working sheepdog

How much do trained dogs cost?

Dogs are amazing creatures and some are worth a lot of money. We’ve been reading about the high prices puppies have reached during the COVID lockdown as everyone decides they want a canine companion. A border collie from Wales has just become the world’s most expensive sheepdog after being sold…

Golden retriever

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

You’ll see plenty of Labradors in the field but not so many golden retrievers. Which is rather illogical because a golden retriever that has been well-trained is definitely the equal of a Labrador. Golden retrievers are handsome, intelligent and easy to handle. So it’s a mystery. A relatively new breed…

spaniel in long grass

How to get ticks off your dog and keep them off

A welcome consequence of the recent drought has been an absence of ticks. I have yet to find any ticks on dogs of mine this year. Ticks like nothing better than to lurk in wet, rank grass and they avoid dry areas because of the risk of dehydration. So from…

dog scavenging

How can I treat my gundog’s diarrhoea? What causes it?

Q: “Can you explain to me why my gundog gets a stomach upset? What causes diarrhoea in dogs and how can I stop my gundog getting it? Diarrhoea in dogs – the symptoms and the causes Diarrhoea is defined as increased water content of faeces, leading to changes in frequency…

English springer spaniel

Why is the springer spaniel becoming less popular?

In the 1980s I belonged to a shooting syndicate with one simple rule: every member had to own a working gundog. It was a walk-one, stand-one shoot, so it was a practical ruling. There was no suggestion as to what sort of dog it had to be, but every member…

gundog beds Barka Parka

Let sleeping gundogs lie in comfort

A favourite subject for debate in the gundog world is whether working dogs should be kennelled or kept in the house. I don’t think dogs mind much either way, as it depends on what they get used to. I know of dogs that spend the day indoors but at 11pm…

semi-retired dogs

Old dog, neat tricks

A team of dogs usually comprises varying age and ability levels. It is common to have at least one youngster that is in training and learning its trade from older members. The middle-aged gundogs are generally the main workers that are old enough to know their job and young enough…

Pedigree dog health

Will my Labrador’s hips cause her problems in the field?

Labrador hips cause concern Q: I have a four-year-old Labrador bitch that I had intended breeding from, but her hip scores have turned out to be higher than we expected — not too bad but not good enough that we feel we should breed from her. However, I am now…

how to introduce a puppy to gunfire

At what age should you introduce a puppy to gunfire?

The most important thing to remember about when you introduce a puppy to gunfire noise is that you should take it gently and not rush anything. If your gundog puppy is confident you should be able to start at about seven to eight months of age. If she is timid…

why do dogs point

Why do dogs point?

Pointing is one of the most fascinating of dog behaviours and one that was recognised long ago as a useful trait to encourage in hunting dogs. Today, there’s a misconception that only pointers, setters and the continental HPR breeds point, but any breed of gundog will point, though it’s unusual…