FCI GROUP: Pointing Dogs

FAMILY: Gundog, setter, pointer

Allowed as pet in Singapore HDB Flat: No

Origin: Brittany, France, mid-1800s. The Brittany was named for the French province of Brittany and may be the result of crossing the Orange and White Setter along with some not clearly identified French dog. Since the Brittany looks a lot like the Welsh Springer Spaniel some think the two may be related. The Brittany was first shown in France in 1896. Also known as the Brittany Spaniel or the Epagneul Breton.

Original Purpose: Hunting upland game birds.

Behaviour and Temperament: Brave, happy, alert, energetic, affectionate yet independent.

Breed Characteristics: Fast, compact, lots of stamina. Some individuals are timid. Requires close human companionship. Because of the dog's hunting instincts, the Brittany likes to roam, not very reliable off leash. It also has an outstanding instinct for retrieving from water.

Physical Features: 43 to 51 cm; 13.5 to 18 kg. Colours are white and orange, liver and white; roan patterns and with some ticking permitted. Colour should be deep and clear.

Coat Type and Grooming: Dense, medium-short, lightly feathered and silky; may be flat or wavy; weather resistant. Low to moderate care; requires brushing twice a week. Ears need to be checked regularly. Professional grooming is recommended; light trimming required. Estimated grooming charges in Singapore: Full, S$70-80, Basic, S$60-65. A light shedder.

Life Expectancy: 11 to 14 years.

Health Concerns: Hip dysplasia, glaucoma, seizures, VSD.

Exercise: Very high; needs daily extensive exercise (at least an hour of exertion, not the usual daily walk). Brittanys that lack in mental/physical exercise and/or are not secure with their place in the pack may become nervous and/or timid.

Housing: Not well suited to apartment life; needs a large yard at the very least. It adapts to all types of terrain: woods, plains or hills. It's resistant to cold and damp conditions. This dog does much better in the country than in the city.

Sociability: Tends to bond to one person. Good with children especially when raised with them, very playful, needs gentle treatment. Usually extremely friendly to strangers but sometimes suspicious. Generally very good with other pets, although some males dislike other males. Extensive socialisation as a puppy is highly recommended.

Trainability: High; this dog is easily bored and likes a challenge. Easy to handle and train.

Activities: Field trial, hunting (birds), hunting tests, obedience, agility.

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