In the Press: Gun Club in GQ
‘Good breeding – Gun dogs are by far the most popular breeds in the UK, but unless you let your hound fulfil its instincts by hunting and retrieving live and fallen game, then you will never forge the same bond with your most faithful friend.
The traditional English breeds are those most often seen in the field. The right Labrador or spaniel captures all the qualities of a gun dog: intelligence, bravery, strength and tenacity. Train them properly and they will soon become expert trackers and retrievers.
The other “classic” breeds of gun dog are now less prevalent, so if you want to stand out, then a golden retriever, flat-coat, setter or pointer will turn heads.
More recently, British sportsmen have looked to the Continent, where there is a fine heritage of training HPR (hunt, point and retrieve) breeds. From German pointers to Weimaraners, these will do whatever you ask of them with boundless energy. If you want to buy a pup then, of course, nurture plays as much of a role as nature, especially with gun dogs, so choose the right instructor. But don’t forget that, more often than not, it is the owner at fault rather than the dog, so have your own training at the same time.
The best place to start looking for pups is among the classified pages of a shooting magazine, remembering to extensively research parentage and pedigree. A good all-round website is ukgundogs.org.
And here are ten of the keen sportsman’s other best friends…’
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