Everything You Need To Know About The Brittany
Brittanies are happy, elegant, intelligent, and loyal gundogs who are often also described as two things: 1) hyperactive, and 2) perfect family friends. The truth largely depends on your own interests, as well as your activity levels – if you don’t feel like playing outside with your dog every day of the week, consider getting a different breed. Like all sporting breeds, the Brittany has an abundance of energy to spare – they are certainly Energizer Bunnies of the canine world – and that combined with their other qualities make them excellent fits for the right home.
Brittanies are remarkable in so many ways, we probably won’t even be able to fit them all in this article. Let’s start with the basics: they are medium-sized dogs, weighing around 30 to 40 pounds and standing at a stable 17 to 20 inches tall, and they are very attractive to families and sportsmen alike because of their versatility. They aren’t giants so they can stay in the house or travel with you in your car if you are a passionate hunter. Moreover, Brittanies have won more dual championships than any other breed, meaning that they have excelled in both field trials and conformation shows.
Do not be fooled thinking that Brittanies are suitable for everyone. To begin with, their insatiable thirst for playing and their extreme energy levels might be more than some people can handle. Additionally, they can be summed up in a single word, and that word is “enthusiasm.” Brittanies have an irrepressible joy of life and an insane amount of enthusiasm for every single thing they do, whether that involves playing with kids, seeking out birds, chasing stuff, fetching stuff, anything. If you aren’t particularly energetic or enthusiastic, you might find keeping up with a Brittany quite the challenge.
Because of their extraordinary energy, it’s paramount you provide them with a lot of exercise. Note that a simple walk around the block probably won’t be enough. If their exercise and working needs aren’t met, they tend to become neurotic and hyperactive, expending their energies in ways you most certainly won’t like. Here’s a little hint for you: whatever it is, it will involve copious amounts of frantic running, gnawing, and barking. Every single dog likes to have “tasks” to perform, but Brittanies are particularly work-oriented. You definitely can’t leave your Brittany home alone through the whole day while you go to work and then expect them to be mellow and want to lie at your feet when you return home in the late afternoon.
In fact, you’ll probably end up with a completely opposite result, they will have a day’s worth of energy and affection piled up and they’ll burst at the seams to expand both. If you want specific numbers, Brittanies need at least an hour of exuberant exercise every single day. Remember that. That also makes them unsuitable for most apartment dwellers, unless you plan to take them out for exercise sessions more than once per day.
However, if you decide on obtaining a Britanny puppy, keep in mind that you will probably hear breeders differentiating between “American” Brittanies and “French” Brittanies. Do not be alarmed, they are the same breed but differ in some minor physical aspects such as height.
Brittanies are well-known for being very sensitive to harsh treatment. Even a stern look or a sharp word is often more than enough punishment when your pooch is acting up. You need to train them firmly, but never to be aggressive – positive reinforcement techniques such as praise, play, and food rewards will prove much more productive with your Brittany than scolding or flaming them. In fact, you won’t do anything if you treat them aggressively since they will just become uncooperative.
If you get a Brittany with the idea of using them for hunting, you will learn that they function quite similar to a pointer, with just a tad smaller range. Brittanies point on game and are happy to retrieve both on land and in the water. They have a natural instinct for hunting, which makes them a solid choice for beginner hunters. If hunting isn’t exactly your cup of tea, however, consider participating in agility, flyball, or other such activities with your pooch. They will love it, and by all means, so will you!