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Brittany Spaniels

Updated on June 6, 2017
Brittany Spaniel
Brittany Spaniel | Source
Beau Begging For a Treat
Beau Begging For a Treat | Source
Beau relaxing
Beau relaxing | Source
Beau at Christmas
Beau at Christmas | Source

Brittany Spaniels

My husband and I have a male Brittany and I would recommend these dogs to anyone. Apartment dwellers are the only people that shouldn’t have one. Brittanys need exercise because they were bred to hunt and will chase a ball all day if you will allow it. You’ll never find a dog as loving or willing to please as a Brittany. These dogs are loved by hunters.

The History of Brittanys

The dogs were once called Brittany Spaniels, because they look like a spaniel. They work more like a Pointer or Setter though. Paintings from as early as the 1700’s exist that show the dog. It is believed that the Brittany was developed by breeding two types of English hunting dogs. One may have been the Welsh Springer Spaniel, because the dog resembles it in looks.

Brittanys weren’t brought into the US until the 1920s. They weren’t popular when first brought here, because hunters thought that pointers should have a long tail. Now the dog is one of the most popular hunting dogs. The name Spaniel wasn’t dropped from their name until 1982 in the US.

There are two types of Brittanys, French Brittanys and American Brittanys which are a bit larger. In the US the ones that are liver and white or orange and white are most common. Some are tricolor. You will see a black and white Brittanys once in a while here and some are almost all white or all black, but the black ones are more accepted in France.

What Does a Brittany Look Like?

This dog has dense, flat or wavy hair. Some dogs have feathering.

Brittanys are medium sized dogs that are leggy. The normal weight for these dogs is 30-40 pounds. The American breed can be up to 50 pounds. Their height is 17 ½” - 20 ½“ at the shoulder”.

What is a Brittany's Temperament?

This is a happy dog that likes to please. Our Brittany Beau spends most of his life grinning and wagging his tail.

The dog is a bit shy unless you socialize them. I’ve had Beau hide behind me when a stranger wanted to pet him. When guest arrive, he’ll hide upstairs. We got Beau when he was 3 years old and he may not have been around many people as a pup.

These dogs are said to chew and do destructive behaviors if left alone too long. We have never had this problem.

These dogs are said not to do well in homes with a lot of tension. They don’t like yelling or loud noise.


You should brush their hair regularly, but most of these dogs have a short coat and don‘t require a lot of grooming. This dog is a light shedder.

It is important to clean the inside of their ears. Because they have long floppy ears, they can get infections if you don’t.

Health Issues of the Brittany

The average lifespan of a Brittany is 12-14 years. These dogs rarely have health problems. Hip dysplasia, allergies or eye problems are possible.

Hip dysplasia is a condition of the hip where the ball and socket no longer fit. Your dog will have pain and inflammation and possibly lameness. Medications are available to help treat the inflammation and shots are available to keep it lubricated. In severe cases that don't respond to treatment, the kindest treatment is having the dog euthanized.

If you are purchasing your dog from a breeder, an X-ray is available to see if the dog's line carries the inherited trait for hip dyspasia. If the breeder has had this done, he will have certification to prove it.

An inherited disposition for eye problems can also be checked, but epilepsy can't. A floating kneecap is also possible and won't show-up until the dog is about 6 months old.

It is possible for your Brittany to get any illness that other dogs get, but usually it is rare for them. The breed is a healthy breed.

Brittany Rescues

There are rescues for these dogs. Many have been placed in rescues because the owner has passed away, the owner's have lost their homes, or have become too ill to care for the dogs. The rescues also save Brittanys from bad situations like abuse or abandonment. If you visit these websites, you can choose a dog.

Here are the two that I am aware of:

Our Beau came from the NBRAN rescue. The dog stay at a foster home while they wait for someone to choose them for a permanent home. We liked this, because the foster Mom was able to tell us if Beau had any problems before we got him.

If you are thinking about a Brittany, think about adopting one. These are wonderful loving dogs that make great pets.


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    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 4 years ago from USA

      Nell Rose. Too bad you can't have a dog. We get so much enjoyment from ours. Thanks for voting it up and sharing.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Hi, These certainly sound like lovely dogs, I have never heard of a Brittany Spaniel before, so I learned something new. I really miss having a dog, but I do live in an apartment upstairs so they wouldn't be suitable for me, sadly! voted up and shared, nell

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 4 years ago from USA

      Eddy, I'm happy you enjoyed it and thanks for sharing and voting it up. If you get another dog, a Brittany is the best dog we've had yet. They want to please you.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      I love anything to do with dogs although at the moment we only have two cats. However this didn't stop me from enjoying this read.

      Thanks for sharing and voted up.


    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 5 years ago from USA

      Angelo52, Our springer is about 4 now and he has slowed down. He is the best dog we've ever had. If you live in a condo, you better get a really small dog though. Thanks for commenting.

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 5 years ago from USA

      moonlake, Our dog before the Brittany was a Springer. The springer passed away. She was the smartest dog I ever saw. Thanks for voting up and sharing.

    • Angelo52 profile image

      Angelo52 5 years ago from Central Florida

      They sound like a great dog breed. But since they are very active, my condo would not be a happy place for them. The information in your wonderful is very helpful. Voted up and shared.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 5 years ago from America

      Your Brittany looks a lot like our Springer. Our Springer is also a happy good dog. We had neighbors that had a Brittany and when she passed away they got another one. They're good dogs. Voted up and shared.

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 6 years ago from USA

      Millie, You'll love your new Brittanies. This is a breed I highly recommend. Ours is such a well behaved dog.

    • profile image

      millie 6 years ago

      your brittany looks really happy and healthy. we are going to get 2 males soon(ish) and are really looking forward to it. :-)

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 6 years ago from USA

      Nature by Dawn, Our dog Beau wants to chase a ball over and over, but he's happy having it thrown just a little ways in the house. I just love this breed, because they are so well-behaved. Thanks for commenting.

    • Nature by Dawn profile image

      Dawn Ross 6 years ago

      This is some great information! My friend has one and she has lived in an apartment with her. It wasn't so bad so long as she made sure she got plenty of exercise.

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 6 years ago from USA

      Susan, I've never seen a Cavalier King Charles except in photos. They are beautiful. I love the look of spaniels. I may think about a Cavalier for my next dog just because they are so adorable looking. Thanks for commenting.

    • Susan Starts Now profile image

      Susan Starts Now 6 years ago from California

      We thought about getting a Brittany, they certainly have many good qualities. Beau is quite handsome. We ended up choosing Cavalier King Charles Spaniels because they are smaller, don't need quite as much exercise and are a bit more social. Nice article!

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 6 years ago from USA

      b.Malin, This breed is well behaved. We've had several other breeds and this is the easiest dog we've had. Thanks for commenting.

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 6 years ago

      They are Wonderful Dogs. When I was about 14, I babysat for some people who had this Breed, and it was such a good, well behaved dog...better than the baby...Only Kidding. As an Animal Lover, I Loved this Hub! And a Big Hi, to Beau, that Lucky DOG!

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 6 years ago from USA

      Ethel, Thanks for commenting. Beau does have a great life here. I think he knows he has it made.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 6 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Spaniels often have eye probs I know

      This dog looks a treat :) Bigger dogs usually have he will have a great life.