Brittany Breed Standard As Set Forth by AKC and CKC
 

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Brittany Breed Standard AKC CKC American Brittany Spaniel
Not to be confused with the French Brittany Spaniel
Brittany Breed Standard
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Brittany (Brittany Spaniel) Breed Standard or for that matter breed standard of any registered dog is critical for the preservation of the breed, as it was intended for looks, skill, temperment and ability. Too many people (backyard breeders and people that claim to be professional breeders) are not trying to ensure the preservative of the breed as it was and is intended to be. Kennel clubs, for example CKC and the AKC set forth breed standards. These are detailed specifications on Brittany height, weight, colouring, tail length, etc. If a Brittany
does not meet these breed standards it cannot compete in shows. Obviously not all people want to show their Brittany but the Brittany should conform to the standards. A breeder cannot "guarantee" that a Brittany puppy will be breed standard when it is full grown. Although, any responsible breeder will not breed
a Brittany that does not meet Breed Standard. Also, it is very important to be an informed person when deciding where to purchase your Brittany from. Do you want to pay a breeder that doesn't have much regard for the quality of their
Brittanys. Or would you rather choose a breeder that works, plans and researches the most qualified Brittanys for looks, ability, nose, etc. to become a part of the breeders breeding stock.

Do you want a purebred puppy or a poorly bred puppy?

The following is Brittany Breed Standards as set out by the
AKC - American Kennel Club Brittany Breed Standard

( and )
CKC - Canadian Kennel Club Brittany Breed Standard

Frequently Asked Brittany Questions

AKC - AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB - BRITTANY BREED STANDARD

Brittany
Sporting Group
Breed Standard

General Appearance
A compact, closely knit dog of medium size, a leggy dog having the appearance, as well as the agility, of a great ground coverer. Strong, vigorous, energetic and quick of movement. Ruggedness, without clumsiness, is a characteristic of the breed. He can be tailless or has a tail docked to approximately four inches.

Size, Proportion, Substance
Height--17½ to 20½ inches, measured from the ground to the highest point of the shoulders. Any Brittany measuring under 17½ inches or over 20½ inches shall be disqualified from dog show competition.
Weight-- Should weigh between 30 and 40 pounds
Proportion-- So leggy is he that his height at the shoulders is the same as the length of his body.
Body Length--Approximately the same as the height when measured at the shoulders. Body length is measured from the point of the forecast to the rear of the rump. A long body should be heavily penalized.
Substance--Not too light in bone, yet never heavy-boned and cumbersome.

Head
Expression--Alert and eager, but with the soft expression of a bird dog.
Eyes--Well set in head. Well protected from briars by a heavy, expressive eyebrow. A prominent full or popeye should be penalized. It is a serious fault in a dog that must face briars. Skull well chiseled under the eyes, so that the lower lid is not pulled back to form a pocket or haw that would catch seeds, dirt and weed dust. Preference should be for the darker colored eyes, though lighter shades of amber should not be penalized. Light and mean-looking eyes should be heavily penalized.
Ears--Set high, above the level of the eyes. Short and triangular, rather than pendulous, reaching about half the length of the muzzle. Should lie flat and close to the head, with dense, but relatively short hair, and with little fringe.
Skull--Medium length, rounded, very slightly wedge-shaped, but evenly made. Width, not quite as wide as the length and never so broad as to appear coarse, or so narrow as to appear racy. Well defined, but gently sloping stop. Median line rather indistinct. The occiput only apparent to the touch. Lateral walls well rounded. The Brittany should never be "apple-headed" and he should never have an indented stop.
Muzzle--Medium length, about two thirds the length of the skull, measuring the muzzle from the tip to the stop, and the skull from the occiput to the stop. Muzzle should taper gradually in both horizontal and vertical dimensions as it approaches the nostrils. Neither a Roman nose nor a dish-face is desirable. Never broad, heavy or snippy.
Nose--Nostrils well open to permit deep breathing of air and adequate scenting. Tight nostrils should be penalized. Never shiny. Color: fawn, tan, shades of brown or deep pink. A black nose is a disqualification. A two-tone or butterfly nose should be penalized.
Lips--Tight, the upper lip overlapping the lower jaw just to cover the lower lip. Lips dry, so that feathers will not stick. Drooling to be heavily penalized. Flews to be penalized.
Bite--A true scissors bite. Overshot or undershot jaw to be heavily penalized.

