Breed Group: Sporting Group
Shoulder Height: 17-21 in.
Weight: 30-40 lb.
Life Span: 12-13 years
Colors: Orange, white, liver, black, orange, roan
- The Brittany is often listed as a spaniel, a group of breeds made to go into thick brush to drive out prey. However, it is more akin to a pointer in build and working qualities.
- The breed is named after the province in France where it was first developed.
- The English Setter is a probable ancestor.
- The breed first appeared as a show breed in 1900 and was subsequently recognized in 1907 in Europe. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1934.
The Brittany is a graceful and elegant breed with a shape that is as stereotypically canine as you can get. Powerful without being bulky, fast without being gangly, this breed is athletic in every facet of the word and has a wide variety of colorations that make each individual unique.
Because of its hunting origins, the Brittany does require a lot of physical and mental exercise to excel. At least one hour of vigorous exercise a day is required in order to keep them happy and healthy. A lack of exercise can result in lethargy or extended, unpredictable periods of hyperactivity.
Brittanys are very smart dogs, so training them is quite simple. However, that intelligence can give way to trouble without some form of entertainment. While normally inclined towards friendliness, they do require some social training as puppies so they do not become shy as adults. They get along well with other dogs as well as children, and so are great family dogs.
They possess a longer coat, so regular grooming is essential to prevent knotting. The lack of an undercoat, however, does not make this as much of a chore as one might think.
Brittanys are not large dogs by any means, so they do not suffer from as many problems as some other sporting breeds. However, this does not make them the perfect breed regarding health.
- Brittanys have floppy ears, so regular cleaning is essential to prevent moisture buildup that could lead to infections.
- The breed is quite hardy overall, so there is no single top killer in the breed.
- Hip dysplasia is a problem that pops up in later years.
- Brittanys are also quite susceptible to epilepsy, with the condition found in fairly large numbers. Genetic testing is available to identify its presence.
- Dual CH is a Brittany that won three National Championships in field events during the sixties and is a member of the AKC’s Dog Hall of Fame.
- American actress Susan Dey, who appeared in the seventies TV show The Partridge Family, kept a Brittany.
- The Brittany holds the record for most dual championships of any sporting breed, achieving the 500th championship in 2006.
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