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The Fur Feather & Fin Guide To Gundogs

Guide to Barbet Gundogs

The Barbet (pronounced bar-bay) is a medium-sized French water dog, listed by the French Kennel Club in the same group as retrievers and flushing dogs. As of 2018, the Barbet is the 220th breed recognised by The Kennel Club of the UK. An old breed, it has been a proficient dog for retrieving waterfowl for many years.

Two Barbet dogs sitting on grass

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How to Spot Illegal Puppy Farming

While buying a gundog puppy is an exciting process, many young dogs up for sale may not have come from a responsible breeder but instead, a puppy farm where illegal breeding practices take place. As well as breaking the law by implementing forced breeding methods, the dogs offered by puppy farmers are more likely to become ill or develop issues with both their behaviour and health once they reach adulthood. To ensure you are purchasing a healthy and happy gundog from a responsible breeder, we have provided a brief guide on how to spot illegal puppy farming:

Two young black and brown puppies jumping up behind a wooden gate.

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Guide to Labrador Retriever Gundogs

The Labrador retriever needs little introduction, being the most popular pet dog in the UK, and also one of the favourite working gundogs in the country. Labrador retrievers are a popular choice for working dogs, being guide dogs for the blind, therapy dogs, helper dogs for deaf and disabled and drug sniffer dogs too. The breed has definitely made its mark with their easy-going temperament, general good health and hardworking attitude.

A labrador retriever sundog

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Guide to Labradoodle Gundogs

The Labradoodle is a crossbreed dog of Labrador retriever and Poodle. The breed became popular in the late 1980s as it was used as a hypoallergenic guide dog. However, the labradoodle is not a recognised breed, but its generally friendly and energetic temperament means it is trainable for more than just a family dog or guide dog, with people becoming interested in using the breed as a gundog. 

Labradoodle being trained as a gundog

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Illnesses Faced by Gundogs

Gundogs can suffer from numerous injuries and illnesses as they take on a variety of work in the field, many of which are small and can be treated easily by their handlers or owners. As most illnesses require a veterinary’s assistance, it is essential your gundogs are given time to recover; though owners will want this to be reduced if diseases occur in the shooting season. When your dogs are healing, you will want them to stay in shape, within reason, and our gundog accessories can help you and your dog.

Springer spaniel gundog

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Interview with Gundog Trainer, Jason Mayhew

Jason Mayhew is a leading gundog trainer based between Hampshire and West Sussex near the South Downs. He has been training his own gundogs for nearly 20 years, starting in 2000, and was taking part in challenges and competitions by 2003. Jason has qualified for the IGL (International Gundog League) Retriever Championship twice and won his first field trial with his Labrador in 2004, only a few years after he started training gundogs.

Jason Mayhew with an award

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A Brief History of Gundogs

Dogs have been used as a hunting companion for many years since humans found dogs could be trained to locate, chase and collect prey, and it has started an enduring relationship between man and dog. Today, gundogs, hounds, terriers and other hunting gundog breeds are descended from these early canine friends, which makes them the oldest and original type of dog.

Spaniel lying down

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Top 9 Gundog FAQs

When it comes to gundogs, owners can have a lot of questions they need answering, from the breed to choose, what food is best and more. To help our readers out, we have put together nine of the most frequently asked questions we have come across in order to give some answers and help gundog breeders, owners and trainers.

Flat coat retriever with dummy

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Training Tips for Gundog Puppies

Some gundogs are more suited to certain jobs on the shooting field compared to others, though the majority of us need a dog capable of various tasks. When it comes to training your puppy for the field, it helps to have an idea of the tasks you will want it to perform, but you shouldn’t start on a strict training programme right away. Focus on the basics and keeping them doing the right thing.

Puppy running over grass

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Guide to Jack Russell Terrier Gundogs

Jack Russell terriers are an energetic breed of a hunting type dog. They may be small compared to the usual medium sized gundogs seen on the field, but they make their presence known. While there is no denying the popularity of breeds like spaniels and Labradors have their merit, considering a Jack Russell terrier to have on the peg is also worthwhile. 

A Jack Russell standing a green field during a walk.

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