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working dogs

The phrase ‘man’s best friend’ is well-known, and it is certainly true when speaking of fieldsports. Where would we be without our dogs? From gundogs, working terriers, long dogs, hounds, hunt-point-retrievers and dogs for deer, our canine companions make what we do, possible.

While it may be said that most dogs can be trained to work, there are specific breeds and types of dog that are better suited to certain tasks. Labradors are ubiquitous on driven shoots as pickers-up; Spaniels tend to dominate the beating line. HPRs are to be found on grouse moors and woodcock shoots, while terriers are to be found everywhere they shouldn’t be, but also frequently down holes and burrows. And where else should a long dog, lurcher or hound be except in pursuit of quarry?

In the fieldsports world, ‘working dogs’ tends to refer to all types of hunting dog that assist us in finding, tracking and retrieving quarry, or rooting-out vermin. They may also be trained to hold quarry at bay (‘bail’ it), or to directly attack and dispatch.

Sadly, there are a growing, vocal minority who wish to see dogs stopped from using their natural hunting abilities. The rot started with the tail docking ban, which has seen working dogs subjected to painful tail amputation as adults, and the hunting legislation to limit and ban the use of dogs to chase quarry. As animal rights bigots become more extreme, so the threat to our way of life grows. SACS fights to bring common sense to the law-making process; join HERE to help the fight.

rabbit retrieve