main

Breeds 101

Brittany

Brittany-640x352.jpg

Rough-and-ready in appearance, the Brittany makes a trustworthy reliable and obedient companion.

The name “Brittany” is taken from the Brittany region in northwestern France where the dog originated around 1900.

The Brittany may have been the result of crosses between native Brittany Spaniels and English pointing dogs.

Originally called the Brittany Spaniel, the “Spaniel” was dropped in 1982 because the breed’s hunting style is more like a Setter than a Spaniel.

The Brittany was first recognized as a breed in 1907 when an orange and white male named “Boy” was registered in France. As a result, the first standards were outlined in the same year.

America recognized the Brittany in 1931 and the breed was approved by the American Kennel Club in 1934.

The most popular native breed in France and companion of hunters in Canada and the United States, the Brittany is a superb, medium-sized dog.

An excellent setting and flushing gundog, the breed is often assumed to be a spaniel, much to the chagrin of its admirers, because in many countries it still carries that appellation.

It may be a spaniel in size, but in function it is a classic pointer, probably the world’s only stumpy-tailed pointer.

Size:
Brittanys are medium-sized dogs, with American lines (17.5–20.5 inches (44–52 cm)) tending to be larger and have a blockier head than French (17–20.5 inches (43–52 cm)), and females at the lower end.
A properly constructed and healthy Brittany maintains a weight between 30–45 pounds (14–20 kg), depending upon height

Color:
The breed’s coat color is varied: orange and white coat or liver and white are most common in the American Brittany; other colors include orange roan and liver roan, all of which are acceptable in the show ring.

Temperament:
Alert, quick, and curious; loves to run and play.
The Brittany was originally bred as a hunting dog and noted for being easy to train and sweet-natured. The breed is generally more sensitive to correction than other hunters, and harsh corrections are often unnecessary. Brittanys can become very shy if not thoroughly socialized at a young age, and even among well-socialized dogs there is significant variation in levels of friendliness. When well socialized, Brittanys are all around sound dogs, excelling as companions, family pets, field dogs. Eager to please and friendly, they generally learn quickly and are loyal and attached to their owners.

Energy level: High.
They are energetic and need at least an hour of vigorous exercise every day, with many needing more than this. Some animals will be over-active or hyper-sensitive, but these problems are almost invariably due to lack of exercise and training, and are not characteristics of well cared-for dogs.

Best owner:
Hunter, an active family in a suburban or rural home.
A good house pet if given mental and physical exercise.

Needs:
Abundant and daily exercise (runs, obedience), fenced yard, regular brushing once or twice a week.

Life expectancy: 12 to 13 years.