playtraining gundog puppies

Is gundog boarding school worth it?

Q: A friend recently sent away his young springer bitch for some basic training at a gundog boarding school. It was the first time he has done this —previously he has trained his shooting dogs himself. During the time the bitch was away, he heard little from the trainer and…

Raw chicken wings for dogs

All about puppies and their teeth

Q: Why are puppy teeth so sharp?  A: Puppies are born without teeth but then develop two sets. A temporary, deciduous set of puppy teeth erupt around three to four weeks of age, which are replaced by 
a second set of permanent teeth that gradually replace the former, starting at…

Korthals Griffon

23 things to know about the Korthals Griffon

The Korthals Griffon is known as the Griffon Korthals on the Continent Or the Griffon d’arrêt in France and Quebec In the United States and Canada it’s called the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon It was founded by the Dutch breeder Eduart Karels Korthals in around 1873 He dedicated 20 years to…

chocolate Labrador

Do chocolate Labradors deserve a bad reputation?

So how does the colour of a chocolate Labrador happen? A variety of different Labrador matings, including black to black, can produce a brown, or chocolate Labrador. If you mate two brown Labs together you are most likely to have similarly coloured puppies, although you may also get yellow. However…

Gundog training

Keeping a young gundog steady on a shoot day

A suitable shooting companion should be many things. They should be hard hunting, patient on peg, calm to heel and have reliable recall. These are only a few of the key skills and attributes. The basics in training will pay dividends in the long run and are so often overlooked.…

golden retriever

Training a golden retriever

A question about golden retriever training Q: After many years of having Labradors, I have bought a working-bred golden retriever puppy. I know this breed has a reputation for being slow to mature and more challenging to train, but this youngster is a joy to work with. However, he is…

hearing loss in older dogs

How to help an older dog suffering from deafness

Q: Our old gundog is starting to become deaf, probably due to his age. Is there anything to help hearing loss in older dogs? A: Certainly the most common 
form of deafness in dogs is age-related hearing loss (ARHL). Most dogs experience some degree of ARHL as they get older. Unfortunately,…

pork pie

Why gundogs shouldn’t eat pork pies

Pancreatitis in dogs can be serious. I received a salutary tale from 
reader and regular correspondent Arthur Moore, who had just returned from walking Hadrian’s Wall with his 
wife Ann and daughter Jocasta, plus 
two English springers, Ella, aged 10, 
and Nina, aged two. “We walked the wall, day on…

Labrador gundog

How to help a dog with arthritis

“My eight year old Labrador is a bit slow to get going now and is usually lame by lunchtime, when I rug her up and put her in the vehicle. She seems a bit young to call it a day. How can you help a dog with arthritis?” Many working…

black Labrador puppy

Health checks you must carry out before breeding Labradors

Q: “I am considering breeding from my 
young Labrador bitch but have to confess 
to being overwhelmed by all the advice 
I am getting. Any thoughts?” Thoughts on breeding Labradors A: First I would say that breeding from your only dog can be fraught and is not entirely without risk.…

Keeping gundogs safe

What can you do to keep your gundogs safe from being stolen?

It was a sobering experience. The grinder buzzed, sparks flew and in a few seconds the padlocks parted. A friend knocked on my door one morning. He had lost his workshop keys. He had started on one hardened steel lock with a hacksaw and after a lot of cutting had…

gun-shy puppy

Is a gun-shy dog a lost cause?

There’s probably no greater disaster that can 
befall the gundog trainer than to discover that their talented new puppy is gun-shy. Is being gun-shy inherited? Many breeders maintain that 
gun-shyness is hereditary, which 
I’m not convinced about, but 
I certainly wouldn’t take the risk of breeding from a seriously gun-shy…

black Labrador puppy

How can I find the right Labrador puppy these days?

Q: I have been struggling to find a Labrador puppy because there seems to have been a big demand for them as pets during lockdown. 
 I have been advised to wait a while because it’s expected that a lot of young dogs will need to be rehomed in the…