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Would a rescue spaniel be suitable for gundog training?

I would like to consider one for shooting and as a pet, and this seems to me to be a cheap option. What is your opinion?

Paul Rawlings
There are many reasons why a dog ends up in a rescue centre.

Some are unwanted pets, others come from broken homes while many have behavioural problems that their former owners could not cope with, such as being too active for the environment they have been kept in, resulting in noisy, destructive or aggressive behaviour.

One never knows what has previously taken place in a dog’s life, and this could seriously affect your attempt to retrain it as a gundog.

If the breeding is unknown, you may end up with a hard-mouthed dog that is useless in the shooting field, and what you thought was a cheap gundog could end up costing you dearly!

However, it is admirable to consider giving a rescued dog a home and the opportunity to do what it was bred for.

If your heart is set on this course, I suggest you contact the breed’s own rescue organisation (a rescue directory is available from the Kennel Club), and you may be lucky enough to find a suitable spaniel.

Many are put up for rehoming through breed rescue for genuine reasons, none of which is the dog’s fault, and their history and background is usually well documented.

Some may already be good shooting dogs and you could be lucky in your search.