Spice the PBGV Advocates for Hounds at AKC National Agility Championship

Nimble-footed Border Collies or Papillons often participate in Agility competitions. However, at the 2023 AKC National Agility Championship in Tulsa, Oklahoma from March 16 to 19, spectators will witness breeds like the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen excelling at top levels of agility. This Hound Group member, driven by owner/handler Megan Esherick and her 7-year-old PBGV Spice, is showcasing the breed’s versatility and skills at this year’s Championship.

Love at First Leash-Train

Esherick’s introduction to PBGVs happened during high school when she was asked to leash train one at a grooming shop in the 1990s. This encounter sparked her love for the breed, leading her to breed PBGVs in Pennsylvania and emphasize their natural intelligence and athleticism for future generations. With over 30 years of experience in dog sports, including Agility, Esherick has seen the evolution of the sport and its suitability for breeds like PBGVs.

“PBGVs are quite athletic,” Esherick remarks. “Agility is a better fit for them than Obedience, as it aligns with their instincts and energy levels.” Originally bred for hunting, PBGVs may not be the fastest, but their innate drive to chase makes them formidable competitors in Agility.

Megan Esherick
PBGVs are in the bottom quarter of most-registered AKC breeds

Esherick clarifies common misconceptions about PBGVs, emphasizing their athletic build and suitability for sports like Agility. Despite their unique appearance, PBGVs are agile and well-suited for agility competitions due to their characteristics.

Spice Up Your Life

Spice, owned by Esherick and her husband David, is an accomplished agility competitor among PBGVs. With a string of titles to her name, Spice displays her versatility not just in Agility but also in hunt tests and as a therapy dog. Earning various titles, Spice stands out as a remarkable representative of her breed.

Woman and dog at agility competition
Megan Esherick
Spice and Megan after an agility win

Spice’s participation in national agility events not only showcases her skills but also introduces more people to the PBGV breed and its capabilities. Despite not aiming for top speeds, Spice’s presence adds value by representing her breed in the agility world.

Dwindling Numbers

Esherick emphasizes the importance of breeding and preserving the PBGV breed, given its declining popularity and the need for new breeders. By showcasing the breed in agility competitions, Esherick hopes to attract more interest and awareness towards PBGVs and their unique qualities.

Close up of a Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen
Megan Esherick
Spice is Megan’s most decorated agility dog

Through Spice’s agility journey, Esherick aims to educate and acquaint more people with the PBGV breed, its capabilities, and the need for continued preservation and breeding efforts.


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Spice the PBGV Advocates for Hounds at AKC National Agility Championship

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