The Brittany is a breed of gun dog bred primarily for bird hunting. Although it is often referred to as a Spaniel, the breed’s working characteristics are more akin to those of a pointer or setter.
The name “Brittany” is taken from the Brittany region in northwestern France where the dog originated. Images of orange and white Brittany-like dogs hunting and retrieving game were first seen on tapestries and paintings from the 17th century.
A Brittany is typically quite athletic, compact, energetic, and solidly built without being heavy. Their heads are of average size with floppy ears, expressions usually of intelligence, vigor, and alertness, and gait elastic, long, and free.
Some Brittanys are born with naturally short tails and others with long, normally docked to a length of 3–10 centimeters (1.2–3.9 in).
The breed’s coat color is varied: orange and white coat or liver and white are most common in the American Brittany; other colors include orange roan and liver roan, all of which are acceptable in the show ring.
Bred as a hunting dog and noted for being easy to train and sweet-natured. The breed is generally more sensitive to correction than other hunters, and harsh corrections are often unnecessary. Brittanys can become very shy if not thoroughly socialized at a young age, and even among well-socialized dogs there is significant variation in levels of friendliness.
When well socialized, Brittanys are all around sound dogs, excelling as companions, family pets, field dogs. Eager to please and friendly, they generally learn quickly and are loyal and attached to their owners. They are energetic and need at least an hour of vigorous exercise every day, with many needing more than this. Some animals will be over-active or hyper-sensitive, but these problems are almost invariably due to lack of exercise and training, and are not characteristics of well cared-for dogs.
Health Concerns: Generally considered healthy, hardy dogs, their floppy ears tend to trap moisture in the ear canal and should be cleaned regularly.
Diseases found in the breed include Hip dysplasia, with 14.9% of Brittanys tested between 1974 and 2009 by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals displaying the condition, and a lesser rate of 10.3% for dogs born 2003-2004. The breed is listed among those commonly affected by Canine discoid lupus erythematosus. Epilepsy is also found, with owners of affected dogs encouraged to submit DNA to the UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Lab’s ongoing project on Brittany and canine health.
Size: Male 30-40lbs. Female 30-40lbs
Life span 12-13 years
Looking for a Brittany? Use our Pet finder tool