Italian spinone

Italian gundogs – what are their strengths in the field?

I’ve written recently about both French and German gundogs. On the same theme, this is a piece about Italian gundogs, but it wasn’t one I was planning to write. However, a friend with a passion for all things Italian — from formaggi to Ferrari and ciabatta to chianti — challenged…

English Springer

Is it time for super spaniels?

Breeds of spaniel There is a dangerously common misconception among many dog enthusiasts, assuming that a breed is similar to a species. It’s not. Species have evolved naturally over hundreds of thousands of years, but breeds are man-made creations produced by highly selective breeding and few are much more than…

German HPR breeds

Just why are German HPRs are so popular here?

History notes that the first of the German HPR breeds, the German shorthaired pointer, was shown in England in 1887, but it wasn’t until after World War II that these elegant, all-purpose dogs appeared in the shooting field in the UK, brought back by British Army officers who had served…

German gundog breeds

Which gundog breeds originated in Germany?

Weimaraner, German shorthaired pointer, German longhaired pointer, German wirehaired pointer, large Munsterlander. The list of German dog breeds that have become established in Britain is a long one, but it could be a lot longer. The small Munsterlander, for example, has been imported many times, but has never become established…

perfect Labrador

How can we breed the perfect Labrador?

The Labrador retriever was first recognised by the Kennel Club as a breed in 1903. It was originally known as the St John’s dog or lesser Newfoundland dog. The breed was in Newfoundland in the 1700s and imported to England in the 1800s. When I was researching its origins, I…

Teckel

All about the German teckel – a working dachshund

The working dachshund or teckel At one time the term ‘prey drive’ was mainly reserved for terriers and hounds and only occasionally used by the gundog fraternity. However, in the past 30 or so years, with the rising popularity of hunt-point-retrievers we have seen it used more frequently to describe…

Black Labrador lying down

Do Labradors really originate from Canada?

Spend a day out in the field on a shoot and the chances are that somebody, somewhere will have a Labrador. But despite being such a popular gundog, some think that Labradors are from Canada originally, rather than being a European breed. It’s said that fishermen in this bleak peninsula…

hpr gundog

Which is the best hunt, point and retrieve gundog?

Rory Major of Bryantscroft Gundogs has probably 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 gundog (HPR). He made up the first British wirehaired pointer field…

Korthals Griffon

23 things to know about the Korthals Griffon

The Korthals Griffon is known as the Griffon Korthals on the Continent Or the Griffon d’arrêt in France and Quebec In the United States and Canada it’s called the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon It was founded by the Dutch breeder Eduart Karels Korthals in around 1873 He dedicated 20 years to…

chocolate Labrador

Do chocolate Labradors deserve a bad reputation?

So how does the colour of a chocolate Labrador happen? A variety of different Labrador matings, including black to black, can produce a brown, or chocolate Labrador. If you mate two brown Labs together you are most likely to have similarly coloured puppies, although you may also get yellow. However…

English springer spaniel

The history of spaniels

If you want to wind up your cocker spaniel-owning friends, just tell them that their dogs are springers. They may argue otherwise but, technically, it’s true. History of the spaniel All spaniels are springers, as the term was originally used to separate those dogs that set game (setters) from those…