The Brittany Spaniel most likely has his beginnings in the province of Brittany, located in France during the middle of the 1800s. It is thought by some that he may be the result of crossing a French Spaniel with an English Setter.
Originally, they were trained to flush game from thick underbrush for their masters who were waiting with their guns nearby. This particular breed is the smallest of the pointers. He did not make an appearance in the United States until 1931. Today, he is still used for a gundog. In fact, he remains one of the most popular dogs used for bird hunting.
The Brittany Spaniel is known for his long legs that give him the appearance of being a great runner of distance. Indeed, he can cover quite a distance having the agility as well as the appearance.
Even though his tail is short, it is often docked to four inches. This is mainly to prevent any damage while he is going through thick growth during a hunting excursion. A strong and powerful dog with the ability to move quickly, the Brittany Spaniel is energetic. The Brittany Spaniel needs lots of exercise to maintain his health as well as to keep him occupied and out of mischief.
He does best if an active person such as an avid sportsman owns him. He needs lots of space; therefore, an apartment is not the best home for him. Likewise, being cooped up in a cage is not an acceptable method for housing this type of dog. He requires lots of activity to keep him occupied and content.
Brittany Spaniels are gentle and even tempered. They make excellent pets in addition to being excellent gun dogs. If they are raised with children from an early age, they will get along quite nicely with them. Socialization should begin early to prevent timidity.
Additionally, the dog should become accustomed to loud noises. In fact, if he is not properly trained and acclimated to his surroundings, he can become excessively timid. If trained properly, the Brittany Spaniel is very flexible and easily adapts from one situation or terrain to another.
Obedience training is usually quite easy since this breed is eager to please its master as well as being quite intelligent. Positive reinforcement produces the best results toward this end.
The Brittany Spaniel is a medium size. The adult dog usually weighs between 16-18 kg or 35-40 lbs. Bitches usually weigh between 14-18 kg or 30-40 lbs. The typical height of the adult male falls between 43-53 cm or 17-21 inches. The height of bitches usually falls between 46-51 cm or 18-20 inches. The length of his body is the same as the height of his body if measured at his shoulders.
Their coloring is mainly white, although patches of orange, roan, or liver occur. The ears of this breed show fringing and the legs appear to be feathered somewhat. The coat of a Brittany Spaniel is flat and of medium length. It may even appear wavy, although curly is never acceptable. The coat is neither silky nor rough and wiry, but rather, falls somewhere in between the two ends of the spectrum.
A regular brushing is sufficient to keep it under control. A dry shampoo or a quick bath can be used if desired to keep the dog’s coat under control. If you are planning to show the dog, professional grooming is recommended. At the very least, a professional trim can do wonders for the appearance of your dog.
Health issues that may affect the Brittany Spaniel include hip dysplasia, a degenerative joint disease, and seizures. Occasionally, problems such as glaucoma or spinal paralysis occur, but these are typically inherited, and expected, from the parents. However, for the most part, this type of dog is quite healthy and hardy in nature.
This breed is recognized by the CKC or Continental Kennel Club, FCI or Fédération Cynologique Internationale, AKC or American Kennel Club, UKC or United Kennel Club, KCGB or Kennel Club of Great Britain, CKC or Canadian Kennel Club,
ANKC or Australian National Kennel Club, NKC or National Kennel Club,
NZKC or New Zealand Kennel Club, APRI or American Pet Registry Inc., and
ACR or American Canine Registry.
The average lifespan of the Brittany Spaniel is about ten to twelve years. He is placed in the gundog or sporting group.
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