is a breed
of gun dog
primarily bred for bird hunting
. Although the Brittany is often referred to as a spaniel
, the breed's working characteristics are more akin to a pointer
. Brittanies were developed in the Brittany province
in the 1800s
A Brittany is typically quite athletic, compact, and solidly built without being heavy. Other characteristics include long legs, and their expressions are usually of intelligence, vigour, and alertness. Their gait is elastic, long, and free.
Some Brittanies are born with naturally short tails and others with long tails. If born with a long tail it is normally docked to a length of 3 to 10 centimetres (1 to 4 inches). In countries where docking is illegal long-tailed Brittanies should carry their tails level with the back or slightly lower.
Brittanies come in a variety of colours, where an orange and white coat is most common in the American Brittany. Other colours include liver and white, orange roan and liver roan, all of which are acceptable in the show ring. There is also tri-colour, which is acceptable in most countries except America, since black is a disqualification in their conformation events, this colour combination is much less common there but extremely common in the UK, and in France, the home country.
Brittanies should range in a height of 17.5 inches to 20.5 inches at the withers, with females at the lower end and males taller. A properly constructed and healthy Brittany maintains a weight between 36 and 43lbs, depending upon height.(16 to 19 kg)
Many breeders differentiate between "American" Brittanies
and "French" style Brittanies
. Although generally recognized as sub-sets of the same breed
, there are recognizable differences between the two. The American Brittany is taller and faster. It has been bred to cover more ground in order to hunt wide open spaces common in the United States
. The French Brittany
appears more "spaniel-like" in that it is smaller and the French Brittany generally works more closely to the guns, but will work according to the local terrain. However, some breeders consider these "differences" to be unsound generalizations and that American standards should be updated to reflect the breed's standard in its country of origin, i.e. France, where black has become an acceptable coat colour since 1956 while it is still considered a fault in America. Originally known as the Brittany Spaniel, the word "spaniel" was dropped in the USA some years ago, as the American Brittany Club persuaded the American Kennel Club to discontinue the use of the term "spaniel" for this breed. When translating the Latin version of the Brittany's name, it was assumed that spaniel was attached, as the Brittany does resemble a spaniel-like dog. Spaniels, such as Springers and Cockers, are used for flushing game, while Brittanies are more akin to pointers and all-purpose sporting dogs.
The breed was originally bred as a poaching dog and noted for being easy to train, sensitive, and sweet-natured. Properly raised Brittanies are sensitive and soft-hearted, with personalities that win. Brittanies are all around sound dogs, as they are excellent family pets as well as working dogs in the field. Most do not let a chance to give a kiss or the famous Brittany hug get away. The dogs are active and require frequent exercise and room to run, and a fenced yard is essential. As pets, Brittanies are first-rate companion dogs but they do need plenty of exercise. The Brittany makes a good house pet as long as it receives daily mental and physical exercise, as well as superb socialization on a regular basis. If not given sufficient exercise, love, and socialization, Brittanies can become house destructive or develop unnatural habits unrepresentative of the breed. Brittany are best when with their own kind, as energy is used up in a positive manner. Although intelligent, male Brittanies contain a more happy-go-lucky personality and are easily persuaded, while females use their intelligence to gain something and can be quite tricky. All in all, Brittanies are a popular family and companion pet, while still maintaining their original purpose as a fur and feather hunting companion.
Brittanies are generally healthy dogs and hardy dogs. Be sure to check and clean ears at home due to the fact that their ears can get infections because air can not easily pass through. They usually live 14-15 years.