The Brittany, once called the Brittany Spaniel, is a natural pointer and excellent retriever. They hunt by flushing game out of heavy brush – making them popular among falconers as well. Brittany Spaniels are friendly and affectionate, though wary of strangers, making them excellent watchdogs. As hunters, they will desire a close relationship with their masters, and they will want to be a valued member of the family. They will get along with children and most other dogs, although some males may be aggressive with other males.
They will require early socialization and obedience training, or they may develop undesirable behaviors such as excessive barking, hyperactivity, and chewing. They are not recommended for sedentary owners or those living in small apartments or houses. They are also not recommended for first time dog owners. At maturity, Brittany Spaniels will grow to a height of 17 to 20 inches and weigh in between 30 and 40 pounds. Their coats are of a medium length, dense, and they can be flat or wavy. Their skin is fairly loose. Coat colors include dark orange and white, liver and white, and black and white. The tail is sometimes docked to approximately four inches.
The Brittany is named after the French province where they were originally bred in the 17th and 18th centuries. It is believed that the Brittany was developed through the crossing of French spaniels and English Setters. This small pointer was once referred to as the Brittany Spaniel, but the official breed name has been “Brittany,” since 1982.
Keeping your Brittany’s coat shiny and free of mats will require regular, though not intense, grooming – a quick daily brushing, a biweekly combing, and an occasional bath. This is a very active breed that may become destructive, hyperactive, and boisterous if not given sufficient outlets for all its energy. The Brittany needs a spacious environment and several brisk walks or runs daily. The Brittany is generally considered a very hardy breed, but there are rare instances of inherited glaucoma, hip dysplasia, epilepsy, hemophilia, and spinal paralysis.