Down Ribbon: The Breed
Down Ribbon: The Breed
Down Ribbon: The Breed
Down Ribbon: The Breed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                     The French Brittany Spaniel History

                                                                            

 

The Brittany takes its name from the province in northern France where it originated, While there is no consensus on the origins of the breed, many experts believe the dog is a product of interbreeding between English pointers and spaniels native to Brittany. The strong historical ties between Brittany and southern Britain lend strong support to this theory, as frequent interaction between merchants, politicians, and hunters could easily have resulted in pairings between English and French hunting dogs. Depictions of dogs bearing a strong resemblance to the Brittany can be found in paintings and tapestries dating back to the 17th century, in which one sees the dog being used to locate and capture game, much as it is used today.

The Brittany as we would recognize it today, however, traces its origins back to the mid-19th century. The first written account of a Brittany (or a dog very much resembling one) dates back to 1850, when an English clergyman by the name of Reverend Davies wrote about hunting with small, bobtailed dogs that pointed, retrieved, and worked well in the brush. Around this time, it is said that a local hunter in the small French town of Pontou bred his white-and-mahogany bitch with a yellow-and-white dog owned by an English sportsman who was in Brittany on a hunting trip; the resulting litter produced two tailless puppies, arguably the first of the Brittany breed.
The Brittany was first officially recognized in France in 1907 with the registration of “Boy,” an orange-and-white, as the first épagneul Breton queue courte naturelle (Brittany Spaniel with short natural tail).       Brittany’s are happy and alert dogs they make wonderful companions, they like activity and need daily exercise.  A Brittany makes a fine family pet and a gentle friend at home and even in an apartment.   They respond well to training and they are quick learners and eager to please.  The Brittany measures from 17.5 to20.5 inches at the shoulders and weighs from 30 to 40 lbs. their coat is dense and of medium length. The coat can be flat or wavy. Brittany’s are either born tailless or with a bob tail or have their tail docked shortly after birth. The tail is docked to prevent injury to the dog while running in the fields and forests.  A Brittany requires very little grooming. The ears have only a moderate amount of fringing. The feathering at the back of their legs should not be heavy and excessive. The colours of a Brittany are orange/white liver/white black/white or all three colours which is the tri, roan patterns or factors of any of these colours are permitted


The Brittany in Ireland and Great Britain.

With the kind help of both the French Kennel Club and the official Brittany Club of France, “Club de L’Epagneul Breton”,    Monsieur Leon Le Louet (President) and Mme Odile Queffeulou succeeded in obtaining the four initial ( completely unrelated)  foundation stock on behalf of Stanley Smith.  Two dogs and two bitches in 1981.
Four different lines were sent at the same time to Ireland.
The super wining dog Puk des Pigenettes (Two and half years old) and the bitch Rolline de Saint Tugen came to England in September 1981.
These were followed by Samantha de Goas- Vilinic (Bitch) and the dog Ted de Sous les Viviers in 1982.

The first litter born in England in 1982, of four dogs and four bitches from the initial pair, proved an exceptional start to the Brittany activity in Great Britain.

 

The Brittany Spaniel in Ireland

During 1981 (the year in which the first Specimens came to England), Two dogs and two bitches were imported into Ireland from France, eventually taken over by

Mr. George Kingston of co. Cork. These were of particularly good breeding.

  1. Black/white dog; Phebus de Saint Lubin

 2.Black /white bitch 'Perlez de Kerryvann;

3 Orange/white dog 'Tr. Orius de Saint tugen

4 Orange/white bitch 'Rouez de Saint Tugen

 

The first litter born in 1982 . Phebus / Perlez produced both orange/white and black/white puppies

This was followed by a repeat mating of these bloodlines. A mating between Phebus and Rouez proved very satisfactory. Then, misfortune struck, when Orius was injured in a road accident and was later proved to be sterile.Mr George Kingston then imported the orange/white dog Serry de sous les Viviers from Brittany, to replace the loss Together with further imports from England the breed is now going from strength to strength in Ireland. The late Mrs Kathleen Bride, President of the Brittany Spaniel Club of Ireland, had a super dog from the Phebus /Rouex mating, Cradenhill Timon, and had maintained the Phebus /Perlez line by some judicious line-breeding, and has produced some very good youngsters. Mr Brian MacDiamada had the black/white bitch Cradenhill Silk from the first litter born, together with her sister from the second. He had also the orange /white roan dog Dorvalstan Vagabond from England. He had bred an exceptional litter from these connection,  Serry has proved to be a very good stud force

The Brittany is now an accepted breed by the Irish Kennel Club, and Green Stars are being awarded at their Shows and Field Trials.

                                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                                         Home