sprocker puppy

What happens when you bring a sprocker puppy home for the first time

It is 12 years since my springer Rowan was a puppy but as she was home-bred she had her mother for company, who not only provides companionship but also discipline. My previous two springers were also home-bred, so it has been many years since a young puppy, recently separated from…

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…

Young sprocker spaniel

Why has my young sprocker lost form?

Q: My three year old sprocker spaniel had a good summer, even though she failed to conceive after two matings. Since the season started she has been beating with me three days a week and she just looks lacklustre. By early afternoon she is usually walking at my side. A: Presuming…

sprockers spaniel

Sprockers – the aftermath of ‘Sprockergate’

Though the storm 
of “sprockergate” may have passed, it has left behind a lot of stirred and muddy water that will take a long time to clear. For those who missed the sprockergate story, it was the accusation that sprockers — cockers crossed deliberately with springers — were being run…

Sprocker debate

Rocked by sprockergate

Earlier this month, I did something I’d never done before: I bought a copy of The Sun. I’d had a tip-off that the paper included a gundog news story, and sure enough, on the cover was the headline Royal exclusive: Queen’s dog in cheat storm — see page 7. I turned to the page to find a picture…

Queen with spaniel

Sprocker or cocker? Row rocks Kennel Club

The Sun recently reported that rival competitors have called for DNA tests to prove the breed of field trial champion bitch Mallowdale Diamond, which was given to the Queen as a present by handler Ian Openshaw in January 2013 to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee. No evidence that Mallowdale Diamond is a…

Working sprocker spaniel

A day in the life of a working sprocker

Every Monday starts full of excitement and anticipation. I watch as the curtains are opened, praying for good weather. Sometimes we’re blessed, sometimes we’re not. Today fog fills the valley and as we travel out of the village the mist slowly disappears. Slowly the sun’s rays break through and by…

Sprocker spaniels

Sprocker spaniel versus cocker spaniel

It’s a sad fact that in virtually every competitive sport there are those prepared to try to win or fix a result by unfair or unsporting means. Sometimes it’s for financial gain or it may be for personal glory, but it’s all about cheating. You don’t have to look far to find examples in cricket, cycling, athletics, even pigeon racing.…

English setter

Passing over pedigrees?

EARLIER THIS MONTH The Telegraph asked readers to vote online for their favourite breed of dog, which they did in impressive numbers. More than 30,000 votes were cast during the four days the poll was open. Its results make fascinating reading, for in the number one slot wasn’t a breed at…

English springer spaniels

Time for the super-spaniel?

I don’t know how many English springer spaniels there are in the UK, but my guess would be between 160,000 and 200,000. This is based on 12,000 puppies being registered with the Kennel Club annually, plus the fact that there are many pure-bred but unregistered springers. Assume an average lifespan of…


Why have crossbred gundogs become so popular on shoots?

Are we guilty of overlooking crossbred gundogs? Felicity Winters thought so, and was inspired to write to the editor of Shooting Times, urging us to take more notice of the growing number of crossbreeds working on shoots. Felicity has a point: there are certainly far more springadors (springer x Labrador)…

Will a secondhand Sprocker make a good peg dog?

Gundog training: Someone’s offered me a four-year-old, male, Sprocker - free! It’s been used as a beating dog, and I’m told it will do the odd retrieve and will come back when it’s called.

My sprocker gun dog refuses to retrieve!

I have a two-year-old sprocker that stops and hunts on command, stays very close and is highly attentive - but in the field she refuses to retrieve.