Welcome to the ATB blog "J & A's Brittanys" where we love to write about, share stories, post videos and pictures featuring our beautiful, well bred Brittany family bird dogs. With their established and recognized hunting heritage our dogs also measure up to the breed standard regarding health, appearance, movement, and temperament. Enjoy the stories of whelping puppies, tips on field training, bragging rights on accomplishments, sharing joys and sorrow, announcements and as the name implies - ALL THINGS BRITTANY! With a love of God, family, friends, and dog we welcome you.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


TRUE - OUR NEW AKC SENIOR HUNTER My heart is bursting with pride on behalf of John and our "True" puppy.  True sailed through his Junior testing level quickly earning his JH title.  He continued to do well at each successive Senior testing level and likewise qualified for his first 3 legs.  Then it became more of a struggle and we gave him a break from it all. He's always had a nice retrieve and never had a problem backing the point of another dog.  John ran him in a field trial where he won an adult placement in Open Gun Dog but trialing is just not our thing. The handsome True was shown a few times and quickly won his first 4 points in his first four back to back dog shows but was not shown again. Maryann has an interest in learning how to train at the SH level and  insisted this spring we try to finish him.  The first day out he didn't qualify but on the second day when brought back to show the judges he would back another dog he did not disappoint!  Congratulations to True and John, I couldn't be happier about this.

J&A's Keeper of The Stars SH - "True" 
Sire: CH Gibson JH CGC  &  Dam: J&A's Dreams Come True of Acton JH
Breeders/Owners/Handlers: John & Ann Short

True is the third Brittany which we have bred to earb the AKC Senior Hunter (SH) title but the first one soley owned by us.  (Bullet, co-owned with Julie, was the first to finish his SH title as well as our first bench champion.  Wilson (Bullet's son) owned by Pete Sipperly and Kira Lajeunesse was the second to finish his SH title and is also a bench champion.  I should note that Wilson is a NA Prize 1 Brittany also in training for his UT title.  Both boys are working towards Master.)

Hemi & Luna's beautiful litter of 10 Brittany puppies arrived on April 19th at Birch Spring Brittanys in North Hampton, NH.  This is a repeat breeding of the litter which resulted in a NAVHDA Breeders Award of Merit for the Thayers.  Pups from the first litter are actively trialed, shown, and of course hunted including our own "Toph" (J&A's Birch Spring Breaking New Ground JH, NA Prize 1).
Photo by Birch Spring Brittanys
Bullet & Brandy's sweet litter of 4 arrived on March 28th, also a really nice repeat breeding. Bo & Christine Longley of Merrymeeting Brittanys in Litchfield, Maine have good reason to be proud of this litter.  Two of the boys, Rocky and Argos, earned their AKC Junior Hunter titles and the majority of pups in the first litter are in active hunting families.
Photo by Merrymeeting Brittanys

On Mother's Day 2014 at 8 years old our granddaughter had her first handling 'lesson' here thanks to our dear friend Julie Harris. I'd just had my first total knee replacement so Julie had taken my young puppy Holly Beth to live with her for a few months. (It was also when Bullet & Thistle's pups were born including Quincy, Zuko, and Ammo.) With Julie's help Alana took Holly Beth around the yard and from the start it was easy to see what a natural handler she was.  Holly went on to be shown by Alana in the Central Maine Brittany Club Specialty show winning their first blue ribbon. Soon she was old enough to show in AKC Junior Showmanship and obtained her pin and number. Eligible now to show as a Junior she presented my champion "Hemi" (Holly and Toph's father) and at her first show won BEST JUNIOR IN SHOW with competition at the Union Maine shows.  Alana took handling classes to perfect her 'craft' and presented both Hemi and her puppy Zuko at various shows.  In the spring of 2015 Alana won her 3rd Novice Junior Showmanship class with competition and moved up to the Open Juniors.  Life happened and she didn't get back into the ring until this spring, this time with her 14 month old puppy "Toph".  At back to back specialties Toph's show debut first place win in 12-18 month catapulted her and Alana into the Winners Bitch competition.  Alana showed Toph in a highly professional and impressive manner.  A couple of weeks later Maryann, Alana, and I had a girls weekend at the West Springfield show.  Alana won her very competitive Opne Junior class of 7 and went on to compete for the coveted Best Junior in Show. Another junior won this but Alana worked Toph the entire time, right up until the judge made her decision.  She also  competed in the adult classes and did really well.  Alana also expressed an interest in learning how to handle in the field along with her mom. We're really excited about this. To make a long story short Alana successfully handled Toph to her first Junior Hunter Advanced leg.  They did so well the hunt test judge called them back to run as the 'bye dog' with another dog that didn't have a bracemate.  This was pretty cool that out of 22 dogs they were selected.  Toph actually finished her JH title at a very young 6 months old with Maryann handling.  Now we are looking further at field trials. Maryann handled Toph to a  2nd place Amateur Derby win when 6 months old.  As I've been saying all along, the best is yet to come!

