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Canis lupus

Last updated: February 4, 2022
Verified by: IMP
Image Credit Kerrie T/

The breed was formerly known as the Brittany spaniel

Brittany Scientific Classification

Scientific Name
Canis lupus

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

Brittany Conservation Status

Brittany Locations

Brittany Locations

Brittany Facts

Fun Fact
The breed was formerly known as the Brittany spaniel
Upbeat, friendly, and sensitive

Brittany Physical Characteristics

  • Black
  • White
  • Tan
  • Orange
Skin Type
12 – 15 years
40 lbs

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Brittany as a Pet:

General Health
Energy Level
Tendency to Chew
Family and kid friendliness
Yappiness / Barking
Separation Anxiety
Preferred Temperature
Average climate
Exercise Needs
Friendly With Other Dogs
Pure bred cost to own
$700 on average
Dog group
Male weight
30-40 lbs
Female weight
30-40 lbs

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The first references to the Brittany’s existence come from paintings and tapestries of the 17th century.

Named after the northwestern French region in which it was first developed, the Brittany is a sturdy and robust hunting dog that specializes in different types of fowl, including ducks, woodcocks, partridges, and pheasants. It originated between the 17th and 19th centuries, perhaps first used by peasants and poachers in France. The breed was once called the Brittany spaniel. However, since this dog is a pointer and does not flush out the game like a spaniel, the full name was eventually shortened in 1982 to its more accurate form. Today, it is considered to be an all-around versatile dog: good in the field, good in the show ring, and good at home as a loving companion.

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In terms of its physical attributes, the Brittany is characterized by floppy ears, a short bobbed tail, and featherings around the ears and legs. It also has a flat or wavy coat of fur colored orange and white or liver and white. There are generally two types of Brittany dogs: the American and French. The only difference between them is that the American Brittany is larger and faster.

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3 pros and cons of owning a Brittany

Pros! Cons!
Active and Alert

The Brittany is a great choice for owners who want a fun and engaging companion.
High Separation Anxiety

The Brittany cannot be left alone for long periods of time.
Eager to Please

The Brittany always seeks affirmation from its owner.

The Brittany is not a good choice for people who want a calm and measured dog.
Easy to Groom

The breed’s coat is relatively easy to maintain. It is great for owners who don’t want to deal with a lot of messiness.
Sensitive Nature

This breed does not do well in tense or stressful situations and environments.
Brittany dog jumping over a hurdle in an agility competition.
Brittany dog jumping over a hurdle in an agility competition.


Brittany Size and Weight

The Brittany is a medium-sized dog with a compact and athletic frame. Males and females are very similar in size.

Height (Male) 17.5 to 20.5 inches
Height (Female) 17.5 to 20.5 inches
Weight (Male) 30 to 40 pounds
Weight (Female) 30 to 40 pounds

Brittany Common Health Issues

The Brittany is a very healthy dog, an excellent choice for owners who put a premium on longevity and quality of life. It’s prone to only a few health conditions, including cataracts, epilepsy, and cancer. Another serious issue is hip dysplasia, a developmental disorder in which a deformed hip joint becomes partially or fully dislocated, causing lameness; in severe cases, surgery may be necessary to correct this problem. Finally, hypothyroidism is caused by low levels of hormones produced by the thyroid gland. Symptoms of this disease are lethargy, obesity, brittle fur, and an irregular heartbeat.

An average Brittany will live somewhere between 12 and 14 years old. While there is always an element of randomness and luck to health, the chances of a long life can be improved by a good diet, a proper weight, an active lifestyle, high-quality healthcare, and a good genetic pedigree. You should always ask the breeder to provide proof that their dogs are checked and cleared for common genetic conditions; this is standard practice for a good breeder who cares for the health of their dogs. In summation, these are the most common health problems of the Brittany:

Health and Entertainment for your Brittany

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  • Cataracts
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Hip Dysplasia

Brittany Temperament

The Brittany is a bright, fun-loving dog that combines a sensitive personality with a hyperactive nature. They love to interact with everyone: adults, kids, strangers, and even other pets. On the downside, they don’t necessarily do well in loud and stressful environments, so small apartments with several children might be a dicey proposition.

