The Brittany Spaniel does shed and is considered a moderate shedder. A dog that is a moderate shedder falls somewhere between the Siberian Husky and the Poodle. So, while the Brittany is not a “low-shedder,” they are certainly not the top culprits out there when it comes to dog hair tumbleweeds!
Do Brittany Spaniels Shed?
Unlike some dogs, the Brittany Spaniel sheds year-round and does not go through a significant seasonal shed. When the Brittany does shed, though, the hairs are not as noticeable on your carpets and furniture simply because they are shedding smaller amounts constantly rather than “blowing their coat twice a year.”
The Brittany may experience slightly more shedding during Spring and Fall when preparing for the significant weather shifts between winter and spring and summer and fall.
The Brittany Spaniel Facts
The Brittany Spaniel (also called the “Brittany) dates to the seventeenth century. Brittany Spaniel did not come to the U.S. until 1928 and was not recognized by the AKC until 1934. Originally bred to be a gun dog, the Brittany serves multiple roles in bird hunting, including locating, flushing, and retrieving downed birds.
Brittany’s multiple talents are no surprise when you consider that this breed likely resulted from a crossover of pointers and setters or spaniels and setters – both remarkable gun dogs in their own right.
What Makes the Brittany a Good Bird Dog?
Aside from its genetics, the Brittany has several qualities that make it a great bird dog including :
- The Brittany is easy to train.
- The Brittany points when bird hunting.
- Brittany is highly intelligent.
- Brittany has endurance.
- Brittany has stamina.
- Brittany is an Energetic dog.
- Brittany is a relatively healthy breed.
- The Brittany has a rich history of hunting bloodlines in its pedigree.
The Brittany Spaniel Coat
Another aspect that lends itself to Brittany Spaniel being a good bird dog is the design of their coat.
The Brittany Spaniel has a dense double layered wavy or straight coat that is shorter and closely held to the body. The undercoat provides insulation and a weather-resistant topcoat that helps to protect the dog from getting chilled by water and cold ambient temperatures.
Brittany’s coat also has slight feathering on the ears and the backs of the legs, but this feathering is minimal, so it does not interfere with the dog’s ability to move through wetlands and brush.
Brittany’s genetics determine the feathering of its coat, so some dogs have slightly more feathering than others.
The Brittany Spaniel coat comes in a wide range of colors, including the AKC standards:
- Liver; White
- Liver Roan
- Orange; White
- Orange Roan
- White; Liver
- White; Orange
- Liver White; Orange
Other non-standard coat colors also include:
- Black; White
- Blue Roan
- Black, White; Orange
- White, Black; Orange
Brittany coats can be ticked, spotted, or roan (a mix of white and colored hair.)
Caring For the Brittany Spaniel Coat
Like many gun dogs, the Brittany Spaniel coat is fairly easy to maintain. The dense straight topcoat protects the softer insulating undercoat and helps to keep dirt and debris from penetrating down to the skin.
Caring for the Brittany Spaniel coat requires weekly brushing to remove loose hair and any dead skin from the coat. Weekly brushing will cut down on the amount of dog hair that falls throughout your home, too. If finding dog hair around the house is still a problem, brush your Brittany more often.
Gentle brushing improves blood flow and improves your dog’s circulation. Brushing also spreads natural oils from your dog’s skin which help to protect your dog’s coat.
Depending on whether your Brittany is a working dog and the condition of their coat, they should be bathed/groomed every four to six weeks or weekly. When possible, rinsing off your Brittany’s coat is preferable to using shampoos that can strip the skin of natural oils.
Although it can be tempting to use shedding blades to remove as much hair as possible from your dog’s coat, this is not a good idea for dogs like the Brittany Spaniel. Dogs with a double-layered fur coat have a soft downy undercoat that protects their skin, but a shedding blade can destroy that insulating coat and affect your dog’s wellbeing and performance in the field.
Reducing Your Brittany’s Shedding
If you are concerned about your Brittany’s shedding, there are a few things that you can do to reduce the amount of hair dropped throughout your home by:
- Regular brushing to remove dead hair and spread protective oils on the coat.
- Full grooming when necessary to keep the coat healthy.
- A healthy, nutrient-rich diet to nourish the skin and keep the coat healthy.
- Do not over-bathe your dog, or you risk drying out your dog’s skin and stripping the coat of healthy oils.
- Maintain regular monthly preventatives to keep your dog’s coat free of parasites.
- Address any medical issues like allergies or illness that can contribute to hair loss.
Is The Brittany Spaniel Right For Me?
If you are contemplating adding a Brittany Spaniel to your family and are concerned about shedding, know that every dog with hair will shed to some degree. There are ways to reduce the amount of dog hair throughout your home, as we mentioned above.
You must also be sure not to singularly focus on shedding when selecting a dog breed for your family. Exercise needs, living environment needs, sociability levels, grooming needs, and physical needs differ between dog breeds and individual dogs.
If you are considering the Brittany Spaniel, keep in mind that this is a dog that:
- Has a high energy level.
- Needs daily exercise.
- Is incredibly intelligent.
- Is friendly with strangers.
- Has a good relationship with other pets.
- Requires regular grooming.
Conclusion / Summary
The Brittany Spaniel sheds moderately – meaning that it is not the dog for you if you suffer from allergies or hate the idea of dog hair on your clothes and furniture. If, however, you want a multi-talented athletic breed and do not mind a dog that sheds moderately year-round, the Brittany may fit the bill!