Description: The Brittany (or Brittany Spaniel) is a compact, closely knit dog of medium size, and leggy in appearance. They are strong, vigorous, energetic and have quick movement. Brittanys can be tricolor, black and white or liver and white. They have short drop ears that are high on the head, and have medium length hair with has splotches of color on the body and face. Sometimes they have freckles. Brittany Spaniels can be born with or without tails, or with naturally docked tails. The appropriate length for the tail according to the AKC is four inches. The Brittany's first love is birds, then people. Brittany Spaniels make excellent pointing birds dog because of their keen sense of smell. They are the only spaniel that points to game, thus making them the most popular breed for pointing field trials. Their ability to point and obey is unmatched. Brittanys, or Epagneul Bretons, do try to please their masters and are excellent at obedience. They are agreeable with children and other pets, but should not be rough-housed with, as they can become too excited around some children. They make excellent search dogs, originally bred for searching out woodcock in the regions of France. Their temperament is quite mild and obedient. Colorful in body and spirit, the Brittany makes an awesome hunter and companion.
Other Names: Epagneul Breton, Brittany Spaniel
Type: Gun Dog
Height: 17.5 - 20.5 inches.
Weight: 28 - 40 lbs.
Colors: Orange and white, liver and white, tri-colored, or black and white. They have roan patterns, with splotches of color on the face, ears, and back. They usually have a blaze up the front of their face, and white legs and feet. Although clear colors are preferred, ticking is also probable. Their noses are never black, only pink, dark pink, orange or brown.
Coat: Dense, flat and wavy coat. It is never curly, but may have some feathering on the legs.
Temperament: Brittany Spaniels are loyal, obedient, friendly, highly intelligent, active. They are very energetic and love to do a job. They are very apt to pleasing their owners, and enjoy a good run. They are good-natured, lively and trainable. They tend to be very obedient and love the outdoors. They need gentle training, not harsh deterrence training.
With Children: Yes, pleasant with children. Although care should be taken as to keeping their energy level toned down, they may become too excited for young children.
With Pets: Yes, pleasant with other pets. Brittanys are mostly friendly to all.
Watch-dog: High. They have a keen sense of smell and sight, pointing towards the catch. Therefore they would be good watchdogs.
Guard-dog: Low. They are mostly friendly, and would probably not be good for guarding.
Care and Training: Brittanys don't need a lot of grooming. The Brittany Spaniel needs minimal trimming of their hocks and feet. Grooming twice a week is sufficient. Regular nail care is necessary, but minimal. Brushing their coat daily will help keep it clean. Brittany Spaniels need regular exercise or they may become restless. They will benefits from training with a firm but gentle hand.
Special Needs: Exercise, a job or activity, and training.
Learning Rate: Very High. Obedience - High. Brittanys love to please and are excellent at obedience. Problem Solving - High.
Activity: Very High
Living Environment: Prefers a home with a back yard, needs plenty of exercise and an active owner who prefers a high energy dog. Brittany Spaniels can adapt to to apartment living since they are fairly small dogs, but do best in the country with a job to do. They are usually a one person dog, but they can adjust to a family. They may get too excited around young children, though. The best owner for the Brittany Spaniel would be an active owner in a rural or suburban home, such as a hunter or an outdoorsy person.
Health Issues: Brittanys are relatively healthy dogs. Possible health concerns include hip dysplasia, PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy), skin problems by allergies, heart defects and epilepsy. If the dog is poorly bred it may result in temperament problems, such as nervousness or anxiety.
Life Span: 12 - 14 years.
Litter Size: 6 - 10 puppies.
Country of Origin: France
History: It is possible that Brittany Spaniels may date back as far back as 150 A.D. More accurately they can be found in French and Dutch paintings and tapestries from the 17th century. The Brittany Spaniel is said to have come from France in the province of Brittany. The breed resembles the Irish Red and White Setter, as well as other spaniels. In the mid-1800s, French sportsmen bred the English Setters with small native spaniels and received the Brittany, with a great nose and a stubbed tail. They became popular with the French gentry as well as poachers because of their strong ability to point and find. Initially the naturally docked tail was considered superior to a Brittany born with a tail, but soon hunters accepted any, as long as the tails were docked after they were born. Around the beginning of this century, the Brittany was waning in population. Arthur Enaud decided to recreate this breed and bring it back up to par with other breeds, therefore creating a planned breeding program in which the breed could be restored again. They were first exhibited to France in 1907 with a breed standard, but then it was revised in 1908. The Brittany made its way to the United States around 1925. At first hunters did not accept the breed, but with time the Brittany grew on them. Now they are the most popular dog of the pointing field trials.
First Registered by the AKC: 1934
AKC Group: Sporting Group
Class: Gun Dog
Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 7), KC (GB), UKC