The Brittany Gundog, sometimes referred to as the Brittany Spaniel is a French breed that was developed as a gundog. Many English gundog breeds were used in the development of the Brittany and the result is a dog that is taller than spaniels but smaller than setters. The Brittany Spaniel is medium in size, athletic and loves to be busy. This breed is a versatile working dog that is prized for their ability to hunt, point and retrieve game. The friendly nature of the Brittany Spaniel makes them good family pets too. The Brittany is a compact dog with a leggy appearance and a medium length coat.
The Brittany Spaniel is one of the smallest gundog breeds although they are leggier than other spaniels. This breed has an alert and agile appearance, the Brittany has a slightly rounded head with high triangular ears that fall down to their cheeks. Brittany dogs have oval eyes that are brown in colour and highly expressive.
Brittany Spaniels are muscular with deep chests and short backs. They have strong legs and the Britanny’s shoulders slope moderately with their shoulder blades set widely apart. This spaniel's feet are compact, round and their back feet are slightly longer than their front feet. Brittany Spaniels can be naturally tailless or they can have a short tail that is set high and carrier horizontally.
The Brittany has a dense coat that is usually slightly wavy and is feathered on the legs. Brittany Spaniel can be white, black and white roan, tricolour, orange and white, orange and white roan, liver and white, black tricolour or liver tricolour.
How big do Brittany Spaniel dogs get?
Height - Males: 48 - 51cm, Females: 47 - 50cm
Weight - Males: 20 - 23kg, Females: 20 - 23kg
Brittany Spaniels are intelligent working dogs that have a huge amount of stamina and speed. The Brittany’s high energy levels are not to be underestimated. The Brittany is the kind of dog that is happy to go for long hikes with you and would enjoy canine sports, regular training sessions and playing interactive games. As a highly intelligent breed, the Brittany is a fast learner but it is important to be consistent and firm with training as they can pick up bad habits just as quickly as they pick up good ones. Although this is a working dog, the Brittany Spaniel is not a natural guard dog.
Are Brittany Spaniel dogs intelligent? Yes
Are Brittany Spaniel dogs affectionate? Yes
Do Brittany Spaniel dogs have high or low energy levels? High energy levels
Are Brittany Spaniel dogs loyal? Yes
Are Brittany Spaniel dogs playful? Yes, they particularly enjoy interactive games
Are Brittany Spaniel dogs aggressive? No
Are Brittany Spaniel dogs easy to train? Yes
Are Brittany Spaniel dogs good guard dogs? No
The Brittany Spaniel is a social dog that is good with other dogs. However, the Brittany should be kept away from smaller animals as they have a high prey drive that means they may chase animals they do not know. If the Brittany has grown up with cats or other pets they will get along with them but it’s best not to leave them unsupervised just in case. Brittany Spaniels are excellent with children as they are gentle and patient with them. They also tend to be friendly around strangers but may keep their distance and bark at first if the Britanny is unsure of the situation.
Do Brittany Spaniel dogs get along with other pets? Only if they have grown up with them
Do Brittany Spaniel dogs get along with other dogs? Yes
Are Brittany Spaniel dogs good with kids? Yes, they are gentle and patient with children
Are Brittany Spaniel dogs good with strangers? Yes
Although Brittany Spaniels are eager to please they need experienced owners that are familiar with their training, socialisation and handling needs. As Brittany dogs are primarily working dogs they need to have plenty of space, a house in the countryside would be ideal for this breed. It’s important the Brittany has access to a secure garden where they can play interactive games off lead safely. Brittany Spaniels bond strongly to their owners and don’t like to be left alone so this dog needs a family where someone is going to be at home with them.
Are Brittany Spaniel dogs good for first-time owners? No, they need an experienced owner
Are Brittany Spaniel dogs hypoallergenic? No
Are Brittany Spaniel dogs prone to drooling? No
Are Brittany Spaniel dogs a good breed for apartment living? No, these working dogs need plenty of outdoor space
Do Brittany Spaniel dogs shed a lot? They shed moderately throughout the year
Do Brittany Spaniel dogs bark a lot? No
Can Brittany Spaniel dogs be left alone at home? No
Can Brittany Spaniel dogs handle the heat? Yes
Can Brittany Spaniel dogs handle cold temperatures? Yes
Are Brittany Spaniel dogs sensitive to loud noises? Yes, they are sensitive to shouting
The Brittany Spaniel has an average life expectancy of 10 - 12 years. Although the Brittany is a healthy breed, there are a few health problems that owners should be aware of:
Hip dysplasia - This is the abnormal development of the hip joint, it is painful for dogs and can cause swelling and arthritis. Treatment options include medicine, physiotherapy and surgery.
Elbow dysplasia - This is the abnormal development of the elbow joint, it is also very painful but can be treated with medicine, controlled exercise, physiotherapy and surgery.
Cancer - There are a few different cancers found in this breed. Depending on the type of cancer, it may be able to be removed and treated with radiotherapy, chemotherapy and other medication.
