Scottish terrier Pickles brings two titles home to Cumberland

Published 8:17 pm Friday, December 8, 2023

Cumberland’s favorite Scottish Terrier, Pickles, recently earned two achievements with the American Kennel Club (AKC), recognizing a lifetime of hard work. 

Pickles and her owner Pat Speas live in Cumberland County where they stay busy. Pickles is a Wheaten Scottish Terrier who has competed for the past seven years in various agility competitions with the AKC. She’s competed at Westminster five times, at nationals and invitationals. Due to both their hard work and skill, Pickles was the first Wheaten Scottish Terrier to earn the title of Agility Grand Champion.

“It’s bittersweet,” said Speas. “I still can’t believe it, it was a long haul to get here. Pickles is a good dog and words can’t describe it. I’m on cloud nine.”

About the award 

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This title is referred to by the AKC as a recognition of a lifetime of excellence. She earned her title while competing at the Montgomery Terrier Agility Cluster in Palmyra, Pennsylvania in October. To earn this title, Pickles had to check off a list of qualifications. She had to earn 100 qualifying scores from each class of Master Standard and Master Jumper with Weaves, 75 qualifying scores for Master Fast and Time 2 Beat and 50 qualifying scores from each class for Premier Standard and Premier Jumper with Weaves.

According to Speas, she never even thought about having Pickles go for this achievement as there is a lot of work and skill that goes into earning it. After someone mentioned that Pickles could do it, Speas decided they could give it a try. 

“She can do four to five runs a day when most only do two,” said Speas. “To earn this you have to have both endurance and skill.”

Pickles and Speas trained and took classes at All Dog Adventures, Level Up and the SPCA. Now that Pickles knows what she’s doing they do their runs in the backyard.


Pickles took High in trial for Scottish Terriers at the Montgomery Terrier Cluster in Palmyra, Pennsylvania.


Recognized for service 

Along with her agility skills, Pickles was recognized for her service as an AKC Therapy Dog​​. She completed her 600th visit earning her the AKC Therapy Dog Supreme title, which is the highest title to earn. With Speas who is a therapy dog tester/evaluator and a canine good citizenship evaluator, they both like to spend their Sundays visiting Heritage Hall Nursing Home in Dillwyn and occasionally visiting St. Francis Hospital in Midlothian.

Next up is the 18th AKC Agility Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 16 and Sunday, Dec. 17 in Orlando, Florida as Pickles represents Scottish Terriers.