Labrador bitch with gundog puppies

There are so many questions when it comes to choosing and buying gundog puppies.

For a start, which would be the right gundog breed for you? A lot depends on the sort of work you want the dog to do – for example, if you’re a wildfowler then you’re almost certainly going to choose a Labrador.

English springer puppy

Breeds like cocker spaniels and springers have their followers too. Then there are the hunt, point and retrieve breeds (HPR).

  • Even at a young age puppies will start to establish a ‘pecking’ order.
  • The independent puppy may feel intimidated by the over-excitement of his brothers and sisters, or he could be a puppy that watches and weighs things up before wading in with all fours – a thinker.
  • Puppies that don’t get involved with playtime do develop into clingy individuals when separated from the other puppies.
  • If you are looking for a puppy to compete with at a later stage, look for one that shows lots of natural ability such as hunting.
  • Try short retrieving exercises with a lightweight dummy or old sock, even at a young age.
  • Many gundog trainers like a puppy to be very bold and outgoing and in the thick of it at all times.

Finding a reputable gundog breeder and checking the puppy’s health and heritage are all part of the process.

puppy with ball

When should you start training your puppy? How young is too young? And when should it make its first foray out into the field? What can you expect?

If you’re considering breeding from your own dog we’ve plenty of advice on that subject at well.

Finally, we’ve a useful guide to gundog terminology here, so you’re familiar with all the right words.

English springer puppy

What food is best for my gundog puppy?

I'm 15 years old and about to buy a ten week old cocker spaniel bitch. At the moment it is being fed on Beta puppy food as I'm planning to work her when she’s older.

Gundog pedigree certificate

What to look for in a gundog’s pedigree certificate

The breeder should provide the puppy’s pedigree before you make a commitment to buy. The pedigree is one of the things a serious breeder uses to plan a litter. An educated buyer looks at the pedigree when deciding whether to buy a puppy, and a responsible breeder will be proud to…

sprocker puppy

What happens when you bring a sprocker puppy home for the first time

It is 12 years since my springer Rowan was a puppy but as she was home-bred she had her mother for company, who not only provides companionship but also discipline. My previous two springers were also home-bred, so it has been many years since a young puppy, recently separated from…

Gundog puppies eating

Why raw chicken wings are possibly the perfect dog food

Fifteen years ago I changed my dogs’ diet to what is now generally termed a BARF (bones and raw food) diet. However, I prefer to call it 
a natural diet, because it is. I’m convinced it is the best way to feed a dog, although of course you have to bear…

Gundog training puppies

When should I start training my puppy to be a gundog?

Training a puppy should start from the very first day it begins life with its new owner. Whereas formal gundog training puppies can start at around seven months – depending on the youngster of course. The early days are crucial You need to establish a partnership and rapport early on…

Puppy crate training

Crate training your puppy – how to do it right

I have decided on crate training for my new gundog puppy Briar.  When she whines to go out I will hear her.  I will also find it easier to teach her how to behave around my toddler in the house because she will have plenty of access to him. Crate…

playful puppies

Buying a puppy – what should I know?

What breed? Choosing the right breed of gundog puppy has to be the foremost consideration. You will have to not only decide what breed will suit your shooting requirements, but also your lifestyle. Remember, most gundogs will only work in the shooting field for three or four months of the…

male or female dog

Dog or bitch? Which is easiest to train?

Q: I have been looking for 
a yellow Labrador bitch puppy for some time but I always seem to miss out on the bitches and there are only dogs left. This will be my first gundog and I was advised to get a bitch as they are easier to train.…

choosing a gundog puppy

How to choose a puppy

Choosing a gundog puppy that’s right for you Once you have decided on the breed of gundog puppy you want, the colour and the sex, you should try to see both parents; perhaps you will have been lucky enough to see them in action in the shooting field or in field…

Gundog training

Take it easy – training tips for young gundog puppies

So that’s it, you’ve finally got your new puppy. It’s fully vaccinated, raring to go and ready to start its exercise and training. You’ve got all your new equipment and are chomping at the bit to make a start.

teach a puppy to sit

How to teach a puppy to sit

Q: I cannot get my cocker spaniel puppy to sit properly to the “sit” command; she just keeps wagging her tail and lifting up her bottom.  She is four months old now and this issue is preventing me from moving on with her training. She will not stay either when…

male or female dog

Bringing home a new puppy for the first time

Q: We are acquiring a new puppy as a companion for our eight-year-old spaniel. The journey home after we collect her from the breeder will take more than three hours and we were wondering if you could advise how best she should travel in the car and if it would…