Brittany Breed Guide
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Brittany Breed Info & History
Intelligent, athletic, and confident- the Brittany Spaniel dog breed has been a family favorite for years. They were first reported in 17th century through sophisticated paintings and tapestries, which highlighted a medium-sized breed with a white and orange coat.
Originally from the northwestern corner of France, this breed excelled at hunting and retrieving small game, especially birds. Even today, Brittany owners notice how their furry companions always have a special eye for things in the sky. Due to their size and specialized hunting qualities, many historians believe that the Brittany has close genetic ties to the Welsh Springer Spaniel.
In the early 1900’s, Brittany’s re-established themselves from a hunting breed to a high-class show dog. Their high intelligence and beautiful appearance made them a popular choice for dog shows and competitions throughout France, which eventually sparked an interest across the Atlantic.
It wasn’t until 1931 that the Brittany was brought to the United States. As soon as the breed made their debut, they steadily increased in popularity, and are still an American favorite to this day. Three years later, the AKC finally recognized them as an official breed. Today, the Brittany is among the top 25 most popular breeds in the United States. Their loving personalities and even temperament make them a favorable choice for many pet owners. To learn more about this breed, continue reading the complete Brittany information guide below.
Brittany Temperament & Personality
The Brittany tends to be a happy, go-lucky dog that thrives from human companionship. They love to please their owners and feel the need to be involved in any kind of family activity. When owning a Brittany, it’s important to remember that this breed is happiest outdoors; whether it’s a run through the park or a hike in the woods.
Not only are they an active breed, but they also exhibit high intelligence as well. That means they will need daily mental stimulation to keep them entertained. The last thing you want is for your Brittany to become bored. Boredom will spark mischievousness and unpleasant behavior. To avoid this from happening, make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise and mental stimulation as frequently as possible.
Also with this breed, make sure to socialize them as soon as you bring them home. Familiarize your Brittany with different people, places, and experiences so they will become a more well-rounded pup later on in life.
A common fault with this breed is their dependency on human interaction. Unlike most breeds, Brittany’s need a lot of attention from their owners. If they are left alone for long periods of time or are not getting an adequate amount of attention, they are at high risk for developing separation anxiety. If you are looking for a dog that is low maintenance and can entertain themselves, then the Brittany breed would not be the most suitable option for you.
Training a Brittany
Loved for their high level of intelligence, the Brittany reacts well to common training efforts. The earlier you start the training process, the greater the chances they will be able to develop the proper skillset of a well-behaved companion.
Brittany’s will excel during training, however, make sure to only use positive reinforcement when you are trying to enforce good behavior. They tend to be a very sensitive breed and may become emotionally distressed if they are treated poorly. Soft words, treats, and praise are all positive tactics that will encourage favorable behavior when it comes to your Brittany.
Exercise Requirements for a Brittany
Even though a Brittany can adapt to apartment or city living, they are best suited for spacious yards or farms. This medium-sized breed needs to be physically and mentally stimulated frequently and has to have several walks throughout the day in order to keep their energy at bay. Don’t expect this breed to be satisfied with a quick stroll around the block. Some Brittany’s will require an hour or more of physical activity to keep them happy and healthy.
If they are given a job to do, even better. That’s why obedience and agility training are both popular activities for this breed to engage in. Their owner needs to find exercises that challenge them not only physically, but mentally as well. As said before, Brittany’s have a tendency to become bored, which is the direct result of insufficient exercise.
Brittany Life Span & Longevity
Brittany’s typically have a lifespan of 12 to 14 years.
Are Brittanys a Popular Breed?
Once this breed became recognized by the American Kennel Club, their popularity steadily increased across America. The Brittany is a family favorite due to their loyal and friendly qualities. This breed is also great for first-time pet owners, which makes them adaptable to any household setting. Today, the Brittany breed is ranked 25th most popular dog according to the AKC.
Brittany Feeding Requirements
The quality of food you provide your pet can have a serious impact on their overall health. That’s why it is crucial to feed your dog nutritious and wholesome ingredients. Before purchasing their food, analyze the labels to see how the products are being made. Stay clear from ingredients like soy, corn, or gluten, which are harmful fillers that are hard for your pet to digest. When it comes to the amount, many professionals recommend 1 ½ to 2 cups of high-quality food, split into two separate meals a day.
No two dogs are completely the same, and that’s why you have to consider their weight, age, activity level, and metabolism when creating a proper meal plan. Also be sure to provide your pet with fresh water at all times. Their water dish should be thoroughly cleaned at least once a day and topped off when needed.
Luckily for owners, the Brittany has very little grooming requirements. Their short, dense coat rarely sheds and is fairly easy to maintain. Brush your Brittany at least once a week in order to keep their coat shiny and healthy. When it comes to bath time, only bathe your dog when necessary.
Aside from regular brushing, make sure to check their ears, eyes, nose, and skin for infection or inflammation. Pay special attention to the ears considering this is an area that is prone to infection.
Lastly, trim your dog’s nails at least once every two weeks. Overgrown nails can cause painful breakage or infection. As a general rule of thumb, if you can hear their nails tapping on the hardwood floor, that means they’re in need of a trim.
Are Brittanys Good with Children?
Due to their high energy levels and friendly personalities, the Brittany is a great companion for children of all ages. Whether they are engaging in a game of fetch or running around the backyard, both the child and the dog will keep each other entertained for hours on end. As long as you train your dog how to interact with children from a young age, they should not have any behavior issues when interacting with a child.
Keep in mind it is also important to teach your child how to properly treat your dog. They should never wake their dog while sleeping, interfere with their food, or spook them from behind. Once both parties respect one another and understand their boundaries, both the Brittany and the child will have no issues living under the same roof.
Just like with any dog, make sure a parent is always present during any kind of interaction.
Common Brittany Health Problems
For the most part, Brittany’s are known to be a healthy breed. However, that doesn’t mean they are susceptible to all health issues. Below is a list of possible Brittany health problems that this breed is prone to.
Hip Dysplasia: Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition that occurs when the ball and socket of the hip joint do not fit properly, which causes the joints to grind against one another. Most dogs that are diagnosed with hip dysplasia experience pain, difficulty in walking, and will even have deterioration of the cartilage over time.
Hypothyroidism: Hypothyroidism is a health issue that occurs when the body is lacking sufficient levels of thyroid hormones. Common symptoms include thinning of the hair, fluctuations in weight, or lethargy. Luckily, this condition can be cured by taking a synthetic hormone pill, which will rebalance the proper levels of thyroid hormones.
Epilepsy: This neurological disorder is the number one cause of seizure in dogs. There is no single known cause for this disease, however, it can be brought on by brain trauma, tumors, cancer, or toxins. If a dog is treated in the beginning stages of epilepsy, the likelihood of their recovery increases significantly.
Cataracts: Brittanys are prone to several eye issues, which also include cataracts. Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye becomes opaque or fogged over. The severity of cataracts will range depending on the stage and duration. In severe cases, surgical correction may be required to restore your dog’s vision.