gundog puppies and COVID-19

Puppies and umbelical hernias – what you need to know

Umbilical hernia on puppy Q: My puppy bitch has an umbilical hernia that the vet intended to repair when she was spayed after her first season. However, we are having second thoughts about neutering her and wanted to know if this means she still needs an operation to repair her…

Springer spaniels

It’s time to change the law on working gundog theft

Dog thefts, especially those of working gundogs, are on the rise. One of the great mysteries about stolen gundogs is what happens to them as almost all disappear without trace. What happens to stolen gundogs? We have all heard suggestions that they are taken to be sold on as trained…

Dewclaws

What should I do about my dog’s dewclaws?

Dogs and dewclaws Q: My dog still has his dewclaws, but I’ve been told that these are usually removed soon after birth. Is it too late to have them removed now? What would you advise? A: It is legal to remove dewclaws from puppies whose eyes have not yet opened.…

Teckel

All about the German teckel – a working dachshund

The working dachshund or teckel At one time the term ‘prey drive’ was mainly reserved for terriers and hounds and only occasionally used by the gundog fraternity. However, in the past 30 or so years, with the rising popularity of hunt-point-retrievers we have seen it used more frequently to describe…

Black Labrador

Why the Labrador is an endangered breed

Spot the odd one out: grey wolf, Labrador, golden jackal, coyote. All four are members of the genus Caninae, and have scientific names prefixed with the word Canis. However, a big clue is that the Labrador is the only one that can be trained to retrieve pheasants, sniff out drugs…

Fox-red Labrador

Should I get a fox-red Labrador?

I recently received this query from a reader who was wondering how a fox-red Labrador would perform out in the field. Q: My son-in-law is keen to buy a first working dog to train himself. Like many young people, he is influenced by what’s fashionable, so he’s been looking for…

Black Labrador lying down

Do Labradors really originate from Canada?

Spend a day out in the field on a shoot and the chances are that somebody, somewhere will have a Labrador. But despite being such a popular gundog, some think that Labradors are from Canada originally, rather than being a European breed. It’s said that fishermen in this bleak peninsula…

hpr gundog

Which is the best hunt, point and retrieve gundog?

Rory Major of Bryantscroft Gundogs has probably trained and competed with more breeds of gundog than anyone else in the business. He has trialled everything from retrievers and spaniels to setters and most breeds of hunt, point and retrieve gundog (HPR). He made up the first British wirehaired pointer field…

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…