Brittany is a purebred dog that was initially bred as a gundog. They are highly energetic dogs and are known for their sportsmanship. They are versatile, stylish, tireless, and always eager to please their humans. Interestingly, they got the name after the place Brittany, France, where they originated. They were also called Brittany Spaniels, but the AKC dropped the word “Spaniel” in 1982.
Brittanys are happy, elegant dogs described as hyperactive but make perfect family companions. The Atlantic sportspeople adore Brittany as stylish and elegant. They are bright, happy at home, tireless outside, and are people’s favorite. They require a lot of exercises and are always full of energy excelling in canine games like obedience, agility, flyball, dock diving, and other competitions. Their bold and beautifully patterned coats combined with white, orange, and liver colors enhance their beauty. They are enthusiastic and peerless hunters. Brittany is an all-rounder dog for those who want a hunter, a partner, a sports teammate, and a companion to live.
Brittany Pros and Cons
|Active and alert||Hyperactive|
|Eager to please||Separation anxiety|
|Easy to groom||Sensitive|
Brittany Basic Information
- Name: Brittany
- Origin: Brittany, France
- Group: Sporting Group
- Size: Medium
- Height: 17.5-20.5 inches
- Weight: 30-40 pounds
- Coat: Medium length, flowy
- Color: Orange and white, liver and white, black an white, tricolor, orange roan, liver roan, black roan
- Energy: High
- Activities: Agility, obedience, flyball, dock diving
- Shedding Level: Medium
- Hypoallergenic: No
- Litter Size: 1-11 puppies
- Other Names: Brittany Spaniels, Brittany Wiegref, Epahneul Breton, French Brittany
- Original Passtime: Hunting dogs
- Life Span: 12-16 years
History of Brittany
Brittany takes the name after an independent kingdom located northwest of France. The kingdom of Brittany lies across the English Channel from Wales. For many centuries the trade between the two countries was flourishing, which very well included dogs. The first records of the Brittany breed dogs are seen in the 17th century paintings. The modern Brittanys were found in a small town in Brittany around the mid-1800s.
It is said that Brittanys were the result of crossbreeding and grew famous for their hunting abilities, speed, agility, and willingness to take direction. With dog shows getting famous in Britain, Brittanys excelled in the ring shows and was recognized as a breed in 1907 in France.
The first Brittany was an orange and white dog named “Boy.” Eventually, the dog reached the United States and gained immense popularity. The AKC recognized the first Brittany in 1934. The American Brittany Club was formed in 1942 and rewrote the French standards. However, Brittany ranks 31 among the 155 dog breeds recognized by the AKC.
- Brittanys are highly energetic and require lots of exercise. Lack of exercise may cause the dog to be destructive and neurotic.
- They are intelligent and need mental and physical stimulation equally.
- They respond to gentle treatment, praise, and hugs.
- Brittany loves to be around people and suffers from separation anxiety when left alone.
- The standards of the Brittany breed were outlined in 1907.
Brittanys are medium-sized dogs that grow up to 17.5-20.5 inches, and weigh about 30-40 pounds. They are compact, muscular, powerful, and have great endurance and speed. The coat is dense, flat, or wavy and never curly. They are not hypoallergenic; the coat colors include orange and white, liver and white, black and white, tricolor, orange roan, liver roan, and black roan. The eyes are almond-shaped, with exciting expressions. The ears are floppy, with a short bobbed tail and featherings appearing around the ears and legs. They have an elegant, rugged appearance characterized by strength, vigor, and energy.
|Good for apartment living||Low|
|Good for new owners||Medium|
|Tolerates being alone||Low|
Brittany Physical Features
Head: The eyes look alert and eager with a soft expression and are well set in the head. The ears are floppy and set high. The skull is medium-length, round, and wedge-shaped with a medium-length muzzle. The nose is solid black, and the teeth are white and well-developed.
Neck: The neck is well-muscled, dry, and well-arched. The length is proportionate to the head and the body.
Topline: The chest is broad with a well-defined forechest.
Body: The body is compactly built with a well-developed chest. The loins are well-muscled. Hips are well-defined and proportionate to the body.
Tail: The tail is short and bobbed.
Forequarters: The shoulders are muscular, sloping forward. The forelegs are strong and muscled. The feet are well-arched and compact.
