semi-retired dogs

Old dog, neat tricks

A team of dogs usually comprises varying age and ability levels. It is common to have at least one youngster that is in training and learning its trade from older members. The middle-aged gundogs are generally the main workers that are old enough to know their job and young enough…

Pedigree dog health

Will my Labrador’s hips cause her problems in the field?

Labrador hips cause concern Q: I have a four-year-old Labrador bitch that I had intended breeding from, but her hip scores have turned out to be higher than we expected — not too bad but not good enough that we feel we should breed from her. However, I am now…

how to introduce a puppy to gunfire

At what age should you introduce a puppy to gunfire?

The most important thing to remember about when you introduce a puppy to gunfire noise is that you should take it gently and not rush anything. If your gundog puppy is confident you should be able to start at about seven to eight months of age. If she is timid…

why do dogs point

Why do dogs point?

Pointing is one of the most fascinating of dog behaviours and one that was recognised long ago as a useful trait to encourage in hunting dogs. Today, there’s a misconception that only pointers, setters and the continental HPR breeds point, but any breed of gundog will point, though it’s unusual…

springer spaniels with owner

Can you give a rescue dog a home?

There are hundreds of gundogs out there in need of a good home. So instead of buying a pedigree puppy, why not investigate getting a rescue dog? If you haven’t had a puppy before or haven’t had one for perhaps 12 or 13 years it’s easy to forget how active…

Do springer spaniels get bored?

There’s one thing I’ve learned about springer spaniels in nearly 40 years of owning and working the breed: there’s no dog that loves to hunt more than a springer. And as anyone who has owned or shot over one will confirm, they are born optimists, happy to work a piece…

The Cocker Spaniel by Janet Menzies

Win a copy of “The Cocker Spaniel” by Janet Menzies

The cocker spaniel is one of the most popular breeds of dogs in the UK today. Bred for stamina, intelligence and drive, they make lively, loving pets. If trained properly they are extremely adaptable gundogs. Some first-time owners can find them a challenging breed, but get the training right and…

dog emptying washing machine

Can you train a gundog inside?

We are living in unprecedented times. The situation with COVID-19, and the resultant social distancing and isolation, is stressful for the vast majority of us. But how is it affecting our canine friends? Some may actually be enjoying having their owners around all the time, particularly if they are used…

field spaniels on slip leads

Should healthy dog breeds be cheaper to insure?

Dog insurance might be much simpler if healthy dog breeds attracted lower premiums, much as happens with the difference between insuring a Porsche and a Volkswagen Polo. Healthy dog breeds could be categorised as group one, whilst those attracting higher vet bills would be be, say, group 50. This thought…

gundog puppy

Gundog training you can carry out in your garden (or even inside)

Here’s a list of basic gundog and puppy training exercises that you can practise whilst you’re social distancing or self-isolating at home. You don’t need a big area either. Just patience. Getting a puppy used to a lead Place a slip lead around the puppy’s neck, pushing the stop up…