The Waikato Gundog Club has a growing membership from around the region, with a variety of dogs including spaniels, versatile and pointing dogs and retrievers.
There are many different breeds of gundogs. These can be broken down into three main types according to the way they hunt.
Spaniels: Including the Cocker and Springer Spaniel, whose function is to hunt and flush fur and feathered game from the undergrowth for the gun. They will also retrieve dead and injured game.
Retrievers: Including the Labrador , Flatcoat, Chesapeake and Golden Retriever, whose main function is to retrieve dead or injured game. They can also be used to hunt and flush fur and feathered game.
Pointers and Setters: Including the English Pointer, English Setter, Gordon Setter and Irish Setter. These dogs hunt and point the scent of feathered game by standing still and indicating where the game is hidden. When given the command the dog will then flush the game to be shot. Many pointers and setters will also retrieve.
Versatile Hunting Dogs. Including the German Shorthaired Pointer, German Wirehaired Pointer, Hungarian Vizsla, Cesky Fousek, Weimaraner and Brittany whose function is to hunt, point and retrieve both fur and feather. These breeds were also developed to indicate deer and their tracking skills are used to locate the deer once shot.
The club promotes hunting, trialling and showing.
Hunting: We have all categories of gundogs in our club and we encourage members to get out there in the season and hunt with their dogs, the job these breeds were developed for.
Showing: Dogs are paraded before a judge who ranks them in order of merit based on specified characteristics of each breed, with the ultimate aim being the title of Show Champion. The idea is to keep improving the quality of the breed by selecting and breeding from dogs which typify the ideal. The WGC runs two Championship Shows every year in September, in conjunction with the Huntly and Districts Kennel Association.
Trialling: In field trialling dogs compete in simulated hunting conditions to judge how they perform in the hunting field with the ultimate aim being the title of Field Trial Champion. Alternatively, in Natural Game Trials dogs are judged under actual hunting conditions and compete for the title of Field Champion. Waikato Gundog Club run gundog trials under the rules set down by the NZ Gundog Trial Association http://www.nzgta.co.nz/regulations.html . In addition, the club runs a Roughshooters Trial each April, providing a fun day for club members and a method to test their skills before the season opens.