Brittany Spaniels: Your Guide to a Spirited Sporting Dog

If you’re looking for a furry adventure buddy who’s always up for a hike, a cuddle, or a game of fetch that never seems to end, then the Brittany Spaniel might be your perfect match. These energetic and super-smart dogs hail from the Brittany region of France, where they were originally bred to be versatile hunting companions.


If you want a dog who’s always ready for an adventure, look no further than the Brittany Spaniel! These beautiful, energetic pups originated in France as hunting dogs, and they still have that boundless energy within them. They’re smart, trainable, and full of that happy-go-lucky spirit that makes them amazing companions.

A single, close-up photo of a Brittany Spaniel, capturing their alert expression and beautiful feathered coat.
Illustration images: A single, close-up photo of a Brittany Spaniel, capturing their alert expression and beautiful feathered coat.

History of the Brittany Spaniel

Brittany Spaniel get their name from the beautiful French Spaniel, where they were developed centuries ago to be all-around hunting dogs. They were experts at flushing out and retrieving birds, but their skills didn’t stop there! These versatile pups were also great at pointing and tracking.

American hunters fell in love with the breed in the early 1900s, and they quickly gained popularity. Did you know that one of the early champions of the Brittany Spaniel breed in the US was a woman named Dr. Frances Hamill? She was instrumental in promoting Brittanys, and thanks to her, they were recognized by the AKC in 1934.

A historic tapestry painting featuring a Brittany Spaniel with hunters.
Illustration images: A historic tapestry painting featuring a Brittany Spaniel with hunters.

The dog’s appearance

Brittany Spaniel are the perfect combination of athleticism and beauty. They are medium-sized dogs, built for both speed and endurance. Their fur is dense and comes in a variety of colors, most commonly orange and white or liver and white. You can even see growling patterns that look a bit like ticking sounds all over their fur.

Speaking of coats, the fur on their ears and legs is called “feathers” and it adds a luxurious touch. An interesting fact is that Brittany Spaniel can have docked tails or naturally short, flowing tails. You might even hear Brittany fans talking about how adorable their little tails are!

A side-by-side photo comparison of an orange and white Brittany Spaniel and a liver and white Brittany Spaniel.
Illustration images: A side-by-side photo comparison of an orange and white Brittany Spaniel and a liver and white Brittany Spaniel.

Dog’s personality

Brittany Spaniel are known for their sweet, friendly, and energetic personalities. They’re smart as a whip, which makes training them a breeze. While they were bred to be hunting dogs, they’re just as happy to snuggle on the couch as they are to sprint across a field.

Remember, they were designed to work long hours in the field, so they need lots of physical and mental stimulation. A couple of short walks around the block won’t cut it! Think games of fetch, hikes, dog sports… if it keeps them engaged, they’re all for it.

Brittanys tend to be very sensitive, which means they thrive on positive training methods. Harsh words won’t get you far with these gentle souls. But if you’re patient and consistent, they’ll learn all sorts of tricks in no time they really do want to please you!

A Brittany Spaniel triumphantly retrieves a ball in flyball.
Illustration images: A Brittany Spaniel triumphantly retrieves a ball in flyball.

Living with a Brittany Spaniel

Brittany Spaniel are the ultimate adventure buddies, but it’s important to understand their needs to make your life together amazing. Here’s what you need to know:

Exercise is Everything

A Brittany Spaniel needs plenty of exercises to be happy and well-behaved. Think at least an hour or two of dedicated exercise every single day! Long walks are great, but also mix in games of fetch, runs in a dog park, hikes, or even swimming if they like water. A tired Brittany is a happy Brittany, which means a happy you!

Train Their Brains

Brittanys are super smart, so mental stimulation is just as important as physical exercise. Teach them basic commands, fun tricks, and consider puzzle toys to keep their minds engaged. You could even try training them for a dog sport they’d love the challenge!

Grooming for Good Looks

Brittany Spaniels: Unleashing the Spirit

Brittany Spaniel have those flowing, feathered coats that definitely need some maintenance. Brush them a couple of times a week to prevent tangles and mats. Baths every few weeks will keep them clean and smelling fresh. Also, pay attention to their ears those long, floppy ears need regular cleaning to prevent infections.

Food for Fuel

Brittany Spaniel are prone to putting on a few extra pounds if they’re not active enough. Choose a high-quality dog food designed for active sporting breeds and measure their meals carefully. And while we’re on the topic…be sure to hide your shoes! Brittanys can be enthusiastic chewers if they get bored.

