Did you know that the Brittany dog's original name was the “Brittany Spaniel?” The AKC actually dropped the “Spaniel” from the Brittany dog's name back in 1982, but people still refer to them as Spaniels from time to time.
In reality, the Brittany temperament is more like that of a Pointer or Setter, rather than a Spaniel. It, therefore, makes sense that the AKC chose to drop the name.
The Temperament and Personality of a Brittany
The best way to get to know the Brittany temperament is to analyze her personality traits. Here are some of the more prominent behaviors common for this breed:
If you love an active lifestyle, then this is the dog for you. Hiking, dog park visits, long daily walks – she’s up for it all!
In fact, if you don’t exercise her enough, she will find a way to get that excess energy out, including becoming a nuisance barker and being hyperactive.
The better you socialize your Brittany, the more polite and friendly she will be with other people and animals. She can also be a rather confident dog but again, this all depends on her socialization. That’s why it’s crucial for you to socialize her as early and often as you can.
The Brittany is not a dog who responds well to harsh treatment. If you scold her for doing something wrong, she may not be able to recover.
After all, this is the kind of dog who can’t even stand a room filled with loud voices, let alone one of those loud voices being directed at her!
Okay, this one may be a bit difficult to deal with, but as long as you don’t make a big deal out of it, she might eventually grow out of it. Brittanys can become so excited that they have “submissive urination.” As you can probably tell, this is when they get so excited that a little urine may slip out.
If you don’t scold her, she may be able to overcome this, but some dogs have it forever. The point is, you must understand that this has nothing to do with her housebreaking training – it’s just a part of her personality.
The Brittany is an amenable dog who can blend into any situation. For instance, she can be gentle for children, or she can engage in some roughhouse play if you’re up for it.
Brittanys are easy to train because they are so smart. They also enjoy going above and beyond to please their masters, which also makes training easier than it otherwise could be.
A Brief History of the Brittany Breed
The Brittany comes from the Brittany region of northwest France, her namesake. The earliest art containing images of a Brittany dates all the way back to the 17th century.
Experts believe the Brittany we know today is the result of mating attempts in 1850 with English Setters. It was also around this time that hunters began using Brittanys as retrievers – and they turned out to be rather good gun dogs, too!
Training a Brittany
As mentioned earlier, a Brittany is endlessly hungry for exercise and hard work. This makes her easy to train for two reasons:
- She loves to please; and
- She hates when you yell at her. She does not take kindly to harsh scolding.
The Brittany is more sensitive to your corrections than other breeds, so you shouldn't need to yell at or hit her to get your point across.
You want to socialize your Brittany from a young age because, if you don't, she can grow into a painfully shy adult. Even if you socialize her from a young pup, every Brittany is different insofar as how friendly they can be.
Sometimes it does not matter what you do; if the Brittany is not up to making friends today, she won't.
Some Brittany dogs prefer the company of those they know best. That's because they're either too shy or not interested in meeting anyone new.
Helpful Dog Training Resource:
For help with training your Brittany dog, you should take a look at The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan. Doggy Dan is an expert Dog Trainer based in New Zealand. His online resource contains Hundreds of Excellent Dog Training Videos that will take you step-by-step through the process of developing a healthy, happy well-behaved dog.
How Big Does a Brittany Dog Get?
The average height of a Brittany dog is between 18 and 20 inches tall for an adult.
As far as a healthy weight goes, Brittany dogs are between 30 and 40 lbs whether they’re males or females.
Brittany colors include the following:
- Combinations of white with liver, black or orange
Grooming a Brittany Dog
The coat of a Brittany Dog is typically flat or curly but, more importantly, short. So, she doesn't require a lot of grooming to look nice and stay clean.
A weekly once-over with a brush or glove to remove any dead hairs should do the trick. Give her baths as needed.
Check and clean her ears regularly, and be sure to trim her nails as needed.
You can brush her teeth daily, but experts recommend you do so at least twice or three times per week to remove any bacteria and to prevent tartar buildup.
If you’re looking for a hypoallergenic dog, the Brittany is not it. Due to the kind of coat the Brittany’s has, she is not a good choice for those who are allergic to dogs.
Health of a Brittany
Compared to other breeds, the Brittany is a very healthy dog. Her life expectancy ranges from 12 to 14 years, and a healthy weight for her is between 30 to 40 lbs.
Her feeding recommendation is between 1.5 to 2 cups a day of high-quality, dry food, divided into two meals.
Any more than this, especially if you overdo it with her treats, can subject her to becoming overweight or even obese.
Being overweight carries its own health problems. Therefore, you should be vigilant in making sure that you do not overfeed your Brittany.
Note: if you agree that your health and your dog's health should be a top priority then get a copy of The Ultimate Guide to Dog Health. Your Brittany friend will love you for it. This guide will help save you money, time and most of all help you keep your dog healthy.
If you could describe a Brittany in one word, it would be “energetic.”
