Brittany Dog Breed
Gentle And Trustworthy

The Brittany dog breed, named for the French province in which he originated and known in France as Epagneul Breton, is a versatile bird dog capable of hunting, pointing and also retrieving.

Both written and pictorial records of this breed exist as far back at the 17th century. He remains one of the most popular dogs in France, if not the most popular!

Formerly known as the Brittany Spaniel, the spaniel term was dropped from his name several years ago (1982) at the behest of the national breed club representing them.

Brittany dogMr.Jagger by Pharoah Hound

This was supposedly done, because "spaniel" refers to dogs which flush game and the Brittany dog performs more as a pointer or setter. In fact the french term "Epagneul" in known to mean "pointing".

The Brittany dog breed as hunting dogs are medium sized, leggy dogs with a similarity to a small setter. Their coats are wavy and tri-color and tails are customarily docked to 4 inches, but they are also quite often seen tail-less.

They have an expression that conveys intelligence and alertness, while at the same time being soft and endearing.

The breed was recognized by the AKC (American Kennel Club) in 1934 under the category of "Spaniel".

Living With The Brittany

The Brittany is a sensitive and gentle dog that is very affectionate and loyal to its master. He is alert and enthusiastic with very keen hunting instincts, as well as the desire to use those skills.

It is often suggested to Brittany owners to involve their dogs in sporting activities, such as agility, or dock diving, but particularly field trials - they will love your for it!

When training this intelligent breed for obedience, gentle techniques will be the most effective and are the only recommended way to go. Any leaning toward harshness or loudness, will often cause this dog to become timid or too submissive.

Socialization from puppy age is highly recommended for this great family dog.

Physical Stats of the Brittany Dog Breed

The Brittany dog breed catches the eye with his striking coat colors and soft expression.
He often may be seen with a docked tail on none at all. Both are allowed in the standard.

Here are the ideal numbers: 

Height: 17.5 to 20.5 inches
Weight: 30-40 pounds
Coat Colors: Orange and White, Liver and White, Black and White, or Roan

Coat and Grooming

The slightly wavy single coat is fine yet dense. Shedding is low, but this means that regular brushing is necessary with a soft boar brush to remove dead hair - allowing new growth and a healthier coat.

All long-eared dogs are prone to ear infections and as such the Brittany also needs to have frequent ear inspections along with cleaning of the outer ear if necessary as a preventative measure.

Nails trimming about once a month or as needed, plus daily teeth cleaning go hand in hand with the grooming routine.

Health Notes

The lifespan of the Brittany dog breed is between 12 to 14 years. Obviously, good medical care and a nutritious diet are key factors in the quality and longevity of the breed, but generally this breed is robust and healthy.

  • Hip dysplasia, common to many breeds, occurs in about 10 percent of Brittanys. Good breeders will have puppy parents evaluated for this condition along with eyes before breeding.

Other health issues that are associated with the breed include:

  • Epilepsy
  • Canine discoid lupus erythematosus

though it isn't a given that your Brittany dog will be affected by either one.

How Active Are Brittanys?

The Brittany dog has considerable stamina and needs the outlet of a lot of regular exercise to prevent problems such as nervousness or barking.

They are energetic dogs, both strong and rugged, with a noted running ability.

He will not do well penned up, but will make an excellent jogging partner if you are so inclined.

Ideal Living Conditions

The ideal environment would include a sizable outdoor area that is available for the dog to run and play freely.

This Brittany dog likes to be very active and would find apartment living much too confining for him.

Suitable Companion For Children?

The Brittany dog breed can do well with children if raised with them from puppyhood. Otherwise, they would be best suited for older considerate children who have been taught how to approach and interact kindly with pets.

The caution remains - no matter what the breed - that interaction between dogs and children should always be supervised by an adult.

Senior or Less Active Families

A very affectionate companion, but would only be recommended for seniors if the very high exercise requirements can be met.

Share Your Knowledge

If you're a proud owner or fancier of a Brittany, we'd like to hear from you.

First hand information is very helpful to someone researching a particular breed for their family and your knowledge can be enormously helpful.

Please share your insider information and experiences of living with and loving this smart and talented dog breed.  You can tell your story here.   

Book Recommendation

Excellent reference for novices and current owners. Written by a veterinarian and owner of the breed. Covers history of the Brittany and its origins as well as traits, advice on purchasing a puppy, housing, feeding, health care, and much more.  Great photographs.

Image by Pharaoh Hound:

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