The Brittany also constantly craves attention and needs frequent supervision from its owner. If the owner doesn’t attend to its social and mental needs, then it might eventually resort to destructive and unwanted behavior.

How to Take Care of the Brittany

The Brittany is a very versatile breed; one does not necessarily need to be a hunter to enjoy it. However, this breed will do best with outdoor lovers and adventurous types. It may struggle with apartment living unless you’re prepared to spend a lot of time outdoors in nearby open areas or parks.

Besides its enormous exercise requirements, many other aspects of its care are relatively straightforward and easy. Grooming in particular should not take up too much of your time. If you have any other questions or concerns about your dog’s care, then you should consult with your vet.

The Best Dog Food for the Brittany

Depending the dog’s age, activity level, and size, the Brittany probably needs about 1.5 to 2 cups of high-quality dry food a day with lots of protein. Owners should not leave out food during the day, because this breed might have a tendency to gain weight. Two smaller meals spaced several hours apart should be sufficient to feed your dog.

Stella & Chewy’s Wild Red Classic Kibble Dry Dog FoodA-Z Animals believes the best dog food for the Brittany is Stella & Chewy’s Wild Red Classic Kibble Dry Dog Food.

The high-protein content of this food comes from 83% quality meat sources, with less filler that may trigger those dramatic blood sugar fluctuations and leave your Brittany hungry for more food. There’s taurine for clear eyes, glucosamine for sturdy joints, and plenty of nervous system and immune system supporting omega 3s for wellness from the inside out.

Try out Stella and Chewy’s Wild Red Classic Kibble, available on amazon.

Stella & Chewy’s Wild Red Classic Dry Dog Food – Wholesome Grains, Protein Rich – Prairie Recipe, 3.5 lb Bag

  • Help Your Pet Thrive: Our Wild Red Classic dog food offers the protein-rich taste dogs crave with the nutrition they deserve
  • Feed Your Dog’s Wild Side! Our Classic Prairie Recipe includes three animal protein sources: cage-free chicken, duck and turkey
  • Whole Prey Ingredients: Give your pet a diet similar to what their ancestors enjoyed in the wild; 81% of the recipe’s protein comes from animal muscle meat, cartilage and organ meat such as chicken liver
  • Wholesome Grains: With nutritious grains such as barley and millet, our recipe is designed to be easily digestible for all life stages, with no unnecessary fillers and only the finest ingredients
  • Supports Whole Body Health: Fortified with vitamins, minerals and amino acids, our Classic kibble formula helps improve your dog’s entire well-being, with natural fiber sources such as oatmeal to support healthy digestion and taurine to support heart health

Brittany Maintenance and Grooming

Maintenance for this breed should be relatively straightforward and easy. A short grooming session with a soft brush two or three times a week, combined with a comb-through of the featherings, should suffice to keep this dog’s coat healthy and clean, and free of tangles, even in the shedding season.

For some show dogs, additional trimming may be necessary around the head and neck area. Other important aspects of this dog’s care include monthly nail trims, regular ear checks, and teeth brushes about two or three times a week with an appropriate paste.

Brittany Training

The Brittany is an intelligent and trainable dog that should pick up easily on a wide variety of different human commands. Because of its sensitive nature, owners need to be extra calm and relaxed around this breed. Positive reinforcement methods and encouragement work best; do not raise your voice or show it any anger. If you need help with the process, then you should contact a local trainer in your area.

Brittany Exercise

The Brittany was intended to be an outdoor dog of seemingly boundless energy, so an adult needs at least an hour of exercise every day. Simply taking it on walks will not suffice, however. It will need plenty of room off the leash to run around and play. This can be combined with other games, toys, and even flyball or agility challenges. Exercise time should be limited to no more than half an hour in dogs younger than two years of age.

