Labrador bitch with puppies

New regulations on breeding dogs

A reader writes: “I have a really good black Labrador that I would like to have a litter from and keep back a puppy. Any others from the litter I will sell and use the profit and have the puppy professionally trained. However, a friend has told me that there…

walk at heel training

Are these the Eton and Harrow of gundog schools?

What could be more fun for a gundog puppy than to spend time with companions of the same age, with the same interests and energy? You have a few options. You can send your youngster off to canine boarding school for four to six months, where you’ll wave goodbye to…

Labrador bitch with puppies

Dog breeders limited to two puppy litters annually

Dog breeders will be limited to just two litters a year under strict new animal welfare laws announced by DEFRA secretary Andrea Leadsom this month. Strict welfare criteria Anyone breeding and selling three or more litters of puppies a year will now have to apply for a licence and meet “strict welfare criteria”. The current law allows dog breeders…

Terrier

A closer look at the terrier

There is no doubt that the terrier breeds are the “hard men” of the canine world, ready to take on their quarry above and below ground. Most terrier breeds were developed in Great Britain and Ireland, and before legislation changed, they could be worked for quarry such as rats, rabbits, foxes, mink while traditionally they were also used to…

Labrador

The allure of the Labrador

Last year, more than 32,000 Labrador puppies were registered with the Kennel Club; in the US that figure was over 150,000. This is certainly a dog with global appeal — but why? The first Labradors arrived from their native Newfoundland more than 200 years ago. The breed’s strong swimming and marking ability when retrieving…

Barrie Hughes

Meet devotee of springer spaniels, Barrie Hughes

Spaniel ownership can be both enormously satisfying and extremely frustrating. I’ve survived 33 years of it, but am always full of admiration for those who have managed longer. So when I met Barrie Hughes and heard that he had owned working springers for exactly 50 years, I wanted to learn more. I…

Retiring lurcher from ferreting

Retiring a lurcher from a ferreting career

It is at this time of year when I scrutinise the strengths and weaknesses of my ferrets and ask myself questions such as which hob do i breed from to improve my stock, which hob and jill will pair up best to reinvigorate the line and what equipment needs replacing, repairing…

Lurcher

Run rabbit run, here comes the lurcher

When I was growing up I used to spend a lot of my school holidays with my grandparents in a small rural village in Kent. Next door lived an old man called Bert, he was a cowman on a local farm, but what he didn’t know about the countryside just simply…

Ian Openshaw

Ian Openshaw on gundogs and field trials

Ian Openshaw and I first met a few years ago at a mock grouse trial in Northumberland. Having heard a few tales about the man who has judged the Retriever Championship twice, the Cocker Championship once and the Spaniel Championship twice, I was interested to find out what he was…