Brittany Breed Magazine - Showsight

and remains today, as a dog meant for the hunting of upland game. Th e lack of class distinctions in the United States means that all people can enjoy hunting openly and legally, not just landed aris- tocracy. It is no longer necessary to have a “stealth” hunting dog. Farming practic- es have changed, with the result that the areas holding game are di ff erent now than when the breed was fi rst introduced to our shores. Th is has led to dogs being bred that can reach out and cover more territory in search of game. However, despite these changes, the heart and soul of the breed remains that of a true companion, a breed that loves to be around people. I have per- sonally seen many instances of well-known fi eld trial dogs, known for their ability to run far and wide when hunting or in com- petition, become lap dogs when with their owners. It is this loyalty and a ff ection that draws those of us who love our Brittanys to this particular breed.

The Brittany at home.


Ken Windom has been around dogs most of his life. He recalls his mother telling of when he would crawl all over the family’s hound dog before he was old enough

A Brittany needs its energy channeled in non-destructive ways.

Brittany jump with dumbbell.

fool them into thinking that this breed is one that does not require a lot of physical activity. Brittanys are full of energy! Th ey do require exercise or this energy can be channeled in ways that can be destructive. Developed as hunting companions, they are true athletes. Many Brittanys still hunt upland game, and are used in a wide range of environments, from the grouse woods of New England and other northern states, to quail in the piney woods of the South, pheasants in corn fi elds of the Midwest, prairie chickens and sharp-tail grouse of the Plains and upper Midwest, and chu- kar in the high desert mesa country of the West. Most Brittanys are natural retrievers and I have heard of a few owners who take their dogs waterfowl hunting during the warmer part of the season. Many owners want to engage in activi- ties with their Brittanys throughout the year, not just during hunting season, so participate in events such as fi eld trials and hunt tests. Such activities help consume

some of the energy the Brittany is known and gives the dog and owner the opportu- nity to test themselves against other dogs or against a recognized standard of per- formance. Th is energy can be channeled in other directions as well, however, and many Brittany owners have taken up com- petitive activities such as agility and rally. Th ese are also excellent ways for the dog and the owner to develop a strong bond between themselves, as well as providing exercise for both. Th e modern Brittany in America pos- sesses many of the characteristics of its ancestors that originated in France, but there are also di ff erences as selective breed- ing has enhanced traits more suited to a di ff erent environment. It is said that form follows function, and the changing nature of the landscape in which the American Brittany exists today has resulted in re fi ne- ments in the breed that make it more suitable for these di ff erent conditions. Th e Brittany was developed originally,

to walk. Ken grew up hunting in Georgia and has always been drawn to hunting dogs of one kind or another. He got his first Brittany in 1992, think- ing he was just getting a companion hunt- ing dog. Ken enjoyed doing things with him so much that he began participat- ing in other events as well, and with help from a number of other people, eventually earned a Dual Championship on this par- ticular dog. Since then, he has bred a few litters and managed to produce another Dual Championship from one of those, earning all his show points from the Bred by Exhibitor class. Ken enjoys showing and field trialing his dogs as well as hunt- ing. He is a member of the Iowa Brittany Club and has served as the President of the American Brittany Club since 2012.

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