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Brittany Information
Brittany

The Brittany is a breed of gun dog that is primarily bred for bird hunting. Although the Brittany is often referred to as a spaniel, the breed's working characteristics are more akin to a pointer or setter. Brittanys were developed in the Brittany province of France in the 1800s.

Appearance

The Brittany should be athletic, compact, and solidly built without being heavy. It is long-legged and elegant. Its expression should be one of intelligence, vigour, and alertness. It should never be heavily built or cumbersome. Its gait is elastic, long, and free.

Some Brittanys are born with naturally short tails and others with long tails. If born with a long tail it is normally docked to a length of 3 to 10 centimetres (1 to 4 inches). In countries where docking is illegal long-tailed Brittanys should carry their tails level with the back or slightly lower.

Coat and color

The most common color pattern for Brittanys is white with orange patches. Other accepted colors are liver and white, black and white, liver tri-color and black tri-color. Any of these color combinations can be found in a clear or roan pattern with some ticking. The American Kennel Club and Canadian Kennel Club do not recognize black as an acceptable color for the breed, but it is allowed in all other registries worldwide. The coat is of moderate length, dense, flat, or wavy, with slight feathering on the ears and legs. Too much feathering is undesirable as it impedes the dog’s work in thick brush.

Size

They are between 44-52 cm (17.5-20.5 in) tall at the withers, with the UKC and AKC preferring smaller dogs. They weigh 13.5-18 kg (30-40 lb). The dog is squareish when viewed from the side, with shoulder height equaling body length (from withers to base of tail). Show dogs have their tails docked in some countries. The tails of working or companion dogs are rarely left long.

Types

Many breeders differentiate between "American" Brittanys and "French" style Brittanys. Although generally recognized as sub-sets of the same breed, there are recognizable differences between the two. The American Brittany is taller and faster. It has been bred to cover more ground in order to hunt wide open spaces common in the United States. The French Brittany appears more "spaniel-like" in that it is smaller and the French Brittany generally works more closely to the guns.

Temperament

The breed is noted for being easy to train, sensitive, and sweet-natured. Many enthusiasts agree that it takes little more than a stern look or cross word to chastise a Brittany. As a consequence, care must be taken during training so as not to break the dog’s spirit. Brittanys are excellent with children but they are an exuberant breed and if not well supervised may accidentally harm a small child. Brittanys get along well with other dogs and enjoy working with other dogs as a team. Many Brittany enthusiasts encourage new Brittany owners to be a two dog family. The dogs are active and require frequent exercise and room to run. As pets Brittanys are first-rate companion dogs but they do need plenty of exercise. Their outgoing nature makes them poor candidates for protectors.

The Brittany makes a good house pet as long as it receives daily mental and physical exercise. The Brittany is quick and curious, always on the lookout for birds or fun. If not given sufficient exercise, it can become destructive.

Health

Brittanies are generally healthy dogs, though some genetic disorders are prevalent. They can be prone to Hip dysplasia, and Epilepsy. Their ears can be prone to infections.

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