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Sheba’s Rescue Story

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[/ezcol_1half]Hello everybody we are Fran and Jay Hill, new members of BCGB and we’d like to introduce you to our lovely rescue/re-home, Sheba now aged 16. She came to live with us during Nov 15 after being advertised as a Springer Spaniel ‘Free to Good Home’ on Facebook. We already had 2 Springers at home so contacted the people offering to give her away and went to see her. She obviously wasn’t a Springer Spaniel but she needed us so we bought her home, becoming Brittany owners by accident! Her elderly owner had recently died and she’d been left “home alone” with a neighbour popping in. When the family came to clear the property they didn’t want her.

This first picture is when we’d just got her home. She was very overweight (so much so that when I took her to my vet the next day for a check-up he asked if I needed a hand lifting her onto the table! (How rude!!!) She was incredibly stressed and had a very matted coat and awfully neglected teeth. Apart from having a heart murmur, a partially paralysed larynx, blocked anal glands and being in need of a dental apt she got a clean (ish) bill of health (no arthritis or cataracts) and my vet sent us home with an Adaptil cover to try and calm her down.

Getting her to lose weight turned out to be easy; she was stressed at moving home, in mourning for her owner and not interested in the healthy ‘dog’ food I was offering (in fact she still prefers human junk food if given a choice!) She went from 20 kgs to 15 kgs in about 3 months. I slowly built up her walking times/distances (with consideration to her heart murmur) and eventually she began accompanying us on our normal walks, playing in the garden, running on the beach and attending local fun dog shows.

She enjoys life to the full, is full of fun, loves people and still chases birds and cats out of the garden. We know Sheba was brought over from France by her original owner when she was about 18 months old and her chip certificate says she was chipped in France in 2001. Now in her 16th year she was diagnosed with congestive heart disease at the beginning of 2017 and we know time is short but she has been such a joy to own. She’s funny, fun-loving, resilient and such a ‘madam’. We love her very much and because of her, we would consider a Brittany in the future.

Fran and Jay did some research when they knew that Sheba originated from France and found the BCGB Facebook. Some more knowledgeable members suggested that she could be a Brittany X? She is such a character and now, unfortunately due to her heart medication, she is a little incontinent and has to wear nappies, she take it in her stride – all made easier with her being a bobtail!

Final photo is Sheba feeling well and attending Hereford and Worcester Animal Rescue Charity Dog Show where she came 1st in the Veteran Class! Bless her, we feel very proud of her every day.

26 June 2017 Update
Tonight little old Sheba’s poorly heart finally gave up and at 16 yrs old she was peacefully sent on her way to Rainbow Bridge. She’s left a Brittany shaped hole in our little family. 😢 ❤️

Items for sale monies raised donated to rescue

Jan has two new crates that could be sold and the monies donated to rescue;

1. Large new airline crate that could be broken down into 2 halves. I deal as a whelping/puppy crate for the first couple of weeks. Easy to clean etc.

2. Brand new and still in its box metal crate. Ideal for putting in a car boot. I will let you have the measurements for this!

Contact Jan Taylor
BCGB Puppy Register & Breed Rescue and Re-homing Coordinator
01763 244 071

Dogs at Stud and Puppies For Sale

Hawkwise Land Agent (Pouilly Fume x Hawkwise Fair Copy).
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D.o.b. 14.10.2015. Orange & white, HD score 6/8. Tested free of sable gene. From 6 generations of hawking dogs and has worked one season on local shoots, beating and picking up.

Won TAN and Novice Retrieve at Le Weekend 2016 and several show classes. Excellent temperament, short back, good movement. Fee negotiable to establish. Contact Steve Wright at stevewright.falconer@virgin.net or on 01789 772413 (Warks).
[/ezcol_1half_end]Pups For Sale
Due early June by Rochus Huxley x Hawkwise Fair Copy. All orange & white, docked for work, KC regd. etc. Dual purpose work/show. Bitches £700, dogs £650 – ready end July. Contact Steve Wright at stevewright.falconer@virgin.net or on 01789 772413 (Warks).

Out and About With Brittanys

Isla during one of her many walks with owner Kirsty-Jane Eldridge down at Itchen Navigation in Hampshire.
Photograph by Kirsty-Jane Eldridge.

Jassendues out and about at Mallards Pike, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire.

Jassendue Liquorish (Pheonix) cooling down at Mallards Pike, Forest of Dean.

Leo (Leader de Tremouard) relaxing on holiday after running with the bike in Spain Tom Radcliffe.

Agility with your Brittany

Article forwarded by Caroline Perks

Three years ago, I took up agility with Oscar (Jassendue Highlander). I wanted an activity that we could do together that would channel his enthusiasm and focus his excitability.

