Brittany vs Braque Francais (Pyrenean Type) - Breed Comparison

Both Brittany and Braque Francais (Pyrenean Type) are originated from France. Brittany may grow 6 cm / 2 inches shorter than Braque Francais (Pyrenean Type). Brittany may weigh 35 kg / 77 pounds lesser than Braque Francais (Pyrenean Type). Both Brittany and Braque Francais (Pyrenean Type) has almost same life span. Both Brittany and Braque Francais (Pyrenean Type) has almost same litter size. Both Brittany and Braque Francais (Pyrenean Type) requires Low maintenance.

Basic Information

Group:
Gun dog
Sporting dog
Origin:
France
France
Height Male:
43 - 52 cm
16 - 21 inches
47 - 58 cm
18 - 23 inches
Height Female:
40 - 50 cm
15 - 20 inches
45 - 55 cm
17 - 22 inches
Weight Male:
14 - 20 kg
30 - 45 pounds
35 - 55 kg
77 - 122 pounds
Weight Female:
12 - 18 kg
26 - 40 pounds
32 - 52 kg
70 - 115 pounds
Life Span:
12 - 13 Years
12 - 15 Years
Litter Size:
1 - 12
3 - 10
Size:
Medium dog
Medium dog
Other Names:
Brittany Spaniel Brittany Wiegref Epagneul Breton French Brittany
French Pointing Dog - Pyrenean Type; Braque Francais, de Petite Taille
Colors Available:
tricolor, orange roan, liver roan, black roan
mottled brown Chestnut brown, either solid or mixed with white. With or without ticking or roaning or tan markings
Coat:
Flowing Medium length
fine and short
Shedding:
Moderate
Minimal
Temperament:
Alert, Energetic, Friendly, Gentle, Intelligent, Loyal, Playful, Sweet
Energetic, Friendly, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Loving, Loyal, Playful, Territorial
Grooming:
Low maintenance
Low maintenance
Trainability:
Moderate
Easy
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
Yes
Yes

History

One of the most intense bird dog breeds in existence is the Brittany, bred for hunt. The breed used to be called the Brittany Spaniel, but since the breed is closer to a setter or pointer, that moniker has been dropped. The Brittany is named for the French Province in which they were originally developed. Sometime from the 17th to the 19th centuries, the breed was developed. Images of a very similar dog can be found on 17th century paintings and tapestries. However, the first written description comes from 1850 by a Reverend Davies, describing a hunting episode. The breed was recognized officially in the early part of the 20th century and made a splash at the 1900 Paris Dog Show.

The first official standards were written in about 1907 and the breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1934.The Brittany is expected to point to and then retrieve birds and other small ground game. Because the Brittany both points and retrieves they are known in the U.K. as a Hunt, Point and Retrieve breed or an HPR, and they have more Dual Champions than the rest of the AKC Sporting group.

There are actually two types of Brittanys in the minds of many breeders. There is the “French” Brittany and the “American” Brittany. When the breed arrived in the United States in 1931 they became immensely popular in a short period of time. In 1942 American Breeders began the American Brittany Club, rewriting the French standard to fit the dog they knew. Today there are definitely difference between the two sub-sets that can easily be seen. The French dog is smaller than the American dog. The American dog is a runner pacing ahead of the hunter while the French dog works more closely with their human companions. Another visible difference is that the French accept black spotted Brittanys, while in the United States a black spotted coat is considered a fault. Both sub-sets are known for their willingness to follow human directions, their eagerness for the hunt, and their agility and speed.

Unfortunately, the European wars took their toll on this breed as they did on many others. Following the second World War, their numbers in Europe were drastically reduced. The French had stop breeding them altogether during the war. It was in this depleted gene pool that the French agreed to accept the black spotted Brittany. Along with the U.S., Canada also does not recognize the black spotted Brittany.

The Braque Francais Gascognes and the Braque Francais Pyrenees are two alike dogs that are in reality separate breeds. The Pyrenees is not as rare as his larger brother, Gascognes. Around since the 15th century at least, not mush is really known about their origins. Because the Braque Francais was exported or taken to so many different countries in the 15th-18th centuries, a lot of information regarding the origins of the breeds were lost. There was a major study done in the 19th century that showed the two dogs came from very different blood lines. It is known that in this timeframe there was an acute need for a dog that was better than the current hunting breeds. This dog needed to be able to point, track, retrieve and flush.

With no authenticated story of origin, many myths have grown up in the vacuum. The most common belief is that the Chien d’Oysel, an ancient spaniel breed that was medium sized with brown or white fur and brown markings, is an ancestor of the Braque Francais and local hunting dogs. To make the Gascognes larger and stronger than the Pyrenees, local scent hounds were also crossed with these dogs. The Pyrenees does not have these scent hounds in their background.

Until the late 1800’s, there was only one type and one breed of Braque Francais. But when the breed was no longer the dogs of a nobility, the average hunter needed a smaller dog. Urbanization following the French Revolution added to this trend and the Pyrenees Mountain hunters crossed the Gascognes with smaller scent hounds and pointers. Thus, they created the Braque Francais Pyrenees and each dog became its own breed in 1920.

