Shooting Gazette

You call that a GUNDOG?

To a labrador or spaniel, it matters not what the purpose of their training is: instinct makes them want to work, whether the reward be a game bird brought to hand or, as with the case of those trained as sniffer dogs for the police and military, a tennis ball.

An instinct and a desire to do what nature intended – namely hunt and retrieve in order to survive – isn’t, however, only present in the gundog breeds. In well over 40 years of being involved with game shooting, I’ve seen several obscure breeds or examples of indeterminate breeding that hunt, retrieve and even point every bit as well as those that the Kennel Club would officially recognise as being a true gundog breed. “Non-gundogs” sometimes make useful allies on the shoot: there are, for instance, terriers and others regularly used by

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