What exactly is agility?
It’s an obstacle course for a team that consists of a handler and a dog. The handler directs the dog through a predetermined pattern of obstacles.

A course usually has 12-18 obstacles, like tunnels, jumps, weave poles, and the big “ramp” obstacles collectively known as contacts.

The dog runs the course off-leash and the handler can’t touch the dog. The human half of the team relies on body language and, to a lesser extent, vocal cues, to tell the canine half where to go.

Why take up agility?
Agility is open to people of all ages and athletic ability. It is a fun and stimulating sport for dogs that stretches them physically and mentally, providing new challenges and a fun environment in which to learn. It improves off-leash reliability, whilst training is reward based and provides a fun way of gaining a closer working bond with your dog whilst giving them an appropriate outlet for their mental and physical energy.

When we first started training, Oscar used to take off around the perimeter of the field in hunt mode whilst off-leash. However, as we made progress and the training became fixed in his mind, Oscar stopped doing this and found he enjoyed this new sport. He picked it up quickly, me less so! We love our weekly lessons and also have equipment to train with at home. We are yet to enter a competition but that is our long term goal.

So now you know a little more about this sport why not give it a try?

Our breed has everything needed to take on those Border Collies and give them a run for their money…

[ezcol_2third][/ezcol_2third] [ezcol_1third_end]Here’s another Brittany competing with the Isle of Man Dog Club. Magic (Happy Magic Spirit des Mirages D’Azur) owned by Tom Radcliffe but is trained and competes with Wendy Radcliffe. Magic clearly loves to sing to Wendy as he gallops around the agility course. Well done Magic and a beautiful photo too![/ezcol_1third_end]

Spring Pointing in March

Lindsey Stevens and Sarah Finch enjoying spring pointing back in March

Brilliant day with the Bristol and West Working Gundog Club. 3 Brittanys in attendance. Morning spent doing Spring pointing training. No birds, just the hunting and learned that I need to trust the dog and interfere less! The afternoon was Working Test training and started as a bit of a disaster for us as we discovered that Tizzy still doesn’t like other people’s dummies! We did get some nice retrieves eventually and then moved onto some fantastic water retrieves.

My Spring Pointing in 2017

My Spring Pointing in 2017

This is a brief record of Will Tyler’s spring pointing experience this year.

I applied for ten spring pointing tests; one was cancelled (due to crops too high); in the draws, I gained a place on five.

My dog is Noah (Hawkwise Berkutchik). He is eleven years old and entered his first test when he was six. He has an outstanding level of talent and ability in pointing tests and I am fortunate to be able to work with him; at times, I struggle to keep up with him mentally.

Noah (Hawkwise Berkutchik)

1 April, Frolesworth, German Longhaired Pointer Club
We started in winter wheat and Noah worked the ground well. This lead into game cover (not within rules). Birds were running around under the vegetation. One flew up and Noah was eliminated as he had not pointed it.

2 April, Wardy Hill, German Longhaired Pointer Club
He had two runs, covering his ground well and fast, but there were no birds. They had been running out of the fields.

8 April, Frolesworth, German Shorthaired Pointer Club
Noah was excellent. He hunted, pointed, roaded-in and flushed three of the four birds in classic style. Unfortunately, after the first bird, I had a mental blackout and could not remember what had happened. I sent Noah in the wrong direction, spoiling his performance on the second bird. The judges downgraded his certificate to Good.

22 April, Kelby, Hungarian Vizsla Society
Noah was awarded Good. I will give more details in the next Newsletter.

29 April, Thriplow, German Shorthaired Pointer Club
The wheat was up to Noah’s shoulders; twice the normal height. It was hard work and he did well. There were no birds. At the end of the run, both judges came up to me and shook my hand, saying that it had been an honour to watch him. He had deserved the praise. After only a few yards of his second run, he pointed sharply, dropping low. Two birds then flew off. He was graded Very Good.

It was a pleasure to meet John Wordsworth with his lively Brittany on 1 and 29 April. It would be lovely to see more Brittanys in the future as they are so good at spring pointing.

What is Spring Pointing?

Photograph taken by Christine MacDonald

Mandy has asked me some questions and I list these below with my answers. By Will Tyler.

As I am a complete novice what is Spring pointing used for?
Spring pointing was originated to discover and determine the natural hunting ability of pointing dogs for breeding purposes. Each dog will be judged and may be graded according to a set of rules. These can be found on the club’s web site. It is not a competition against other dogs. It is an excellent activity in its own right.

Is it practice for experienced dogs only or a training opportunity for very novice dogs and trainers?
It is for all dogs over six months old. Your dog should have some basic hunting ability. Spring pointing was not intended for training purposes but it serves this function very well. It will allow you to interact and bond with your dog from a basic to highly advanced level but patience and observation is essential. The judges are happy to give advice as required.

