As his name suggests, the
French Brittany, or as he is known is Europe, the Epagneul Breton,
originated in Brittany (France). He likely developed from matings between
French Spaniels and English Setters. Breton-type dogs appear in paintings
as early as the 17th century. Probably first bred by hunters who trapped
birds in nets, the Breton is a born hunter used for all types of upland
birds including pheasant, quail, grouse, and woodcock.
came to America in the 1930s and quickly gained a following with hunters. Over
time, the American Brittany evolved into a larger, longer-necked dog with
a different hunting style from his French forebears. In 2002, the UKC
agreed to split the breed into two: the Brittany and the Epagneul Breton.
The AKC continues to register both breeds as "Brittanys".
The smallest of the
pointing breeds, the Breton is a compact, squarely built, muscular dog
standing no more than 20 1/2 inches tall at the shoulder. He has a fine,
straight coat which may have a very slight wave. There are two varieties
of coat color: orange and white, and all other colors which include liver
and white, black and white, white and orange, or black, white, and orange.
The Breton may be born without a tail or his tail is docked to no longer
than 4 inches.
in France as "le fougueux" or "high-spirited ones", the
Epagneul Breton displays an zest for life matched only by the energy with
which he lives it. A vigorous hunter, the Breton has the stamina to work
in the field all day over any terrain in any weather. He is known for his
keen sense of smell, steady pointing, and unmatched love of the hunt. In
spite of all that energy, the Breton has a calm and steady temperament
that enables him to slip easily into the role of reliable companion when
in the home. As you might expect of a dog bred to continually check back
with his hunter while in the field, the Breton is a sociable,
affectionate, loyal dog who thrives when included as part of the family
unit. The Breton is a loving animal who gets along well with children and
other household pets.
His intelligent nature and
willingness to please personality make him easy to train. Heavy-handed
training methods are not appropriate for this breed and may, in fact,
retard the training process. As with all breeds training and socialization
should begin early. The energetic Breton should have a good exercise
period every day and makes an ideal companion for the hunter. A home with
a fenced yard is best.