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Characteristics, History, and Health


The Brittany dog breed, often referred to as the Brittany Spaniel, is an enthusiastic and high-energy breed known for its exceptional hunting abilities and friendly disposition. The breed originated in the Brittany region of France in the mid to late 1800s, where it was bred as a hunting and retrieving dog. The breed's ancestors are believed to be a mix of local French Spaniels and English Setters, combining the best traits of both for exceptional hunting skills. The first Brittany was registered in France in 1907. The breed gained popularity in the United States in the early 20th century, particularly among hunters, and was recognized by the AKC in 1934.

Main Info
Alternate Names
Brittany Spaniel, l’épagneul Breton
Life Expectancy
12-14 years
Average Male Height
17.5-20.5 inches
Average Female Height
17.5-20.5 inches
Average Male Weight
30-40 pounds
Average Female Weight
30-40 pounds
Coat Length
Coat Type
Double, Wavy
Coat Colors
Black & White, Blue Roan, Liver & White, Liver Roan, Orange & White, Orange Roan, White & Liver, White & Orange, Liver White & Orange, Black White & Orange, White Black & Orange
Coat Pattern
Ticked, Spotted, Roan

Genetic Predispositions and Health

The Brittany is considered a generally healthy breed, but like many breeds can suffer from hip dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy, hyperuricosuria, and progressive rod-cone degeneration. Specific genetic conditions for which this breed should be tested include the immune system disorder known as complement 3 deficiency, and chondrodystrophy and intervertebral disc disease (CDDY and IVDD risk) with or without chondrodysplasia (CDPA). As for all breeds, genetic screening is recommended to assist veterinarians with diagnosis and proactive care, as well as help breeders identify affected and carrier dogs.

Personality and Behavior

Brittany dogs are known for their enthusiastic and friendly nature. They are highly intelligent and trainable, but their high energy levels require ample exercise to prevent them from becoming bored and potentially destructive. They are great family dogs, known for their love for children, but may be too much for small children or elderly people due to their high energy.

Brittanys have a strong instinct to chase and retrieve, stemming from their hunting background. They are also known for their sociability, enjoying the company of their human families and typically getting along well with other dogs. Due to their high intelligence, they require mental stimulation, so training should involve variety and challenge.

Brittanys are typically eager to please and respond well to positive reinforcement training. However, their hunting instincts can make them prone to distraction, especially by small animals or birds. They are best suited to active families who can provide them with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.

Fun Facts

They are named for the French Province where they originated.

Symbolizing their popularity, Brittany dogs were frequently seen in paintings of pastoral scenes, as well as in portraits with their owners throughout 17th centruy Western Europe.

The Brittany Spaniel was first introduced in America in 1931.