About Brittanys

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Aren't females better hunters/pets/family dogs than males?

How long do Brittanys live?

Are Brittanys good pets even if no one in my household hunts?

I've heard that Brittanys are very hyper! Is this true?

Do Brittanys require a lot of grooming?

I live in an apartment /My yard is not fenced. Can I still have a Brittany?

Are Brittanys good with children? How about other dogs and/or cats?

Are Brittanys hard to housebreak?

Do Brittanys have many health problems?

Do Brittanys require a lot of grooming?
Other than an occasional bath, most pet or hunting Brittanys need little more than weekly toenail trimming, regular brushing, and a routine check of their teeth and ears with cleaning when necessary. If your Brittany spends much time in heavy cover, you may need a mat rake or wide toothed steel comb to remove burrs or other tangles from the longer hairs on the legs, belly and rear.

I live in an apartment /My yard is not fenced. Can I still have a Brittany?
Although a securely fenced yard is strongly recommended for the Brittany, the most important factor is the commitment of the owner to seeing that the Brittany gets proper exercise in a safe and super-vised manner. If you do not have fencing, it will be necessary to take
your Brittany out several times daily on a lead for exercise and taking care of nature's call. Remember, this is a breed with extremely strong hunting instincts, so it is just as likely to chase a bird as it is to heed your commands when outside without restraint (maybe more so!) and this can lead to disastrous consequences, especially when traffic is involved. If you live in an apartment, you may consider getting an older dog rather than a puppy so you will have some idea of its energy level and exercise needs and can select a dog that is less active. However, some apartment dwellers have successfully owned even rather active Brittanys and have managed their exercise needs by getting involved in obedience or agility competitions. Again, the most important factor is the commitment of the owner. Just be honest with yourself because it's not fair to you or your Brittany if you don't live up to your part of the bargain! More Brittanys are surrendered to shelters and breed rescue because of their activity level than for any other reason. See About the Brittany About the Brittany for more discussion on the issue of activity.

Are Brittanys good with children? How about other dogs and or cats?
Assuming that they are properly socialized as puppies, Brittanys usually love people of any age and are generally patient and playful with children. It is normal for Brittanys to get along very well with other dogs although there may be difficulties between two males that are not neutered (as is the case in any breed!) Brittanys also can live happily with cats as long as they are introduced properly. Dogs have a natural instinct to chase animals that run so a lot will depend on the cat's reaction too!

Are Brittanys hard to housebreak?
Brittanys are intelligent and eager to please so they don't usually present serious housebreaking difficulties. Crate training is strongly advised for housebreaking as it takes advantage of a dog's natural denning instinct, allows for adjustment to a schedule (dogs love routine), and helps the new owner keep his or her sanity during the process. See the article on Crate Training for a more in-depth discussion.

Do Brittanys have many health problems?
Brittanys typically have fewer health problems than many other breeds but they are prone to some inherited defects, especially hip dysplasia and epilepsy, both of which can be very serious problems. All breeding stock should be certified by OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) http:///www.offa.org to ensure that both parents are free of hip dysplasia. Testing for epilepsy is unfortunately not so straightforward and you should carefully interview breeders to make certain that they screen for hereditary defects and that they do NOT breed known carriers of any health problems.

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