Bristol and West Working Gun


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HPR (Hunt, Point & Retrieve)

After the Second World War this sub-group of gundogs known as Hunt Point Retrieve breeds were imported into Great Britain. At the present time there are just thirteen of the many continental breeds recognised by the Kennel Club in the UK. These are the Bracco Italiano, Brittany, German Shorthaired Pointer, German Longhaired Pointer, German Wirehaired Pointer, Hungarian Vizsla, Hungarian Wirehaired Vizsla, Korthals Griffon, Italian Spinone, Large Munsterlander, Small Munsterlander, Slovakian Roughhaired Pointer and the Weimaraner.

These breeds today are mainly used for rough shooting on game, falconry and deerstalking but can adapt to make a useful peg dog or beater’s dog. If used for deer stalking they would be expected to point unseen deer, track to dead deer or track and hold wounded deer at bay and then inform the stalker when it is located by giving tongue.

The different breeds within the group were originally bred to work the game or terrain of their specific region and therefore developed different styles of working, but basically they all perform to the same outcome. Some were originally used for boar or deer; others for fur and feather. Now, they are all expected to hunt any terrain put before them: moorland, wetland, scrub, woodland; and adapt their pace accordingly. Apart from the Brittany, they are all basically the same in structure but not necessarily the same in character.

When hunting open ground, the dog would be expected to quarter into the wind taking in ground from 50 to 150 metres either side of the gun. When working woodland they adapt to a closer pattern and keep in touch with the gun. They are expected, on locating game, to point and hold that point until required to flush. These dogs are air scenting and have a higher head carriage thus they have less need to enter thick cover. By using the wind, these dogs have the ability to pick up scent at a distance.

As in other breeds, game is expected to be retrieved gently to hand. They are for the most part keen swimmers once they overcome any initial reluctance.

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