly my own dog, since it was a small puppy, has always retrieved dummies from water by grabbing…