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French Brittany: Info, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

French Brittany

Height: 18–19 inches
Weight: 30–40 pounds
Lifespan: 12–13 years
Colors: Orange and white, liver and white, tri-colored
Suitable for: Active families
Temperament: Sweet, friendly, and eager to please

The French Brittany is named after the French province of Brittany, where French sportsmen in the mid-1800s first bred this canine in the bid to produce a hunting dog that could serve as both pointer and retriever of small game. They chose to cross high-energy breeds such as Spaniels and English Setters and to come up with a highly intelligent, obedient, but hyperactive dog.

As you can tell, this dog is not for everyone. The French Brittany’s high energy levels make it ill-suited for people who do not have the ability to wear them out. This animal must be kept busy, or else they will be destructive.

If you can meet their energy needs, you will enjoy a happy dog that is good with people. Nonetheless, their overzealous nature can be hazardous to small children. The Brittany is a good fit for people with an interest in hunting, thanks to the dog’s natural hunting instincts. But you should know that this doggo does his best job as a pointer.

All in all, the Brittany is a good-looking dog that makes for a great companion for active families. Here is everything else you need to know about this lovely animal.

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French Brittany Puppies

French Brittany Spaniel puppy
Image Credit: Lindsey Stevens, Shutterstock

When looking for Brittany pups, you will find that some breeders differentiate them between French Brittanys and American Brittanys, with the American variety being taller. Nonetheless, they are the same breed.

It is critical that you do your homework on a breeder before you buy a dog from them to avoid buying from puppy mills. Ask for recommendations from your vet and friends for reputable breeders. One of the hallmarks of a good breeder is that they will provide you with the health certificates of the pup, as well as its parents. They will also make sure that the dog is a good fit for you before selling it to you.

3 Little-Known Facts About the French Brittany

1. French Brittanys are extremely sensitive, meaning that they respond poorly to being treated harshly.

2. They do not like being left alone.

3. They are extremely intelligent.

Brittany Spaniel_cynoclub_shutterstock
Image Credit: cynoclub, Shutterstock

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Brittany 🧠

The French Brittany is a sweet, sensitive, and loyal dog. However, they can have an independent streak, thanks to their insatiable curiosity. Being people-oriented, these dogs always want to be by your side, whether you are playing or hunting. As such, they are prone to separation anxiety. The good news is that this makes them easy to train, as they are eager to please.

When it comes to intelligence, Brittanys are considered some of the smartest breeds out there. They learn new commands easily, performing the action after only a few repetitions.

Nevertheless, their high intelligence can be a double-edged sword. It means that the dog requires a great degree of mental stimulation daily for them to be happy. When you do not provide the Brittany with adequate mental and physical stimulation, this dog will look for ways to “entertain” itself, which can include destructive behaviors such as excessive barking and chewing anything in sight.

Are these Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

Yes! This doggo is extremely affectionate, making it a good fit for most families, especially those with children. Additionally, their high energy levels and playfulness make them an excellent choice for families with kids. Children will be more willing to engage the pup and provide it with the mental and physical stimulation it needs.

Does this Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

This will depend on the amount of training and socialization the dog has received. As mentioned, the French Brittany is a hunting breed, meaning that chasing smaller animals is a trait that is hardwired in the dog. As such, smaller pets, such as cats and tiny dogs, might not be suitable companions for the French Brittany.

Fortunately, proper obedience training can help you overcome these issues.

Brittany Spaniel lying in the grass playing with toy_Marko25_shutterstock
Image Credit: Marko25, Shutterstock

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Things to Know When Owning a Brittany

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

As with any other animal, high-quality food is what your French Brittany needs to lead a long and healthy life. If you prefer commercial dog food, ascertain its quality by checking for reviews before purchasing it. If you prefer preparing your dog’s food at home, seek guidance from a reputable vet first, as they will help you develop a diet plan that is specific to your dog’s needs.

For the average Brittany, 1.5–2 cups of quality dog food per day should suffice. Divide the food into two separate meals, one in the morning and the other in the evening. The exact amount of food a Brittany needs depends on their size, metabolism, activity level, and age. Keep an eye on their weight and adjust the portion size accordingly.

Exercise 🐕

As mentioned, Brittanys have extremely high energy levels, meaning that they require more exercise than the average dog. This is why they are ill-suited for apartment/city living, as they need a large yard to run off that excess energy.

These dogs require at least 2 hours of exercise daily to keep them happy and in good physical condition. This will involve long runs or extended periods of playing fetch. However, you will need to be creative and come up with new games regularly, as they tend to get bored easily.

Brittany Spaniel_valentina Ponkina_shutterstock
Image Credit: Valentina Ponkina, Shutterstock

Training 🦮

Thanks to their intelligence, high energy levels, and eagerness to please, French Brittanys are among the most trainable breeds out there, capable of learning a wide array of commands and tricks. This makes the dog highly suited for dog shows, competitions, and field trials.

Therefore, if you are interested in enrolling your Brittany in such events, make sure that you start training them early.

As mentioned, however, these dogs are highly sensitive. They do not like it when you treat them harshly. Being gentle but firm goes a long way when training them.

Grooming ✂️

Thanks to its short coat, the French Brittany is easy to groom, as it does not shed much. Nonetheless, to keep a Brittany’s coat in good condition, make sure that you brush it weekly while giving them a bath occasionally. During their weekly brushing, check their ears for dirt and foreign objects since these dogs stick their heads in all kinds of places.

Take care of their dental health, too, by brushing their teeth at least twice a week to prevent the buildup of bacteria or tartar. If possible, brush them daily, as it will prevent bad breath while keeping gum disease at bay.

Trim the Brittany’s nails at least once a month. A good way of knowing that trimming is long overdue is if they make a clicking sound on the floor. Long nails can be hazardous to your shins, as they will dig into you when this overzealous pup jumps up to greet you.

For best results, accustom your pet to grooming from an early age. This will allow you to examine them easily when they are older. Therefore, make grooming a positive experience for them by rewarding them every time you handle their paws and mouth.

Health Conditions ❤️

While French Brittanys are considered a healthy breed, they are still prone to ill health, as with all breeds. Pups from unscrupulous breeders are more prone to diseases.

This is why you must ensure that a breeder is authentic before buying from them. As mentioned, good breeders will show you the health certificates of the pup’s parents, as most conditions are hereditary. Therefore, if the pup’s parents are healthy, it should follow that the pup should be healthy too. Health certificates are proof of testing for certain conditions.

As a breed, however, the Brittany is susceptible to hip dysplasia, epilepsy, and hypothyroidism. To prevent the onset of these conditions, make sure that you take your pet to a qualified vet for regular checkups a couple of times a year.

With proper nutrition, exercise, and preventive care, a Brittany can live for up to 15 years.

Minor Conditions
  • Allergic skin reactions
  • Complement deficiency
Serious Conditions
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Hypothyroidism


Male vs. Female

The sex of your dog is a matter of choice. As with most breeds, male French Brittanys tend to be more “fun,” while females are sweeter to you. Of course, if you have them spayed or neutered, they should not differ much in their personalities.

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Final Thoughts

The French Brittany is an amazing breed that is renowned for its high levels of energy and intelligence while being extremely affectionate and loyal. Thanks to those traits, this breed is suitable for most families, as it adapts easily to any situation.

Nonetheless, the French Brittany requires a great deal of attention for them to be happy and content. Therefore, if you are not in a position to fulfill its high-energy needs, this pet might not be a good fit for you. But if you lead an active lifestyle, the French Brittany would make for an excellent companion.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: cynoclub, Shutterstock

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