Brittany Puppies

Like any breed, the first few months of the Brittany’s life are crucial for its social and mental development. Some puppies may exhibit an overly timid or submissive behavior with a tendency to urinate when becoming overly excited or scared. Early training and socialization should help to shape the puppies into confident and well-behaved adults. Owners should also consider crating the puppy to assist with behavioral issues or house training problems.

Cute and curious black and white baby Brittany puppy portrait, looking up
Cute and curious black and white baby Brittany puppy portrait, looking up


The Brittany and Children

The Brittany is a good choice for children who spend a lot of time outside and want a good-natured companion. Because of its sensitive nature, however, it might not do particularly well with younger children who like to play rough and make a lot of noise.

Dogs Similar to the Brittany

The Brittany bears the strongest similarities to the pointers and gundogs of Western Europe. With that in mind, you might want to check out some of the following relatives to the Brittany:

  • English Setter – Developed in the 19th century, the modern English setter is a hunting dog that would quietly freeze and point when it located a game bird. Provided they receive enough exercise, these friendly, calm, and good-natured dogs also make great companions for the entire family.
  • Irish Setter – Like its English relatives, the Irish setter is a high-spirited hunting dog with long, droopy ears and a dark red or chestnut coat of fur. Beloved by many owners, this is a particularly popular dog in the show ring. It has won the sporting group competition at the Westminster Kennel Club 11 times.
  • Braque Saint-Germain – Also known as the St. Germain pointing dog, this active and upbeat hunting breed is somewhat obscure outside of its native France. It’s recognized by the United Kennel Club but not the American Kennel Club. The Saint-Germain are close relatives of other French hunting dogs or gundogs.

Famous Brittany Dogs

While the Brittany is a somewhat obscure breed outside of hunting circles and show rings, there are a few individuals that have managed to stand out for their talent. For instance, a Brittany by the name of Tally won the 2010 Westminster sporting group. Another Brittany called Jester (or the more amusing name, Sir-ly You Jest) won the same competition in 2002 and 2003.

If you’re still searching for a good dog name, then you might want to consider one of the following options:

  • Charlie
  • Jack
  • Hunter
  • Beau
  • Hannah
  • Bailey
  • Felix
  • Buster
  • Toby
  • Buddy

Last update on 2022-07-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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AZ Animals is a growing team of animals experts, researchers, farmers, conservationists, writers, editors, and — of course — pet owners who have come together to help you better understand the animal kingdom and how we interact.

Brittany FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Where can I adopt a Brittany?

If you’re interested in adopting this breed, then you can check with several Brittany-specific rescue groups, including American Brittany Rescue and the National Brittany Rescue and Adoption Network. It may be more difficult to find one at a general animal shelter.

Are Brittany dogs good family dogs?

Yes, the Brittany is an excellent family dog. It gets along very well with people of all ages, though it might be a little sensitive to loud noises and rough behavior.

Do Brittany dogs shed?

Yes, this dog might do a bit of shedding, but as long as owners brush the fur at least twice a week, most of the loose hair should be taken care of.

Are Brittany dogs cuddly?

The Brittany is a very affectionate breed. Properly socialized dogs should thrive on constant human contact and attention.

Are Brittany dogs smart?

Yes, the Brittany is well-regarded for its intelligence. Out in the field, it needed to be a sharp-minded and inquisitive breed in order to alert its owner to the presence of game birds. In the home, it’s quick to grasp and follow human commands.

What does a Brittany look like?

The Brittany is a medium-sized dog with a solid, compact, and athletic body. Some of its most iconic features include floppy ears, a short bobbed tail, and featherings around the ears and legs. The coat of fur is always flat or wavy with an orange and white or a liver and white coloration.

What are some types of Brittany mixes?

Some popular hybrids include a Labrador Retriever mix (a Labany), a Border Collie mix (a Border Collie Britt), and a Beagle mix (a Brittany Beagle).

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