Neck, Topline, Body

Neck--Medium length. Free from throatiness, though not a serious fault unless accompanied by dewlaps, strong without giving the impression of being over muscled. Well set into sloping shoulders. Never concave or ewe-necked.
Topline--Slight slope from the highest point of the shoulders to the root of the tail.
Chest--Deep, reaching the level of the elbow. Neither so wide nor so rounded as to disturb the placement of the shoulders and elbows. Ribs well sprung. Adequate heart room provided by depth as well as width. Narrow or slab-sided chests are a fault.
Back--Short and straight. Never hollow, saddle, sway or roach backed. Slight drop from the hips to the root of the tail.
Flanks--Rounded. Fairly full. Not extremely tucked up, or flabby and falling. Loins short and strong. Distance from last rib to upper thigh short, about three to four finger widths. Narrow and weak loins are a fault. In motion, the loin should not sway sideways, giving a zig-zag motion to the back, wasting energy.
Tail--Tailless to approximately four inches, natural or docked. The tail not to be so long as to affect the overall balance of the dog. Set on high, actually an extension of the spine at about the same level. Any tail substantially more than four inches shall be severely penalized.

Forequarters

Shoulders--Shoulder blades should not protrude too much, not too wide apart, with perhaps two thumbs' width between. Sloping and muscular. Blade and upper arm should form nearly a ninety degree angle. Straight shoulders are a fault. At the shoulders, the Brittany is slightly higher than at the rump.
Front Legs--Viewed from the front, perpendicular, but not set too wide. Elbows and feet turning neither in nor out. Pasterns slightly sloped. Down in pasterns is a serious fault. Leg bones clean, graceful, but not too fine. Extremely heavy bone is as much a fault as spindly legs. One must look for substance and suppleness. Height at elbows should approximately equal distance from elbow to withers.
Feet--Should be strong, proportionately smaller than the spaniels', with close fitting, well arched toes and thick pads. The Brittany is "not up on his toes." Toes not heavily feathered. Flat feet, splayed feet, paper feet, etc., are to be heavily penalized. An ideal foot is halfway between the hare and the cat foot. Dewclaws may be removed.

Hindquarter

Broad strong and muscular, with powerful thighs and well bent stifles, giving the angulation necessary for powerful drive.
Hind Legs--Stifles well bent. The stifle should not be so angulated as to place the hock joint far out behind the dog. A Brittany should not be condemned for straight stifle until the judge has checked the dog in motion from the side. The stifle joint should not turn out making a cowhock. Thighs well feathered but not profusely, halfway to the hock. Hocks, that is, the back pasterns, should be moderately short, pointing neither in nor out, perpendicular when viewed from the side. They should be firm when shaken by the judge.
Feet Same as front feet.

Coat

Dense, flat or wavy, never curly. Texture neither wiry nor silky. Ears should carry little fringe. The front and hind legs should have some feathering, but too little is definitely preferable to too much. Dogs with long or profuse feathering or furnishings shall be so severely penalized as to effectively eliminate them from competition.
Skin-- Fine and fairly loose. A loose skin rolls with briars and sticks, thus diminishing punctures or tearing. A skin so loose as to form pouches is undesirable.

Color

Orange and white or liver and white in either clear or roan patterns. Some ticking is desirable. The orange or liver is found in the standard parti-color or piebald patterns. Washed out colors are not desirable. Tri-colors are allowed but not preferred. A tri-color is a liver and white dog with classic orange markings on eyebrows, muzzle and cheeks, inside the ears and under the tail, freckles on the lower legs are orange. Anything exceeding the limits of these markings shall be severely penalized. Black is a disqualification.

