Brittany Spaniel Temperament
What's Good About 'Em,
What's Bad About 'Em
Brittany Spaniel Temperament, Personality, Behavior, Traits, and Characteristics, by Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2014
The Brittany Spaniel loves an athletic lifestyle of hiking, biking, running, and ball playing. If left alone too much and not given outlets for his energy, you're likely to see hyperactivity and destructive chewing.
When well socialized, most Brittany Spaniels are polite and gentle with everyone and peaceful with other animals. There is timidity and excessive submissiveness in some lines, so early socialization is a must to promote a confident temperament.
Most Brittanys are sensitive, rather "soft" dogs, willing to please and responsive to a calm voice and a light hand on the leash. The Brittany does not do well in an environment with frequent tension or loud voices.
When excited or nervous, some Brittanys are prone to submissive urination (sudden wetting), while others whine persistently.
If you want a dog who...
- Is medium-sized and athletic, agile and light on his feet
- Has a pretty feathered coat
- Loves vigorous exercise and athletic activities in the great outdoors
- Is good with strangers
- Is peaceful with other animals
- Is willing to please and excels in a variety of competitive canine activities
A Brittany Spaniel may be right for you.
If you don't want to deal with...
- Hyperactivity when not given enough exercise
- "Separation anxiety" (destructiveness and barking) when left alone too much
- An inquisitive sniffing machine who will follow his nose right out of sight
- Timidity toward people when not socialized enough
- Regular brushing and combing, and occasional trimming
- Excitable or submissive urination (tendency to dribble urine when excited or nervous)
- Persistent whining when excited or stressed
A Brittany Spaniel may not be right for you.
- choosing the RIGHT breeder and the RIGHT puppy
- or choosing an ADULT dog from your animal shelter or rescue group – a dog who has already proven that he doesn't have negative traits
- training your dog to respect you
- avoiding health problems by following my daily care program in 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy
More traits and characteristics of the Brittany Spaniel
If I was considering a Brittany Spaniel, I would be most concerned about...
- Providing enough exercise and mental stimulation. Brittany Spaniels MUST have regular opportunities to vent their energy and do interesting things. Otherwise they will become rambunctious and bored -- which they usually express by barking and destructive chewing. Bored Brittanys can make a shambles of your house and yard.
If you simply want a pet for your family, and don't have the time or inclination to take your dog running or hiking or biking or swimming, or to get involved in hunting, or agility (obstacle course), or advanced obedience, or tracking, or a similar canine activity, I do not recommend this breed. Trying to suppress their "hardwired" drive to run and work, without providing alternate outlets for their high energy level, can be difficult.
- Separation anxiety. More than most other breeds, Brittanys need a great deal of companionship and do not like being left alone for more than a few hours. Some Brittany Spaniels become anxious, which they express by chewing and barking. If you work all day, this is not the best breed for you.
- Providing enough socialization. Brittany Spaniels need extensive exposure to people and to unusual sights and sounds so that their natural "softness" and submissiveness doesn't become shyness or fearfulness, which are very difficult to live with.
Teaching your Brittany how to be confident with the world is essential. Learn how to socialize your dog on my Brittany Training Page.
- Shedding. Brittany Spaniels shed a goodly amount.
- Emotional sensitivity. Be honest...is there tension in your home? Are people loud or angry or emotional? Are there arguments or fights? Brittany Spaniels are sensitive to stress and can become withdrawn or anxious if the people in their home are having family problems. This breed deserves a peaceful, harmonious home.
To learn more about training Brittany Spaniels to be calm and well-behaved, consider my dog training book,
Teach Your Dog 100 English Words.
It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will make your Brittany Spaniel the smartest, most well-behaved companion you've ever had.
Teaches your dog to listen to you, to pay attention to you, and to do whatever you ask him to do.
My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a healthy Brittany Spaniel puppy. Health problems have become so widespread in dogs today that this book is required reading for ANYONE who is thinking of getting a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog.
If you'd like to consult with me personally about whether the Brittany Spaniel might be a good dog breed for your family, I offer a Dog Breed Consulting Service.
Once you have your Brittany Spaniel home, you need to KEEP him healthy -- or if he's having any current health problems, you need to get him back on the road to good health.
My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy is the book you need.
Raise your dog the right way and you will be helping him live a longer, healthier life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.
Please consider adopting an ADULT Brittany Spaniel...
When you're acquiring a Brittany Spaniel PUPPY, you're acquiring potential -- what he one day will be. So "typical breed characteristics" are very important.
But when you acquire an adult dog, you're acquiring what he already IS and you can decide whether he is the right dog for you based on that reality. There are plenty of adult Brittany Spaniels who have already proven themselves NOT to have negative characteristics that are "typical" for their breed. If you find such an adult dog, don't let "typical breed negatives" worry you. Just be happy that you found an atypical individual -- and enjoy!
Save a life. Adopt a dog.
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Copyright © 2000-2014 by Michele Welton. All rights reserved.
No part of this website may be copied, displayed on another website,
or distributed in any way without the express permission of the author.