PUPPY AVAILABILITY - We receive inquiries about on a regular basis and are always in the process of 'screening' for the best suitable family and home. Most of the time a planned litter is fully reserved prior to the actual breeding itself. This helps to assure a well prepared foundation is laid for the first day of the rest of the life of a new puppy. There is usually a wait involved as we only breed occasionally.
WHO GETS A PUPPY? Primarily, we are sought out by experienced bird hunters who love this breed. Likewise, we actively seek and give preference to active bird hunting families with prior Brittany experience. Additionally, we are often reached through word of mouth referrals. We place a high value on loving pet homes! We will not discriminate against inquiries seeking a Brittany for a pet only as long as our other criteria is met. A Brittany is not suitable for apartments. It is not always the best choice for the first time dog owner. Although Brittanys and children go together like peanut butter and jelly parents absolutely MUST be prepared to not only supervise all interactions between the two but to be fully responsible to train the puppy AND the child. We know that a Brittany puppy simply may not be the best choice for a very young child or family with a baby and a decision to wait may be in order. We'll consider your neighborhood and your work schedule giving the time you have available to devote to a new puppy the most utmost consideration. We do not respond to generic, random inquiries and request references that we will follow up on. In over 30 years we have only shipped puppies once. We will meet each serious inquiry in person. We are easy to work with, enjoy answering questions, and although we do have criteria in place you will find we're also flexible. A loving family home is above all the best home of all as far as we're concerned!
BEYOND HUNTING Obviously, our primary focus is providing you with a healthy, beautiful, well balanced, sound and outstanding bird dog for the walking upland hunter but it can be quite enjoyable to see your Brittany succeed in other venues. We welcome, encourage and support competitive homes. It is for the enjoyment, well being and mutual benefit of both dog and owner to give one or more of recognized dog sports a try. As much as a Brittany loves down time snuggling with their family they were never meant to live their entire life as a couch potato or lap dog. If this is your interest please consider another breed.
SHOWING The Brittany is a "dual dog". We're not considered to be 'show dog breeders' but in each litter there are pups who clearly stand out with have clear potential to do well if shown and finish their AKC championship title. When an interest in showing your hunting dog exists please tell us when you first contact us. Even so, most of our very best 'show prospects' are never seen in the show ring but are champions of the heart of those who love them. When the interest in showing exists though we will proudly encourage you and do our best to set you up to succeed in this venue. There are currently 7 AKC show champions from our program including a Grand Champion and others working towards their respective titles.
NO STRINGS BUT... Although our Brittanys are extremely versatile on many levels and can succeed in many ways we will NEVER insist or put pressure on our puppy people to take paths they have no interest in taking. Even so, we have a minimum requirement and request pups from our program will prepare to be tested at a very young age for natural hunting ability in either AKC Hunt Tests or NAVHDA Natural Ability or both. We also encourage entering a field trial at the puppy and/or derby level. Puppies from our litters are nominated for the American Brittany Club Futurity which takes place when pup is 2 years old.
EVALUATION Every puppy born here is evaluated for temperament and personality using a modified version of Volhard's Puppy Aptitude Tests (PAT) at 7 weeks of age as well as Pat Hasting's "Puppy Puzzle". Our pups are introduced to gamebird scent before the age of 5 weeks. From the day they are born we utilize the S.M.A.R.T puppy biosensory techniques. We also follow the Rules of 7 regarding what pups experience and are exposed to. Depending on the time of year often our pups are introduced to live birds for informal field evaluation, plus it is fun. The socialization process should be ongoing for every pup.
EXPERIENCE COUNTS A well seasoned bird hunter with years of experience hunting upland game over their dog already knows what to look for in a future hunting companion. Likewise, as breeders who actively hunt our Brittanys we know who we hope to attract about a future puppy! We enjoy demonstrating the hunting ability of adult dogs related to a prospective pup by going to a nearby field to shoot a couple of birds over them. This provides opportunity for new puppy owners to witness first hand a complete sequence of hunting, pointing, honoring, retrieving.
TRAINING IS ONGOING John remains as a valuable resource throughout the years for our clients regarding training and knows the best path to a finished and happy Brittany gundog. He's not a pro-trainer, he simply knows this breed and how to bring the best out in them. His methods utilize the 'slow but steady wins the race' approach. John can recognize the precise timing of each level of training according to an individual dog's readiness. Not a fan of force training or harsh methods, John counts on praise of the dogs to be the best motivator. Pleasing their owner is a Brittanys reason for living so that is not too hard to figure out. John will teach and share his years of experience as a trainer of Brittanys. Perhaps the biggest takeaway here is to remember it takes time and there are no shortcuts on the road to a well mannered, finished gundog for the walking upland game hunter! The first year in our opinion should be about fun, developing teamwork, learning about and loving each other.
SERIOUS INQUIRIES We request a completed questionnaire from each serious inquiry. Our puppy reservation policies, health guarantees, and other pertinent information will be provided in writing for you to know what to expect. Our home is private and is not open to the public. Most people find us via word of mouth. We make no apology and take no risks regarding security or the health and well being of our Brittanys. We are not a pet store and our daily schedules revolve around our beloved Brittanys. Visits to our home for introductions to our canine crew are scheduled and reserved for serious inquiries only. We are happy to have you join us at a dog event we are participating in. We also enjoy meeting folks at the field we use to train our dogs in Dayton, Maine weather permitting which is something we do on a regular basis. It should be as important to you to know as much as you can about your dog's breeder as it is for your breeder to know all about you and we will be happy to answer all of your questions honestly. We sincerely appreciate your interest in J&A's Brittanys but realize we may not be the breeder for everyone however if you think you are a good fit simply click HERE to get in touch with us!
Since 1990 we've been true to our original goal of breeding better bird dogs for family hunting companions.. Supportive of the Brittany's "one standard, one breed" we worked hard to establish a sound and purpose driven breeding program with a particular focus on the Brittany as a close working gundog with strong natural abilities from birth to hunt, locate, point, and retrieve wild birds as well as honor another dog in the field. No hype. Brittanys are bird dogs who will steal your heart away! But they are not for everyone. Anyone considering a Brittany must be fully prepared. Do your homework on the breed and their breeders!