Our Dogs

Hunter’s Heart has been breeding occasional litters of exceptional Brittany Spaniel puppies since 1999, for scent detection, hunting, dogsports and athletic partners for families that enjoy an active lifestyle.

Hunter’s Heart Brittany Puppies

ZZ (centre) retrieving a toy, surrounded by brothers Frankie (left), and Jager (right). Photo by Hunter’s Heart.

Our Brittanys are eager to please, purpose-bred, athletic sniffer dogs from field lines. These lines have consistently produced outstanding working dogs, for hunters, scent detection dogs, and partners for dogsports. In addition to scent detection, hunting, and field titles, our Brittanys have won multi Elite High in Trials (UKC Nosework), won gold at AAC Regional Agility Championships, Best of Breed at the National Brittany Specialty, and achieved numerous top 5 national rankings in agility, conformation and obedience. We strive for health, temperament and biddability. Sound, balanced structure leads to function, for healthy dogs with fewer injuries, well into old age. Photos are at: https://www.facebook.com/HuntersHeart/photos_stream?tab=photos_albums. Puppies combined pedigree at: pedigree_bb_x_boo_litter_2019.

All of our puppies and dogs are raised and live with us, in our home, as part of our family. We provide a solid foundation for well socialized working dogs and companions, including early introduction to searching for scent, gunfire, balance, retrieving, obedience, agility and playing motivational games. Watch BB x Boo’s puppy Lula playing hide and go seek at a warehouse.

About “Boo”

Boo indicating scent hidden in a baseboard. Photo by Furever Reflections.

CH HuntersHeart RedDevil Fantome FDJ CGN AN SGDC SDS-SP TOG MN EV EC EI, Boo (a white and orange male), is exceptionally friendly and outgoing. Boo has a tireless drive to search, an intense freeze and stare, and enjoys water and land retrieves. He’s an eager to please, happy worker who makes people smile.

Boo is a bed bug detection dog, hunter, and multi-High in Trial winner. For example, in Elite UKC Nosework, he searched an Exterior area over 3000 square feet, to find 3 hides in under 38 seconds (Calgary, June 2018). Boo’s elbows and patellae are normal and he’s been certified OFA Good, CERF (2014). Boo ranked Canada’s #2 agility Brittany in 2017 and #4 show Brittany in 2013. Boo is the son of National Specialty Winner BISS Can/Mex/Int’l CH ATChC HuntersHeart Big Chief FDJ CDX RE CGC (who was Canada’s top agility Brittany for several years, ranked top 5 in both obedience and show, and won gold at the AAC Regional Agility Championships at the age of 12 years) x BPIG winner CH RedDevil’s Fire Without Flame CD.

About “BB”

Photo BB indicating a ladder

BB searching a ladder. Photo by Kristy Strunks Photography

HuntersHeart Black Betty NC NI NE PTE AGNJ (a liver & white female) is an eager hunter who loves bed bug detection. Around the house, she’s a gentle girl who likes snuggling, and is an excellent mother when raising pups. BB’s hips have been PennHip certified and her eyes have been CERF certified. In 2017, BB won National High in Trial Agility Brittany and was ranked #4 Agility Brittany (CKC, 2017). BB is the daughter of USA National Amateur Gun Dog Champion AFC DC CH GCH Triumphant’s To Hot To Handle JH x CH HuntersHeart Prairiestorm Vite FDJ MSCDC AGDC ADC AGNJV HPN NAC, CKC 2015, #1 Agility Brittany CKC 2016) .

How to Reserve a Puppy

We are now taking reservations for our BB x Boo 2019 litter. These parents are proven to produce healthy pups, with great noses, sound temperaments, and high drive to work and play. BB should whelp puppies approx. February 2019, so puppies can go to their new homes mid-April, 2019. Puppies cost $1500 + tax.

Please don’t consider a Brittany unless you’re searching for a high energy dog that loves to run, to fit into your active lifestyle. Brittanys are not a good choice for pets for most families, since they are athletes requiring daily exercise. Without adequate exercise, Brittanys can misbehave, be destructive, and end up in shelters. These are high maintenance dogs that need a job to do, not just during hunting season, but every day of the year. Watch some highlights of all the relatives at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7KkWU9oNKo&t=2s. With appropriate exercise, our Brittanys are happy to sniff all day long, and settle down at your feet when you get home.

To reserve a puppy, the first step is to email your completed  Screening form (Microsoft Word) to webmaster@huntersheart.com, so we can learn more about what you are looking for. Puppies are generally all reserved before the litter is born, so please reserve early to avoid disappointment.

Sorry, we can’t accommodate requests based on colors or cosmetic markings. Carla matches puppies with handlers based on temperament testing at 8 weeks.

About Previous Litters

ZZ holding her green ball while she balances on a Bosu. Photo by Hunter’s Heart.

ZZ (a BB x Boo daughter) is an orange and white female bed bug detection candidate shown in the photo at right. DOB Sept. 22, 2017. Download her pedigree here: pedigree_zz_jan19. We plan to breed ZZ at the end of 2019, provided that she matures into a healthy, biddable working dog and passes hip and eye certifications. The stud dog will be announced around the time of mating.

Jager (a BB x Boo son) was selected by Canadian Border Services Agency for its narcotics and firearms detection training program. CBSA assessed his skills at the age of 9 months by hiding a ball in trees and rewarding with a second ball, similar to the Scandinavian Working Dog Institute protocols we follow. Check out this video of Jager’s early training at 6 months.

Intact Tails and Dewclaws

Please note we do not dock our puppies tails or remove dewclaws. These functional parts of the body help a dog to run at top speed, turn, climb out of icy waters, and balance, for maximum performance and longevity. Kessler summarized: “The tail is not a limb but is an appendage… the muscular structure and activity are in integral part of the normal bodily shape and function, especially the perineal region… The tail is known to be a counter-balance for dogs in action, especially when moving at high speeds, turning sharply, balancing, jumping or climbing, and, according to traditional water-dog breeds, a rudder in the water. One study using camera and electromyographic imaging confirmed ‘tail movements are important in maintaining body balance during locomotion'”.

Our decision is based on veterinary research referenced in the CVMA Position Statement on cosmetic alteration. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association Canine Tail Docking FAQ, justification of carrying out preventive tail amputation on working dogs “lack substantial scientific support. In the largest study to date on tail injuries in dogs… calculated that approximately 500 dogs need to be docked to prevent one tail injury”. In fact, Diesel et al surveyed over 138,000 dogs in the Britain and found that the risk of tail injuries was 0.23 %. Of those, 36% were injuries in the dog’s home, with 14% occuring when the tail being caught in the door, and kennelled dogs faced increased risk. Houghton showed that the risk for gundogs in Britain varied according to the type of work performed: flushing dogs in the beating line were at greatest risk and pointing dogs had the least number of injuries.

According to “Mastering Jumping Skills”, “the tail helps with rear-end awareness, turning, jumping, balancing, accelerating, and braking. When the dog takes off for a jump, his tail is low; but as he crests the jump, his tail rises. This tail movement helps shift the dog’s center of gravity and raises the dog’s rear end to clear the jump. As the dog lands, the tail comes back down to help the dog find his balance…. Dewclaws add stability by digging into the ground as the leg rotates, especially when the dog is bearing weight on one front leg, as when he lands from a jump. Dogs without dewclaws will put more stress on their shoulders and spine when turning” (Linda Mecklenburg, DVM, 2015).

Some researchers compare the function of dog’s dewclaws to the function of human thumbs. According to Chris Zink, DVM, PhD, DACVSMR, “there are 5 tendons attached to the dewclaw… Those muscles indicate that the dewclaws have a function. That function is to prevent torque on the leg. Each time the foot lands on the ground, particularly when the dog is cantering or galloping, the dewclaw is in touch with the ground. If the dog then needs to turn, the dewclaw digs into the ground to support the lower leg and prevent torque. If the dog doesn’t have a dewclaw, the leg twists. A lifetime of that and the result can be carpal arthritis, or perhaps injuries to other joints, such as the elbow, shoulder and toes”. She elaborates based on her extensive work with canine athletes regarding potential dewclaw insuries: “Most veterinarians will say that such injuries actually are not very common at all. And if they do occur, then they are dealt with like any other injury. In my opinion, it is far better to deal with an injury than to cut the dew claws off of all dogs ‘just in case'”.

While leaving tails and dewclaws intact supports optimal health and performance, our puppies are not eligible for conformation shows in Canada under current CKC rules. (They are eligible to compete in ALL field and performance events in North America, and UKC and AKC conformation shows). Note for FCI Rules for International and World Dog Shows “The judging of docked and undocked or cropped and uncropped dogs must be done without any discrimination” (page 6).  If you prefer for your puppy to have a docked tail and dewclaws removed, please contact another breeder, as the majority of Brittany breeders in North America follow that traditional practice.

Bed Bug Detection

Think your property may have bed bugs? Looking for an independent canine inspection? Email Carla at webmaster@huntersheart.com to schedule an appointment in the Calgary area. Rates start at $100/hour + tax.

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