Let's talk Brittany

You say “Brittany”, we say “lust for life”. This beautiful dog gives 100% to whatever they’re doing, whether that’s playing with children or other pets, running around, or chasing after birds. The energetic temperament of the Brittany, bred as a gundog, will not be for everyone. But their happy-go-lucky attitude makes them a charming canine companion. The Brittany is not well-suited to apartment life but this is due more to their high-energy than their size. If you’re the active, outdoorsy type, then the Brittany may well be the breed for you.

Official name: Brittany

Other names: Breton Spaniel, Brittany Wiegref Epagneul Breton French Brittany

Origins: France

Black and white side profile portrait of Brittany Spaniel standing
 Drooling tendencies

Warm weather? Medium
 Shedding level Medium
Suited to apartment living?  Very low
 Energy Level (high, low, medium)* High Family Pet?* 
Very high
 Compatibility with other pets Very high
Can stay alone?* Very low

 * We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behaviour. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed specifics should be taken as an indication.
 
For a happy healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socializing your pet as well as covering their basic welfare needs (and their social and behavioral needs).
 
Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.
 
Contact your breeder or veterinarian for further advice.
 
All domestic pets are sociable and prefer company.  However, they can be taught to cope with solitude from an early age.  Seek the advice of your veterinarian or trainer to help you do this.

 
Inline Image 15
Illustration of a Brittany Spaniel
Male
48 - 51 cm Height
14 - 18 kg Weight
Female
47 - 50 cm Height
14 - 18 kg Weight

 

 Baby age  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age  2 to 12 months
 Adult age  1 to 7 years
 Mature age  7 to 10 years
 Senior age  10 years onwards

Brittany Spaniel stood in grass with paw raised

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Get to know the Brittany

All you need to know about the breed

The breed hails from the Brittany region in northwest France, hence their name, and bears more than a passing resemblance to the Welsh Springer Spaniel. This is likely due to the profitable trading relationship that Wales once enjoyed with Brittany, which involved dogs travelling across the English Channel.

Their natural fondness for pointing and retrieving has made the Brittany breed popular with poachers in the past, but they don’t have an aggressive bone in their body. The Brittany is just a friendly dog who likes to receive head pats from anyone and everyone - so not your best guard dog - and is always up for a spot of adventure.

A Brittany is an adaptable dog with a sunny temperament, which makes them great around people of all ages. However, they’re far too high-energy for an apartment and require some supervision around children, not because they pose a threat, but they may knock little ones over through pure excitement.

If you are a confirmed homebody then this is not the breed for you. Brittany dogs are highly intelligent and require one to two hours of exercise per day, which includes mental stimulation. They will get bored if left to their own devices, which can lead to destructive behaviour and cause them to start barking.

A Brittany’s joie de vivre makes them a pleasure to live with, as they’re even-tempered dogs who show affection easily. You just have to love being outside as much as they do.

Brittany Spaniel bounding across field

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2 facts about Brittany

1. Works of art

The first representation of a Brittany is actually visual. This good-looking canine made an appearance in paintings and tapestries during the 17th century. They were often depicted in nature, helping to point gamekeepers in the direction of partridge and other birds. Even today, the Brittany is a noticeably attractive dog who often nabs compliments from passersby.

2. A water baby

The Brittany needs a fair amount of daily exercise, but their athletic spirit means that they take to most sports like a duck to water. Speaking of...the Brittany enjoys splashing around in a lake or stream, to cool down after all that running around. Their flat coat is resistant to both the cold and water, further proof that this canine thrives in the great outdoors.

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History of the breed

Originating from Brittany on the west coast of France, the breed was first referenced in the 17th century. They were developed by hunters as bird dogs due to their natural talent for pointing out feathered animals such as partridge, duck, and pheasant. To this day, the Brittany is admired for his agility and responsiveness to taking orders.

When dog shows became popular throughout Europe, the Brittany breed proved to be a natural just as much in the show ring as they were in the field. They were officially recognised in their home country in 1907. The first appearance in the U.S. for the Brittany was in 1931, where they quickly became popular thanks to their sporting talents and canine charm.

In the 1980s, the AKC decided to drop the “Spaniel” from the name, as they considered the breed to be closer to a pointer. The French, however, kept the original breed name. To date, the Brittany has accumulated the highest number of Dual Championship wins than any other breed. All in a day's work for this exceptional dog.

Black and white side profile portrait of Brittany Spaniel standing

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From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Brittany

1. Coat

A dense coat, either flat or wavy but never curly.

2. Eyes

Eyes are well set with an expressive look.

3. Eyebrows

Eyebrows are heavy, to protect them while pointing.

4. Legs

Back legs are muscular, with strong thighs.

5. Tail

Either completely tailless or a short tail, around four inches long.

close-up of Brittany Spaniel sat in long grass

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Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Brittany
Brittany Spaniel stood looking into the distance

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Caring for your Brittany

Grooming, training and exercise tips

Grooming the Brittany requires twice-weekly brushing of their coat with soft bristles. Their ears should be checked regularly to prevent wax build-up and their nails need to be trimmed monthly if they are not naturally worn down. In terms of training, the Brittany is a willing student. Their intelligence makes them quick learners and their affable personality makes them eager to please. A gentle approach works best as the Brittany is far too gentle to respond positively to harsh methods. This breed can’t get enough exercise! They are high energy and prefer to stay active with people, so they make a great jogging or hiking companion. The Brittany tends to be fine off leash in the dog park, because of their easy-going temperament and natural aptitude for training.

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All about Brittany

Yes. In fact, the affectionate Brittany would like to be a lap dog but they are a little too big for that. It won’t stop most of them from trying to climb onto your lap however. Despite their out and about vibe, the Brittany is very affectionate and will thrive as part of an adventurous family. The more the merrier for this dog-friendly, kid-friendly canine.

Quite the opposite – the Brittany is intelligent and has people-pleasing tendencies. They are particularly skilled at obedience training, as well as tracking activities where they can put their sense of smell to good use. Like most canines, the Brittany responds well to rewards, which should be taken from their kibble portion to keep them at a healthy weight.

Other breeds that might interest you.

Sources

1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/