The Brittany: Great Family Dog


The Brittany is a mid-sized bundle of energy that can be a wonderful addition to the family.

Once known as the Brittany Spaniel, the Brittany is a member of the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) Sporting Group, recognized in 1934. It’s hunting techniques actually resemble those of pointing or setter breeds. This breed will do well with a family or an enthusiastic individual willing to give it time and attention. The breed is native to France.

The Brittany Breed Standard

As an adult, its general appearance is that of a “compact, closely knit dog of medium size.” The tail is normally docked to four inches. Males and females tend to measure between 17 1/2 to 20 1/2 inches to the highest point of the shoulders. The dog should be between 30 and 40 lbs. when grown. The expression is “alert and eager, but with the soft expression of a bird dog. The eyes are brown or dark and in harmony with the coat.

It has a medium length neck and the shoulder blades are muscular and sloping, and they should rise slightly higher than the rump. The coat should be “dense, flat or wavy, never curly.” The color is orange and white or possibly liver and white. A black nose is a disqualification.

Behavior Characteristics and Temperament of the Brittany

The Brittany is historically shy and sensitive, yet it behaves boldly in the brush when it assists the hunter. They are a joy to train but can be distracted due to their natural hunting instincts. The Brittany needs room to run. It could coexist in an apartment with an owner that is very active (the emphasis on the adverb very). Otherwise, they do best in a suburban home or on a farm.

Because of these characteristics, the Brittany is a nice family dog. When a member of this breed is obtained as a puppy, it can provide a family many years of loyal companionship. When trained early, they often do well in obedience competitions and shows.

Potential Health Concerns

The Brittany has been known to develop epilepsy. Others have heart defects that simply could not have been picked up on, and some can acquire hip or elbow dysplasia. Like all canines, the Brittany may be diagnosed with cancer. When the dog is cared for by a responsible owner, they usually live well and experience longevity.

The Brittany is a gentle but active dog that finds fans in all segments of society. They are excellent on the hunt, and they get along well with children and other dogs.