Hindquarters: The rear legs are broad and heavily muscled. Dewclaws on the hind legs are undesirable and can be removed.
Coat: The coat is not hypoallergenic, has dense, flat, or wavy hair, and is never curly, wiry, or silky.
Color: The coat colors include orange and white, liver and white, black and white, tricolor, orange roan, liver roan, and black roan.
Gait: Gait is steady and agile. Well-balanced with good reach and strong drive.
Disqualifications (AKC Standards)
- Measuring under 17½ inches or over 20½ inches.
- A black nose.
- Black in the coat.
Brittanys are happy and energetic gun dogs that are also perceived as hyperactive and friendly. They are sportive and excel in any canine game, especially in field trials and conformation shows. They are highly enthusiastic and love to play with children. Due to their high energy, they need plenty of exercise. Lack of exercise leads them to be destructive and bark excessively. Brittanys are good-natured dogs and get along with other pets and dogs. They are affectionate, love to be around humans, and make perfect family dogs. Their overall temperament includes:
Brittanys are intelligent, lively, and learn and respond quickly, thus making training more accessible. Like any other dog, they need early socialization and puppy training classes. The activity requires patience and consistency during the period. They are sensitive to any adverse reactions and need positive reinforcement while training. They love being around people, and treats and cuddling do wonders while training.
Brittanys are active and look forward to the training sessions, playing fetch, which helps in training regarding behavioral corrections. They do not respond to harsh commands, and lots of praise, cuddles, and treats work wonders during the training. Obedience training and socialization help with behavioral correction and bring out the best in any dog. They can be easily trained in field trials, obedience, agility, and flyball. Their training can include the following:
- Early Socialization
- Crate Training
- Positive Reinforcement
- Teach bite inhibition
- Walk with a harness
- Leash Training
- Obedience training
- Potty training
|Easy to train||High|
|Barking and Howling tendencies||Medium|
Brittany Exercise Needs
Brittanys were bred to hunt and are highly energetic requiring ample exercise. A daily exercise routine of two hours is ideal for keeping the dog’s mental and physical stimulation intact. Walking 2-3 times a day with a bit of running and play keeps the dog happy and healthy. They are good at activities like agility and all canine games. In addition, they enjoy running, walking, hiking, and playing in the pool and indoor games. A proper exercise routine helps the dog with the following benefits:
- Social interaction
- Weight control
- Stress relief
- Behavioral corrections like excessive chewing, persistent barking
- Brain stimulation
- Strengthening muscles
- Routine toileting
- Mental health and happiness
Exercise Needs Overview
|Intensity||High to medium|
Brittanys are medium-sized dogs and are not heavily coated. Therefore, they don’t shed a lot and can be easily groomed. However, you must brush the coat 2-3 times per week. In addition, they may need extra brushing during their shedding season.
Brushing helps remove matted hair, pull out the loose fur during shedding, and keeps the fur from knots and tangles. One of the essential parts of grooming is bathing which keeps the dog clean. However, frequent bathing causes dry skin and itches. Instead, bathe your dog using pH-balanced shampoos. Pet wipes keep your dog’s coat fresh, clean, and shiny. You can also wash them once a week.
Brittanys are prone to collect ear wax quickly. Hence, ears should be cleaned and regularly checked as they are prone to ear problems. Brush their teeth daily to prevent plaque and other dental problems. Never brush their teeth with a stiff brush, as it will harm the gums and teeth. Also, make sure to use dog-friendly toothpaste.
Also, clean Brittany’s eyes and trim their nails as a part of everyday grooming needs. Check their toenails weekly, as long nails may harm and injure the dog. You can cut the toenails with a commercial dog nail trimmer or with the help of a vet or professional groomer.
|Easy to groom||High|
|Amount of shedding||Low|
Brittany is a healthy and active dog. Yet, it’s always wise to be aware of their health conditions.
|Weight gain tendencies||Medium|
Hip Dysplasia: Hip dysplasia is outwardly a painful disease that occurs when the bones of the back legs do not fit properly in the joints. While some dogs exhibit symptoms, the majority of canines will not. Hip dysplasia is primarily genetic, although other causes, such as accidents, excessive weight gain, and inappropriate training, can also cause it. Even though this disease is fatal, therapies range from medicine to hip replacement surgery. This condition causes defects or damage to the hip bones and joints and worsens without treatment. To avoid this problem, avoid breeding dogs with hip dysplasia parentage and get annual examinations.
