The affable Brittany is a skilled hunter who has a particular zest for life. This dog’s attractive coat is most famous for its striking orange and white pattern. However, these dogs have much more to offer the world than their beauty. They are impeccable athletes and make some of the best sporting dogs in the world. Read on to learn more about the Brittany.
Description of the Brittany
These dogs are known for their wavy coats. It’s not quite as long as the coats of some of their cousins, but still quite beautiful. They come in many shades, but white and orange or white and liver are most common.
The Brittany has a graceful and powerful build. Their smooth hair flows softly around lean muscle and floppy ears. Although elegant, these dogs are not slight. They have the substance needed of sporting dogs. Indeed, they look like a mix of setter and spaniel. Outside of the U.S. they are actually called the “Brittany Spaniel.”
This breed was originally developed as a birding dog in France. Indeed, they must have been quite popular. Their likenesses grace many Renaissance era paintings.
Life Expectancy and Size
The Brittany has a good life expectancy in line with its size. These dogs can be expected to live between 12 and 14 years.
The breed is medium in size. Most Brittanies stand between 17 and 21 inches at the shoulder, and weigh anywhere between 30 and 40 pounds, blurring the lines between small and medium dogs.
This breed is not known for its protective capacity. Although alert, they can be quite timid and suspicious. These dogs are more likely to whine out of boredom or loneliness than bark at strangers.
The Brittany is job-oriented and smart as a whip. Give these dogs a reason to listen and they will happily oblige. It is smart to approach everything like a job with the Brittany. If they think what they are doing is important, they will be more likely to listen. These active dogs particularly enjoy learning new sports and games.
Make sure to approach the Brittany’s training with positivity. These are sensitive dogs that feed off of their owner’s emotions. Do not be tempted to become strict or harsh. Rather approach the Brittany’s training through reward- and relationship-based methods.
This is an extremely high-energy dog. They do calm down at home, but welcome end cannot be expected unless they receive the proper vigorous activity. The Brittany needs to be paired with an active owner who sees exercise as a joy rather than a chore. Otherwise, these dogs will quickly become overwhelming.
What Living with a Brittany is Like
The Brittany is an alert, active dog. They will put all their energy toward a job and are great options for owners that enjoy activity. These dogs can be a good alternative to bigger dogs. They can easily keep up, but are a more portable size.
This breed is also quite social. They suffer from anxiety when they are left alone or bored. This often leads to destructive behavior like whining or chewing.
When well bred and exercised, these dogs have fewer health problems than most other breeds.
Care of the Brittany
These dogs require attention and activity more than anything else.
The Brittany was bred for harsh hunting terrain. Today, they can fit well into most environments, both hot and cold. They love the outdoors and should always have access to a place to romp.
The Brittany requires significant exercise.
These dogs make great companions for athletic owners. They can keep up with runners or bikers. Of course, they would make great tracking and hunting dogs for those so inclined. The Brittany will also easily excel at nearly all forms of canine sport.
They prefer to be accompanied for their exercise, and cannot simply be turned loose to romp on their own.
Shedding and Grooming
The Brittany sheds moderately, so brushing once a week should be sufficient. Their hair is much shorter than dogs like the spaniel. Only occasional baths are needed. In fact, too much bathing can irritate the skin. It is important to trim the nails regularly and clean the ears.
Ideal Home Environment
This breed is perfect for single, athletic owners. They also may do well in families, but can be sensitive. Too much talking or arguing can set them off. The Brittany is good with other dogs, if often overly submissive.
Ideally, the Brittany has an owner that can keep up with his athleticism. This could be as simple as playing with him in the yard, but ideally will involve taking him for hikes and runs. These social dogs should always have plenty of interaction with their owners. Otherwise, they can become bored and destructive.
This dog will do particularly well with plenty of access to the outdoors.
This breed is generally quite healthy. The eye, hip, and ear are the most common areas of concern. Thankfully, these do not normally shorten their lives.
These dogs can be overly sensitive, especially with new dogs and people. It is important to socialize them early so that they can become well-adjusted adults.
This is also a breed that is prone to hyperactivity. When left alone for too long or not given the proper amount of exercise, they may become destructive. They will certainly become unhappy. The Brittany is only for the dedicated, active owner.