Breed Category: Sporting
Country of Origin: France
Average Size: 43-55 cm
Average Weight: 13-18 kg
Average Life Span: 10-14 years
Grooming Requirements: Low
Exercise Requirements: Medium
The Brittany Spaniel is a breed of dog rich in history and originally developed to be of service to hunters. Bred for its ability to point and retrieve game, the Brittany Spaniel shares more in common with pointer and setter breeds than other spaniels.
Its origin and namesake can be traced to the northwestern French province of Brittany, where artwork from the 1600s depicts bird hunting dogs that are physically similar to the modern-day Brittany Spaniel.
It made its first appearance as a show dog in France in 1896 and became more popular in other parts of the world in subsequent decades.
The Brittany Spaniel is typically chestnut and white in colour, with long legs and a lean body. There is a white blaze down the dog’s muzzle and it wears a sweet, curious, and lively expression on its face. Its eyes are varying shades of brown or hazel.
Though less common, a dog of this breed may have a brown and white or black and white coat instead of the standard chestnut and white. The single coat is wavy in texture requiring only occasional brushing. It is not prone to heavy shedding.
A dog of this breed usually has a short tail. If it is born with a long tail it is often docked shortly after birth, though this practice has been called into question recently because it is considered inhumane and unnecessary. Docking is illegal in Australia and other countries throughout the world.
The Brittany Spaniel averages 43-55 cm in height and 13-18 kg in weight. Like most breeds, females tend to be slightly smaller, though all dogs of this breed are considered medium-sized.
The Brittany Spaniel is known for its athleticism, which is a testament to its designation as a part of the sporting group. It enjoys active time outdoors, whether it is hunting or going for a walk.
If the Brittany Spaniel is not properly exercised, it can be prone to behavioural problems stemming from a lack of mental and physical stimulation. This can include hyperactive tendencies and socialisation problems. It may also develop separation anxiety if left alone for extended periods of time.
This is a smart breed that is eager to work and eager to please. It enjoys having a task to do and basks in praise received from its owner. It is gentle, sweet and energetic in nature, enjoying the company of other dogs and children. Consistent exposure to people and other animals at a young age will help reduce shyness in this sensitive breed. The Brittany Spaniel is able to successfully be both a sporting dog and a loyal companion.
Dogs that have floppy, low-hanging ears like the Brittany Spaniel are more prone to ear infections, as moisture is easily trapped because the inner ear is covered. Regular cleaning and drying of the ears will help reduce risk.
This breed is sensitive and easily excitable, which may lead to sudden urination.
The Brittany Spaniel may also be more susceptible to hip dysplasia and epilepsy. A healthy dog of this generally low-maintenance breed will live to be an average of 10-14 years of age.