Epagneul Breton – The Popular Spaniel from Brittany

As a classic pointing dog, the Epagneul Breton is less common in this country than classic farm and companion dogs, but almost everyone has seen a representative of the breed at some point. Known as Brittany in English-speaking countries, he is one of the top 30 most popular dog breeds in the United States. Even in his native France, the Breton has enjoyed great popularity to this day, although he has high standards.

Distinguishing Features of the Brittanys

The Brittany is a continental spaniel-type pointer and is rarely born with a normal tail, which is still docked in some European countries to this day when it occurs. Fortunately, docking is rarely necessary (and not even allowed in Germany) as most puppies are born with a natural missing or bobbed tail. Among the pointing dogs, the Epagneul Breton is the smallest:

Height and weight

  • Males should ideally measure 49 to 50 cm at the withers. Heights at the withers between 47 cm and 52 cm are tolerated.
  • Bitches ideally measure 48 to 49 cm at the withers, wither heights between 46 and 51 cm are tolerated.
  • A specific weight is not specified, but according to the AKC breed standard, the average weight is between 14 and 20 kilograms.

Features from head to tail

  • The pointer’s head is typical of a spaniel and looks not dissimilar to that of the French Spaniel or English Springer Spaniel. He is well-chiseled and the skin is tight, which is not the case with other close relatives. The eyebrows are gently arched and the forehead furrow is visible but not overly pronounced.
  • The bridge of the nose is straight and the sides of the muzzle are almost parallel, ending in a broad nose with wide-open nostrils. The flies are very thin and lie tight.
  • The oval-shaped eyes are set at a slight slant and have a friendly, gentle expression, known among breeders as the Breton expression, which is a trait of purebred breeding. Depending on the coat color, the iris can be dark or amber in color.
  • The triangular hanging ears have wavy hair at the base, only short hair grows at the rounded tips.
  • According to the FCI standard, the neck shape resembles a “truncated cone”. It is of medium length, slightly arched, and falls away from the chest and shoulders without a dewlap.
  • The short and strong back runs very straight up to the slightly inclined croup. It reaches down to the elbows and hardly flares out towards the stomach line. The belly is only slightly tucked up and the loins are tight and short. Overall, the body appears square as long as it is high.
  • The agile legs are vertical and well-muscled. As in racehorses, the shoulders are at an angle of 55 to 60° to the horizontal so that the shoulder blade tips are close together. At the back, the angle between the thigh and lower leg should be around 130°, the hocks are dry and sinewy.
  • The tail, if present, is carried horizontally and sets high. Ideally, it should not be longer than 10 cm.

COAT AND COLORS: Pointing dog with a spotted face

The fine and sometimes wavy coat is referred to as “plain” in the breed standard and should never be silky or frizzy. Very short hair grows on the head and on the front of the legs, the backs of the legs are trimmed with distinctive fringes that are longer at the elbows than at the ankles.

These colors occur in the purebred Brittany

  • white and orange
  • White and black
  • white and brown
  • Tricolor with tan marks on muzzle, eyebrows, limbs, chest, or base of the tail.
  • The muzzle and limbs are always piebald, spotted, or roan.
  • A white blaze on the face is desirable (white stripe from the bridge of the nose to the forehead.
  • Whitecoat color predominates, the colored patches are usually distributed irregularly over the head and body.

Differences between similar breeds

  • For laypeople, it is not easy to tell the difference between the English Springer Spaniel and the Epagneul Breton, as both share a similar head shape and the same color variations occur in the breed lines. The English relative is slightly stockier and taller than its French ancestor.
  • The French Spaniel has a long, well-feathered tail, which is not found in the Brittany.
  • The English Pointer is also similar to the Epagneul Breton because of its coat color and body type typical of pointing dogs, but they are clearly distinguishable by their coat structure (Pointer is strictly short-haired, Breton slightly wavy).
  • The Bracco Italiano bears some resemblance to the Epagneul Breton, but its skin is loose and its lop ears are noticeably longer.

The story of the Epagneul Breton – Popular companion in bird hunting

The Breton was named after its region of origin: It originates from the French Brittany region but spread throughout Europe and the USA in the 20th century. In contrast to other spaniels, he is not a scavenger dog, but actually a pointing dog, but today he is used for all tasks in the hunt.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *