Picardy Spaniel vs Brittany - Breed Comparison | MyDogBreeds

Picardy Spaniel vs Brittany - Breed ComparisonBoth Picardy Spaniel and Brittany are originated from France. Picardy Spaniel may grow 9 cm / 4 inches higher than Brittany. Both Picardy Spaniel and Brittany are having almost same weight. Both Picardy Spaniel and Brittany has almost same life span. Picardy Spaniel may have less litter size than Brittany. Picardy Spaniel requires Moderate maintenance. But Brittany requires Low maintenance


picardy spaniel - historyThe Picardy Spaniel hails from France and has always been used as a gundog, having been crossed with different British hunting dogs.

While this dog breed is related to the Blue Picardy Spaniel, the Picardy is the older of the two breeds. It has always been sought after by the French nobility for its hunting skills and the fact that its weather resistant coat allowed it to hunt in all kinds of weather conditions.

The dog’s popularity waned in the early 20th century. The UKC have recognized the Picardy Spaniel as a Gun Dog and the breed has also been accepted within the FCI as a Pointing dog group.

brittany - historyOne 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.

Basic Information

Gun dog
Gun dog
Height Male:
56 - 61 cm
22 - 25 inches
43 - 52 cm
16 - 21 inches
Height Female:
56 - 61 cm
22 - 25 inches
40 - 50 cm
15 - 20 inches
Weight Male:
20 - 25 kg
44 - 56 pounds
14 - 20 kg
30 - 45 pounds
Weight Female:
20 - 25 kg
44 - 56 pounds
12 - 18 kg
26 - 40 pounds
Life Span:
12 - 14 Years
12 - 13 Years
Litter Size:
6 - 8
1 - 12
Medium dog
Medium dog
Other Names:
Épagneul Picard
Brittany Spaniel Brittany Wiegref Epagneul Breton French Brittany
Colors Available:
chocolate, Chestnut brown, sandy colored markings
tricolor, orange roan, liver roan, black roan
Shortish, dense, slightly wavy
Flowing Medium length
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Docile, Energetic, Friendly, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Quiet, Responsive, Social, Stubborn, Territorial
Alert, Energetic, Friendly, Gentle, Intelligent, Loyal, Playful, Sweet
Moderate maintenance
Low maintenance
Kids Friendly:
New Owners Friendly:


picardy spaniel puppy - descriptionThe Picardy Spaniel is larger than other spaniels. It is described as a medium sized dog, standing at 56 – 61cm in height and weighing between 20 and 25 kilograms. The body of the spaniel is squarely built and muscular body. The dog has long floppy ears and the coat which is shortish in areas except for feathering around the legs and belly can vary in colour from red to chestnut brown to sandy and chocolate. The tail is long and feathered.


The Picardy Spaniel is a docile breed of dog and makes a great family pet, loving being playful with the children in the home and getting on well with other dogs. He is gentle but sociable and intelligent too and is easy to train and socialize.

Although he has been used as a hunting dog he can slot into life in the city or the countryside. He can be indoors or outdoors and still be happy, so long as his family members are close by.

He is an active dog though, and won’t be content to be sitting around for too long, loving nothing more than to be chasing a ball or going for a walk with you.

brittany puppy - descriptionThe 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.


picardy spaniel dog - characteristicsThe Picardy Spaniel is a docile dog who forms strong bonds with his human family.

He doesn’t gel easily with strangers though, but socialization and training will at least make him well behaved among strangers.

A well-mannered Picardy Spaniel is a joy in the home, and this gentle dog is guaranteed to make you the most wonderfully loyal and loving pet and companion.

brittany dog - characteristicsThe 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.

Health Problems

picardy spaniel puppies - health problemsWithout any major health issues, your Picardy can reach 14 years of age and possibly even older. A couple of common dog conditions to be on the watch for include:

Ear Infections:

Your beautiful Picardy Spaniel has floppy ears and this opens up the tendency to suffer with ear infections. The inside of the ears are moist and hot and you as the dog owner can try to keep the inside of the ear clean and dry.

He is a dog that loves water too, and swimming encourages dampness. If you prefer not to work on the inside of the ears, dog groomers or your vet can clean the ears for you. An ear infection can be painful for your pet and it will require veterinary intervention.


These are dogs which can pick up weight quite easily. Dogs which are overweight are more prone to developing cancer, diabetes and heart disease, not to mention joint problems.

Other problems to look out for include cancer, bloat, dental disease and parasites.

brittany puppies - health problemsThe 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

Caring The Pet


picardy spaniel dogs - caringYour Picardy has a thick coat which sheds and the coat should be brushed at least twice a week to prevent matting. The ears of the Picardy Spaniel require special attention. Because they are long they will need to be cleaned and kept dry otherwise an ear infection can develop.

At the same time, check your pet over for ticks and fleas, check his eyes, keep the nails trimmed, and check inside his mouth for rotting teeth which can be the source of many health problems if left untreated.

Feeding your Picardy:

If you have a puppy, you will need to provide 4 bowls of food in a 24 hour period. Check on the directions provided on the food packaging to see how much to feed your puppy.

By the time your Picardy is one year of age, he can move over to 2 bowls of food a day. Only the highest quality commercially manufactured food will be good enough for your dog. Food and its quality impacts the health and longevity of your pet.

Apart from dry kibble, try and provide some home-made food, keeping it as simple as possible. Dogs thrive on simple, consistent foods. Chopped up boiled chicken, brown rice, sweet potatoes, spinach and carrots added to the kibble now and then will thrill your pet. Occasionally you can also add in some raw meat.

Avoid feeding your dog things like coffee, chocolates, popcorn, nuts and onions as all these will just upset your dog's digestive system. The secret is to keep things simple and nutritious.

Make sure your pet always has access to fresh, cool water.


brittany dogs - caringDon’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.

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