Pet Blood Bank

What if your gundog needed a blood transfusion one day?

“When my lovely cocker spaniel, Flick, was only five months old, she needed nine (yes nine!) blood transfusions. If it wasn’t for a charity called Pet Blood Bank UK, she would not be here just now. Can you spread the word?”  Steve Finney, North Yorkshire Blood transfusions vital It seems…

teach a puppy to sit

How to teach a puppy to sit

Q: I cannot get my cocker spaniel puppy to sit properly to the “sit” command; she just keeps wagging her tail and lifting up her bottom.  She is four months old now and this issue is preventing me from moving on with her training. She will not stay either when…

male or female dog

Bringing home a new puppy for the first time

Q: We are acquiring a new puppy as a companion for our eight-year-old spaniel. The journey home after we collect her from the breeder will take more than three hours and we were wondering if you could advise how best she should travel in the car and if it would…

Clumber spaniel in sugar beet

How to protect dogs from poisonous slug pellets

I can’t think of 
a worse way to lose a fit and healthy dog than through poisoning, 
as I was reminded by Lyn Monk at the Game Fair last month. Slug pellets can be lethal for dogs Her lagotto Romagnolo bitch ate slug pellets during a walk on farmland in…

stylish dog beds

Stylish dog beds for hardworking gundogs?

Canine indulgence is nothing new (in the 1920s, the Nawab of Junagadh is rumoured to have laid on lavish nuptials for his two favourite hounds), but, increasingly, it’s having an impact on the way we live. One of these is the return of the throw, although these have nothing to…

when to call the vet

When should you call the vet?

Q: Whenever my dog is unwell 
I take it to the vet, but the practice is usually very busy and 
I worry about bothering my vet unnecessarily (especially if it is out of hours). Can you advise of the situations when I really must contact the vet about my dog? Call…

Gundog anxiety

Dog first aid you need to know

Q:  Until recently I was fairly confident I knew the basics 
of dog first aid, but on hearing 
a friend’s story of how he had to deal with his dog when it got into difficulties recently, I realised 
I wouldn’t have a clue what to do should my dogs have…

dog at the vet

How to reduce stress for your dog at the vet

It is always amusing sitting in the waiting room of a veterinary surgery and seeing the various customers come in. Many gundogs, of course, are petrified of visiting the vet and are well aware of where they are as soon as the 
car arrives in the vet’s car park. These…

English spaniels

Is your gundog a fussy eater?

One of the remarkable things about dogs is that they will apparently happily eat the same thing every day, every week, throughout the year. A skinny spaniel stayed with us recently while its owners were away on holiday. The dog was delivered with its bed, food bowl and a big sack of so-called complete food. “She loves…

Retriever on shoot

Retriever makes a noise

Q: My three-year-old flatcoated retriever has been a joy to train, is a really keen retriever and has been a good worker out on the shoot for the past two seasons, but she has just started making the faintest of noises in the back of her throat just before I…

Working gundog

How Camrosa can treat spaniels with skin problems

FOLLOWING A RECENT column when I wrote about problems with working spaniels’ ears, I had a charming letter from Edwina Le May, founder and director of the company that markets Camrosa Ointment. It is aimed specifically at treating animals with skin problems, especially those caused by mites. Though I was aware of Camrosa, I’d never tried it, but when I mentioned…

springer spaniel

How gundogs scent

A gundog's sense of smell is one of its most valuable tools, but to take full advantage of this capability, it is important to understand how scent works.

English bulldogs are trendy dogs

Trendy dogs are not always the most healthy

I am a diligent reader of dog stories, 
but one I missed earlier this year 
was a regional map of dog-breed popularity, based on Kennel Club registrations in 2016. As with so many statistics, the results are fascinating but mustn’t be taken too seriously. I wouldn’t mind betting that cockerpoos…

dog recall

How to teach reliable dog recall

If there is one 
thing that sets the amateur handler apart from the professional, it is reliable dog recall. Whereas the professional has dogs that come galloping back on the 
first soft “toot” of their master or 
mistress’s whistle, the amateur has 
animals that will be galloping over the horizon…

gundog with gunslips

Gundog unreliable at the peg?

Q: I am getting my first Labrador puppy soon, which besides being a family pet, will be my shooting dog in the future hopefully. I say hopefully as this will be the first one I have trained myself. I used to borrow my father’s dog to take out driven shooting…

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…

springer spaniel retrieving

Why you should beware of early neutering

David Tomlinson recently wrote about the physical downsides of early neutering for dogs of either gender, but the behavioural effects are less well known. Many people who experience problems with their dogs, especially male dogs, will be on the receiving end of assurances from all and sundry that any issues…