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Bright, Fun-Loving, Upbeat
- Height17.5-20.5 in
- Weight30-40 lbs
- Lifespan12-14 years
Brittanys are a breed of gun dog bred primarily for bird hunting. The breed's name comes from the Celtic region of France from which they originated. In the mid-1800s local French sportsmen began crossing their spaniels with English Setters. This resulted in bob-tailed dogs with natural hunting instincts and excellent retrieving abilities. The Brittany was first recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1934.
Brittanys are square-proportioned and medium in size. They stand between 17.5-20.5 inches tall and weigh 30-40 pounds. Some Brittany puppies are born tailless while others have docked tails. Brittanys are famed for their athleticism. With their long legs and muscular body, they can run fast and cover a lot of ground.
Brittanys are friendly, bright and full of energy. Their sweet disposition makes them easy to love and great family companions. Brittanys are gentle with children and get along well with other pets. These dogs crave human interaction and are susceptible to separation anxiety when left alone for too long.
Grooming Your Brittany
The Brittany has a dense, flat or wavy coat that requires minimal grooming. Brittanys shed moderately all-year-round but more so during the spring and fall. It’s recommended that you brush your Brittany weekly to keep shedding under control and their coat looking its best. Brittanys also need regular nail trimming, ear cleaning and dental care.
Training & Exercise for Brittanys
Brittanys are highly intelligent and relatively easy to train. They are quick learners and have no problem picking up on new commands. Brittanys tend to be more sensitive and respond best to gentle training and positive reinforcement. They’re eager to please and love having a job to do.
With their boundless energy, the Brittany needs plenty of daily exercise. These dogs love long walks, jogging and swimming. Brittanys do best with an active family with a fenced in yard where they can run around and expend some energy. They’re also the perfect dog for those looking for an all-purpose hunting partner.
Health Considerations for Brittanys
The Brittany is a generally healthy breed with an average lifespan of 12-14 years. To ensure your Brittany gets the most out of these years, it’s important to be aware of some of the common health issues Brittanys are prone to, including hip dysplasia, cataracts, Discoid Lupus Erythematosus, epilepsy and Hypothyroidism.
Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD)
Canine hip dysplasia (CHD) is one of the most common canine ailments. It’s a genetic condition that causes an abnormal formation of the hip socket, which can eventually lead to lameness and arthritis of the joints. This hereditary disease can be magnified by factors including excessive growth rate, age, types of exercise, and improper weight and nutrition. While mild conditions can be managed with prescription medication and physical therapy, more severe cases could require surgery. To prevent or reduce the severity of hip dysplasia, it’s important to ensure your Brittany gets a proper diet and the right amount of exercise.
A cataract is developed when the lens of the eye clouds, preventing light from reaching the retina. Signs to watch for in your Brittany include changes in eye colour, cloudy pupils in one or both eyes, confusion and clumsiness. This condition can be treated with surgery but if left untreated can lead to blindness.
Discoid Lupus Erythematosus
Discoid Lupus Erythematosus (DLE) is a rare autoimmune disease of the basal cell layer of skin. This occurs when the immune system targets harmless cells in the body resulting in inflammation. DLE will typically occur in the nasal area, but other areas of the eyes, lips and ears can be affected as well. Symptoms to look out for in your Brittany include depigmentation, redness and scaling of the nose. To treat this disease and reduce inflammation, systemic medications might be required. It’s also important to minimize your Brittany’s exposure to the sun.
Epilepsy is a neurological disease that’s often, but not always, inherited. Commonly found in Brittanys, this disorder affects the brain’s electric activity and can cause your Brittany to suffer from epileptic seizures, which are brief bursts of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. An epileptic episode can typically last between one and several minutes. It's important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of seizures to get your Brittany medical help as quickly as possible. Some common signs to look for include twitching, tremors, shaking and convulsions. Treatment might involve lifelong anti-seizure medication; however, this will help your Brittany maintain a good quality of life. If your Brittany is having a seizure, call an emergency vet and make sure they can’t injure themselves.
Hypothyroidism is an inherited condition that is caused by a deficiency of the thyroid hormone. Due to the thyroid's widespread effects on the body, symptoms of hypothyroidism can vary. Some of the common symptoms to be aware of in your Brittany include obesity, lethargy, depression, anemia and weakness of the joints. Your Brittany should have their thyroid levels tested annually, as this condition can develop at any time. If your Brittany is diagnosed with hypothyroidism, treatment is fairly simple and effective. With the assistance of medication your Brittany can go on to live a full life.
What Makes a Brittany Unique?
The breed had a name change in 1982
In 1982, the American Kennel Club changed the name of the breed from Brittany Spaniel to Brittany. It was determined that the Brittany's working characteristics are more akin to the pointer or setter.
Brittanys are very sensitive
Brittanys are known for being gentle dogs with a soft temperament. As a sensitive breed, Brittanys don’t respond well to raised voices and harsh treatment. They respond best to a calm voice and positive affirmation.
First records of the Brittany in the 17th century
The first records of Brittany dogs were seen on tapestries and paintings from the 17th century. These renderings depicted orange and white dogs hunting and retrieving game.
Why NutriCanine Is Great For Brittanys
Top 10 Facts About Brittanys
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