black Labrador puppy

How to choose a gundog puppy

Which breed? First of all, you need to decide which gundog breed will suit your shooting needs and also your life. When choosing a gundog puppy breed remember that most gundogs are only out in the field for three or four months a year. So how are you going to…

outside kennels for gundogs

How to choose a kennel set-up for your gundog

Outside kennels for gundogs Q: I am about to buy a new outside kennel set-up for my two cocker spaniels. Some systems that I have looked at have a kennel at the end of the run that is tall enough for me to walk into. The dogs would have access…

cocker spaniel with rabbit

What size is the perfect gundog?

OK, I admit it. I have always been a fan of big, old-fashioned springers, chunky cockers and Labradors with substance, but I’m beginning to think that gundog size doesn’t really matter after all. When it comes to performance, small dogs can perform as well as, and sometimes better than, bigger,…

black Labrador puppy

Health checks you must carry out before breeding Labradors

Q: “I am considering breeding from my 
young Labrador bitch but have to confess 
to being overwhelmed by all the advice 
I am getting. Any thoughts?” Thoughts on breeding Labradors A: First I would say that breeding from your only dog can be fraught and is not entirely without risk.…

puppy with tennis ball

Are tennis balls dangerous to dogs?

Q: My dog trainer has advised me to use tennis balls to train my Labrador to hunt and retrieve but I’ve heard there are risks from balls. Are tennis balls dangerous to dogs? What are your thoughts on this issue? Tennis ball risks When dogs play with balls there is the…

protecting your dog's ears from grass seeds

How can I protect my dog’s ears from grass seeds?

Grass seeds can easily become lodged in a dog’s ears or paws. Grass seeds are a particular problem for spaniels As the hay fever season fades away, 
so the grass-seed season takes over. The first affects me (though not as much as it used to), while the second is a…

working sheepdog

How much do trained dogs cost?

Dogs are amazing creatures and some are worth a lot of money. We’ve been reading about the high prices puppies have reached during the COVID lockdown as everyone decides they want a canine companion. A border collie from Wales has just become the world’s most expensive sheepdog after being sold…

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…

English springer spaniels

A useful guide to gundog vocabulary

If you’re relatively new to the gundog world (or maybe even something of an old hand) there may well be abbreviations and gundog commands that aren’t very familiar. After all, there are different gundog commands for the different gundog breeds, which confuses things further. To help, we’ve compiled the list…

dog drinking water from bottle

Why you shouldn’t let your dog drink from puddles

Q: I have often found my dog drinking from puddles. Is this source of water for dogs safe? Are there any risks and should I prevent her from doing this? A: Rainwater itself is relatively clean, but when it forms puddles it can be contaminated by dirt, leaves, animal droppings,…

dogs in snow

Hypothermia in dogs

I’m often asked whether dogs suffer hypothermia. The answer is yes and there are some particular signs that owners of working dogs – in fact owners of all dogs – need to look out for. In fact, under the right conditions any warm-blooded mammal, including dogs, can suffer hypothermia. Responsible…