BRITTANY SPANIEL: A Perfect Companion

If you want a dog that will do anything you want to do as long as it’s active, then there is a great dog for you. His wash-and-wear coat can be kept in shape with a weekly brushing to keep shedding under control, and he’s typically friendly with other dogs, cats and children.

For an active home with room for an active companion, you can’t do much better, a moderately sized dog with relatively few health or temperament problems.

Brittany Spaniel

The Brittany Spaniel, commonly referred to as the Brittany, is a lively and versatile breed known for its keen hunting abilities, affectionate nature, and distinctive orange and white coat. It’s important to note that the term “Brittany Spaniel” has been officially dropped, and the breed is now simply known as the “Brittany.”

So if you’re looking for an energetic companion who is loyal and loving, the Brittany Spaniel might be the perfect choice for you. This unique breed is sure to bring lots of joy and happiness into your home.

Let’s dive in to explore the full details about Brittany:

History

The Brittany breed’s origins come from the Brittany region of France, likely in the 17th century. We all like to show off our fur babies, and the people of that time were no different. Hunting dogs that resemble this breed to show up in paintings and tapestries from around that time, like their close relatives, the English Setters.

In the 1600s, only nobles and wealthy landowners had enough money to keep entire kennels of dogs specialized for different types of hunting.

Commoners, and sometimes poachers, needed all-purpose dogs that could point, flush and retrieve. The Brittany, like the German shorthaired pointer, is a versatile hunting pup. The Brittany was also bred to be an adept bird dog.

The American Kennel Club recognized the breed, then known as the Brittany Spaniel, in 1934. The breed first became popular in the United States in the 1940s, and today is No. 26 on the AKC’s most popular dog breed list. Their versatility is part of what makes them so popular.

Unlike many breeds, these are considered to be a dual breed, meaning they excel at both conformation competitions and field trials. In fact, this breed has the most dual champions of any AKC Sporting breed. (Sporting dogs were bred to work with hunters.) To be a dual champion, the dog must be a finished show champion and a field champion of record.

Appearance

The Spaniel dog is known for its energetic nature and good looks. It’s medium-sized and has a strong yet graceful body. This dog always seems ready for fun and adventure, with a friendly and alert face that shows it’s eager to play and explore. This breed is a great mix of being active, tough, and cute.

Brittany dogs

Physical Characteristics

This breed’s main characteristic are:

Height
  • Male: 17-20 inches
  • Female: 17-20 inches
Weight
  • Male: 30-40 pounds
  • Female: 30-40 pounds

Coat

It has a soft, dense coat which is either flat or wavy and may have light feathering on the ears, chest and legs.

Color
  • Orange and white
  • Reddish brown and white
Ears

This dog has floppy ears that are set high on their head with a flirty feathering on the edges.

Nose

Their gently tapering muzzle is tipped by a solid-colored nose in fawn, tan, brown or deep pink.

Eyes

Eyes are usually darker in color, although they can also be amber.

Tail

They have either a docked tail or no tail at all.

Life Span

The average life span is 12-14 years.

Temperament

This breed is friendly, affectionate pet who loves spending time with their owners. A true companion dog, they want to be with you all the time and would really prefer to be in your company than anywhere else.

Bred to be a versatile hunting dog, they are intelligent, adaptable and ready for action at a moment’s notice, whether competing in a tracking event or taking a walk in the park.

Though playful and energetic, they are not fans of homes with a lot of chaos. These dogs are truly sensitive souls who want harmony in the home, and raised voices—even if you’re shouting at a referee on TV—may cause the dog stress.

Brittany dogs aren’t known for aggression or biting. Born to be a bird dog, they have a “soft mouth,” like a Labrador retriever, which means they can control the strength of their bite. They’ll even gently carry their favorite toy around the house.

Grooming

It’s easy to imagine the peppy twirling in place and panting.

When it comes to grooming, the breed is the equivalent of your favorite cotton dress with pockets—low maintenance, functional and pretty to look at.

Short, dense hair equals less brushing and little shedding. These pups need a weekly brushing with a soft brush, like the Bass Brushes Shine & Condition Brush, or a brushing mitt, like the Grooming Glove, to remove dirt and any loose hairs from their coat.

Follow up with a comb on the longer feathers, normally on the ears, legs and tummy, and the hard part’s over. Don’t forget to check your pooch’s ears while you’re at it. Gently wipe out any dirt you see.

Bathing once a month will keep your pup smelling fresh. Need to freshen up in between? A quick swipe with a grooming wipes, they’re ready for hugs.

After their bath, give their nails a trim. You’ll know it’s time when you hear the tell-tale “click-clack” on the floor. Post bath time is the perfect time for nail trimming, as the bath softens the nails and makes the whole process easier for everyone.

