Tilu & Ram’s Agility Journey
Guest Author: Gemma Phillips
My daughter and I rescued Tilu & Ram through SeBPRA (before it became SeBPRA) just over 3 years ago and we were delighted to have the privilege of giving not one but two dogs the chance of a happy loving home. I had never owned a Brittany previously but when Tilu & Ram came home, despite being in the shelter for over a year, they were loving, bouncy and full of life and I knew they were my soulmates. Like a lot of gundog breeds they are loyal & intelligent, and I realised that they would thrive on having a ‘job’ to do.
Ram, in particular, had challenging recall and a dog trainer suggested that I try agility to improve his focus when off lead. Agility was something I had always fancied having a go at and I had been inspired watching the dogs at Olympia doing agility and thought this is what I need to do with my dogs! I found a local agility training class and was immediately hooked! It was so much fun, Ram immediately took to it and I saw such a difference in his recall. A few months later, I tried it with Tilu who, doesn’t have recall issues, but can be more of an anxious dog. I have been amazed at how much his confidence has grown since he started agility and now, he gets so excited he bounces up & down with enthusiasm before we start a run. My daughter was also eager to try agility too and joined a class. Her bond with our dogs has grown immensely and she has learned so much about dog training. She always looks forward to her weekly training class, rain, wind or shine!
We have now been doing agility with both dogs for around 2 years and have started doing some amateur agility shows. My third Brittany, Deva, came to us as a foster earlier this year and never left… She is an incredibly intelligent active dog and I am hoping to introduce her to agility soon. She is still learning basic commands and has done some basic scentwork training, which is another fantastic activity to keep the Brittany brain active.
One thing I love about the Brittany is that they are always up for fun and learning new things and agility is a great outlet for that. It is an awesome way to mentally & physically challenge both human & dog and as much as we thoroughly enjoy going for long walks in the countryside, nothing tires my dogs out like our agility classes -and in my opinion, a tired dog is a happy dog!!