French Brittany Spaniel
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History The French Brittany Spaniel is a breed that is named after the province of Brittany, located in northern France. This was where the breed is said to have originated around 1,800 years ago. Although there is no consensus regarding the exact origin of this breed, many experts state that French Brittany Spaniels are the result of crossing English pointers with the spaniels found in Brittany. It is said that frequent interaction among politicians, merchants and hunters of Britain and France could have led to the interbreeding of the French and English hunting dogs. As far back as the 17th century, there were already tapestries and paintings that depicted dogs looking a lot like the Brittany.
Today's version of the French Brittany Spaniel, however, is said to have originated only in the mid-19th century. In 1850, an English clergyman named Reverend Davies made a written account of having hunted with small, bob-tailed dogs that retrieved, pointed and did well even when working in the brush. It was also said that during this time, a local hunter in Pontou bred his own white-and-mahogany female dog with a yellow-and-white male dog of an English sportsman. This crossing produced two puppies, which were regarded as the first two dogs of the French Brittany breed.
In 1907, this breed became officially recognised in France. Dogs of this breed were brought to the United States in 1931 and were granted recognition by the American Kennel Club in 1934.
Appearance French Brittany Spaniels are medium-sized dogs with a sturdy build. These dogs have triangular, short ears that lie flat against their skull. Their eyes come in various shades of hazel or amber, and have intelligent expressions. The frame of these dogs is leggy and strong, with their height being equal to their length. These dogs have a naturally strong tail that is usually docked to around four inches. The coat of these dogs is dense and can be wavy or flat.
Colours The coat of these dogs can be orange and white, liver and white, or have roan patterns. Some of these dogs are tri-coloured. These dogs can also have freckles.
Temperament French Brittany Spaniels are curious, quick, and enjoy activities such as playing, running, and hunting. Being even-tempered and eager to please, these dogs make excellent family companions. They also get along well with children and other dogs, although small children should not be left along with these dogs because the dog's energetic play may accidentally harm children.
Weight These dogs have a height of around 17 to 21 inches and a weight that ranges from 30 to 40 pounds.
Problems Dogs of this breed are considered generally healthy, although they may be prone to ear infections, hip dysplasia and epilepsy.
Living Conditions It's not advisable for owners to keep these dogs inside apartments. These dogs need plenty of space where they can do some physical activities, and it's best for them to be provided with acreage.
Requirements As enthusiastic and active dogs, French Brittany Spaniels need much exercise and will benefit much from being with a hunter or an active person. These dogs need to be taken out for long walks or jogs daily.
Training Requirements Dogs of this breed are intelligent and highly trainable. They may, however, become fearful and shy when reprimanded. It's important for owners to provide firm but gentle training to these dogs.
Life Expectancy The life span of French Brittany Spaniels is approximately 12 to 13 years.
Grooming The flat, medium-length coat of these dogs need brushing at least twice a week. Bathing or dry shampooing these dogs should be done only when necessary. Owners should also inspect the ears of these dogs, especially when they have spent the day out in brushy or rough terrain.
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