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Breed Notes

The Brittany is a hunting dog from the Brittany region of France. He has a spaniel's ability to retrieve from land or water but is also very setter-like in that he is the only spaniel-type to also point his game. It is this characteristic that has caused the American Kennel Club to drop the term Spaniel from his name and refer to him only as a Brittany since 1982. He is still refereed to as a Brittany Spaniel in Great Britain. He was imported to America in 1931 and officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1934.
The Brittany is popular as a shooting dog who hunts beyond gun range and has a superb nose. These characteristics have great appeal to bird hunters. He is agile, light of bone and quick of movement. He is also rugged without being clumsy. He is trustworthy, reliable and an obedient companion. He is good with children and an excellent house dog but does need plenty of exercise. His great desire to please precludes that he should not be harshly trained.
The skull of the Brittany is of medium length, rounded and slightly wedge shaped. There is a well defined drop (called the stop) between the skull and muzzle. The muzzle is approximately two-thirds the length of the skull. The eyes, preferably dark, are well set into the head with heavy eyebrows to protect from briars. Ears are set high, above the level of the eyes and hang flat against the head with slightly rounded tips. They are well covered with dense but relatively short hair and little fringe. The bite is scissors. The neck is of medium length. The back is straight and of the same length as height, giving the dog a leggy look. The chest is deep, reaching to the elbow. The tail is no longer than four inches, either naturally or docked. The legs are neither too fine boned nor too heavy boned. The movement should be smooth, efficient and ground covering. Coat hair is dense, flat or wavy. It must not be silky. Acceptable coat colors in the United States and Canada are dark orange and white or liver and white while in France, black and white and tricolor are also recognized. Average eight is between seventeen-and-one-half to twenty-and-one-half inches. Average weight is between 30 and 40 pounds. of Connecticut writes:

"Pet quality" dogs &shyp; who would want anything else?
When we got our Brittanys, someone mentioned they weren't "show quality," but were "pet quality." I can't think of a higher recommendation! These pups (and they're more than twelve years old now) are PET QUALITY defined. They like people (especially kids), and they're enthusiastic about almost everything. As an owner of many dogs, including Shepherds and Boxers, I can say this is a great breed.

Name withheld by request of New Hampshire writes:

The ideal companion.
I was raised with Brittanys and would be lying if I said they weren't wonderful dogs. Their reputation of being hyper is only true if you raise them that way. They are great with kids and other animals and are animated, charismatic, loving dogs!

Name withheld by request of North Carolina writes:

Wonderful dogs &shyp; full of fun and energy.
We've had a number of different breeds but this is our first Brittany. I was looking for a dog that was intelligent, gentle, not too big, and not requiring too much grooming (our other dog is a Newf!). Brittanys are a delightful breed! There is something so endearing about their sweet faces, upbeat spirit, and energy. We've found ours to be really affectionate (to EVERYONE, not just us) and never aggressive. He is a remarkably fast learner. I have taught him tricks in a matter of a couple of minutes. However, although he learns really fast, he can be highly distractible and fail to follow commands when there's something interesting going on. He gets along great with other dogs. He loves to interact with us, but he's not a cuddler &shyp; he wants his people to play with him rather than pet him. Any game that involves ACTIVITY is his thing. This is not a dog for an inactive person. If he doesn't get enough exercise he gets mischievous and stirs up some action. If he gets his active playtime he is well behaved in the house. This is the perfect dog for an active older child who likes to play outdoors. And I really like that they always seem so happy!

Name withheld by request of Michigan writes:

Way too hyper.
We had a liver and white Brittany, a very pretty dog, sweet to everyone but unlimited energy. He was a terrible housedog because he never ever stopped running around the house or yard all day. This is a hunting dog that belongs in a kennel.

Name withheld by request of U.S. writes:

I have nothing but wonderful things to say about this breed. I own two females and both are loving, obedient companions. They love everyone, so if you are looking for a watchdog, do not get a Brittany. They are happy sitting next to you or running in the field. They can excel at obedience, agility and conformation. Their size is also a great characteristic of the breed, they are not too big and not too small, in addition to being a hearty little dog. The only thing that they need is adequate exercise and having more than one is easier as they will play together.

Name withheld by request of U.S. writes:

Very friendly and loving, but has seizures.
I love my dog &shyp; he is really easy-going and fun-loving without being overly boistrous. He is AWESOME with children, very tolerant of vet visits and baths, very cuddly and kind. The only problems are that he has seizures about twice a week when he gets excited, and that he throws up anything other than a specially formulated pet food. He scores high on the lovability scale, but gets low points for his vigor.

Name withheld by request of Nashua, NH writes:

Brittanys are a great breed.
Brittanys are an awesome breed! They are great with kids and are great bird dogs. The only major health problem is hip dysplasia, but it is not found in every dog. I would recommend a good-sized fenced in yard for exercise as they are an active breed, but not hyper. I love this breed and I know you will too!

Name withheld by request writes:

Excellent choice for a family dog.
I've had the privilege of working with four Brittanys. It's well within a Brittany's capability to do hunting, tracking, obedience, agility, flyball, conformation, pet therapy, etc., but they really thrive as part of the family. If you're looking for a couch potato to lounge around with when you get home from work, look elsewhere. Laid-back Brittanys are the exception ... NOT the rule. The four I worked with were all very willing to please, and learned exceptionally well when we started clicker training. Positive reinforcement is the only way I could get a Brittany to excel, and they WILL give you 110% if you go about it the right way.
Just a warning ... NOT ALL BRITTANYS WILL HUNT! Brittany rescue has tons of dogs that were abandoned by hunters who gave up on them and left them in the middle of nowhere. If you want a Brittany that hunts, do your pedigree research and find a proven, reputable breeder. But these dogs should always be foremost a part of the family. writes on 5/4/00:

Perfect all around pet for the family and the hunter.
Out Brittany is 6 years old and has been a wonderful companion to my children as well as being very intellegent and a good watch dog. My Brittany grew up with small children so it has a very gentle nature and is very friendly and playful. It actually plays hide and go seek and tag - you would have to see it to believe it. It does shed, and it helps to comb it a few times a week and to keep it's coat trimed. It must be a companion dog, as it would be miserable outside full time. I had read that Brittanys are known to be nervous and high strung, but my dog is the complete opposite. It's very quiet and content.

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