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…

black Labrador puppy

How to choose a gundog puppy

Which breed? First of all, you need to decide which gundog breed will suit your shooting needs and also your life. When choosing a gundog puppy breed remember that most gundogs are only out in the field for three or four months a year. So how are you going to…

rescue Labrador

Can a rescue make a top gundog?

Looking at rescue gundogs When clients approach me about getting a working dog, I have to admit that looking at rescue gundogs is not the first thing I’d suggest. But perhaps this has been a bit short-sighted of me. The vast majority of working dog owners do not wish to…

Dog eating grass

BARF diet for dogs – the risks and benefits

Bones and raw food for dogs I’ve long been an advocate of feeding dogs as natural a diet as possible, which means raw food and vegetables. I was convinced by an interview 
I did 15 years ago with holistic vet Dr Nick Thompson. I feed a raw chicken wing for…

food allergies in gundogs

Dealing with food allergies in gundogs

Q: My three-year-old red Labrador bitch is pretty much itchy all the time. I am considering trying a low allergy diet. Is this worthwhile? How can you deal with food allergies in gundogs? A:If your Labrador is permanently itchy (as opposed to the sort of seasonal itch that you might…

Brittany spaniel

French gundogs – why don’t we see more of them here?

Some French gundogs L’épagneul Breton, the Brittany L’épagneul Français (French spaniel) Barbet Braque d’Auvergne L’épagneul de Pont-Audemer Braque de Bourbonnais Braque Français Why French shooting is different The French are every bit as passionate about fieldsports as we are, possibly even more so, but when it comes to shooting they…

gundog going from dummies to game

Training your young gundog – from dummies to game

Most, if not all, of your early gundog training will be using tennis or fur balls and canvas dummies. But at some point you will have to give your young dog the opportunity to pick cold game. This can be fur or feather but, whatever you decide to use, make…

gundog puppy

16 things you need to know before buying a gundog puppy

What are the upfront costs of owning a gundog puppy? What are the running costs (so to speak) and what hidden costs should you allow for. It’s impossible to assess these accurately because owning a dog always comes with an element of surprise. But one rule you should definitely stick…

Training gundogs during COVID

It might seem like I have plenty of time to plan, lots of equipment and endless ground to train on. While I am lucky to have access to more ground, and I do own dummy-launchers, remote launchers, remote ball-droppers and most shape dummies, I have limited time. Much of my…

outside kennels for gundogs

How to choose a kennel set-up for your gundog

Outside kennels for gundogs Q: I am about to buy a new outside kennel set-up for my two cocker spaniels. Some systems that I have looked at have a kennel at the end of the run that is tall enough for me to walk into. The dogs would have access…

cocker spaniel with rabbit

What size is the perfect gundog?

OK, I admit it. I have always been a fan of big, old-fashioned springers, chunky cockers and Labradors with substance, but I’m beginning to think that gundog size doesn’t really matter after all. When it comes to performance, small dogs can perform as well as, and sometimes better than, bigger,…

dog raw bones

Is it safe to give your dog raw bones to chew?

Is it safe to give my dog raw bones to chew? This is one of those subjects where opinions differ. Some dogs will chew bones their whole lives and never experience a problem. Others will require emergency surgery after being given only one bone. The complications of giving a dog…

Labrador colours

How important is the colour of a gundog’s coat?

As we all know, sound working-bred spaniel puppies are in high demand at the moment, so I was delighted to be able to tip off a friend about a litter I had heard about. She arranged to see them and I was sure she would end up buying one. I…