Gait

When at a trot the Brittany's hind foot should step into or beyond the print left by the front foot. Clean movement, coming and going, is very important, but most important is side gait, which is smooth, efficient and ground covering.

Temperament

A happy, alert dog, neither mean nor shy.

Disqualifications

Any Brittany measuring under 17½ inches or over 20½ inches
A black nose
Black in the coat

(This information was re-typed from the AKC web-site www.akc.org )

CKC - CANADIAN KENNEL CLUB - BRITTANY BREED STANDARD

Brittany Spaniel
Sporting Group
Breed Standard

General Appearance
A Compact, closely-knit dog of medium size, a leggy spaniel having the
appearance as well as the agility of a great ground coverer. Strong, vigorous,
energetic, and quick of movement. Not too light in bone, yet never heavy
boned and cumbersome. Ruggedness, without clumsiness, is a
characteristic of the breed. So leggy is he that his height at the withers is the
same as the length of his body. He has no tail, or at most, one not longer
than 4 inches. (10 cm).

Size
Weight - should weigh between 30 and 40 lb. (14 - 19 kg).
Height - 17-1/2 in. to 20-1/2 in. (44 - 52 cm.) measured from the ground to
the highest point of the back, the withers.

Coat and Colour
Hair dense, flat or wavy, never curly. Not as fine as in other Spaniel breeds,
and never silky. Furnishings not profuse. The ears should carry little fringe.
Neither the front nor hind legs should carry heavy featherings. Skin fine and
fairly loose. (A loose skin rolls with briars and sticks, thus diminishing
punctures or tearing. But a skin so loose as to form pouches is undesirable.)
Colour dark orange and white, or liver and white. Some ticking is desirable,
but not so much as to produce belton patterns. Roan patterns or factors of
any of these colours are permitted. The orange and liver are found in
standard particolour, or piebald patterns. Washed out or faded colours are
not desirable.
Faults Long, curly, or silky hair is a fault. Any tendency towards excessive
feathering should be severely penalized as undesirable in a sporting dog
which must face burrs and heavy cover.

Head
Skull
Medium length (approximately 4-3/4 in. (12 cm). Rounded, very slightly wedge-shaped, but evenly made. Width, not quite as wide as the length
(about 4-3/8 in. (11 cm.) and never so broad as to appear coarse, or so
narrow as to appear racy. Well-defined, but gently sloping stop effect. Median
line rather indistinct. The occipital crest only apparent to touch. Lateral walls
well rounded. The Brittany should never be "appleheaded" and he should
never have an indented stop. (All measurements of skull are for a 19-1/2 in.
(50 cm.) dog.
Muzzle Medium length, about two-thirds the length of the skull, measuring
the muzzle from the tip to the stop, and the skull from the occipital crest to the
stop between the eyes. Muzzle should taper gradually in both horizontal and
vertical dimensions as it approaches the nostrils. Neither a Roman nose nor
a concave curve (dish face) is desirable. Never broad, heavy or snipey.
Nose Nostrils well open to permit deep breathing of air and adequate
scenting while at top speed. Never shiny.
Colour To tone in with the darkest body colour according to whether the
dog is orange and white, or liver and white.
Mouth Lips tight to the muzzle, with the upper lip overlapping the lower jaw
only sufficiently to cover under lip. Lips dry so that feathers do not stick.
Well-joined incisors. Posterior edge of upper incisors in contact with anterior
edge of lower incisors, thus giving a true scissors bite.
Eyes Well set in head. Well protected from briars by heavy expressive
eyebrow. Skull well-chiselled under the eyes, so that the lower lid is not
pulled back to form a pocket or haw for catching seeds, dirt, and weed dust.
Judges should check by facing head down to see if lid falls away from the
eye. Preference should be for darker coloured eyes, though lighter shades of amber should not be penalized.
Ears Set high, above level of the eyes. Short and leafy, rather than
pendulous, reaching about half the length of the muzzle. Should lie flat and
close to the head, with the tip rounded very slightly. Ears well covered with dense but relatively short hair, and with little fringe.
Faults Tight nostrils should be penalized. A two-tone or butterfly nose should
be severely penalized. Drooling to receive a heavy penalty. Flews to be
penalized. Overshot or undershot jaw to be penalized heavily. A prominent, full
or pop eye should be heavily penalized. It is a serious fault in a hunting dog
that must face briars. Light and mean looking eyes to be heavily penalized.

