Spaniel breeds

Gundog and spaniel are two words you’ll often hear together. But there are so many different breeds of spaniel from which to choose. Which would suit your purposes best? How should you choose a puppy? How to train it? Here our experts have written about the characteristics of each breed: classic working cocker spaniel, springer spaniels, Clumber spaniels, Brittany spaniels and of course the Sprocker.

Brittany | Working Cocker | Clumber | Springer | Sprocker | Welsh |

cocker spaniel

Should there be random DNA tests for cocker spaniels?

You may recall sprockergate, the scandal that shook the cocker trialling world a couple of years ago. What brought the story into the tabloids was the accusation that HM The Queen owned a dog, competing in cocker trials, that was allegedly a sprocker (English springer and cocker cross). A sprocker…

cocker spaniels in cold weather

When it’s best for your gundog to wrap up a shoot day early

One of the attractions of shooting is that it takes more than a bit of rain or a coveering of snow to put us off. It is extremely rare for a shoot to be cancelled because of the weather. But looking back on a long shooting carer I can recall…

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?

slip leads for spaniels

How to buy the right length slip lead for a spaniel

Coming back from a weekend with friends, I discovered that I had left the dogs’ slip leads behind. New ones were needed, anyway, so I went online. I like the natural rope slip leads made by the Devon-based company KJK, so went to the Dog Lead Shop to order my…

teaching a dog quartering

Teaching a young dog quartering

Quartering is probably the toughest lesson to teach a young gundog, and one of the most vital. Joe Irving discusses this most rewarding of lessons for the handler

spaniel flushing a bird in cover

What can I do about the scratches on my spaniel’s face?

Spaniel scratches – what’s the answer? Q: Now I am retired I have been able to work my spaniels more frequently this season. One has so many cuts around her eyes and over her muzzle from having to retrieve birds from deep cover that it doesn’t take much to make…

spaniel with hen pheasant

Do spaniels smell more than Labradors?

Q: I would like a springer or working cocker spaniel to train as a gundog, but my father is not keen. My grandparents had a show-strain cocker who was a lovely dog but she really smelled, no matter what my grandparents did to try to stop it. Should I get…

differences between cocker and springer spaniels

13 reasons why cocker spaniels and springer spaniels are different

Both springer and cocker spaniels are capable of doing a useful day’s work out in the field. Both are biddable. However, they do have different characteristics. Differences between cocker and springer spaniels Springers have a size advantage over cocker spaniels Cocker spaniels have a better engine and more staying power…

cocker spaniel or springer spaniel

What exactly ARE the differences between cocker spaniels and springer spaniels?

Our two most popular breeds of spaniel Cocker spaniel or springer spaniel. Which is better? Choosing between the two breeds has never been more difficult. According to the Kennel Club’s (KC) figures, cockers are the most popular of the two, with 23,297 registered in 2018, compared with just 10,152  English springers.…

Irish water spaniel

The Irish water spaniel

The joker in the spaniel pack. No, not my words, but those of an Irish water spaniel owner and enthusiast, talking about the foibles and idiosyncrasies of his favourite breed. The Irish water spaniel, he assured me, could lay claim to being the only HPR native to these islands. He…

dog with injured tail

The law on tail docking

Docked tails: I want to ask my new picking-up team about their dogs' docked tails.

sprocker spaniel

Just why is the “sprocker spaniel” becoming so popular?

A friend was torn between gundog choices.  Should he go for an English springer, or an equally speedy but rather smaller cocker? In the end he compromised. He bought a sprocker spaniel, combining, he anticipated, the best of both breeds. Sprockers becoming increasingly sought-after In recent years, sprockers — intended crosses…