The Brittany or Brittany Spaniel is an active, playful and energetic dog. The Brit has a keen sense of smell and unlike the rest of the spaniel dog breeds, makes an excellent pointing bird dog.
The Brittany has longer legs and a shorter coat then most spaniels. This Spaniel’s coat is short and lightly feathered and the dog is either tail-less or has its tail docked to less than 4 inches.
The Brit’s coat is usually dark-orange and white or liver and white in color. Brittanys stand 17.5 inches to 20.5 inches at shoulder height and weighs from 30 to 45 pounds.
Brittanys are members of the American Kennel Club (AKC) Sporting Dog Group.
History of The Brittany
This hunting or gun dog probably originated in Brittany France and the breed has been pictured in 17th century French and Dutch paintings. Brits made terrific hunting dogs and especially good pointing bird dogs.
These spaniels were first exported to the U.S. in 1931. In most countries in the world, Brits are referred to as Brittany Spaniels. In the U.S., perhaps out of respect for its hunting prowess, the spaniel has been dropped and the breed is simply referred to as Brittany.
The Brittany was ranked 30th out of 154 dog breeds registered with the AKC in 2005.
Temperament of The Brittany
The Brit is energetic, playful, curious and busy. This highly intelligent breed is loyal, obedient and easy to train. If the Brittany is socialized early when it is a puppy, then it is very good with children and with other pets.
This breed is a very active and enthusiastic hunter. Brits need exercise, especially during the first two years, or they can become destructive. Brits make good watch dogs and are fine with novice dog owners. Brittanys are good family dogs.
Brits need lots of daily exercise (runs not walks), especially during the first few years. This breed can adapt to apartment living if it gets twice-a-day long runs. However these spaniels would prefer a fenced backyard.
Brits require minimal grooming beyond regular brushing of its medium-length coat.
Brittanys live until they are approximately 12 years old. This breed is fairly healthy but some common problems include hip dysplasia, epilepsy and eye disorders such as glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy and lens luxation.
Information on these genetic diseases can be found in our article Hereditary Diseases in Dogs. Prospective buyers should ask for the breeding parents Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) test results for hip dysplasia and also the Canine Eye Registry (CERF) recent ophthalmologists report for eye disorders.