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A guide to buying gundogs

With classified advertising now becoming less and less common, buying gundogs over the internet is increasingly becoming the way to go. It has made it easier to search for your perfect gundog, with the ability to search for the breed of your choice. You’ll be able to see a lot more photographs as well as a longer description, though you may find these don’t always give you all of the details you are looking for.

Gundog with a dummy practising for a shoot day

Prices

For many trained or part-trained gundogs, there is no price given – it is something you will have to settle with the seller, adding a little inconvenience to the process. Puppies, however, for the most part, are priced, though they often come at a higher price than you might think. Well-bred Labrador and cocker spaniel puppies can cost in the region of £750, while the offspring of a champion from a top kennel can cost considerably more. There’s also some rarer breeds that can also command four-figure sums, such as the Hungarian wirehaired vizsla.

The best puppy for your money?

Slightly lower priced but also an excellent gundog breed, the best way to bag a bargain when you are buying a gundog is to opt for a springer spaniel puppy. These generally cost £400-£500, though you can find quality working-bred puppies for even less if the parents are not Kennel Club registered. Dogs which are Kennel Club registered sell at a premium, as registration tends to be costly, but having a non-registered dog is not a problem if you are not planning to enter your dog into competition.

Crossbreeds

The Kennel Club also doesn’t accept crossbreeds onto its register (except its Companion Dog Club Register), however crossbreeds can often work out cheaper than a pedigree. There are some crossbreeds, however, which cost a similar amount than gundog pedigrees due to growing demand, such as labradoodles and cockerpoos. A main perk of having a crossbreed is that they tend to be much healthier than pedigrees, which inherit a variety of problems from their parents; crossbreeds therefore tend to live longer.

Seeking an already trained gundog?

If you’re looking for a gundog which is already well-trained, the best way to find a bargain is to seek a trialling dog which hasn’t quite had the potential to be a winner. They will have already had significant experience in the field, but will be relatively cheap to snap up just because of a small issue. Whatever the price of your gundog ends up being, you’ll still be getting excellent value for money; some non-working breeds, such as the French bulldogs, sell for at least £2000. Once you’ve got your gundog, don’t forget everything else you need for a successful start to your shooting. Visit our website to shop for shooting accessories, shotgun cleaning kits and all your outdoor kit. Image: Pete White, available under Creative Commons

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