springer spaniel

Phantom pregnancy? Or could our spaniel really be pregnant?

Is it a phantom pregnancy? Q: We have a young springer spaniel bitch that had her first season about six or seven weeks ago. We made sure she kept away from other dogs, but now her milk glands are developing and her nipples are becoming more prominent. Is this normal?…

old black labrador

New injection for arthritic dogs: could it help?

Q:  I have heard that there is a new injection for arthritic dogs available. Is this very different from other treatments and how effective is it? A: Arthritis is a condition that leads to pain and progressive degeneration of the joints. It affects many aspects of a dog’s outlook, causing…

black labrador

What treatment can I give my constipated dog?

Helping a constipated dog Q: My labrador seems to get constipated; she gets into position to relieve herself but 
with no success, despite straining for several minutes. It’s distressing to see and I’d like to solve the issue.What can be 
done to relieve a constipated dog? A: Constipation in dogs…

place board for dog training

How can I stop my cocker spaniel creeping?

Q: I have done everything I can to stop my cocker spaniel creeping. I have consistently put her back where she started, never allowing her to have a retrieve after she has crept forwards. I tried place boards and she shuffled off them to get closer to me. She is…

sad spaniel

Do dogs mourn?

My recent viewpoint on whether dogs mourn and experience grief when they lose a companion drew an interesting response from readers. (Read this piece on depression in dogs.) Sue Knight’s experiences echoed mine. She wrote: “In the 38 years I have owned Weimaraners and labradors, none seemed affected by the…

Do probiotics for gundogs really work?

Dogs begin life with a sterile intestinal system, but very quickly this becomes colonised by bacteria that collectively form the ‘microbiome’; an army of microorganisms that are essential for health and life, as they protect against pathogenic bacteria and are involved in digestion, the immune system and vitamin production. The…

Black Labrador

Dealing with tapeworms in working dogs

Q:  What’s the best of dealing with tapeworms in working dogs? I have recently had to treat my dog for tapeworms. How do dogs get tapeworms and how can I prevent them in future? A: Tapeworms are flat, segmented intestinal parasites. There are several types of tapeworms, but the most…

working cocker spaniel puppy

Was getting a cocker spaniel a mistake?

Q: I am wondering whether getting a cocker spaniel was a mistake. I bought my first cocker spaniel last year. I was sure to do my research on reputable breeders and health-tested parents. The pedigree is very impressive, with many field trial champions, and the mother had a lovely temperament.…

dog training with a whistle

Dog training with a whistle: some frequently asked questions

Dog training with a whistle means you don’t have to shout yourself hoarse when you’re teaching your hound how to behave. (Read how to teach reliable dog recall.) Having a whistle in your pocket is a useful tool and of course different blows on the whistle can mean all sorts…

Training your gundog to enter cover

Training your gundog to enter cover

The one thing that your gundog will have to do at some point is to be willing and able to enter cover. Whether that be to find and retrieve shot game or to flush a tight-sitting pheasant or rabbit, they will have to do it. A gundog that skirts around…

Dogs on shoot day

What should I feed my gundog on a shoot day?

On a shoot day you obviously want your gundog to perform at his best and remain fit and healthy. So what should your feeding programme for the day be? What’s the best time to feed before energetic exercise and how much? And what happens after the shoot day is wrapped…

gundog steals

How can I stop my gundog eating game?

What can you do if your gundog eats game instead of returning it to you and leaving it intact. A reader wrote to me recently saying: “Twice last season my labrador ate 
a brace of partridges laid to cool in the back of the pickup. The dog, a six-year-old, had…