The French Brittany is a breed of bird dog with strong hunting instincts, mainly due to their English counterpart. They are described as an athletic and energetic bird dog, and love to sprint over long distances. Among other attributes, they are known for being curious, intelligent and serve as elegant hunting dogs. The name Brittany comes from the French province from which the bird dog originated, and it is thought that the lineage may have mixed with English pointing dogs around the beginning of the twentieth century, boosting their hunting prowess. These types of hunting dogs are great companions for people who lead an active lifestyle – such as those who go walking or hunting, and they tend to do well in families with children. As a result of their active and energetic nature, they are not suited to living in flats or apartments – but instead do better in larger houses, preferably with outside space. They are regarded as intelligent hunting dogs due to the fact that they are quick-witted and very receptive to training.
Trainability & Hunting Style
The French Brittany is known to be an intelligent and receptive bird dog. They master new commands quickly, and respond well to positive reinforcement. They do not, however, respond well to negative reinforcement, and it is recommended that time and care is taken whilst training to learn the temperament of ones hunting dog to ensure aggressive responses to negative reinforcement do not arise. If behavioural problems do arise, it is very important to counter them immediately. Such behaviours as constant barking, digging in undesirable places or even making attempts to escape can arise in this bird dog due to things like boredom or fear. This emphasises the need for early training and constant interaction, which is a bonding experience between owner and hunting dogs, and will allow the owner to detect possible reasons for any undesirable behaviours if they arise. Generally speaking, the French Brittany adopts a close hunting style, and quarter tighter than their American counterpart. They are known for their enthusiasm and serve as a great hunting companion due to their pointing instincts, coupled with their excellent sense of smell.
Typically the French Brittany is athletic and compact in appearance, with floppy ears and long legs. Some are born with short tails and others with long tails (which are normally then docked to around 3″ to 4″). Markings and colors can vary from orange and white, black, liver and white – and sometimes orange roan and liver roan. They are classed as a small to medium sized hunting dogs, and normally weigh between thirty to forty pounds, and reach an average height of twenty-one inches. They typically have a medium length flat coat, and it is recommended that this be brushed twice a week to keep it in good condition. French Brittany’s are generally considered to be a low-maintenance bird dog when it comes to grooming and appearance.
These hunting dogs are considered high energy, receptive, intelligent and sweet-natured. They are eager and athletic, and so need plenty of interaction and a good level of exercise to keep them happy and healthy. French Brittany’s are very sensitive and responsive when it comes to human direction, and make great house pets as long as they get the level of mental and physical stimulation they need. French Brittany’s are deemed as people-orientated, and respond very sensitively to rough treatment. As such, a harsh word or stern look should be enough to keep them in check.
French Brittany’s are generally considered to be very healthy hunting dogs. However, one more serious health complication which is associated with this bird dog is hip dysplasia. This is a debilitating condition which results in malformation of the hip joint and can require surgery to rectify it. Other conditions which may affect the breed are ear infections, hyperthyroidism, renal disease and adult cataracts. A French Brittany’s average life span is between 10 and 13 years.