You know how you have to run a Husky about twice a day to calm down the crazies? The Brittany's needs are similar.
A Brittany is, essentially, the dog version of a person who's had a lot of coffee:
Time to chase birds?
Going for a run?
Do the kids want to play?
I'm on it!
Walking your Brittany around the block once a day is not enough to get out all her pent-up energy. She does best when you give her a “job” to do.
For instance, if you like to hunt or fish, the Brittany will be more than happy to lead you to or bring back your game.
If you're not interested in hunting, you can instead engage your Brittany in other dog-friendly activities, like playing fetch. You can also train her to master an obstacle course. This is a sport known as “dog agility.”
I can’t stress this enough: if you don’t have the energy or the kind of lifestyle that can provide this dog with the exercise she needs, then this is not the dog for you. She will find ways to channel that energy if you don’t help her, and you can’t really blame her in that regard for becoming destructive or a nuisance.
Top Brittany Mixes
If mixed breed dogs are more your thing, check out these adorable Brittany mixes:
- Brittnepoo (Poodle mix)
- Labany (Labrador Retriever mix)
- Border Collie Britt (Border Collie mix)
- Brittany Beagle (Beagle mix)
American vs French Brittany
You may also hear terms like “American Brittany” or a “French Brittany.” The distinction between the two is that the American Brittany is taller and faster than the French Brittany.
The American Brittany is also more independent than her French counterpart.
Finding the Perfect Brittany
If you’re thinking about bringing a Brittany puppy into your home, there are two main ways of doing this: you can adopt, or buy a Brittany puppy for sale from a breeder.
Price of a Brittany
On average, the price of Brittany puppies for sale is around $700 if you're looking into purchasing one from a breeder.
Show-quality puppies, however, can go for at least $1,100 and as much as $3,800.
Of course, there are additional costs involved in raising a Brittany, so $700 is like a down payment on everything there is to come. You also need to factor in:
- Professional grooming costs
- Potential health concerns and vet visits (like if you need vitamins, medicines, etc.)
- Food and accessories (like toys and treats) every month or so
- Not-so-often accessories, like leashes, collars, crates, etc.
Brittany Adoption and Rescue
If you are thinking about making a Brittany the newest member of your family, then it is time for you to acquaint yourself with the world of Brittany adoption!
One thing to remember is that a shelter’s “stock” changes all the time. Even if you don’t see one at first, you never know what breeds might show up later, so keep checking back.
Also, definitely let the staff know that you are looking for either a Brittany or a Brittany mixed breed. You can even fill out an application to adopt ahead of time so that when one comes in, you’re all set to adopt it!
You may also have more luck finding Brittany rescue dogs through a Brittany rescue group.
The price of a Brittany adoption will vary depending on whether you adopt her through a local shelter or a more private rescue group.
Typically, adoption fees range from $75 to $200. And, as an added bonus, most places will spay and vet your rescue Brittany prior to your bringing her home.
When it comes to buying a Brittany from a breeder, it is imperative for you to be patient and do your research to make sure you are dealing with an ethical breeder, rather than a puppy mill.
One of the best ways to do this is to refrain from ever purchasing Brittany puppies over the internet or from a pet store. Instead, start by getting a referral from dog shows or canine sporting events, then make an appointment to visit the breeders you like in person.
When you get there, inspect the breeder’s home to ensure the dogs are kept in clean, safe conditions. Talk with the breeder about the breed, and don’t be afraid to ask questions about common Brittany diseases and other health problems. Ask to see the medical records for the puppy’s parents.
And remember, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. If you notice the parents of the pup you want to adopt are aggressive or are otherwise displaying bad behavior, it is a safe bet that their pups will do the same.
This could be because the behavior traits are already in the pup’s blood, or it could be because the breeder isn’t doing what she should to correct bad behavior. Either way, it spells trouble for you later.
A Final Word about the Brittany Dog
The Brittany temperament will keep you on your toes – literally. If she could talk, she would be consistently yelling at you to “get up and play with me!”
Daily walks won't cut it for this dog. She needs engagement. And she needs to run herself ragged until she flops in a corner somewhere at the end of the day.
The Brittany is not a dog you can leave home alone all day while you're at work. If she doesn't enjoy a fair amount of exercise every day, she will go stir-crazy and take it out on your furniture.
The Brittany Dog is like a little kid: she has a ton of energy, and she's delightful. Also, like a little kid, don't scold her too harshly while training her. If she was, in fact, a little kid, she would cry just the same as one you just scolded. She's a sensitive soul who wants nothing more than to do right by her master.
Kailyn has worked as a professional freelance writer since 2012, and during that time she has written about nearly every dog breed imaginable. Her mother loved Collies, and so Kailyn grew up with three of them throughout her childhood – including a blonde one who was half-blind! Now her home belongs to her first official dog, Macho, a Dogo Argentino rescue.