Labrador picking-up training

Training a young Labrador to start picking-up

Q: I have a young Labrador bitch I want to start picking-up with this season. Should I take her along with my older and experienced bitch, or would it be better to take her on her own so 
I can devote more time to her? A: Hopefully, your young bitch…

spaniel flushing a bird in cover

What can I do about the scratches on my spaniel’s face?

Spaniel scratches – what’s the answer? Q: Now I am retired I have been able to work my spaniels more frequently this season. One has so many cuts around her eyes and over her muzzle from having to retrieve birds from deep cover that it doesn’t take much to make…

flatcoated retriever

What’s happened to the flatcoat retriever?

Every once in a while, often at a country house owned by people who don’t much like throwing things away, one comes across old copies of Shooting Times. It is always reassuring to note the extent to which our sport is still the same but, of course, things do change…

pointers dog breed

The history of the pointer

When someone tells me they own a pointer I always have to ask what sort. Usually it turns out to be a German shorthaired pointer, as this is the most numerous pointing breed in the shooting field today, but strictly speaking a pointer is a pointer. Pointers are grouped with…

Arthritis in dogs

Are chocolate Labradors poor retrievers?

I was asked recently about my opinion on a dog’s eye colour. The inquirer felt if a Labrador had light-coloured eyes, it was more prone to be skittish and wild. It was something I had never even considered. I have always preferred a Labrador with darker pigment around their eyes…

spaniel with hen pheasant

Do spaniels smell more than Labradors?

Q: I would like a springer or working cocker spaniel to train as a gundog, but my father is not keen. My grandparents had a show-strain cocker who was a lovely dog but she really smelled, no matter what my grandparents did to try to stop it. Should I get…

gundog puppies

How to give your gundog puppy the best start in life

Over the coming months, many gundog bitches will cast off the lissom figures they acquired during the shooting season. They will take on a more matronly demeanour of pregnancy as they are given the important job of producing a litter of spring or summer puppies. But how prepared are first-time…