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workingflatcoats news

Survey: Why do we retire working Gundogs?

The following item was sent to the Society on 24 January 2020 by John Houlton.

I have a favour to ask of you for the benefit of working gundogs!  I am a semi-retired veterinary surgeon who specialised in canine orthopaedics while in clinical practice. For the last 25 years I have had working Labradors (currently I have six) and pick-up around 80 days each season. I am passionate about the health and well-being of gundogs and some years ago undertook a survey on their injuries. This was published (Houlton, J.E.F. (2008) A survey of gundog lameness and injuries in Great Britain in the shooting seasons 2005/2006 and 2006/2007 Veterinary Comparative Orthopaedics & Traumatology 21, (3), 231-237) and now I want to investigate why gundogs stop working. We all think we know but there is no good data on this subject and I suspect there may be some surprises. So I have launched a survey which takes around 3 minutes to complete. 

I would be very grateful if you could bring this to the attention of your members either by email or via social media. The link is

Thank you in anticipation and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me on or on 07901 622639.

Regards John Houlton

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