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Welcome to the weekly Champion French Brittanys: At Home. In the Field blog.

Let's Cut Through the Shit. What is the difference between an American Brittany and a French Brittany?


It does not matter what you call these dogs: Brittanys, American Brittanys, Bretons, French Brittanys, Epagneul Breton, or Brittany Spaniels they are a small - sized pointing breed. This breed should have a desire to stock, chase, and most importantly- POINT birds and most of the time anything that moves. They are fantastic athletes and are well-suited for a very active life style.




Some people don’t realize that there are two distinct types of Brittany: the French and the American. And others are doing everything they can do "prove" they are indeed two different breeds.


No matter what side of the fence you stand on, the two different "breeds" are remarkably similar, as you might expect, but there are a few key differences that I will do my best to outline in this blog. Pictured below are the "Best of Breed" from the two National Clubs in the United States. Yes, I know there is even some debate about that right now, but I will leave that for another opportunity to blog.



2020 American Brittany Club

National Best of Breed

"American Brittany"














2020 CEB US

National Best of Breed

"French Brittany"










French Brittany, Breton, Epagneul Breton Overview

The French Brittany is an old breed; just how old could lead to some debate just like most of this discussion, but it is generally believed to be an "old breed". Unlike many dog breeds from that time period the "Breton" doesn't come from a "Royal" background but rather the opposite. The French Brittany was owned by people who could not afford to have many dogs that preformed just one task, but rather needed a dog that could do it all. A Swiss Army Knife of the dog world.


Personality

French Brittanys are an intelligent breed that tend to "want" to please their owners. Their sweet nature also leads some people to believe the breed is more sensitive than other breeds to harsh corrections. I tend to believe they learn how to play us during training sessions to get what they want.


They do make great family and home pets that thrive on attention. They seem to have endless energy a drive to be hunting almost to no end. Taking this breed for a "long" walk once or twice a day isn't nearly enough stress for them mentally or physically. They need to free run at top speed for a good amount of time multiple times a day - this is a true hunting breed. They can be Champions: At Home. In the Field. if give the proper opportunity.


Health & Care

The Breton is a healthy and strong dog with few congenital health issues to worry about. The most significant issues to watch out for are currently hip dysplasia and epilepsy. While testing for HD is easy to do with OFA and PennHip (This will debate will be had in a blog very soon.), epilepsy is able to be tested for before it happens. It is very important to know the lines you are getting your dog from.


​The breed requires very little in terms of grooming. They have a single coat that leads to little shedding. They don’t need to be bathed unless visibly dirty and smelly. They do tend to find about anything dead they can to roll around on.


You should feed your EB a food that has at least 26% protein and 16% fat. Be careful not to overfeed them, as obesity can make them more likely to develop conditions like hip dysplasia.


Who should own a French Brittany?

The French Brittany is a loving and loyal dog that can fit into about any living situation provide they have time to run and hunt. These dogs have high exercise needs, so you shouldn’t own one if you can’t provide them with all the stimulation they need.


"American" Brittany Overview


For whatever reason, the American Brittany tends to run out farther and checks make less when hunting than the French Brittany. Its is likely due to the fact that the American hunting grounds are larger and more open than the fields in France. After generations of training and hunting these traits have likely taken hold. Also like most things "American", will tend to build them bigger - I didn't say better. This is likely from having more pointer and setter in the mating plans.


It’s worth noting that the "American" Brittany isn’t recognized as an official breed, and some organizations, like the AKC, don’t distinguish between the two (French and American), lumping them both under the title of “Brittany.”​


Personality

There isn’t much in the way of personality differences between the two breeds. Both are energetic and affectionate, and both are very sensitive breeds.


Brittanys may have a bit more endurance, and tend to cover more ground on hunts. This shouldn’t make much difference in their exercise needs, though, and you should expect to spend an hour or two per day letting them run.


Health & Care

As with their personalities, the two breeds have very similar health concerns. However, the American breed tends to be a little taller also makes them a bit more susceptible to hip dysplasia.


Who should own an American Brittany?

The American Brittany is suitable for the exact same type of person that the French Brittany is, namely, an active owner who’s willing to train their dogs with kindness. The "new" trend over the past 10 years has been people buying French Brittanys more often because the are different...in looks. If you’re trying to choose between a French or American Brittany, take heart — there’s really no wrong answer. These dogs are so similar that you likely won’t see much of a difference regardless of which one you pick.


Please leave a comment! I would love to read your take on the difference between the French and American Brittany.


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