Pets. Specifically dogs, but anything?


Just wondering what everyone has, anyone got anything exotic or weird?

But more directed towards dogs. Is anyone into gundog training? My bitch is sort of trained to the whistle and comes back on the recall but shes only 8 months and we are getting there. She’s a foxred Labrador and comes from working stock. I am looking at a springer too.
I would love a German shepard and have done since I was about 8. But sadly round my way they seem to be very chavvy and has put me off them. Maybe soon though.

Or is there any other kind of training? What dogs you lot have?


after a lifetime of Springers - and being very happy with them, but fancying something a bit different - i’ve got a German Short-haired Pointer.

i had her from about 10 weeks, they are slow to mature so she was effectively a puppy till she was about 20 months old, but she’s blossomed after lots, and lots, and lots, and lots (you can see where this is going…) of training and consolidation, and now i’d not be without her.

very clever dogs, and just rocket fueled - she needs to be worked hard (mentally and physically) everyday, but in return i’ve got the most loyal, loving, family-centric, friendly, relaxed dog you could wish for. she follows the kids around and just watches over them, and she’s brilliant with people and other dogs (cats however are a different story… :evil: )

she’s a full HPR dog, and to be honest required no real training whatsoever, she just did it first time.

the work thing can’t be over emphasised - she’ll run 15-20 miles every day at just obscene speed…


I’ve got a black & white Cocker-Collie cross. The nicest-natured dog I’ve ever known and adorably nuts, even after 14 years. At the word of command… she does exactly what she wants to do… And I wouldn’t have it any other way. :slight_smile:

“WTF Boss?! I was just having my scheduled 3rd late-morning, pre-lunch nap!”

“Wossat? You want me to chew the green thing again?”

“OK, but can you make it move this time? Yeah Boss, that’s it!”


“I love my green thing. Like a fine wine, it matures with age.”


Is that a 3 peaks bed I see in the background?

Thats fantastic, my one is really talented without my help and she just wants to please and to work and she has a fantastic amount of stamina!

Do you take them up hills with you? I am waiting till shes a bit older but we smash loads of low level, flat walks and a few little local hills and shes amazing.

Do any of you use a whistle? I mix a bit of the gundog and the sheepdog training, whilst shes not a true working dog I think its good for them to be mentally stimulated and to work.
She will do ANYTHING for a squeaky ball. even though shes a lab she will go nuts for a ball over a treat any day!


GSDs and a Collie in KC Working Trials. They required quite different training and working styles. I don’t really believe that either breed make good pets although if properly trained and worked they make fantastic companions. GSDs in particular have an image problem, it’s well known that their favourite snack is babies. There is a more serious issue though, the good trials dogs tend to have a strong prey drive and this requires firm handling. Get it wrong and the local cat population takes a nosedive. An experienced GSD owner is one who ensures that the dog never looks round a corner before they do.

I now have a pair of black Labrador bitches. The contrast with the other breeds is stark. Laid back and very sociable, very easy to train. They are more likely to do as they are told rather than putting their own interpretation on your instructions like a Collie. But they can’t track like a GSD.



No such thing as a bad dog, just bad owners.

Labradors are just reliable nowt like a good old lab. GSDs are getting more chavvy by the second aswell. which is a shame as they are fantastic looking dogs. Them and Huskys, another working dog taken in by the tracksuit wearing creatures and reputation ruined.


Correct - & families that are not consistent with dog handling/training/approach to other dogs.

We have a 10 yr old (wavy coated) labradoodle (bought as our previous doctor thought our son had mega-allergy problems - turned out it was nothing of the sort! He was exceptionally trainable - the dog, not the son! :wink: - i can make him wait, then I will move several hundred metres away & then he will return after been given a silent recall. As to character, he has always been very placid & well behaved, & no sign of the labrador “doggy dustbin - scrounge anything” issues! That said, we have always tried to work to the old fashioned “leader of the pack” syndrome - we eat before him, pretend to eat his food before giving it to him, etc.

I notice a lot of people with dogs who seem to be very wary of other dogs, for no good reason, even to the extent of crossing the road! Their dog then picks up their fear & acts accordingly, often in an aggressive manner. Get the 2 dogs together without the input from the other owner = no problems. I’ve even walked the other dog, while the other dog owner walks mine. Same for “I cannot control my dog, he pulls too much” - you take mine (he will walk to heel off the lead, no issues, although I don’t do this by main roads!) & I will take yours… After 10 mins of firm control, their dog improves greatly.


I don’t think any amount of ‘firm control’ will convince my Cocker to stop trying to pull my arm out of it’s socket! To be expected though I suppose he’s definitely from working stock and needs loads of exercise and mental stimulation every day or he gets to be mischievous, a favourite target being shoes.
His absolute favourite thing to play with over everything else though is black socks! He’ll bring them to you and drop them expecting you to play with him.
A little nutty but wouldn’t change him for the world and a polar opposite to our old Scottie.


Two working Collie’s here. Trained them… or rather, developed their instincts to suit our needs - namely rounding up cattle! I really wanted an Australian Cattle Dog - but they are a bit too pricey in the UK. So we’ve made do with secondhand (rescue home) Collie’s for the last 16 years and they’ve all been brilliant. Need to get another one soon as Nathan’s getting on a bit and is definitely not enjoying it as much as he used too!

I grew up with gun dogs though - mostly Labs and Spaniels, and a lovely a GSD called “Radar” (courtesy of his massive ears!) who sadly died when he was still quite young.


I had an Australian cattle dog cross as a rescue after he was picked up as a stray. Complete opposite to our other dog (collie x springer) who loves nothing more than chasing tennis balls and the odd cat that wanders into the garden. He on the other hand would do anything for food!

He was an amazingly intelligent dog that among other things learned to peel bananas and would eat quite literally anything!


I have two English Springer Spaniels. The eldest is four and recovering from spinal surgery, the youngest is eighteen months.
Both have done gundog training, the eldest has worked but with a hubby in the RAF, it’s difficult to find good trainers and local shoots and with another move in April, we’ll be starting the search again. I’m going to look into doing agility with the youngest one too.

The eldest has done everything from mountain biking to wild camping and has done enough DofE expeditions to qualify for his gold and enough mountain days to get his ML. The youngest is just starting to do the bigger walks now but with a move to Scotland, that won’t be a problem :slight_smile:

Both have grown up around Cadets and loves nothing more than a day with them and equally they all love them and will probably miss them more than me!