The Brittany is a medium-sized, strong, and agile dog with a flat or wavy coat. The coat is short and dense, never curly, and not silky or wiry. There may be some fringe on the ears. These dogs are orange and white, or liver and white, and come in roan or clear patterns. Some ticking may be present. Brittanys are leggy dogs with dark-colored eyes and short, triangular ears. They measure 17.5 to 20.5 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh 30 to 45 pounds. These dogs live 12 years or more with proper care.
Brittanys have very strong hunting instincts. They must be kept on a leash or in a securely fenced yard to keep them from chasing after every squirrel or other animal they see.
Brittanys are energetic, intelligent, and quick animals. They need at least an hour of physical activity every day or they will become unhappy and destructive. When given lots of love and attention, these are friendly and happy dogs. They do well in most homes, provided they are well cared for and loved.
The Brittany breed has claimed more Dual Championships than all other sporting breeds combined. This is proof of their superior talents.
Brittanys are happy, alert, and intelligent dogs that are not normally shy, aggressive, or mean. They get along with everyone, including children and other dogs, and they are always on the lookout for fun and adventure. These gentle, charming, and adaptable animals make excellent companions.
This personable breed quickly wins over everyone it meets. Brittanys are very personable and have a natural talent for making friends. They are lively and playful dogs, and they love activity and going jogging with human family members. Brittanys are also fond of dog sports, such as flyball, agility, and obedience. They also enjoy hiking and playing fetch.
Although they have an independent nature, these dogs need to live inside with their family. They should not be left alone for prolonged periods, and they are not suited for life outdoors. These dogs are very sensitive and will become withdrawn, depressed, and possibly even destructive if ignored or neglected.
Brittanys are a very healthy breed. However, this does not guarantee that any individual dog will be healthy throughout life. Because of the time they spend in the field and outdoors in general, Brittanys are at risk for lacerations, broken bones, ligament tears, and toe injuries. Most of these are easily treatable by a veterinarian.
These dogs are more prone to certain health conditions than some other breeds. Hypothyoidism, hip dysplasia, cataracts, epilepsy, and spinal paralysis are all known to affect Brittanys. Additionally, these dogs are prone to lip fold pyoderma, which is a type of chronic, moist dermatitis that causes odor, inflammation, and pain in the oral region.
With proper nutrition, regular physical activity, routine veterinary examinations, and standard vaccinations, Brittanys live a full and active life of 12 or more years.
Brittanys are intelligent dogs that learn commands quickly and perform them well. They are very eager to please and easy to train, although they don't always need training. In general, this breed is well behaved, responsive, and is willing to do whatever their human family asks of them.
Sometimes, however, Brittanys may act out. This is especially true if they feel ignored or neglected. These dogs are known to chew furniture legs, dig up gardens, shred paper and fabrics, and otherwise become destructive if allowed to become bored or if left alone for long periods. Ideally, any family that adopts or purchases a Brittany is one that spends a lot of time at home and is open to heaping plenty of attention and praise on their furry friend.
Brittanys have very strong hunting instincts. They must be kept on a leash or in a securely fenced yard to keep them from chasing after every squirrel or other animal they see. Training can help reduce leash pulling and escape attempts, but it will not minimize the natural hunting instinct of these dogs.
One great thing about the Brittany breed is that these dogs require very little grooming. Brushing once or twice weekly is sufficient. These dogs shed moderately, and brushing more often will keep loose hair off furniture, floors, and clothing.
Brittanys only need bathing when their coat becomes sticky or soiled with something potentially harmful. It's important to use a gentle, canine shampoo to prevent skin irritation and dryness. The ears should be cleaned regular to remove accumulated wax, dirt, and other debris. The ears should also be checked about once each week for signs of infection, such as odor, redness, and discharge.
The nails should be trimmed every couple of weeks to reduce their length and prevent snagging, and the teeth should be brushed daily, or as often as possible. Dental treats and drinking water additives are available to improve dental hygiene and protect against tooth decay and gum disease between brushings.
This breed was named for the French province where it was developed, but few records exist about its origin. Some speculate the Brittany shares common ancestors with the Welsh Springer Spaniel because the two breeds appear very similar.
Around 1900, Brittany dogs mated with English pointing dogs. This increased the Brittany's hunting prowess. This breed's popularity has increased significantly over the last 50 years, likely due to its superior hunting ability and talent as a show dog.
This breed is also becoming increasingly popular as a companion animal with singles and families. They are beloved for their intelligent and enjoyment of activity.
The American Kennel Club officially recognized the Brittany in 1934.