Luxating patella - This is the dislocation of the kneecap. The problem can be treated surgically but mild patella luxation doesn’t need treatment.
Discoid Lupus Erythematosus - This breed is at a higher risk of canine discoid lupus erythematosus. This is a skin lupus that causes scabbing and crusting of the dog's skin. This auto-immune disease causes the immune system to attach the skin causing skin to slough. Treatment includes immune system suppression and medications.
Eye problems - There are various eye problems that are known to impact this breed including multifocal retinal dysplasia, glaucoma and cataracts. Cataracts are more likely to occur later in life but it is important to keep an eye on a Brittany’s eye health and take them to the vet if you notice any changes.
Hypothyroidism - This is when the thyroid hormones are underproduced causing low energy and weight gain. This condition can be treated with lifelong medication.
Allergies - These dogs have been known to have skin allergies and sensitivities. The treatment of allergies will depend on the triggers but will often involve avoiding triggers, medication and immunotherapy.
Ear infections - The long ears of the Brittany Spaniel make them more likely to experience ear infections. These are usually treated with ear drops.
How long do Brittany Spaniel dogs live? 10 - 12 years
As we mentioned, Brittany Spaniels are high energy dogs that need lots of daily exercise for them to be happy. A Brittany should be walked for at least 2 hours per day, with as much time off lead as possible. These intelligent dogs need long, interesting walks to prevent them from getting bored. As Brittany Spaniels are working dogs they have a high prey drive which means they should only be let off their lead in secure areas where there is no livestock or wildlife around. When not out walking, Brittany’s love to play interactive games and love to push themselves in canine sports.
How much exercise does a Brittany Spaniel dog need? 2 hours per day
Do Brittany Spaniel dogs like water play? Yes, they love water and will swim at any opportunity
Brittany Spaniels are hardy dogs that do well on a diet of good quality dry food. The amount a Brittany needs to eat each day will depend on a number of factors including their weight, build and activity level. A Brittany Spaniel puppy needs between 175 - 310g of good quality dry food each day, this needs to be split into 3 - 4 portions and offered throughout the day. The actual amount fed will depend on the individual puppy. This is a rough estimate, because every dog is different it is vital to get a personal dietary plan made for your dog.
Are Brittany Spaniel dogs prone to weight gain? No
How much should I feed a Brittany Spaniel puppy? Between 175 - 310g of quality dry food per day depending on the puppy’s age and build
How much should I feed an adult Brittany Spaniel dog? Between 230 - 320g of quality dry food per day day depending on the dog’s weight and activity level
Grooming: The short, wavy coat of the Brittany Spaniel requires very little grooming. A simple brush on a regular basis is all that is needed to make sure the Brittany’s coat is free from tangles. It is important to check the Brittany’s ears regularly as they can be prone to ear infections. Their teeth should also be checked and cleaned on a regular basis and the Brittany Spaniels nails will need to be cut periodically.
Emotional Care: The Brittany Spaniel needs to be exercised regularly to keep them happy. They also enjoy the mental stimulation of interactive games, canine sports and training sessions. Without these, the Brittany will quickly become bored and will develop unwanted behaviours. The Brittany Spaniel doesn’t like to be left alone so they need to be in a household where someone is going to be with them.
History of the Brittany Spaniel
The Brittany Spaniel was developed in France using English dogs including English Pointers and Setters. Brittanys were a popular working dog and by the 1900s there were breeding programmes in place to work towards standardising the breed. In the 1900s English Setters were used to make the Brittany Spaniel taller and then in the 1930s the breeders worked towards producing a cobby spaniel. The result of all of this selective breeding is the highly talented and versatile Brittany Spaniel that became highly prized as a gundog in France.
Since then, the Brittany Spaniel has become popular not only as a working dog but also as a family pet. In 1997, the Brittany Spaniel was recognised by the Kennel Club and the breed is popular in the show ring and in canine sport competitions.
The Brittany Spaniel is a descendent on many English gundog breeds
Brittany Spaniels are prized for their hunt, point and retrieve abilities
Brittany-like dogs can be seen in painting from the 1600s
Some Brittany Spaniels are born tailless, some have stubby tails and some have long tails
Brittany Spaniels have more dual champions than any other sporting dogs
If the Brittany Spaniel is the right dog for you, read our buying guide for advice on how to find and buy a new dog. This guide discusses how to avoid scams and bad practices - something that is unfortunately common when buying dogs online. This is why all breeders on Puppies have been vetted to ensure they are responsible. Take a look at our Brittany Spaniel puppy page to find available dogs in your area.
How much does a Brittany Spaniel cost to buy? - £900 - £1800
How much does a Brittany Spaniel cost to feed? - £50 per month
How much does insurance for a Brittany Spaniel cost? £35 per month
An alternative option is to adopt a Brittany Spaniel. Your local dog rescue centre may be able to help with this or contact the associations below: