Tuesday, 21st November 2017
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GUN-DOG HANDLER

Gun dogs are specially trained dogs used to accompany people on shoots to retrieve the game that has been shot. Organisations such as the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) strongly recommend that anyone on a shoot should be accompanied by a trained and competent gun dog, ensuring that everything has been done for the humane recovery of the game, therefore showing a responsible attitude. Gun dog handlers take care of the gun dogs, whilst training them to a sufficient standard.

Different breeds of gun dog are used during hunts. Each breed is used particularly for different aspects of the shoot - pointing, flushing and retrieving. Dog handlers will know which type of dog is best for a specific role and will train dogs according to each practice.

Gun dog handlers must have a good relationship with their dogs. They are responsible not only for training the dogs for work, but for maintaining their health and wellbeing, looking after them and exercising them on a daily basis.

Many gun dog owners are not officially qualified handlers but have attended courses so that they can take their own dogs on hunts with them. However, large game estates and private estates are likely to have their own gun dogs, and will employ a fully-qualified and experienced handler to plan shoots, select specific dogs, supervise the hunt and care for the dog after it has finished work.