As his name suggests this Spaniel originates in France and belongs to the hunt, point and retrieve breeds. He is fairly lively, affectionate and easy to train. He is suitable as a pet dog but will require plenty of exercise (two hours a day) and some mental challenges to keep him happy. His coat is soft and silky but generally not as long as some of the other Spaniel breeds. Nevertheless he will need grooming at least twice a week. Ideally he should live in the country where he has access to open spaces for free running. A large secure garden is essential as well.
Inbreeding Coefficient - COI
(Should be as low as possible)
The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 5.8% - see 'A Beginners Guide to COI'
Effective Population Size - EPSTBC
EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.
Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)
The Brittany is a dog without physical exaggerations but care will need to be taken to make sure that his ears are clean. Longish, hairy ears are prone to pick up seeds and other debris. Soreness and infection can occur if care is not taken.
- Hip dysplasia (abnormality of the hip joint causing pain and disability) breed mean score 14.9 (ideally parents should be lower)
- Elbow dysplasia (abnormality of the elbow joint causing pain and disability) score ideally 0:0
Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) are now available for Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia:
DNA Tests Available
Unofficial (Breed Club) Schemes
Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.
Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)
- Grass awn migration (grass seeds migrating into the ear)
- Cancer (cutaneous fibroma, cutaneous fibrosarcoma, cutaneous melanoma, perianal gland ademomas
- Spinal muscular atrophy (gradual weakness of the spine) not common
- Eye disease: Multi-focal retinal dysplasia; glaucoma
- Patella luxation (displaced knee cap)
- Atopy (skin allergy)
- Hypothyroidism (low thyroid levels)
Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.
Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions. Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.
You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP): www.puppycontract.org.uk
You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding: