Jack Russell hop

Why does my Jack Russell hop, skip and jump?

There are two likely possibilities and I am afraid each might require a surgical intervention, which is not what you will want to hear. Luxating patella The patella, or kneecap, sits in the knuckle-like trochlear groove at the front of the thigh bone or femur. It has an important job.…

golden retriever

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

One of the mysteries of the gundog world is why golden retrievers are a comparative rarity in the shooting field, especially compared with the ubiquitous Labrador. Fashion probably has a great deal to do with this, because a well-trained golden is every bit a match for even the best of Labradors. Golden retrievers – relaxed, easy to…

springer spaniel puppy

Should I have my springer spaniel puppy castrated?

Q: I have a nine-month-old male springer spaniel puppy that has recently started trying to mount bitches even though they are not in season. I have been 
told it might be best to have him castrated. What would you advise? A: Before deciding on puppy castration, it is important to…

silver Labrador

Would a silver Labrador be right for you?

What exactly is the right colour? The Kennel Club’s breed standard states that “any shade of gold or cream” is acceptable for golden retrievers, while the American KC requires “rich, lustrous gold of various shades”. Colour is a contentious issue in many breeds. However, when it comes to controversial coat…

Roan springer spaniel

Spaying an older dog. Should you?

Q: I took my eight-and-a-half-year-old bitch to the vet because she was being a bit slow with her food. It transpired that she was having a phantom pregnancy. The vet advised that 
I have her neutered, but I am wary of this because of her age. What do you think?…

Yellow Labrador

Most dog attacks are by Labradors. Seriously?

I have just been alerted to a story in The Times that the breed of dog blamed for the most dog attack claims in the UK is the Labrador. This doesn’t surprise me at all, despite the fact that almost all the Labradors I have met have been big softies,…

Labrador in water

Do Labradors really originate from Newfoundland?

Q: I read that Labradors originated from dogs used by fishermen in North America and were used for helping to retrieve nets from the sea and estuaries in their country of origin. Interestingly my own dog, since it was a small puppy, has always retrieved dummies from water by grabbing…

cocker spaniel

Neutering young dogs can be damaging

Veterinary surgeons are not renowned for always agreeing with each other, so I was pleased to hear from gundog enthusiast and vet Roger Bannock in response to my recent article on neutering dogs. He wrote: “I agree with most of the points. Nowadays all graduates are brainwashed into thinking early…

Gundogs with beater

Do dogs have to wear collars?

Q: I pick-up with a very experienced dog person who has a team of dogs under immaculate control. None of them wear a collar. I thought dogs were obliged to by law. I asked him about it and he said that a collar could injure his dogs and he wasn’t…

dog friendly hotels in the UK

8 of the best dog friendly hotels around the UK

If your dog has served you faithfully during the season – and your other half also deserves a break, then a stay in a lovely hotel is a well-earned treat. Or maybe you’re just looking for a dog-friendly hotel? We’ve picked out eight recommendations. 1. The Royal Oak, East Lavant,…

Gundog puppies eating

Why raw chicken wings are possibly the perfect dog food

Fifteen years ago I changed my dogs’ diet to what is now generally termed a BARF (bones and raw food) diet. However, I prefer to call it 
a natural diet, because it is. I’m convinced it is the best way to feed a dog, although of course you have to bear…