When it comes to elegant, powerful hunting dogs in the medium build range, there is nothing quite like a Brittany. These gorgeous dogs are built for life in the woods from their medium weight and high energy to their amazing stamina. These dogs are compact for their height and have a graceful long leg appearance. Many people are surprised by their appearance, thinking a hunting dog would need to be heavier. Nothing could be further from the truth in terms of size. These dogs can keep up with any other breed of hunting dog out there.
Even the skin on these gorgeous dogs is adapted to life spent hunting. On the face and the rest of the body, these dogs have loose, movable skin. The advantage to this feature is that twigs, thorns, and sticks can’t stick in their skin as easily and create injuries. They are almost impervious to that type of injury in the field.
An avid hunter would not be too worried about the smaller stature of the Brittany compared to other breeds, especially when you consider that these dogs are much simpler to move around from place to place.
The Brittany also makes a great family pet. Brittanies can get along with almost any other type of animal, cats included.
The Brittany has a dense coat with either a straight or wavy texture. It is considered to be a single coated dog. Most people refer to the coat’s texture as a cross between soft and wiry.
For the record, black Brittany dogs are never accepted by the various kennels. However, dogs with white, orange, and liver coloring or any pattern containing those colors is considered to be acceptable.
The Brittany (also known as the ‘American Brittany’, ‘Brittany Spaniel’, and ‘Epagneul Breton’) originated in the Brittany province of France in the 1800’s from crosses of the English Setter and small Spaniels. Brittanies are skilled bird hunters with excellent scenting abilities. The Brittany’s pointing and retrieving skills and high level of obedience made it popular among hunters. They have also made a name for themselves in the trial and show circuit.
Brittanies were first imported to North America in the 1920’s and recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1934 (the registered name was changed from ‘Brittany Spaniel’ to ‘Brittany’ in 1982, out of recognition of its more ‘setter’-like hunting style), but took a while to catch on popularity due to the absence of a long tail. The Brittany has slowly risen in popularity due to its small size, easygoing personality, and excellent hunting skills. Today, the Brittany is the most popular pointer in field trials.
Just because the Brittany is a hunting dog, don’t think it does not have a charming disposition. These dogs are incredibly intelligent and very sweet to their owners. They are also known for being very obedient when properly trained. The Brittany has one goal in life and that is to please their owner or family. This is a great dog to have in a house full of kids as they are very patient and easy to take care of. The Brittany dog is known for having a consistently pleasant nature. A new owner won’t have to worry about moodiness or other problems.
It is important to note that the Brittany needs to be socialized at a young age. If they are not taught how to be around other dogs and people early, they are prone to developing issues like overwhelming fearfulness and anxiety.
Another thing to keep in mind, if a person or family isn’t going to able to give their pet a lot of attention, deciding on another breed really would be best
Like most species of hunting dogs, the Brittany is pretty hardy as long as they are well cared for. Even the healthiest dogs may have problems with their eyes, like glaucoma. Joint problems like spinal paralysis affecting the hind quarters and hip dysplasia are possible as well. Overall though, these dogs are very healthy additions to any home or kennel.
Taking care of the Brittany dog is pretty simple. They don’t need a bunch of maintenance. You will need to wash their coats about once a month and twice weekly brushing is highly recommended. If you are planning to use your dog for show, it may be necessary to have the vet or a professional take care of the in depth grooming for you.
You may have noticed that the Brittany is described as very energetic. As you can imagine, that means these dogs have to be kept entertained. This dog is the perfect companion for just about any activity you want to engage in. Biking, hiking, running and swimming are ideal for these energy filled dogs. Of course the dog does not actually bike, but he or she will be able to keep up with you if you do.
Training the Brittany can be a joy. Again, they are highly intelligent dogs and they are very eager to learn and please. Only one thing at a time should be taught to your Brittany or you risk the chance of confusing him/her. Once they get a command down pat, they will not forget it. Be patient with your Brittany and you will have one of the best dogs you will ever own.