Brittany or Brittany Spaniel is a kind of gun dog, developed in France’s Brittany region, primarily used for hunting birds. Athletic and agile, these dogs sport a solid built and are further characterized by an average-sized head, floppy, high set ears, short tail and a soft expression on its face that any bird dog lover would be fascinated with. Its versatility makes it excellent hunting as well as a companion dog.
|Other names||Brittany Spaniel, French Brittany, Brittany Wiegref, Epagneul Breton|
|Coat||Medium length and dense that may be flat or even wavy|
|Color||Orange and white; orange roan; white and liver; liver and white; liver roan; black and white; black white orange; blue roan|
|Group||Sporting dogs, Gundogs|
|Lifespan/ Life Expectancy||10-13 years|
|Litter size||6 on an average|
|Behavioral Characteristics||Gentle, loyal, energetic and active|
|Good with children||Yes|
|Climate Compatibility||Suited for any climatic conditions|
|Shedding (Does it shed)||Moderate (more in the summer months)|
|Competitive Registration Qualification/Information||FCI, AKC, CKC, KC, UKC, NZKC|
Deriving its name from the place of its origination, these dogs were spotted in tapestries and paintings as early as the 17th century, where they were presented in white and orange and shown to retrieve as well as hunt games. The Brittany as seen in the present times evolved in the middle of the 19th century in Pontou which is a small town located in the Brittany region. In fact, a male dog (white and lemon) owned by an English sportsman was crossed with a female (white and mahogany) whose owner was a French hunter. One out of the two in the litter was observed to possess hunting abilities, thus being the founding dog of this breed. Reverend Davies provided the first written description of this dog, describing them as small-sized bobtailed breeds with great pointing and retrieving skills. Besides their place of origin, the popularity of these dogs spread to Britain as well as other European countries.
In the United States of America gained recognition in the year 1931, while AKC acknowledged it in the year. There had been an urge to remove “spaniel” from its name as many felt that it specialized in pointing and not flushing like spaniels. On the 1st of September 1982, it came to be officially known as Brittany and not Brittany Spaniel.
These gun dogs have an elegant appearance and a versatile nature, being successful in the hunting ground as well as emerging as perfect companions because of its sweet and gentle disposition. Their friendly nature makes them be used as therapy or service dogs, often taken to nursing homes for cheering those who are sick or ailing.
However, they are suited only for those who can match up to their high energy levels as these dogs are always on the run and bubbling with enthusiasm. They share a friendly rapport with children, though supervision is needed as there are possibilities that out of excitement the Brittany may end up knocking down the little one.
They would get along well with other dogs especially if brought up with them. This breed is friendly with cats as well upon socialization, though make sure to keep them away from smaller pets because of their inherent chasing instincts.
They are loyal and intelligent, thus being easy to train, though they are hyper-sensitive dogs, not able to withstand harsh words. Hence the trainers must be firm but tactful while dealing with them and use a lot of positive reinforcement techniques.
Besides a high-quality dry dog food, homemade meals can also be added though in a measured amount, as you need to keep their weight in check since they are prone to hip dysplasia.