Cavalier King Charles spaniel

Is a cavalier King Charles spaniel a gundog at heart?

I’ve always had a sneaking suspicion that inside many a cavalier King Charles spaniel there’s a cocker spaniel trying to get out. So I wasn’t really surprised when I read the following story sent to me by Debbie Grounds in response for my request for stories of 
non-gundog breeds that…

Sprocker spaniel

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

Sprocker spaniels – the lowdown Sprockers have masses of energy and need to be kept busy They are intelligent dogs and easy to train – but keep training consistent. They like to know what their owners want from them Sprockers need to know who is the ‘alpha’ in the household…

working cocker spaniel

Which breed would suit you better – a springer or a cocker spaniel?

So you’ve decided to take on a spaniel. Springer vs cocker spaniel – the differences Springers have a size advantage over working cocker spaniels Cocker spaniels have a better engine and more staying power than springers Cockers are thought to be ‘prettier’ than springer spaniels and come in more colours…

cocker spaniel with pheasant

We’re all cocker hoop

If you were planning to buy a puppy to train as a rough-shooting and beating dog, which would you get, a springer or cocker? It’s a question I was asked recently by a reader. My correspondent added that he had never owned a dog before and that it would be…

What dogs see, hear and smell

What do dogs see when being trained to retrieve?

A dog’s eyesight is far better than ours, especially where movement and contrast is concerned. It is useful to know and understand how a dog sees colour as we can use this to our advantage in training. How dogs see colour Dogs see colour in a very different way to…

cocker spaniel

Should there be random DNA tests for cocker spaniels?

You may recall sprockergate, the scandal that shook the cocker trialling world a couple of years ago. What brought the story into the tabloids was the accusation that HM The Queen owned a dog, competing in cocker trials, that was allegedly a sprocker (English springer and cocker cross). A sprocker…

cocker spaniel waiting

All about the cocker spaniel

Look around the shooting field today and you’d be correct in thinking that the cocker spaniel and the springer spaniel are two of the most popular gundog breeds. But the spaniel’s heritage stretches back centuries. It is one of the oldest “type of hunting dog” and was originally bred to…

working cocker spaniel

Would a working cocker spaniel be right for you?

Once upon a time everybody had a black Labrador. Then chocolate Labradors arrived on the scene. Now fox red Labs are de rigeur it would seem. Mind you, the dog that you’re likely to see in the field just about everywhere now is a working cocker spaniel. Not so long…

Christmas presents for working dogs

Christmas presents for working dogs

A dog is for life not just for Christmas is a saying that will be familiar to most of us. But I’ve never met a working gundog that was a Christmas present. For most of us the acquisition of a working gundog puppy is carefully planned rather than a surprise…

Gundog anxiety

9 gundog health tips that vets wish their owners knew

Gundog health tips 1. Why you should never give your dog ibuprofen Canine under the weather? Never be tempted to give something from the family medicine cabinet. Here’s why and what you should do instead. 2. How to make a dog vomit Scrounging dogs (we’re particularly thinking of the ever-hungry…

Limber tail syndrome in dogs

What is this ‘limber tail’ my dog is suffering from?

Q: My 19-month-old undocked Hungarian vizsla developed limber tail after attending a working test. The condition came on very quickly and caused him considerable pain. We gave him Metacam and he recovered in about three days. Though he did swim in the working test, it was 
in relatively warm water.…

English springer spaniel

Why you should consider taking on an English springer spaniel

Throughout the 20th century  English springer spaniels were the most popular shooting dog in Britain. Whether it remains so today is debatable. In recent years I’ve been on a number of shoots where there wasn’t a springer to be seen, something that would have been unthinkable 20 or 30 years ago.…

gundog in cover

How do I stop my gundog from swapping birds?

Gundog training: My spaniel bitch is doing well in her first season but last Saturday when sent for a retrieve she picked the bird then dropped it on the way back in favour of another. How can I stop her doing this?

Slip lead on a spaniel

How to buy the right length slip lead for a spaniel

Coming back from a weekend with friends, I discovered that I had left the dogs’ slip leads behind. New ones were needed, anyway, so I went online. I like the natural rope slip leads made by the Devon-based company KJK, so went to the Dog Lead Shop to order my…