How About the Brittany Spaniel?
Growing up in the mountains of northern New York, I was afforded the luxury of being able to hunt on some of the most game filled lands in America. From pheasants and turkeys, to plump rabbits and ducks, the Catskill region provided a plethora of opportunities.
Unfortunately, I found myself limited in some degree in being able to navigate the thick brush common to this region. Enter the Brittany Spaniel. A breed developed primarily for small game and birds, the Brittany Spaniel is one of the most relentless of hunters, who will not only help you in your field endeavors, but make a wonderful house pet as well. This article will provide some insight into the breed, and some tips on choosing and caring for the dog.
The Brittany Spaniel was developed sometime around the mid 1800’s in France. Rumors have it that the dog was bred with a pair of old English sporting type canines, and possibly a seasoning of some Irish Setter as well. What makes this particular breed of sporting dog so unique is the fact that it’s not only great at flushing out the prey, but utilizes its inherent nature to “point” at the same time. Not having the best of eyes, this natural pointing trait has helped save many a day for me in the fields. It’s a big help when somebody can almost say, “hey look over there, don’t you see it?”
Purchase from a private breeder!
One of the best tips to keep in mind when looking for a Brittany Spaniel is to purchase from a proven private breeder if possible. I was fortunate enough to purchase my dog from a breeder who had the parents on the premises. The advantage is that you are able to see the traits of the mother and father, and like the old saying goes, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” Usually most breeders will have health records on site for the parents, so you will be able to review these records which might reveal some health conditions within the bloodline.
Another tip to keep in mind is that you must realize that this particular breed requires a lot of exercise. If you are living in a small apartment with limited yard space, then perhaps this dog isn’t for you. Brittany Spaniel’s are a wired up type of dog, that are bred for running and hunting in the fields all day long. And I truly mean, “all day long”. It would be a total injustice to deny a dog such as these daily exercise. Again, if space is a factor, then I would look more toward the smaller house type breeds.
Again, caring for this particular breed will require plenty of exercise, a well-rounded diet including fresh vegetables, supplements for dogs, and adequate attention. Yes, these dogs love attention and affection. So if you time is limited, and you are unable to spend quality time with the animal, then perhaps the Brittany Spaniel isn’t for you.
If you are looking for a true companion in the field that will provide you days upon days of fun and excitement then look no further then the Brittany Spaniel. A lover at heart, this dog will provide years of happiness to not only yourself, but your entire family as well.