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Raising a brittany dog.

Updated on August 31, 2012

Brittany Dogs Love the Outdoors

Are you looking for an easy-to-transport pet that do great with kids? Do you want to find a dog that needs to be exercised daily to help you start an exercise routine?

You might want to consider getting a Brittany, which may just be the best dog for you. Once called Brittany Spaniels, Brittanys are now simply known without the term 'Spaniel' attached to their names.

A dog breed mainly bred for hunting birds, The Brittany are is often referred to as a Spaniel, although the working characteristics of the breed are more like setters or pointers.

The ‘Brittany’ dog is taken from a French northwestern region. In the seventeenth century, Brittany images were seen first on paintings and tapestries.

These were images depicting white and orange hunting dogs doing game retrieval. The first verifiable written record or this breed comes from a description of hunting that Reverent Davies had written in the year eighteen fifty.

There was a description made by Davies that described hunting with bobtailed small dogs that were excellent retrievers and were pointed.

This was around the same time that Brittany modern breeds were bred by mating with EnglishSetters. Although known in Europe for centuries, the Brittany was first shown in nineteen hundred at the Paris Dog Show.

In nineteen seven, the Brittany was recognized for the first time as a breed. In France at this time, a white and orange male named ‘Boy’ was registered. Because of this, in that same year the standards were first outlined.

In the year nineteen thirty one was the first time this breed was recognized in America. In nineteen thirty four, the American Kennel Club approved the breed. Fifty years later, the term ‘Spaniel’ was dropped officially from the name and simply the name ‘Brittany’ was kept.

Typically, a Brittany is solidly built but not heavy, energetic, compact and quite athletic. Floppy ears and long legs are other characteristics.

Alertness, vigor and intelligence are some of their expressions. They have a free, long and elastic gait. They learn pretty quickly and are known for being attached to their owners, loyal and sensitive.

Some Brittanys are born with long tails and some have naturally short tails. When a breed is born with a long tail these are usually docked to between one and four inches.

There is a wide variety of colors for this breed and some of the most common are white and liver or white and color. Other colors include liver roan and orange roan, all of which the show rings accept.

Generally, at the withers, this breed ranges in height between seventeen to twenty and a half inches. In the year nineteen ninety, the AKC standard approved and adopted measurements that are seventeen and a half to twenty and a half inches.

The weight of healthy breeds are between thirty six to forty-three pounds depending on their heights. Field lines in North America tend to be bigger with most dogs reaching healthy weights of twenty to twenty-three kilograms.

Measuring fifty centimeters at the shoulder, Brittanys are dogs that are medium in size.

Originally, the breed was bred to be a dog for hunting and noted for being sweet-natured and easy to train.

Generally, compared to other breeds for hunting, this breed is more sensitive to getting corrected. Often, harsh corrections are not necessary. Just as they work well as field working dogs, this dog also makes excellent family pets and are all around great sound dogs.

Good with kids, this dog is energetic and needs a minimum of one hour of exercise which is vigorous each day. Requiring exercise often and room for running, these dogs are active and a yard that has a fence is a must.

Daily, take this dog for a walk to satisfy the walking needs of the breed, although many Brittanys will need more than just one hour. Ideally, Brittanys make great companions for owners who are active.

Sometimes, this breeds gets the reputation for being uncontrollable or being crazy. Almost invariably, these problems are because of lack of training and exercise and not seen usually in dogs that are well-cared for.

If not socialized thoroughly, Brittanys do get quite shy and even among the dogs that are most well-socialized, there are variations significantly in friendliness levels.

Now that you are planning to get a Brittany as a pet, remember that they need to be properly socialized while young. Eager to please, this breed is also very easy to train.

In all bloodlines, the Brittany maintains strong instincts for hunting and more than any other breed, have more dual champions in America. This means that they have titles in both field trials and conformation.

Usually hardy and healthy dogs, the average breed lifespan is twelve to fourteen years. Due to their ears which are floppy, there can be ear canal trapped moisture and need regular cleaning for their ears.

Some members of the breed are affected by hip dysplasia and there are statistics that show that almost fifteen per cent of the breed tested between ’74 and ’09 were considerably dysplastic. The breed is also affected by epilepsy.

Generally low maintenance dogs, Brittanys do need a lot of exercise and are not too hard to handle. They need minimum grooming and are single coated unlike Shepherds and Labradors.

Other dogs tend to shed due to their undercoat which is fine. This breed does not have an undercoat and thus sheds very scantily. All you need is take your dog a bath only when necessary.

Not recommended for living in a small apartment, your pet Brittany will do best outdoors and are resistant to conditions that are damp and cold. Because of their love for exercise which is extensive, this dog has great stamina.

Their life expectancy is between twelve to fifteen years and as a general rule, tend to have between one and eleven puppies, with six as the average.

This breed is especially used for hunting hare, partridge and woodcock. They are popular with hunters due to their moderate size which makes them quite transportable.


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