Would you recommend it to others to try and why?
Without a doubt. It will give you access to wonderful big fields containing partridge. There are few better learning opportunities. You will meet like- minded people. You will learn more about the incredible intelligence and ability of your dog and the only thing that it was bred to do.

Should you wish to speak to one of the club’s mentors, contact our Chairman via the web site and he will put you in touch with one.

Upcoming Working Events

We will be running a Gundog Working Test on Sunday the 3rd of September at Hunstile Farm, Goathurst, Bridgewater, Somerset. TA5 2DQ and are in need of volunteers!
We are ideally looking for about 10 people who can help out with stewarding and dummy throwing.
Lunch and refreshments will be provided for all volunteers.
We are also looking for raffle donations, and possible loan of gundog equipment – dummy bags/ pistols etc.
If you think you could possibly help the club out then please contact Sarah Finch, field trial secretary: fieldtrialsecretary@brittanyclub.co.uk

We also have the dates for next season’s field trials:
Novice and Show Gundog Working Certificate– November 10th 2017
Open – December 8th 2017
Both trials will be held at New Farm, Norton, Evesham.
Judges and Schedule will be released at a later date.

We are looking for recommendations for training/ test ground, and trainers. We are in particular need of a suitable location at which to host a spring pointing test in late March/ April next year.

The Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme

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Denandmeg Illustrious Miss Aberdon (Missy) with her silver rosette KC Good Citizen Training Scheme award[/ezcol_1half] A number of Brittanys in the UK have attended classes over the years and been very successful. It is really enjoyable and sets up a rapport between dog and owner. I would encourage everyone to try to find local classes and to attend regularly. This is not regimented competition style obedience, more at the level of a ‘well behaved companion’. My old lady, Freckles, who I lost last year, and my present two ‘oldies’, Belle and Allez, all achieved Gold, and my ragamuffin, Missy, even managed to stay still long enough to achieve a silver award! Miracles still happen! We are not yet confident enough to ‘go for gold’, however, as there is quite a big step between Silver and Gold.

The Puppy Foundation, Bronze, and Silver tests are mostly carried out inside, other than the ‘road-walk’ in the Silver test; but the biggest test with a Brittany is to over-come the many temptations outside when attempting the Gold award. There are just so many scents and sounds, not to mention the compulsory bird, to be investigated in preference to walking to heel.

I have found the Silver ‘two minute stay’, challenging for my Brittanys, but the ten minute stay out in the open is the biggest challenge ever.

Full details of all the tests required under the different levels can be found on the kennel Club website from these links:

THE KENNEL CLUB GOOD CITIZEN DOG SCHEME – PUPPY FOUNDATION ASSESSMENT (PDF 2.12 MB)
THE KENNEL CLUB GOOD CITIZEN DOG SCHEME – BRONZE AWARD (PDF 2.29 MB)
THE KENNEL CLUB GOOD CITIZEN DOG SCHEME – SILVER AWARD (PDF 2.92 MB)
THE KENNEL CLUB GOOD CITIZEN DOG SCHEME – GOLD AWARD (PDF 1.82 MB)

I do hope more of you will take this up, and remember, many shows have Good citizen classes – you can enter these as soon as your dog has the bronze certificate.

Good luck and have fun with your versatile gundog
Anne Massie

Kennel Club Award

As you know, our club Open Show on 26th February received a visit from a Kennel Club Field Officer who was there to inspect the administration and running of the show to ensure that everything is done correctly under KC rules and regulations.

Today, I heard from the KC that we have been graded excellent (and we have sent a certificate to prove it).

Isn’t it nice that the hard work we put in organising and running the shows has been acknowledged as being of an such a high standard.

Ann Samardzija, Honorary Secretary BCGB May 2017

Letter from the Chairman

Hallo everybody. Our newsletter has a new editor, Mandy Boaz, and I am delighted to welcome her to this role and to seeing how e-Britts develops and changes. Other new faces are Sarah Finch, our new Field Trial Secretary, and Andrew Barlow-Evans. You will soon get to know them. They have brought our committee numbers up to a full complement.

Our other big change is the venue and date for Le Weekend. This is publicised fully and I hope you will enter your Britts for both the show (on Saturday) and the working/activity events (Sunday). It is not only a showcase for potential Bretonniers to meet the dogs– but a chance to have fun and catch up with others who share our enthusiasm for this very special breed.

As always the summer brings outdoor events throughout the country. We rely heavily on local volunteers to represent the Brittany at Game Fairs and country shows. Don’t leave it to someone else – spruce your pet up and get involved.

Most importantly enjoy your Brittanys – you will not find a breed that is more willing to help you have a good time!

Steve Wright – Chairman