If you are looking for a naturally sporty dog that can keep up with your active life, you might want to consider the Brittany dog breed. These dogs are known for their wavy coat, boundless energy, and versatile skills in hunting and other dog sports. They are also loyal, affectionate, and intelligent family dogs that can adapt to different environments and situations. This article will provide you with all the Brittany breed information you need to know before getting one of these amazing dogs.
History and Origin of the Brittany Dog Breed
The Brittany dog breed originated in the province of Brittany in France, where it was developed as a hunting dog in the 17th century. The breed is believed to be a cross between local spaniels and English setters, resulting in a medium-sized dog with a wavy coat and a natural bobtail. The Brittany was used to hunt and retrieve game birds, especially woodcock, partridge, and pheasant. The breed was also known for its ability to work in different terrains, such as fields, woods, and water.
The Brittany was first recognized by the French Kennel Club in 1907 and by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1934. The breed was initially called the Brittany Spaniel, but the name was changed to Brittany in 1982 to reflect its status as a pointing breed rather than a spaniel. The Brittany is still one of the most popular hunting dogs in France and the United States and a sporting dog favorite in many other countries.
|Brittany Spaniel, Epagneul Breton, French Brittany
|Dense and flat or slightly wavy, with some feathering
|Orange and white, liver and white, black and white, or tricolor (black, orange, and white)
|Clear or roan, with or without tan markings
|30 to 40 pounds
|17.5 to 20.5 inches at the shoulder
|12 to 15 years
|28th out of 199 breeds by the AKC in 2022
Physical Characteristics of a Brittany Dog
The Brittany is a medium-sized dog that stands between 17.5 and 20.5 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 30 and 40 pounds. They have a compact, athletic body, long legs, deep chest, and slightly rounded head. Ears are triangular and set high on the head, while their eyes are round and dark. The tail is naturally short or sometimes docked to about four inches.
The most distinctive feature of the Brittany is its beautiful wavy coat, which comes in various colors and patterns.
The most common colors are orange and white, liver and white, black and white, or tricolor (black, orange, and white). The coat can be either clear or roan (a mixture of colored and white hairs). Some Brittanys may also have tan markings on their face, ears, legs, or chest.
The coat is dense, flat, or slightly wavy, with some feathering on the legs, ears, and chest. It’s also easy to maintain with weekly brushing and occasional trimming.
Personality and Temperament of the Brittany Dog Breed
Brittanys are lively and cheerful dogs that love being around people and other animals. They are very affectionate and loyal to their family members and enjoy cuddling and playing with them. They are also very intelligent and eager to please, which makes them easy to train and responsive to commands. They excel in various activities such as hunting, agility, obedience, tracking, rally, flyball, and more.
However, a Brittany is not a couch potato. They are very high energy dogs that need plenty of exercise every day to keep them happy and healthy. Best suited for active owners who can provide them with at least an hour of vigorous physical activity daily, such as running, hiking, biking, swimming, or playing fetch. They also need mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. They enjoy learning new tricks, solving puzzles, or playing interactive games.
Brittanys are generally friendly and sociable with strangers and other dogs, but they may chase small animals such as cats or squirrels due to their hunting instincts. They may also bark at unfamiliar noises or visitors due to their alertness. Therefore, they need early socialization to expose them to different people, animals, sounds, and situations from a young age. Like any dog, they need proper training to teach them basic manners and obedience.
Health Issues of the Brittany Dog Breed
The Brittany is a relatively healthy dog breed that can live up to 12 to 15 years. However, like any other breed, they may be prone to some health problems that owners should be aware of. Some of these include:
- Hip dysplasia
- Ear infections
Diet and Nutrition of the Brittany Dog Breed
The Brittany is a medium-sized dog that needs a high-quality diet that meets its nutritional needs and energy level. Look for dog food that contains a good balance of protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Avoid foods that contain artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or fillers.
Grooming and Care of the Brittany Dog Breed
The Brittany has a low-maintenance coat that only requires weekly brushing to remove loose hair and dirt. They may need more frequent brushing during shedding seasons (spring and fall) to prevent matting and tangling. They may also need occasional trimming around the ears, feet, and tail to keep them neat and tidy.
Owners should bathe their Brittanys only when necessary to avoid stripping their natural oils from their coats. They should use a mild shampoo that is suitable for dogs with sensitive skin. They should also dry their dogs thoroughly after bathing to prevent dampness in their ears.
Where to Buy a Brittany Puppy
If you have decided to buy a Brittany dog, you may be wondering where to find one and how much it will cost. Here are some factors to consider when buying a Brittany dog:
- The average price of a Brittany puppy ranges from $800 to $1500. However, the price may vary significantly depending on the quality and availability of the puppies. Some breeders will charge more for show-quality or rare-colored puppies, while others may offer discounts for pet-quality or older ones.
- The Brittany is not a very rare dog breed, but it is not very common either. According to the AKC ranking of dog breeds by popularity, they rank 28th out of 199 breeds in 2022.
- The best way to find reputable Brittany breeders is to contact your country’s national or regional Brittany clubs or associations. They can provide you with a list of approved and ethical breeders who follow the breed standards and health guidelines. You can also visit dog shows or events where you can meet and talk to Brittany owners and breeders.
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Do Brittany dogs shed?
Yes, Brittany dogs shed moderately throughout the year and more heavily during spring and fall. You can reduce the shedding by brushing their coat weekly and bathing them occasionally.
Are Brittany dogs hypoallergenic?
No, Brittany dogs are not hypoallergenic. They produce dander and saliva that can trigger allergic reactions in some people. Consult your doctor before getting a Brittany dog if you have allergies.
Can Brittany dogs swim?
Yes, Brittany dogs can swim and they enjoy water activities. They have a natural instinct to retrieve game from water and a water-resistant coat that helps them stay dry and warm. However, you should always supervise your Brittany dog when swimming and provide them with a life jacket if necessary.