Buying the right gundog can be tricky. You need to know which breed of gundog to buy, how to spot the pick of the litter and identify the traits that appeal to you. You also need to understand how to identify if a gundog is healthy, what the purchase actually costs and where you’ll find the best bred dogs. These gundog buying guides walk you through each step of the process to help you find the right gundog for you

black Labrador puppy

Checking up on a pedigree

Q: I am doubtful of the pedigree details of some Labrador puppies I have been offered. Pedigrees are widely available online and provide information for those who can simply make up a pedigree — and often the buyer is none the wiser. So how can I verify what I think…

black Labrador puppy

Which gundog puppy will be pick of the litter?

Q: How do I going about choosing a puppy from the litter? I’m planning on breeding gundog puppies from my bitch this spring. She’s five years old and I only want to have one litter from her, but because she has been such a good shooting gundog I want to…

black Labrador puppy

How to choose a gundog puppy

Which breed? First of all, you need to decide which gundog breed will suit your shooting needs and also your life. When choosing a gundog puppy breed remember that most gundogs are only out in the field for three or four months a year. So how are you going to…

gundog puppy

16 things you need to know before buying a gundog puppy

What are the upfront costs of owning a gundog puppy? What are the running costs (so to speak) and what hidden costs should you allow for. It’s impossible to assess these accurately because owning a dog always comes with an element of surprise. But one rule you should definitely stick…

Fox-red Labrador

Should I get a fox-red Labrador?

I recently received this query from a reader who was wondering how a fox-red Labrador would perform out in the field. Q: My son-in-law is keen to buy a first working dog to train himself. Like many young people, he is influenced by what’s fashionable, so he’s been looking for…

black Labrador puppy

How can I find the right Labrador puppy these days?

Q: I have been struggling to find a Labrador puppy because there seems to have been a big demand for them as pets during lockdown. 
 I have been advised to wait a while because it’s expected that a lot of young dogs will need to be rehomed in the…

working sheepdog

How much do trained dogs cost?

Dogs are amazing creatures and some are worth a lot of money. We’ve been reading about the high prices puppies have reached during the COVID lockdown as everyone decides they want a canine companion. A border collie from Wales has just become the world’s most expensive sheepdog after being sold…

cocker spaniel with pheasant

We’re all cocker hoop

If you were planning to buy a puppy to train as a rough-shooting and beating dog, which would you get, a springer or cocker? It’s a question I was asked recently by a reader. My correspondent added that he had never owned a dog before and that it would be…

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…

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.…


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…

how to choose the right HPR breed

Which is the right HPR breed for my needs?

Q: I have always used cross-breeds for rough shooting, rabbits and wild pheasants, plus a fair bit of duck shooting as well. They have been all sorts and never very obedient. I now have the funds to be able to afford 
a pedigree puppy and really fancy 
a pointer of…

working cocker spaniel puppy

How to choose a cocker spaniel

Q: I have owned English springers for many years but after seeing a cocker trial I am tempted to change breeds to cocker spaniels. First I would like some advice or information on the differences in training. Eventually 
I would like to take part in competitions if I can. A:…

Labrador bitch with puppies

Dog breeders limited to two puppy litters annually

Dog breeders will be limited to just two litters a year under strict new animal welfare laws announced by DEFRA secretary Andrea Leadsom this month. Strict welfare criteria Anyone breeding and selling three or more litters of puppies a year will now have to apply for a licence and meet “strict welfare criteria”. The current law allows dog breeders…