Gundog breed Labrador

How to help a dog with arthritis

I agree, but many working dogs are affected by arthritis and it can be a very debilitating and frustrating condition. There are a number of steps you can take to help a dog with arthritis, improving quality of life. What is arthritis? Arthritis can be defined as inflammation of a…

Border collie with sheep

How to stop a dog worrying sheep

According to 
the National Sheep Association, there are more than 33million sheep in the UK, which means that every working gundog is certain to encounter a flock sooner rather than later. From a dog’s point of view, there are few animals that are more inviting to chase. Thoughts of sheep…

English pointer

Can I teach an English pointer to sit at the peg?

Q: I have been involved in shooting all my life, but 
have only begun shooting in 
a syndicate since retiring and have no experience of having 
a dog sitting at the peg. I have always fancied having a pointer primarily as a house dog, but also to take out a…

Puppy crate training

Crate training your puppy – how to do it right

I have decided on crate training for my new gundog puppy Briar.  When she whines to go out I will hear her.  I will also find it easier to teach her how to behave around my toddler in the house because she will have plenty of access to him. Crate…

sprocker spaniel

Just why is the “sprocker spaniel” becoming so popular?

A friend was torn between gundog choices.  Should he go for an English springer, or an equally speedy but rather smaller cocker? In the end he compromised. He bought a sprocker spaniel, combining, he anticipated, the best of both breeds. Sprockers becoming increasingly sought-after In recent years, sprockers — intended crosses…

English springer at Crufts

Why I won’t be bothering to go Crufts this weekend

Gundog day at Crufts 2018 is on the Sunday, the last and inevitably the most busy of the four-day event. This year’s show will host around 22,000 dogs and about 160,000 people will view them. To put that figure in perspective, last year’s Game Fair at Hatfield House drew 116,000.…

springer spaniels

Which breed of spaniel should I buy?

Don't overlook the minor breeds, like Clumber, Welsh springer or Brittany spaniels, although their natural hunting, retrieving and training ability probably won't be as strong as a Cocker or Springer

playful puppies

Buying a puppy – what should I know?

What breed? Choosing the right breed of gundog puppy has to be the foremost consideration. You will have to not only decide what breed will suit your shooting requirements, but also your lifestyle. Remember, most gundogs will only work in the shooting field for three or four months of the…

BARF diet for dogs

BARF diet for dogs – the risks and benefits

Bones and raw food for dogs I’ve long been an advocate of feeding dogs as natural a diet as possible, which means raw food and vegetables. I was convinced by an interview 
I did 15 years ago with holistic vet Dr Nick Thompson. I feed a raw chicken wing for…

Dog drinking from puddle

Leptospirosis in dogs – what you need to know

One of the most important reasons to control rats is the danger of leptospirosis. Also called Weil’s disease, leptospirosis is caused by bacteria spread via the urine of infected animals — usually rats. 
It is a zoonotic disease, which means it can be spread to humans, as well as dogs,…

Brushing dogs teeth

Tips on keeping your dog’s teeth free from tartar

Dog tartar removal and prevention Dental disease in dogs is primarily caused by food particles and bacteria building up at the base of the teeth near the gum line, causing the formation of plaque. If this plaque is 
not removed, minerals in the dog’s saliva combine with the plaque to…

male or female dog

Dog or bitch? Which is easiest to train?

Q: I have been looking for 
a yellow Labrador bitch puppy for some time but I always seem to miss out on the bitches and there are only dogs left. This will be my first gundog and I was advised to get a bitch as they are easier to train.…

cocker spaniel puppy

How to teach a spaniel puppy to retrieve

Spaniels have been bred for generations to hunt out game from stick piles, patches of bramble and thick bracken banks, and a well-bred puppy should be pre-programmed to get its nose down. However, if you do too much early hunt training with a young spaniel this can become the most…

polydipsia in dogs

Why is my dog so thirsty? Is she ill?

Excessive thirst (referred to as polydipsia or PD on veterinary case notes) is not in itself a diagnosis, but it may be indicative of disease. There are, of course, some “innocent causes”, such as hot weather, prolonged exercise, change to a dry diet or increased salt in diet. Sometimes, all…

firstgundog

Buying your first gundog – what you need to know

Q: “I’m about to embark on acquiring my first gundog and I would like some advice as to what breed to buy and whether to get a puppy or a part or even fully-trained dog. Also, I’m not sure whether to keep it indoors or outside in a kennel and…

Welsh springer spaniel

Will the Welsh springer spaniel survive?

A chance encounter with a Welsh springer spaniel (WSS) on a shoot earlier this month reminded me what a handsome breed this is and what a shame it is that we do not see more out working. Welsh springer spaniel – a curious breed It is the most numerous of…

Hungarian vizsla

My Hungarian vizsla won’t hold a point. What can I do?

“I have a two-year-old Hungarian vizsla that I have been training for rough shooting and although she hunts really well she will not hold a point and will run in on the birds, which makes it difficult for me to take a safe shot. She is also sometimes reluctant to…