The Braque Francais breed club, including standards for both breeds was established in 1850 with the standards established in 1880. This acceptance was then followed by registration of both breeds in the International Kennel Club (FCI) and the French Kennel Club. Canada recognizes only the Gascoigne and the United Kennel Club (UKC) of the United States, recognized both. Neither breed has been recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

The Second World War was brutal to both types of the Braque Francais, but the Pyrenees have surpassed their sister breed and are the only one that has found its way to North America. The importers have started a breeding program in Canada. Later a few were imported to the States. There are currently at least four breeders in North America – 2 in the U.S. and 2 in Canada. It is thought that there are less than 200 Braque Francais Pyrenees living in North America.

Description

The Brittany is much like other hunting dogs – pointers and retrievers – in size and stature. He is solid and strong but not heavy. He is compact with an average size head and floppy ears, docked tails or short natural tails, and expressively intelligent looking eyes. He is athletic, energetic, and alert. He has a long, elastic and free gait. The French dog is smaller and the dog with black spots is accepted. The American Brittany is larger and only a tri-color of orange, liver and white is acceptable.

The Braque Francais breeds are medium sized dogs with the Pyrenean standing 10 centimeters shorter than the Gascogne. They have a, white or chestnut brown coat with brown spots and a brown head. The Pyrenees has a head that is broader and ears that are not as long as the Gascogne. Their muzzle is narrower. He is strong, tall with hanging lips and square muzzles.

Health Problems

The breed is a hardy one and Brittanys are mostly healthy dogs. In Europe 1 in 5 dogs dies of old age and that age is usually 14 or 15 years. They do have a few issues that they may be susceptible to. These would include:

Ears – prone to infections

Hip Dysplasia – bones don’t fit well into joints

Epilepsy – mild or serious seizures are possible.

Hypothyroidism – Low levels of thyroid hormone

Canine Discoid Lupus Erythematosus – autoimmune disease

The breed of Braque Francais in both its incarnations is generally a pretty healthy dog. They are prone to several issues including dysplasia of the elbow and hip, aortic stenosis, some eye issues and patellar luxation. The eye issues are around the lids and include ectropion and entropion along with cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). These issues are not avoidable, but the risk can be reduced even more by breeder testing of parents of any litter and then test the litter. Both the OFA and CERF should conduct tests for the dysplasia (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) and eyes (Canine Eye Registration Foundation).

Caring The Pet

Feeding

Don’t overfeed your Brittany. Keep him at hunting weight by feeding a half a cup up to 2 cups per day depending on the size of your dog and activity levels. Serve this in two meals not one.

Health issues

Ears – prone to infections – make sure that you check them and wipe them out routinely to prevent infections.

Hip Dysplasia – bones don’t fit well into joints – this can be genetic or otherwise, causing lameness and arthritis. If severe it can require surgery to correct.

Epilepsy – mild or serious seizures are possible. This can be genetic/hereditary but is set off by an infectious disease of the brain, head injury, poison, tumor, or metabolic disorder. There is no cure, but medication can be very effective.

Hypothyroidism – Low levels of thyroid hormone – can cause drooping eyelids, obesity, lethargy, mental difficulties or irregular heat cycles or all of this. Medication is available as it is for humans but must be taken daily for the rest of the dog’s life

Canine Discoid Lupus Erythematosus – autoimmune disease that is rare in dogs. Cats and humans can also have it. It is a skin disease and does not become the more serious and deadly Systemic Lupus. The Discoid version of this disease causes loss of pigmentation and a scaling on the nose which can then progress to the skin around the ears, eyes and genitals. There could be ulcerated lesions and tissue death in more severe cases. Sun exposure can make the condition worse.

Exercise and games

The Brittany is a hunting dog that acts like a pointer but will retrieve fowl and birds in the water or on land. If you don’t hunt, the Brittany can still be your family dog. They need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. They need a job if they are not going to hunt and expect them to be distracted by every bird they see. Try flyball, agility, FAST CAT, field trials and dock diving. They are very task oriented and have boundless energy. They excel at obedience and confirmation as well.

Feeding

This breed need a high energy food including raw meat such as chicken, fish, and beef. If feeding kibble, they need about 2.5 cups per day.

Health issues

Prone to inflammation and infections of the ears as they are long and floppy. Clean them regularly. As previously mention eye disorders, joint dysplasia and bloat.

Exercise and games

The Braque Francais Pyrenees is a fairly versatile hunting dog. They can hunt on all types of terrain by trailing, flushing and retrieving. They are quick and move quickly without actually sprinting. This dog needs serious exercise every day. They will walk or jog with you. They will run along side your bike. Whatever you choose to do, do it for an hour a day. Don’t make couch potatoes out of this breed. It will not turn out well if you do. They need a place where they can play off leash as well, such as a large yard or a dog park.

Characteristics

The Brittany is particularly trainable and friendly. They love to play and are sweet-natured. They don’t due well with harsh correction though and a stern look will cause them to wither. Socialize them young or they can become shy around strangers. They are loyal and family oriented. They can easily become attached to their humans.

This is a sociable, lovable, friendly breed. They are gentle and docile dogs that want only to please you. They like children as well as adults and will never be a guard dog as they are friendly to strangers as well. The Braque Francais Pyrenees is affectionate while being highly skilled hunters. They are prone to severe separation anxiety if left alone for long. They might even have a tendency toward shyness.

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