chocolate Labrador

How can I protect my dogs from horsefly bites?

Q: I usually take my two Labradors with me when I tend to my horses and have noticed that there seem to be a lot of horseflies around this year, which can give 
a nasty bite. I generally spray myself with insect repellent to keep them away from me, but…

spaniel puppies

Should you neuter your dog?

Neutering dogs 
has become such routine practice that I’m sure many people don’t give it a second thought. Bitches always seem to come into season at the most inappropriate time, such as the middle of the shooting season, so unless you want to breed from them there is a strong…

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…

Brushing dogs teeth

Tips on keeping your dog’s teeth free from tartar

Dog tartar removal and prevention Dental disease in dogs is primarily caused by food particles and bacteria building up at the base of the teeth near the gum line, causing the formation of plaque. If this plaque is 
not removed, minerals in the dog’s saliva combine with the plaque to…

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.…

polydipsia in dogs

Why is my dog so thirsty? Is she ill?

Excessive thirst (referred to as polydipsia or PD on veterinary case notes) is not in itself a diagnosis, but it may be indicative of disease. There are, of course, some “innocent causes”, such as hot weather, prolonged exercise, change to a dry diet or increased salt in diet. Sometimes, all…

firstgundog

Buying your first gundog – what you need to know

Q: “I’m about to embark on acquiring my first gundog and I would like some advice as to what breed to buy and whether to get a puppy or a part or even fully-trained dog. Also, I’m not sure whether to keep it indoors or outside in a kennel and…

Slip lead on a spaniel

Can dogs get colds?

Q: My dog has suddenly started sneezing. Can dogs get colds and flu like humans? Over the 
past few days there have been persistent bouts of sneezing, runny nose and she snores when asleep as if her nose is blocked. So can dogs get colds? A: Dogs don’t get colds…

Border terriers

Car sickness in dogs

A car sick dog is miserable and the condition can be caused by different factors. It may not be due to motion. For many puppies their first experience of travel sickness may be associated with unpleasantness, such as leaving his/her litter mates for the first time, or with a trip…

bloat in dogs

What you should know about dog bloat

Risk and factors of bloat in dogs A recent study by the Royal Veterinary College’s Veterinary Companion Animal Surveillance System, which looked into the frequency, risk factors and survival of dogs that had bloat, found that of the dogs that underwent surgical treatment, 80% survived. (It should be borne in…

dry nose in dog

Should dew claws be removed?

Q: We are hoping to have a litter from our springer spaniel bitch and were wondering what the situation is regarding the removal of dew claws. Does this need to be done by a vet? A: No, not necessarily. While the mutilations clause of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 makes…

disease from foxes

Beware the mangy fox

Q: We have foxes in our garden and one has a lot of bald, sore-looking patches, especially over its head. A friend suggested that the foxes have mange, which could be passed onto our dogs. What do you suggest we do? A: Foxes can suffer various types of mange and…

springer spaniels

Help! My young springer ‘freezes’ on a shoot

Q: I have a problem which seems difficult to solve. My young springer has just turned two and started going shooting in January, which was fine, she hunted well. 
We just went out with a couple 
of friends to shoot the odd cock pheasant and rabbit. I took her to…

Black Labrador puppy

When your gundog won’t retrieve

“I recently got my first gundog puppy and I started training her straight away. To start with she would go and pick up a tennis ball, but now she just sits or lays down with it and refuses to bring it back to me. Is there anything I can do…

Spaniel entering heavy cover

Help! My gundog won’t go into heavy cover

Graham Watkins, Sporting Gun’s gundog guru offers a solution The causes First of all, this is a problem that can be overcome but it needs to be taken slowly and carefully because you don’t want to totally put the dog off entering cover. You haven’t mentioned whether you have a springer or a cocker spaniel and…

gundog steals

Help! My gundog steals others’ birds

Q: I thought I was doing a brilliant job on my woodland shoot where I pick-up. I always seemed to have more birds than all the others after each drive, but I did not realise my dog was pinching most of them off other dogs or stealing from the gamecart…