THE BRITTANY

The Brittany, also known as the Brittany Spaniel, first originated in Brittany, France during the mid-nineteenth century. This breed was a cross of French Spaniels and English Setters, hence their wonderful gentle temperament.

Brief History

This breed was developed by French hunters in Brittany, France. At the time, medieval poachers and peasants wanted an all-purpose dog breed. It became popular in the U.S during the 1930’s and today is considered one of the most sought-after hunting dogs.

This breed was registered with the AKC in 1934 as a Brittany Spaniel and is still known in France under that name. However, during the 20th century, the British and French lines merged. This led to the Brittany’s in the U.S working game by pointing like a Setter. This breed also stands higher on its legs than the Spaniel. In 1982, the AKC shortened the Brittany Spaniel’s name to the Brittany. Today they are one of the most popular field dog breeds in the U.S.

the brittany dog breed

Physical Features

The Brittany is an athletic and compact medium-sized breed. They have short, high-set triangular drop ears with a fawn, tan, brown, or deep pink nose. With dark, deep-set affectionate eyes, this breed can be tailless or have a docked tail to about 4 inches.

The Brittany is an agile breed that can cover lots of ground. They are strong, fast, friendly and intelligent. Their coats are flat, wavy or dense with neither a wiry or silky feel. Front and hind legs have feathering with skin that is fine and slightly loose. Coat color ranges from orange and white to black and white.

Average Height:

17.5-20.5 inches

Average Weight:

30-40 pounds

Life Expectancy:

12-14 years

Temperament

This is a good-natured dog breed. This dog is gentle, good-natured, active and fun to be around. They are easily trainable and love dog sports that involve agility like flyball and dock diving.

The Brittany makes for a wonderful active and outdoor family dog. They are gentle companions and are great with children. That said, a well-socialized and positively-trained Brittany does best in homes with large backyards and plenty of space to run off-leash. Pet parents need to keep in mind that this breed needs plenty of exercise and should participate in organized canine sporting activities when possible.

Special Needs

This good-natured dog needs plenty of exercise and a job to do. Positive dog training and canine sports are a must to keep this wonderful breed happy and healthy! The Brittany was bred to hunt, so long hikes in the woods are ideal. On-leash daily runs with pet parents will also satisfy the healthy and active lifestyle they crave. Unfortunately, apartment living is not preferable!

Possible Health Concerns

  • Ear Infections – These take place when yeast or bacteria levels in the ear get out of proportion. A dog’s outer ear is most likely to get infected due to exposure to dirt, sweat and possibly foreign objects. Brittany’s are prone to ear infections because of moisture retained in the ear from swimming. Ears should be checked and dried daily.
  • Retinal Detachment – This occurs when the retina becomes detached and is separated from the back of the eye. Part of the blood supply to the eye is also restricted and the eye is prevented from functioning properly. In the Brittany, retinal disorders are hereditary and presented at birth.
  • Hip Dysplasia This is an abnormal development of the hip joint in large dog breeds. It is generally characterized by a loose joint which leads to degenerative joint disease. Excessive growth, types of exercise, nutritional and hereditary factors all come in to play with hip dysplasia.

Exercise

The Brittany needs plenty of regular exercise. This breed is not only intelligent, but also active. Pet parents need to organize stimulating hikes, trips to the dog beach or dog park, dog training classes, agility classes, and other mentally stimulating activities for their furry family member.

Positive puppy training classes should commence during puppyhood so that socialization begins early.

Nutrition

Pet parents should never underestimate the importance of a well-balanced diet.

Assess your dog’s activity level, age, breed, and any medical conditions that they may be prone to. Consulting with your veterinarian about the best high-quality food options will help to give your Brittany a longer and healthier life.

Grooming

The Brittany has a short flat or wavy coat and does not require heavy grooming. As with all breeds, daily grooming with a soft brush or hound glove is necessary. They may need some light clipping done around the neck and head for showing purposes. Daily toothbrushing, ear cleaning, and regular nail trimming are a must.

This dog is best suited to active and outdoorsy pet parents.

The breed does well in both rural and suburban environments and thrives with jobs. The Brittany does not do well being left alone at home all day. This breed is affectionate and loves to be around people. That means family outings too. Plenty of trips to the dog park and exploring.

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