Neck Medium length, not quite permitting the dog to place his nose on the
ground without bending his legs. Free from throatiness, though not a
serious fault unless accompanied by dewlaps. Strong, without giving the
impression of being overmuscled. Well set into sloping shoulders. Never
concave or ewe-necked.

Forequarters Shoulder blades should not protrude much. Not too widely set
apart with perhaps two thumbs width or less between the blades. At the
withers, the Brittany is slightly higher than at the rump. Shoulders sloping
and muscular. Blade and upper arm shoulde form nearly a 90-degree angle
when measured from the posterior point of the blade at the withers to the
junction of the blade and upper arm, and thence to the point of the elbow
nearest the ribs. Straight shoulders do not permit sufficient reach. Viewed
from the side, practically perpendicular to the pastern. Pastern slightly
bent to give cushion to stride. Not so straight as in terriers. Leg bones clean,
graceful, but not too fine. One must look for substance and suppleness.
Height to the elbows should approximately equal distance from elbows to
withers.
Faults Falling pasterns are a serious fault. An extremely heavy bone is as
much a fault as spindly legs.

Body Body length approximately the same as the height when measured
at the withers. Body length is measured from the point of the forechest to
the rear of the haunches. Back short and straight. Slight slope from highest
point of withers to the root of the tail. Never hollow, saddle, sway, or roached
back. Chest deep, reaching the level of the elbow. Neither so wide nor so
rounded as to disturb the placement of the shoulder bones and elbows, which
causes a paddling movement, and often causes soreness from elbow
striking ribs. Ribs well sprung, but adequate heart room provided by depth
as well as width. Loins short and strong. In motion the loin should not sway
sideways, giving a zigzag motion to the back, wasting energy. Distance
from last rib to upper thigh short, about three to four finger widths. Slight drop
from hips to root of tail. Flanks rounded. Fairly full. Not extremely tucked up,
nor yet flabby and falling.
Faults A long body should be heavily penalized. Narrow or slab-sided chest
are a fault. Narrow or weak loins are a fault.

Hindquarters Broad, strong, and muscular, with powerful thighs and well-bent
stifles, giving a hip set well into the loin and marked angulation necessary for
a powerful drive when in motion. Thighs well feathered, but not profusely,
halfway to the hock. Stifles well bent. The stifle generally is the term used for
knee joint. If the angle made by the upper and lower leg bones is too
straight, the dog quite generally lacks drive, since his hind legs cannot drive
as far forward at each stride as is desirable. However, the stifle should not be bent so as to throw the hock joint far out behind the dog. Since factors not
easily seen by the eye may give the dog his proper drive, a Brittany should
not be condemned for straight stifle until the judge has checked the dog in
motion from the side. When at trot, the Brittany's hind foot should stip into or
beyond the print left by the front foot.
The stifle joint should not turn out making a cowhock. (The cowhock moves
the foot out to the side, thus driving out of line, and losing reach at each
stride). Hocks, that is, the back pasterns, should be moderately short, pointing
neither in nor out; perpendicular when viewed from the side. They should be firm when shaken by the judge. Feet should be strong, proportionately
smaller than other spaniels, with close-fitting, well-arched toes and thick pads.
The Brittany is not "up on his toes." Toes not heavily feathered. An ideal foot is
halfway between the hare and cat-foot.
Faults Fat and falling hindquarters are a fault. Flat feet, splayed feet, paper feet, etc., are to be heavily penalized.

Tail Naturally tailless, or not over 4 in. (10 cm) long. Natural or docked, set
on high, actually an extension of the spine at about the same level.

