Country of Origin: France
Height: 17.5 to 20.5 inches
Weight: 30 to 45 pounds
Coat: Dense, flat or wavy
Colors: Liver and white or orange and white with clear or roan patterns, tricolor (liver and white with orange markings); may have ticking|also black and white [UKC]
Other Names: Brittany Spaniel
Registries (With Group): AKC (Sporting); UKC (Gun Dog)
Origin and History
The history of the American-type Brittany is the same as his cousin, France’s Brittany Spaniel. (For clarity’s sake, the former will be referred to as the “American Brittany” and the latter as the “French Brittany.”) He is named for the area in France with which he’s associated: Brittany, the province that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean and is known for its fishing and agricultural histories. The first Brittany may have appeared in the town of Pontou sometime in the mid-1800s, where it was reported that small bobtailed dogs hunted and retrieved in the brush. The modern history of the Brittany dates to the beginning of the 20th century, when Arthur Enaud created the breeding program to fix the type of this ancient breed.
Brittanys came to the United States in the 1930s. Over the years, the breed changed from the original French type, as American hunters tended to prefer a lighter-bodied dog with a longer leg and a wider running ability. The differences in body shape and hunting style eventually led many fanciers to separate out the “American style” from the French. One other difference between the two revolves around color—the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) standard for the American Brittany does not allow for black coloration on the coat or on the nose or eye rims, which is allowed in French Brittanys. Although the AKC groups both types together, most clubs around the world consider them two separate breeds.
Easy to handle and train, the Brittany is an extremely companionable dog. He is happy, friendly, alert, even-tempered, and always ready for some fun and frolic. He is also an intense and tireless hunter who is best behaved when his working instincts are employed.
The Brittany is a high-energy dog who needs lots of exercise. He’s a joy to take for walks in the park because he listens and pays attention to his owner while at the same time actively searching out a scent.
The Brittany’s fine, medium-length hair is relatively easy to keep clean. It needs regular brushing to look its best and to keep him comfortable, and the fringing on his body should be kept clean.
The average life span of the Brittany is 10 to 12 years.
The intelligent and gentle Brittany will wither under harsh training conditions, but let him learn from someone who’s patient and uses praise and he blossoms into a dog who is extremely biddable. His success in multiple sports is proven, with titles in the show ring, hunting field, agility, obedience, and much more.
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