A Sensitive Soul

Brittanys are people-pleasers and can be sensitive to harsh words or punishments. They respond so much better to positive reinforcement training. Be patient, kind, and shower them with praise when they do something well, and they’ll learn quickly.

Health and Happiness

Like all breeds, Brittanys are prone to a few potential health problems, including hip dysplasia and eye issues. Choose a reputable breeder who does health testing, and take your pup for regular vet checkups throughout their life.

Care Considerations
Spring & Fall
Increased shedding – Brush more frequently to manage loose hair.
Keep an eye out for skin irritations or hot spots under their coat.
Their coat provides some insulation, but avoid extended time in extreme cold.


A Brittany Spaniel being groomed, showing its coat.
Illustration images: A Brittany Spaniel being groomed, showing its coat.

Is a Brittany Spaniel Right for You?

Brittany Spaniel are amazing dogs, but they’re not for everyone. It’s essential to take an honest look at your lifestyle and see if it aligns with a Brittany’s needs. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Can I handle the energy level: If the idea of daily runs, hikes, or dog sports doesn’t appeal to you, a Brittany might not be the best fit. They really do need lots of exercise to thrive.
  • Do I have enough space: Brittanys do best with room to run, ideally a fenced-in yard. Apartment living can be tough unless you’re incredibly dedicated to outdoor activities.
  • Am I ready for training: Brittanys are smart and eager to please, which makes training easier. But it still takes commitment and consistency.
  • Can I handle the shedding and grooming: Those beautiful coats need attention! Regular brushing and the occasional bath are essential.

Finding a Brittany Spaniel Puppy

There are two main paths to consider when looking for a Brittany Spaniel reputable breeders and rescues. Both have their advantages, so let’s break it down:

Reputable Breeders

Finding a breeder who prioritizes the health and temperament of their dogs is crucial. Here’s what to look for:

  • Health Testing: Responsible breeders perform health tests on their breeding dogs to minimize the risk of passing on genetic problems. Ask for proof of these tests.
  • Socialization: Puppies should be raised in a loving home environment and exposed to different sights, sounds, and people from a young age.
  • Knowledgeable Breeders: A good breeder will be happy to answer your questions and have a wealth of information about the breed. They also usually screen potential puppy buyers to ensure their pups go to good homes.

The Rescue Route

Adopting a Brittany Spaniel in need is a wonderful way to give a dog a second chance at a loving home. Brittany rescues and some shelters may have Brittany Spaniel or mixes available for adoption!

  • Breed-Specific Rescues: Search online for “Brittany Spaniel rescue” plus your location to see if any rescues specialize in the breed near you.
  • Pet Adoption Websites: allow you to search for adoptable Brittany Spaniel in your area.


If you’re looking for a loyal, loving, and energetic companion, a Brittany Spaniel could be the perfect fit! These dogs are happiest with active people who want a buddy for all their outdoor adventures. With lots of love, exercise, and training, your Brittany Spaniel will surely become your best friend.


Are Brittany Spaniel good with kids?

Brittany Spaniel are generally known for their friendly and playful nature, which can make them good companions for children. However, it’s important to always supervise interactions between dogs and children, especially young ones. Teach children how to interact with dogs respectfully, and make sure your Brittany is well-socialized.

Can Brittany Spaniel be left alone during the day?

Brittanys thrive on human companionship and can become destructive or develop separation anxiety if left alone for extended periods. Consider doggy daycare, a pet sitter, or shorter work hours if you can’t be home for significant periods during the day.

Are Brittany Spaniel good off-leash?

While Brittanys are intelligent, they have a strong prey drive and may be tempted to chase squirrels or birds. It’s important to work on a rock-solid recall command before letting them off-leash in unsecured areas.

Can Brittany Spaniel participate in sports like dock diving and agility?

Absolutely! Brittany Spaniel are natural athletes and excel in a variety of dog sports. Their agility, intelligence, and drive make them great contenders in sports like dock diving, agility, flyball, and rally obedience.

What is the difference between a French Brittany and an American Brittany?

While both belong to the Brittany Spaniel breed, there are some subtle differences. French Brittanys tend to be slightly smaller and can have a wider variety of coat colors. American Brittanys are often bred with a focus on field trials and hunting competitions.

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