The Labrador retriever like for many handlers is where it all started for Bawden Flight Gun & Pet Dogs. Because of their loving, gentle and very trainable nature they are the perfect first dog. These points are still at the top of the list when we look for a dog or look into gun dog breeding, as well as a strong retrieving drive and natural steadiness.
One main thing we look for in our Labrador breeding is natural game finding ability, this means that we have a dog that is confident to follow its own nose and instinct rather than constantly asking for assistance.
Vinnie is the ultimate Labrador for us. He excels in all the areas that we test for the breed to become a stud dog. His biggest issue when he was young was his want for more. He wanted to move at a fast pace especially through basic training so he was ready for the field earlier than most but with his level head attitude to life he was able to take it all in his stride.
Gem is the best house Labrador anyone could ask for. She takes each day as it comes and never moans or groans. She will happily sleep all day in front of the fire or spend all day out in the field. Because of her natural drive to please she is a dog that we trust hugely. That means she is a vital part of our shooting team especially when we are focusing on young dogs in the team.
HPRs have made a massive impact on us and we are still in the early stages of putting our own stamp on the breeds. We run Brittany’s and German Wire Haired Pointers in our gun dog breeding program. Not having the best reputation and generally known as pets, both these breeds are fantastic family dogs as well as working machines.
At the Gun Dog Breeding Centre, our aim is to educate people about the best way to live with these fantastic breeds. What we love the most is how natural everything is for them and because of that we can learn a lot from watching them closely.
Bonnie was our first HPR breed. Although a lot of people tried to talk us out of it she has been an amazing addition. With a huge drive to retrieve from the start this has made training Bonnie very easy and rewarding. Her hunting style is very typical being fast, far and wide. Her pointing is also amazing, so much so that we get as much excitement about her points now as we did when it was her first. All of this drive is all with the aim to please and her bond with her handlers is something we have never seen with a working breed before, being totally loyal.
Barbel (Barb)German Wire-haired Pointer Bitch
Barb has been a joy to work with. The main reason for this being her want to stay closer than most pointers. Some would look at that as a disadvantage but her range is perfect for us down in the South. Once on open moorland she opens up a wider hunting pattern but with the same level of control. Barb’s retrieve drive is extremely strong and her pointing is solid, often finding tight birds behind other dogs. The fun we have going out with a gun and this dog is unbelievable. Our dog walks can be just as entertaining as that pointer brain is never off when out.
English Springer Spaniels didn’t play a part in early Bawden Flight. When we got our first Springer over 10 years ago it was clear this was the breed for us, despite being renowned as the ‘maddest’ of the Spaniel world. We aim to produce dogs that when out are full of fizz and enthusiasm to please but once in pet mode switch off to a lovely standby mode.
At the Gun Dog Breeding Centre, we have two lines of Springer. One that is suited more to a home/working/active life and one that is competitive based so has a bit more drive.
Gaz is a home bred stud dog out of our foundation dog Rocky and our home bred bitch Daisy (Rocky x Daisy litter #2). Because of this he has big boots to fill. So far he is doing a top job and I feel in some areas he is bettering his legendary father. Gaz is full of energy all of the time but has great self control and can squash it with just a peep of the whistle. This on and off trait is exactly what we look to carry on in our breed. Gaz, a field trial winner, has proven himself in the field, in trials and in the home and we know that he has more to offer. There are exciting times ahead with him.
Clear of Fucosidosis, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Phosphofructokinase Deficiency, Acral Mutilation Syndrome.
Now retired, Rocky is where it all started for us and Springers. He ticked all the boxes for us and more. Rocky is that one in a million that doesn’t come around often. He is such a consistent and thorough dog and we never have an off day with him always giving us his all. Rocky’s amazing attributes certainly come through with the puppies he’s produced and that is why we are so happy about his son Gaz taking over.
Also retired, Daisy is a second generation bitch out of fantastic breeding. She was always a top class dog with so much pace and style but still with that vital off switch and this has certainly come through with all of her pups. Daisy was the perfect dog to forward our important breeding program with the perfect balance of the two things we aim for in pet and working life.
Heidi, another home bred bitch (Rocky x Daisy litter #1), is very special to us. We aimed for the perfect shooting companion as well as the perfect home/family dog but she went one further and became a fantastic trailing dog too. She had some real consistent results in the top three before her time came for a win. This is very rewarding as we know it’s natural to her and we didn’t push this to start with at all.
Heidi has a very bright future ahead of her and we are very keen to see what offspring she throws.
Bessie is a dog that can really turn it on when she needs to but can fool a lot of people to start. In training she is perfection knowing exactly what is going on and where she is. When she’s out in the field she is a different dog however. She comes alive with drive and like her father (Rocky) she is a great dog to leave to it. Bessie has a superb nose and makes some fantastic choices when left alone.
The Flatcoated retriever has always been the family breed of dog for us. Although one of the largest breeds out of our pack they are certainly the most docile. From a house dog and young family point of view, they are certainly our dog of choice.
Flatcoats have had a lot of show breeding in them and that is not something we try and steer away from. However we do make sure that any dogs we bring in or use at the Gun Dog Breeding Centre are proven in the field and the show ring. This helps us to produce the most biddable dog possible.
Fidget has been a vital part of our team from day one. Although being a typical Flatcoat puppy (ditsy and playful), she completely broke the mould by making it into the shooting season before she was two. She is an extremely hard hunter with a sensational nose that given enough rein will find that bird. In the house and kennel she is one of the quietest dogs we have. Her energy is addictive and she still gets as excited about a canvas dummy than she did when she was a pup.
Luna is bouncy, fun, full on, loving and amazingly intelligent. All of this makes for a very fun training session that is full of laughter but sometimes also some head in hand moments. She is probably the most precious of all the dogs, always with a toy in her mouth so she can be centre of attention. Luna’s aim is going to become a wild fowling dog as well as all the other areas of shooting that we cover.