field trials for dogs

What’s ahead for field trials in 2021?

All being well as we come out of the paralysis of lockdown, field trials for dogs will return once again. Pointer and setter handlers will have missed the early spring grouse trials on the moors and the East Anglian pheasant and partridge days that are traditionally held in April, but…

day-to-day gundog training

Day-to-day gundog training

Day-to-day gundog training Lizzie, the young flatcoat, has gone home for a little break. She is now one year old and coming on a treat, but she needs time to just grow up. It is easy to push a young dog too hard too fast so they become overwhelmed and…

spaniel spaniel in cover

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

Q: One of my spaniels 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 them start bleeding again. Is there anything I can use to prevent spaniel scratches and stop them reopening? Treating…

black Labrador puppy

Checking up on a pedigree

Q: I am doubtful of the pedigree details of some Labrador puppies I have been offered. Pedigrees are widely available online and provide information for those who can simply make up a pedigree — and often the buyer is none the wiser. So how can I verify what I think…

black Labrador

What you need to know about hip dysplasia and gundogs

A good question and well done for admitting that you don’t know about it or understand what hip dysplasia in dogs is. Explaining hip dysplasia in dogs The hip joints are at the top of the hind leg in dogs and are ‘ball and socket’ joints, so that flexion (lifting…

Slug pellets

How to protect dogs from poisonous slug pellets

Dogs and slug pellets don’t mix and are in fact a lethal combination. Losing a fit and healthy dog through poisoning is dreadful, as illustrated by this story I heard. Watch out on walks During a walk on farmland in Kent a lagotto Romagnolo bitch discovered a small pile of…

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…

black Labrador puppy

Which gundog puppy will be pick of the litter?

Q: How do I going about choosing a puppy from the litter? I’m planning on breeding gundog puppies from my bitch this spring. She’s five years old and I only want to have one litter from her, but because she has been such a good shooting gundog I want to…

German longhaired pointer

So why do gundogs have floppy ears?

See a dog with floppy ears and it’s going to be a gundog. One feature common to every breed of gundog is floppy ears. Spaniel ears flop considerably more than those of, say, Labradors or German shorthaired pointers, but all the gundogs have ears that flap downwards, unlike such breeds…