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About Brittanys

Originally called the Brittany Spaniel because of its compact size and resemblance to many Spaniels, the Brittany is a member of The American Kennel Club's Sporting Group and is the smallest of the pointing breeds. The word Spaniel was officially dropped from the name in 1982 to reflect its true primary nature and purpose as a pointing dog.

According to the AKC, the Brittany originated in the 1850's as the result of a cross breeding between an English Setter and a French Spaniel. This is undoubtedly an oversimplification, but you can learn more about the history of the breed from many of the books shown on our Recommended Reading list. Maxwell Riddle's book, The Complete Brittany, offers an excellent discussion on the history and origin of the breed.

The Brittany is a medium-sized, compact dog with a flat or slightly wavy coat of medium length. He may be orange and white, liver and white, or tri-colored, in a clear or roan pattern. Most Brittanys are between 17-1/2 inches and 20-1/2 inches when measured at the shoulder and weigh between 30 and 40 lbs. However, there is much variation from this average. The Brittany is born tailless or has a tail docked to four inches or less. Click here to view the official AKC breed standard for the Brittany: Click here for the official Standard

The Brittany is a true dual purpose (show and field) dog and The American Brittany Club emphasizes retaining this quality in breeding programs and competitions. There are more Dual Champions in this breed than in all other Sporting breeds combined. The ideal Brittany should be able to run in a field trial one day then be competitive in a dog show the next day (after a bath, of course!)

The Brittany is one of the most versatile of all Sporting breeds. In addition to shows and field trials, they successfully compete in hunting dog tests, obedience trials, agility trials, and tracking tests. Several are also used as therapy dogs, visiting nursing homes and hospitals to cheer up the occupants.

The Brittany is a lively, energetic and loveable companion. The Brittany is usually very good with children and other dogs. Ideally, the Brittany will be able to go hunting during the season, but also will be happy to jog alongside its owner, run free in a securely fenced community dog park, or compete in active events such as Agility, Frisbee, Obedience, or Flyball. A fenced yard is almost a requirement, but being left alone in a fenced yard is not entertaining enough for most Brittanys. Daily exercise is a MUST or the Brittany can become destructive in order to relieve its boredom and/or its need for activity. Most importantly, the Brittany owner must be seriously committed to seeing that the Brittany gets a good workout on a regular basis.