The 2016 Central Maine Brittany Club hunt tests have come and gone.  I've completed all of the official AKC paperwork and sealed the envelope.  Now the accomplishments of Brittanys from our breeding program at this event can finally sink in, especially True's accomplishment as AKC SENIOR HUNTER!


J&A's Heart of Seumas JH
Sire: CH J&A's High Caliber Harris Special SH
Dam: GCH CH J&A's Sisters of the Heart JH
Breeders: Julie Harris & Ann Short    Owners: Julie Harris & John Short

Birch Spring LH White Feather JH, NA Prize 1
Sire: CH J&A's Magnificent Obsession of Acton JH
Dam: CH Birch Springs PC Lunar Eclipse JH, NA Pz 11
Breeders: Phil & Ben Thayer   Owners: Phil & Sherri Thayer

J&A's Jack Be Nimber JH
Sire: CH J&A's High Caliber Harris Special SH
Dam: J&A's Dreams Come True of Acton JH
Breeders: John & Ann Short    Owners:  Dan & Joanne Woodman

J&A's Superior Jack's Rugar JH
Sire: J&A's Apple Jack of Acton JH
Dam: J&A's Superior Nova JH
Breeders: John Short & James Turner   Owners/Handler: James & Lori Turner

ATB Junior Hunter & Junior Hunter Advanced QUALIFIERS
J&A's Birch Spring Breaking New Ground JH, NA Prize 1
Sire: CH J&A's Magnificent Obsession of Acton JH
Dam: CH Birch Springs PC Lunar Elipse JH,, NA Pz 11
Breeders: Phil & Ben Thayer   Owners: Maryann Day & John Short  Handler:Alana Day

J&A's Rubies Are Heaven Sent JHA (she is already finished as a JHA)
Sire: J&A's Soaring White Sequoia of Acton
Dam: KJ's Rambling Molly Rose
Breeders: John & Ann Short   Owners: Roger & Marilyn Gilman  Handler: Tyler Gilman

J&A's High Caliber Shamrock Special
Sire: CH J&A's High Caliber Harris Special SH
Dam: GCH CH J&A's Sisters of the Heart JH
Breeders: Julie Harris & Ann Short   Owners: Roger & Marilyn Gilman

Merrymeeting's Little Rockstar JH
Sire: CH J&A's High Caliber Harris Special SH
Dam: Merrymeeting's Brandy JH
Breeder/Owner/Handlers:  Walter & Christine Longley

It's been a very busy year so far and will continue to get busier! Bullet as well as his son Wilson are working now towards their Master Hunter title.  John has several judging assignments for Junior, Senior, and Master levels of AKC hunt tests coming up throughout New England and New York.  There are several AKC and American field trials we all have an interest in.  Maryann successfully completed her judging apprenticeships. Young Ayden wants to try his hand at showing too. A few dog shows remain on our immediate radar.  We're also looking towards summer and field tune ups for several dogs from our program. Still up in the air about where we will be running dogs but we do have a nice area over in Dayton that has worked out well so far. It's been a lot of fun having Maryann regulary come alongside of us with Toph and Zuko. 

As for puppies we'll enjoy meeting Luna and Hemi's pups in a couple of weeks. Sooner than later Bullet & Brandy's pups will be going to their respective new homes. Julie had a blast meeting them recently!  I have enjoyed sending referrals for both litters.  I am also enjoying my time with our senior dogs to 'simply be' while continuing to look towards the future with an eye on the past.  And the future looks good for J&A's Brittanys on many levels.  I think our boys are going to keep things moving forward. By the Grace of God, it looks very very good. 

As always thank you for your interest in All Things Brittany.  Take care and God bless!  John, Ann and our canine crew. 

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