Disqualifications Any Brittany Spaniel measuring under 17-1/2 in. (44 cm)
or over 20-1/2 in. (52 cm) shall be disqualified from show competition. A
tail substantially more than 4 in. (10 cm) in length shall disqualify.


(This information was re-typed from the CKC Book of Dogs.)

Frequently Asked Brittany Questions

Brittanys being of the Sporting Breed of dogs are energetic but not high strung or hyper, like a Jack Russell Terrier is. They should have daily exercise. They don't need to be taken for huge runs in the fields everyday. And no breed of dog should be allowed to run off leash until he is reliably trained for the "come" command. As with any breed of dogs I recommend a fenced in backyard. Then your Brittany can have outside puddlies, play and exercise time unsupervised in the safety of your yard when he's old enough. This will reduce the amount of time that you need to take your Brittany out for a run. Brittanys are not mean or aggressive by nature. They are people dogs. They are great with children and other dogs and family pets. They are very intelligent, easily trained and eager to please. Brittanys are not a one owner dog. They will listen to all family members and bond very well with everyone in the family. They are sensitive dogs and do not require a heavy hand in training. A Brittany is contented being a family member and not being a hunting buddy if that is what the family would like. Unlike a Beagle that is always looking for an opportunity to escape and go off hunting. They don't have a 'doggy' smell like some other breeds do. They only need to be bathed when they actually get dirty. A Brittany doesn't require excessive grooming. Their fur is relatively short, except for the leg and chest featherings. Also, even though they have fur they are not big shedders. I recommend brushing a Brittany once a week for 5 or ten minutes with a Slicker brush. The average life span of a Brittany is 12 to 14 years. I know of many Brittanys that have lived to 16 years old. If you feed your Brittany a high quality dog food, I only recommend Eukanuba Growth and TLC www.tlcpetfood.com, and keep the dog fit and do not let him get obese this will help to ensure your Brittany leads a full healthy long life. Brittanys are one of the healthier of the purebred breeds. Because of their structure, their bodies are as long as they are tall, they are not prone to hip and elbow dysplaysia. In my opinion all puppies should come with a written and signed guarantee against genetic defects. They are not genetically prone to any cancers, unlike the Retrievers now unfortunately are. A Brittany is not a common breed unlike the Labs, Retrievers and Beagles. That is part of the reason they are a healthier breed. Unfortunately as a breed becomes common the breed can deteriorate as backyard breeders and puppy mills think they can make easy money and quick sales on breeds of dogs that people want now. People need to spend the time researching which breed is best suited for their lifestyle and "never" buy a puppy from a pet store. As those dogs are never from reputable registered professional breeders. A Britt is generally an emotionally secure dog that does not have separation anxiety if he is left at home while you work. I do recommend crate training any breed of puppy until it's a least one year old at night and while you can't watch the dog. This makes housebreaking much easier. Also, it's much safer than the puppy being allowed full access to the house where he could get into trouble and chew electrical cords or get into chemicals. A Brittany doesn't chew more than the average breed of dog. It is important especially that a puppy always has his own chew toys. For example pressed rawhides, Kong toys, Nylabones to play with. There isn't a significant difference in male vs. female Brittanys. They are both between 30 and 40lbs as adults. Females usually being on the smaller side of that scale. Any intact male can smell a female dog in heat for a 2 mile radius. If you are not going to show, trial or test your dog I strongly recommend that your dog be spayed or neutered when it is 16 weeks old. This is better for the longevity of your dog. A dog cannot get testicular cancer or ovarian cancer if they don't have those parts. And, I do not advocate people breeding their dog just because they think "fifi" should have a litter. This is a myth and breeding dogs should be left up to the professionals that have the best interests of the breed at heart. And, that have the skills and resources to properly raise and place puppies. A Brittany is physically and emotionally mature by the time he reaches 1 1/2 years of age. Unlike, the Labs, Golden and Setters that aren't mature until they are about 3 years old. I hope that I have been helpful in answering your questions.