Working gundog categories

by admin on November 28, 2011

Working gundog categoriesThere are four different categories or ‘types’ of gundog working in the United Kingdom today.  They are

  • Retrievers
  • Spaniels
  • Pointers
  • Hprs

Each category has its own role to play and requires an appropriate style of gundog training


 The role of the formal retriever is to ensure the collection of shot game. Retrievers are expected to retrieve game at sometimes considerable distances from the handler and only on command. A well trained retriever should take directions from the handler at a distance when necessary.

When not retrieving the retriever is expected to walk quietly at heel.  Retrievers are large gundogs that can be boisterous when young but tend to have a more placid temperament on the whole than some of the hunting breeds.   In practice many retrievers in the UK also fulfil a hunting role and are used for rough shooting. 

The Gundog Club has awards for retrievers at grades one (beginner)  to five (advanced)   For more information telephone 01428 717529


These are the hunting retrievers.  The primary function of the spaniel is to find and flush game for the gun.  Once the game has been shot the spaniel may then be requested to retrieve it.  Spaniels are expected to stop to whistle, shot, and flush, and only to retrieve on request.  They are not expected to retrieve over very long distances or be handled at great distances from the handler,  though some are capable of this.

The Gundog Club currently has awards for spaniels at grades one (beginner) to four (proficient).  For more information telephone 01428 717529

Pointers & Setter

These pointing dogs are not expected to retrieve in the UK.  They are large wide ranging dogs ideally suited to hunting open moorland and heath.  Pointers and setters take up a characteristic position ‘on point’ when they scent game close at hand and freeze in this position for a while, whilst the hunter approaches.  The gundog club hopes to offer awards for pointers and setters in the future.

Hunt, point, retrievers 

The HPRs  are  are truly versatile hunting dogs which both point and retrieve game as well as hunting.  

The Gundog Club currently has awards for HPRs at grades one (beginner) to three (intermediate).  For more information telephone 01428 717529


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