Training

Training is a must for every dog, especially for Brittany puppies. Their intelligent mind leads them to independent thinking, and, as hunting dogs, they have a strong prey drive.

Starting training while they’re a puppy helps them more readily adapt to your way of thinking.

Teach them the fundamentals like sit, stay, come and how to walk nicely on a leash. These skills are important to help keep them safe and well-mannered as they grow up.

But it’s important to understand that these pups have strong hunting instincts that you’re never going to completely train out of them, like their desire to chase.

Exercise

Your bundle of fun will need lots of exercise. Gun dogs are athletes through and through, and plenty of exercise—think 60 to 90 minutes throughout the day—keeps them happy, healthy and out of trouble.

If you don’t fulfill your dog’s energy levels every day, they’re creative and will come up with their own ways to entertain themselves, and your favorite heels or your flower garden may not appreciate their efforts.

One benefit of lots of exercise is that they get to spend plenty of time with you, which will always be their favorite thing to do. Lace-up your sneakers and snap on your pup’s leash for your morning run. Take them on weekend outings as you explore the Great Outdoors full of hikes, camping trips and other adventures.

Nutrition

Brittany dogs typically do well on a high-quality commercial dog food. Be sure to factor in your dog’s age and choose a formula that fits their stage in life (puppy, adult, senior).

Because your doggie is so high energy, your vet may recommend slightly larger portions, more frequent feedings, or a high-protein food. But again, consult with your veterinarian, as they are in the best position to help you pick the right food for your dog based on their individual needs.

High-quality treats will also be a hit with your puppy, and small-sized training treats are great for teaching tricks and practicing obedience. Remember that treats equal calories, though, so make sure they don’t overindulge. If you notice your pup gaining a little extra weight, chat with your vet. They can help you put together an exercise and diet plan to help your pup lose the weight and maintain the nutrition they need.

Health Concerns

Thankfully, the Brittany breed suffers very few major health issues or genetic defects. While they have relatively few health issues, here are a couple you should watch for.

Obesity

Brittany dogs are active, and when they don’t get enough exercise or too much food, that is a recipe for obesity. Your dog should have a trim, muscular form that tapers from the ribs to the hips. If your dog doesn’t have a defined waist, talk to your vet about how to lose weight and still get the nutrition they need.

Thyroid Disease

If your dog is overweight, it increases their risk for thyroid disease. The thyroid produces hormones that regulate their metabolism. If it stops working correctly, your dog might experience weight loss or weight gain, hair loss, a dull coat and an increased risk for other illnesses. Treatment is a hormone-replacement pill.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a growth defect in the hip joint that leads to tendon problems, arthritis and pain. Symptoms include decreased activity, range of motion and “bunny hopping.” Hip dysplasia is diagnosed with X-rays and is treatable with surgery, medication, weight management and physical therapy.

Eye Disease

Eye disease such as glaucoma is another potential health issue. Monitor your pet for any changes in eye color or shape or any difficulty seeing. Schedule an appointment with your vet if you have any concerns. Eye disease is often treatable with medication and sometimes surgery.

Bottom Line

Brittany Spaniels are wonderful dogs known for their hunting abilities, friendly temperament, and trainability. However, it’s important to consider the specific needs and characteristics of the breed to ensure a good match with your lifestyle and preferences.

If you are considering getting a Brittany Spaniel, make sure to research and understand their needs, provide proper training and care, and enjoy the companionship of this versatile and spirited breed.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q. What is the Difference Between “Brittany” and “Brittany Spaniel”?

A. The term “Brittany” is commonly used, and while the breed was originally referred to as the Brittany Spaniel, the term “Spaniel” was officially dropped in the United States in 1982. The breed is now officially recognized as the “Brittany” by major kennel clubs.

Q. Are Brittanys Good with Families?

Yes, Brittanys are generally known for their friendly and outgoing nature. They often get along well with families, including children. Their energetic disposition makes them good companions for active households.

Q. Are Brittany Spaniels Good for Apartment Living?

While Brittanys are adaptable, they are an energetic breed that benefits from regular exercise. They may do better in homes with access to outdoor spaces. However, if provided with enough physical and mental stimulation, they can adapt to apartment living.

Q. Can Brittanys Be Trained for Water Retrieval?

Yes, Brittanys can be trained for water retrieval. Many Brittanys have a natural affinity for water, and with proper training, they can become skilled in retrieving items from the water.

Q. Are Brittany Spaniels Good with Other Pets?

Generally, Brittanys can get along well with other pets, especially if they are socialized from an early age. Proper introductions and training are essential to ensure harmonious relationships with other animals in the household.

Q. Do Brittany’s Suffer from Separation Anxiety?

Like many breeds, Brittanys may experience separation anxiety if left alone for long periods. It’s important to gradually acclimate them to alone time and provide mental stimulation to prevent boredom.

Similar Posts

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *