Part of the 'gun dog' group, the Brittany is the national dog of France, having originated from its province of Bretagne. The breed features in paintings and tapestries dating back to the 17th century, and is believed to have resulted from crossing of the orange and white Setter and an unidentified native dog. First shown at the Paris Dog Show in 1900, the Brittany has gained favour throughout its existence and become one of the most popular pointing dogs for bird and game hunting. The breed was introduced to Europe centuries ago, and officially recognised by the American Kennel Club in 1934.
A 'bobtail' breed, the Brittany lacks in tail and is distinctive in appearance. Boasting a medium-sized, square build, the breed possesses high-set, triangular ears, eye colouration that corresponds with the coat, small feet with thick pads and a dense single coat in recognised colour variations of black and white, orange and white, liver and white, liver or black tricolour - usually with ticking or roam patterning. Whilst some dogs are born with a naturally short tail, those without commonly undergo tail 'docking,' although this is an illegal practice in most countries across Europe. The Brittany has a natural affinity with water, making it an efficient water retriever.
Inherently vigilant, the Brittany makes a great guard dog, with keen senses, natural agility and unmatched intelligence. Whilst being the original hunting dog, the modern Brittany is affectionate and loyal with an easy temperament. Compatible with other house pets when introduced gradually, the breed is the ideal choice for families or the dedicated sole owner. On average, a healthy Brittany will weigh 14-18 kg, with a life expectancy of 12-15 years, although it is not uncommon for a dog to outlive this expectancy.
Typically healthy and long-lived, the Brittany is susceptible to few genetic diseases. It is, however, prone to hip dysplasia, a common affliction across breeds, as well as optical disorders and cataracts, epilepsy and incidences of cancer.