The Brittany is a breed of gun dog from the Brittany region of France. It was developed using small field spaniels and crossing them with English setters to produce a dog suitable for pointing, hunting and retrieving. Many of the offspring were born tailless or with a stub tail and these were then selected for further breeding. The dogs excelled at woodcock hunting in the field and were quiet and obedient. They were first registered in France in 1907.
The Brittany is a lively, happy dog who thrives on being out, exploring the countryside. They have an excellent nose and will run, hunt and play for hours, yet are very receptive to human direction. They like being part of a family and fit in very well. Being good with children, pets and other dogs makes this breed an ideal sweet natured, family pet, but they do need a lot of exercise. A good watch dog, but bad guard dog as they are happy when anyone comes near them. They were bred to be outside and hunt and that is the best thing for them. A quick walk around the block will not suit a Brittany, which will display behavioural issues and could be destructive if not properly exercised. They are easy to train and thrive on close contact with people. They will want to please you and dislike harsh words or treatment. A gentle approach is best as they can be timid at times. Good socialisation when the dog is young will help with shyness issues. Once trained, their recall is perfect and they are a joy to watch in the field. Their friendly nature and alertness makes them great walking companions, but this close connection with humans means they dislike being left alone. Boredom and loneliness are major causes of stress for a Brittany and as such, they need to work or be at home with someone for most of the day. Field competitions, agility and Flyball are all well suited to the breed. Their love of human contact and running around wins them many competitions across the world and gives them the mental stimulation they need.
Grooming is minimal, but the coat will need brushing a couple of times a week to remove dead hair and a trim when it gets too long. They are a hardy dog and suffer from few ailments, but Canine Hip Dysplasia can be seen in the breed. Also, with their long floppy ears, ear infections are more common than other breeds.
Brittanys possess a calm and curious temperament. Sometimes shy it can be important to introduce them to other dogs in early puppyhood to avoid timidness. They love long walks and exploring the countryside with their roots being a gun dog breed in France.
If left alone without enough exercise you are likely to see a destructive bored side to this breed of dog.
Health problems that may affect Brittanys include canine hip dysplasia (CHD) and epilepsy. The Brittany does well for a breed and rarely suffers many problems.
- Status: Common
- Life Expectancy: 10 - 12 years
- Weight: 16 - 23 kg
- Height: 18 - 21"
- Rare: No
- Coat: Medium
- Grooming Requirements: More than once per week
- Town or Country: Country
- Minimum Home Size: Small House
- Minimum Garden Size: Large Garden
- Breed Type: Gun Dog
- Size: Medium
- Energy Level: High
- Exercise Required: Over 2 hours