The Brittany Spaniel Dog Breed Profile

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Description: The Brittany Spaniel is a medium sized dog generally used for hunting or companionship. This dog weighs between 30 and 40 pounds, and will range up to 20 inches at the shoulder. There is only a slight difference between the sexes. The dog has long legs and is agile and strong. The coat of the Brittany Spaniel is either liver and white or orange and white. If the tail is docked, it is left at 4 inches. The Brittany Spaniel will live for 10 to 12 years. This dog is also referred to as the Brittany, American Brittany, and Epagneul Breton.

History: The Brittany Spaniel originated in the French province of Brittany perhaps 1800 years ago. The Brittany Spaniel has been depicted in European art for over 300 years. It is believed that the Brittany arose from breeding between a local orange and white dog and an unknown hunting dog. It is also possible that this dog was crossed with English hunting dogs at the beginning of the 20th century,and that this augmented the hunting skills of the Brittany. It is also believed that the Brittany is closely related to the Welsh Springer Spaniel.

Temperament: As is usual with hunting dogs, which have evolved interacting with humans, the Brittany Spaniel is an even tempered dog known for having a sweet disposition. It is very sensitive to corrections and requires calm, thoughtful training to bring out the best in this dog. It is intelligent and not hard to teach as this dog wants to please its owner. The Brittany is very good around children and can be socialized to respond well to other household pets. This breed can be shy if not properly socialized.

Health Issues: The Brittany Spaniel is generally a healthy dog, but can be subject to a few problems. The largest problem is hip dysplasia. Another health issue is epilepsy. The Brittany Springer Spaniel can also suffer from progressive retinal atrophy and glaucoma.

Grooming: The Brittany Spaniel should be brushed on a regular basis to keep its coat in good condition. This dog can be bathed when necessary, or a dry shampoo can be used. As the ears are always a sensitive spot, be sure to clean them often to prevent ear infections. Since the Brittany is generally used as a hunting dog it is important to check the dog for ticks, fleas, burrs, and other plant material that may have become embedded in the coat.

Living Conditions: The Brittany Spaniel is a very active dog that requires a high level of exercise to keep it fit mentally and physically. This dog loves to participate in outdoor sports with the humans it loves. They do best if allowed to be in the home with the family. As they are active dogs inside, they do not make the best apartment dwellers, even if provided with daily exercise. Although this is a hardy dog, it is not suited to living outside in winter and must be provided with indoor.

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