When you think of bird dogs, you might not think of jack russell terriers. If that’s the case, you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Alex Brittingham. She’s the proud owner of Gator (our only YETI ambassador of the canine persuasion). Alex has built a reuptation for training world-class hunting dogs in the Texas heat. So, pin your ears back and get ready to learn all about this hunting legend.
What’s the first thing that crosses your mind before you go hunting?
I figure out the temperature outside and check the weather forecast for the day.
Tell us a favourite story from a day out hunting?
We were field hunting for ducks on a nasty, cold day this season and sailed a crippled mallard across the field at about 300 yards. I sent Gator on it and when he got close, it got up and started flying away. He jumped up once and tried to grab it, but missed. The second time he jumped for it he caught it and pulled it down. It’s pretty fun watching a driven dog work, but it’s even more rewarding when they weren’t bred for it.
How do you up your game year after year?
I wouldn’t say I intentionally try to up my game year after year, I think I just learn from my mistakes and naturally grow as my time in the hunting and dog industry increases.
If you could do anything better, what would it be?
I would learn more about running field trials and focus more on those with my dogs than I do on hunt tests. Finding the time is the problem!
Who are your heroes? Who do you look up to?
I’d say my two heroes in the dog industry are Dave Rorem and Mike Lardy.
What haven’t you accomplished that you aspire to do in your lifetime?
I’d like to put a Field Champion title on one of my dogs.
What part of you, or what you do, reflects a spirit of restlessness?
I always get a little anxious when I see pictures or video of other people duck/goose hunting during a time that I’m not hunting. Even if it’s just a TV show that’s on during the off season, I can’t stand missing out!
If there is any love-hate relationship with any aspect of what you do, can you describe what that is?
Barking dogs! I can’t stand barking and whining, so I try to keep my kennels and trailer as quiet as I can.
What are the 3 most essential things you need for training?
If you could bring anybody in the world with you to do what you love (dead or alive), who would it be?
Does Gator count as “anybody”?
What does YETI mean to you?
To me, YETI means that my drinks will stay cold all day long.
What is the YETI that you cannot do without?
My Panga® Backpack.
What, if any, other YETI products do you use? How do you use a specific YETI product in your market?
I use the 30oz Rambler® all the time. It keeps my water cold on the hottest days when I need hydration.
How has any YETI product changed what you do or how you do it?
The YETI Dog Bed is a life saver... every other bed I’ve used shrinks when you wash it and never fits back over its cushion. I have an older dog that can no longer hold his bladder at night, so this is clutch.