English setter

Passing over pedigrees?

EARLIER THIS MONTH The Telegraph asked readers to vote online for their favourite breed of dog, which they did in impressive numbers. More than 30,000 votes were cast during the four days the poll was open. Its results make fascinating reading, for in the number one slot wasn’t a breed at…

English springer spaniels

Time for the super-spaniel?

I don’t know how many English springer spaniels there are in the UK, but my guess would be between 160,000 and 200,000. This is based on 12,000 puppies being registered with the Kennel Club annually, plus the fact that there are many pure-bred but unregistered springers. Assume an average lifespan of…

Clumber spaniels

Gundog breeds in focus: The Clumber spaniel

Look at the wonderful Victorian paintings of Clumber spaniels and you will see a dog that has only a passing resemblance to the Clumbers that dominate the show benches today. This sporting spaniel was developed by the Duke of Newcastle at Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire as an active, agile dog,…

Mark and Jamie Bettinson

Mark and Jamie Bettinson: A profile

A glance at the diary entries on the desk at Bridgecroft Kennels in Hengoed, south Wales, reads like a who’s who of field trialling. Bridgecroft is one of the nerve centres of the UK trialling scene. Mark Bettinson was born three miles from the kennels and Jamie, his son, just…

Springador

Why have crossbred gundogs become so popular on shoots?

Are we guilty of overlooking crossbred gundogs? Felicity Winters thought so, and was inspired to write to the editor of Shooting Times, urging us to take more notice of the growing number of crossbreeds working on shoots. Felicity has a point: there are certainly far more springadors (springer x Labrador)…

gundog puppy training

Training a puppy to the gun

All dogs should learn the social graces that make them acceptable in human company, but a gundog’s upbringing needs special attention. You should bear in mind that your ultimate goal is for your dog to be a companion and teammate while also being under control and understanding that you call…

what to wear clay shooting

10 places to go clay pigeon shooting in Cheshire

1. Mickley Hall Shooting School, Nantwich This is a Cheshire clay pigeon shooting school where you can leave your wellies at home – because neat stone pathways between covered stands mean that you’re very unlikely to get wet and muddy. The shoot has been carefully designed to appeal to experienced clayshooters,…

puppies with mother

Looking after the mother with new puppies

When your bitch has whelped, it’s all too easy to become preoccupied with the puppies. The anxiety associated with an imminent whelping, the stress of having to deal with the whelping process and the care of the newborn puppies can easily focus attention on the puppies and distract attention from…

first aid for gundogs

Would you know how to give first aid to a gundog?

Out in the field dogs can potentially face leg, paw and joint injury, eye injuries, soft tissue wounds and penetration wounds, heat stroke, seizures and cardiovascular problems. To counteract this, the Kennel Club and veterinary specialists, Dick White Referrals are offering a new training course on Saturday 11th July in Suffolk.…

part trained gundog

How to buy a part trained gundog

Jeremy Hunt says: Many people have had their fingers burnt buying a part trained gundog as it’s not uncommon for unscrupulous sellers to offer gundogs that have begun their training but then started to show a fault. It can be difficult to spot where a seemingly keen young labrador is…

dog training

Dog training – electric collars have their uses for training

If you want to provoke debate among dog owners, just whisper the words “electric collar”. It’s a subject on which most of us have a strong view, and we were reminded of this when the Welsh Assembly celebrated the banning of electric collars in the Principality five years ago. None…

Brittany spaniel

Rule Brittany

France and England may be separated only by a narrow stretch of water, but the difference in our shooting culture could hardly be more different. Shooting is hugely popular throughout France, but the French word used to describe it — la chasse — neatly sums up our continental cousins’ approach.…

joint care supplements for dogs with Green Lipped Mussel

Natural joint support for hard working gundogs

Gundogs and working dogs are highly active compared to the average pet. Fast paced running and jumping through fields in various weather conditions eventually causes wear and tear on your dog’s joints. This can result in uncomfortable stiffness, reduced mobility and joint pain. Pernamax Canine Tablets Pernamax Canine Tablets are…

Gundog Training The Reluctant Retriever

The most common problem that people have when gundog training is delivery to hand. It can go wrong for so many reasons: inconsistent handling, allowing the dog to drop what’s in his mouth as he’s padding around the house, taking the dummy out of the dog’s mouth too fast and because…

Can dogs read body language?

Body language is also key for communication, not only person-to-person and dog-to-dog, but across species as well. People have learned to ignore body language and posture. How many times have you asked a friend if they’re okay and they fold their arms, purse their lips and say “yes, I’m fine.”…

How to sell puppies

Gundog puppies: How to sell responsibly

For the one-bitch owner, the decision to breed a litter is often simply about wanting to keep a pup for themselves. But faced with a puppy pen full of fast-growing whelps, all too often what seemed like a good idea can suddenly turn into a puppy marketing panic. Rearing gundog…

Gundog memory

Memory work in gundog training

Even if we weren’t before we’re certainly big into memory now. Hard on the heels of last year’s Great War remembrances we have the Magna Carta and Waterloo, to say nothing of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz: which many will feel more keenly than the others. When…

Continental pointers in action

It was over 25 years ago when I first saw an HPR (hunt, point, retrieve) pointer working. I was photographing a spring pointing test and the dog was a German shorthaired pointer called “Basil.” I can clearly remember him casting out over a field of winter wheat, he was running…