Other Causes of Hip Dysplasia:
- Excessive weight gain
- Wrong exercises
Symptoms of hip dysplasia in dogs include:
- Reduced activity and movements
- Reluctance to rise, jump, run, or climb
- Lameness in the hind limbs
- Reducing thigh muscle mass
- Swaying, “bunny hopping” gait
- Grating in the joint during movement
Epilepsy: This is the most prevalent neurological disease in canines, concerning about 0.75 percent of the population. Epilepsy is a broad name for disorders characterized by repeated, uncontrollable seizures caused by a brain defect.
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which a dog’s metabolism is slowed due to the lack of thyroid hormone production. Symptoms are:
- Gaining weight
- Reluctance to work out
- Hair Loss
Cataract: As in humans, canine cataracts are characterized by cloudy spots on the eye lens that can grow gradually. Cataracts may develop at any age and often don’t damage vision, although in some cases cause vision loss. A board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist certifies the breeding dogs after testing them free of hereditary eye disease before breeding. Usually, you can remove cataracts surgically with good results.
Cancer can be cured by surgical removal of tumors and chemotherapy. However, it is essential not to ignore the symptoms and diagnose them earlier. Various cancer types affecting your pet are:
- Lymphoma: A severe illness that affects lymphocyte cells.
- Hemangiosarcoma: This is a hazardous form of cancer that originates in the lining of blood vessels and the spleen. It most commonly happens in middle-aged and elderly dogs.
- Osteosarcoma: Osteosarcoma is a malignant bone cancer common in large and giant breeds.
Spay or Neuter: In spay, the ovaries or uterus in female dogs is removed, and in neuter, the testicles of the male dogs are removed. It is done to eliminate the possibility of pregnancy or fathering unwanted puppies and decrease the likelihood of certain types of cancer.
Recommended Tests for Brittany
- CT Scan
- Eye Examination
- Physical Examination
- Blood Work
- Hip Evaluation
- Vet-certified proof of genetic testing
Brittany Diet and Nutrition
Brittany needs a large quantity of high-quality food, and they should eat 1.5 to 2 cups of meals every day. Each puppy is distinctive, and the correct amount and quality of food depend on age, weight, activity level, health, and more. You can split the meals into two 2 cups daily.
Brittany is prone to obesity, and hence overfeeding must be avoided. You can give them dry food. Ensure the diet contains omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, chondroitin, glucosamine, fruits, and vegetables that provide carbohydrate and energy. Never hesitate to consult a vet to meet your pup’s dietary requirements to keep them happy and healthy.
Brittany Living Condition
Brittany is friendly, affectionate, and loves to be around their humans. They are not apartment-friendly and need sufficient space or homes with bigger yards. They love outdoor activities like walking, running, playing, hunting, and visiting dog parks. When allowed in a backyard, the place should be adequately fenced.
Brittanys are kind and playful with kids, yet should never be left alone with children without supervision. They are good-natured and get along with other dogs and pets. However, they are susceptible to anxiety when left alone for an extended period. Brittany can tolerate cold and hot weather conditions. They thrive on companionship, playtime, training, praise, and cuddles.
Brittany Club Recognition
- American Kennel Club (AKC)
- The American Brittany Club, Inc. (ABC)
Did You Know?
- Brittany is still referred to as l’épagneul Breton or Brittany Spaniel in France.
- As America’s most famous field dogs, Brittanys have achieved the AKC’s “Dual Champion” title by excelling in the ring shows and proving their efficiency as gundogs.
- Brittanys are bred as stylish bird-hunting dogs.
Adding Brittany to Your Family
Things to remember before adding Brittany to your family
Getting a Brittany from a reputable breeder is best to prevent unavoidable circumstances like health disorders and provide you with vaccination certificates. It is best to check with the puppy’s parents to ensure his health and happiness. Always remember the following red flags to avoid backyard breeders and puppy mills.
- Puppies are available around the year.
- We recommend you visit the puppy and his parents and get health clearance and vaccination certificates, to avoid purchasing a weaker puppy.
Cost of a Brittany Puppy
Brittany’s price ranges from $500 to $1500.
- National Brittany Rescue and Adoption Network (NBRAN)
- American Brittany Rescue
- Independent Brittany Rescue and Rehabilitation