- Good for the novice dog owner
- Good with children
- Good with other animals
- Medium size
- High exercise need
- Medium shedding
- Low watchdog abilities
- High ease of training
Brittany Spaniels originate from the province of Brittany in North-western France. They were developed during the 18th century by French Huntsman from the crossing of Land Spaniels and English Setters. The result was a dog that had far more Pointer traits than Setter or Spaniel. Brittany Spaniels first gained breed recognition in France in 1907. It was not only 1934 that they were given official recognition in the American Kennel Club. The Breed's name was officially changed in 1982; they went from being called the "Brittany Spaniel", to simply the "Brittany". Brittany's are the smallest of the gun dogs. They point and retrieve on both land and water.
Brittanys are extremely jovial and good natured dogs. They are playful, frisky and fun loving. Brittanys get along wonderfully with children of all ages and with other animals, making them an excellent choice for an active family. Aside from their exercise requirements, they are low maintenance dogs. They are highly intelligent and easy to train. They are not dogs that require extensive training to be well mannered, making them excellent for the novice dog owner. They require a fair amount of regular exercise and those that do not get it are prone to hyperactivity and destructive behaviour. Brittanys are hunting dogs and require at least an hour or so of exercise daily, preferably with some free running and playing included.
Brittanys are quiet well mannered dogs that are very friendly with most everyone they meet. They are far too friendly to be counted as a good guard dog. They will however, bark at anything that is suspicious. Brittanys are best suited for the country or at least the city home with a large backyard, but are adaptable enough to adjust to apartment living if given adequate exercise. Brittanys are loyal affectionate dogs that add a lot of good humour and joy to a family. Like all hunting dogs, Brittanys tend to have a bit of an independent streak, but it is not enough to cause any real trouble. Some Brittanys can be shy and timid, so socialization from an early age with different places, situation and people is very important.
Not only do Brittanys make fantastic hunting companions, they also do well as in many of the organized dog sports and trials. Brittanys usually enjoy participating in obedience and agility work, conformation trials, hunting and tracking trials, scent hurdles and flyball. They also make excellent bicycling, jogging and rollerblading companions.
Brittanys are medium sized athletic dogs. They measure 17.5 -20.5 inches at their withers and weigh 30-40 pounds. They are available in liver and white, tricolour or orange and white. Most Brittanys are born tailless, the few who are not usually have their tails docked to 4 inches long. The docking of the tail is not done for cosmetic reasons, but to help prevent injury during hunting. Their grooming requirements are minimal, only needing a quick brushing once or twice a week.
Brittanys are a healthy breed, only prone to a few serious health issues. They are susceptible to epilepsy, hypothyroidism, seizures and hip dysplasia. Perspective owners should buy from a breeder who offers puppies from OFA certified parents. Brittanys do well in almost all weather conditions, cold, damp or heat. Their average life span is 12-14 years.