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Can rescue dogs be good gundogs?

The success of a rescue dog becoming a good gundog relies heavily on the breed, age and agility levels of each individual dog.

Breeds such as English Springer Spaniels are quite often found in rescue centres, after their owners underestimate their high-energy levels and need for regular exercise. Sometimes gundogs that have already been trained to be gundogs can even be found in rescue centres, when gamekeepers are made redundant or find that they simply have too many dogs for their need.

Where to look for a rescue gundog:

You’ll find a dedicated rescue and rehoming charity for virtually every gundog breed out there. Not only is this a reminder of how many dogs need to be rehomed, but it means there are many to choose from and there is likely to be one in your area. While rarer breeds may have only a single rehoming organisation, other breeds such as Labradors and spaniels have many.

Rescue dogs are surprisingly adaptable:

Dogs are amazingly adaptable creatures and have the ability to adjust to a new environment very quickly. There’s a saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” but this simply isn’t true and the majority of trainers will tell you this.

Although there might be a learning curve, a dog can soon be taught to retrieve with both speed and style, as well as actually drop the catch at the end too.

Rehoming is good for the dog, good for the charity and good for the owner:

For many people, having a rescue dog becomes a way of life and they would never consider buying a puppy again. It’s important to find out as much as you can about any rescue dog, what their temperament is like, their history and their age, and bear in mind that the charity will try and find out as much as possible about you as possible too.

Remember, rehoming is taken very seriously:

For example: Springer Spaniel Rescue lists nine strict rules that apply to anyone who wants to rehome a spaniel. The rules are, however, very sensible because if they applied to everyone then there would be far fewer dogs in need of rehoming in the first place. Questions range from previous experience or knowledge of the breed, to having the financial security to pay for veterinary treatment.

Where should I start looking?

An internet search is the best way to start looking for a dog that needs rehoming, check for good charities in your area and be sure to leave your details with them if nothing is right for you at the time.