Is my dog suitable for gundog training?

by admin on November 27, 2011

Suitable for gundog trainingMany of our students are initially unsure if their dog will be suitable for gundog training.  Happily most gundogs enjoy and benefit from gundog training,  even those that are pets.

Whether or not your dog is suitable for gundog training will depend on four factors

  • Breeding
  • Age
  • Health
  • Behaviour


To enjoy and really benefit from gundog training, at least one of the parents of your dog needs to belong to the gundog group of dogs. Check out our article is your dog a gundog

Your dog does not need to be a pure-bred pedigree dog. We have many cross-bred dogs successfully entering our field tests.

It is helpful (but not essential) if your dog comes from ‘working’ parentage,  as this tends to ensure that your dog has the basic instincts which we harness and mould during gundog training.

You might find it useful to read can pet gundogs be successful                  


Starting with a young puppy enables you to get into good habits from the very beginning but it isn’t essential.   We have dogs seven or eight years of age entering our grade one tests.  

Minimum age for test entry is six months,  and we recommend that dogs are 12 months old before entering tests where jumping is required.


A dog should be in good health to enjoy gundog training.  If you are in any doubt, have your dog checked over first by your vet.  Vaccinations must be up to date in order to join in group training lessons.

Behaviour (older dogs)

To enjoy gundog work your older dog will be interested in carrying items in his mouth,  chasing a ball,  and hunting scent when you are out and about together on walks.   Dogs with behavioural problems (aggression, or running away, for example) need to have these addressed before starting gundog training.

You might also find it helpful to read our introductory article training a gundog



Mandy shires January 6, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Please could you let me know of a local trainer to send my 1 year old black lab too. We live I between York and Harrogate, north Yorkshire.
Thank you

admin January 6, 2013 at 12:25 pm

Hi Mandy, you can find a list of our instructors here Our North Yorkshire instructor is at Pickering

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