The Brittany Spaniel is a breed of working gun dogs that were originally used for hunting wild animals and birds. Early socialization and obedience are very important for these dogs because they are prone to persistent roaming and barking. The average lifespan of Brittany Spaniels is about 12 years.
Brittanys are generally healthy dogs, but they are susceptible to canine hip dysplasia. Some other health issues can occur in Brittany Spaniels, and below is the list of the most common health problems that have been reported in this breed.
Common Brittany Spaniel Health Issues
The health issues that have been reported in Brittany Spaniels over the years are:
- Orthopedic issues: osteochondritis dissecans, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, luxating patella, spinal muscular atrophy
- Skin problems: allergies, demodectic mange, rashes, sores, irritations, discoid lupus
- Eye problems: distichiasis, multifocal retinal dysplasia, simple glaucoma, cataract, lens luxation, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
- Heart problems: congenital heart defects
- Blood clotting problems: von Willebrand’s disease, thrombophilia, complement deficiency, hemophilia A
- Reproductive issues: infertility
- Sensitive stomach
- Hereditary deafness
- Cleft palate
- Hepatic lipidosis
- Ear infections
- Cerebellar ataxia
- Cerebellar and extrapyramidal abiotrophy
- Irregular heat cycles
- Metabolic disorders
- Certain forms of tumors
Although Brittany Spaniels are prone to developing the aforementioned diseases, this doesn’t necessarily mean that these health issues will certainly occur in your dog, but it’s good to be aware of them.
Please keep in mind that the list is not arranged in any particular order; it doesn’t mean that the health issues from the top of the list occur more often than the health issues from the bottom of the list and vice versa.
Since these dogs are predisposed to the development of ear canal infections, due to the anatomical structure of their ears, it is necessary to dry their ears well after bathing and take good care of them in general. What you can do to keep your Brittany Spaniel as healthy as possible is to maintain the good hygiene of their paws, ears, eyes, and teeth. You should also take them on regular walks, train them, and provide them a food that is proper for their age.
Although they are being called Brittany Spaniels because of the breed’s character traits that are similar to Springer Spaniels (both of them are affectionate, gentle, and loyal dogs), when it comes to working features Brittanys have the most similarities with Pointers.
These dogs are two-colored; in combination with the white color of the coat, one of the following three can be found: black, brown, and orange. There are two subraces in this breed – the American and the French Brittany Spaniel. French Brittany Spaniel is smaller and more resistant to the sound of gunshots, while the American Brittany Spaniel is bigger and a better runner.
Brittany Spaniels are great at retrieving things or prey, they are also playful, energetic, obedient, and good pointers and swimmers. Since they are quite enthusiastic, Brittanys are most suitable for hunting, where there’s the opportunity for them to spend all that energy.