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,…

Gundog anxiety

9 gundog health tips that vets wish their owners knew

Gundog health tips 1. Why you should never give your dog ibuprofen Canine under the weather? Never be tempted to give something from the family medicine cabinet. Here’s why and what you should do instead. 2. How to make a dog vomit Scrounging dogs (we’re particularly thinking of the ever-hungry…

gundog in cover

How do I stop my gundog from swapping birds?

Gundog training: My spaniel bitch is doing well in her first season but last Saturday when sent for a retrieve she picked the bird then dropped it on the way back in favour of another. How can I stop her doing this?

Cocker spaniel

How to keep your dog safe around fast-flowing rivers

Q: I will be picking-up this season on a new shoot, where there is a fast-flowing river. On two drives it can be necessary to put dogs over the river. I know that dogs have drowned in this river in the past, and while my dogs are good swimmers I…

gundog mouthing game

How do I stop my gundog mouthing game?

I took my 18 month-old Labrador shooting for the first time this season, allowing him to pick no more than two birds on each of the three outings.