Brittany - Temperament & Personality
With a trust zest for life, Brittanies are a happy, energetic breed that loves the outdoors. They are excellent family dogs who love to go on hunting and outdoors trips with dad as much as they enjoy playing with children in the back yard. They are even-tempered and loyal, their family is their pack and they can always be counted on to be happy and affectionate.
This medium-sized dog may seem like an ideal dog for a condominium or apartment, but the best living situation for the Brittany is a house or farm with lots of room to run. They need several hours of vigorous exercise every day, and neighborhood strolls aren't enough to satisfy their daily activity requirements. Hunting families can benefit from this breed – they are excellent in the field, working very closely with the hunter, and despite their soft appearance and happy nature, Brittanies are sturdy dogs who will happily endure the elements in search of birds.
The Brittany is a gundog, developed specifically to assist bird hunters in the field. They need to be engaged in activities that keep them interested and keep their minds sharp. Brittanies excel on agility courses and also enjoy a good swim from time to time.
Highly intelligent, Brittanies take well to obedience training. Positive reinforcement is the best way to teach them as harsh behavior will cause the Brittany to develop avoidance behaviors and can upset their sensitive nature. Hunters don't need to train Brittanies in the field, beyond basic commands as their abilities are hard-wired.
Early, frequent socialization is important with this breed. Though they are sturdy hunters, Brittanies have a tendency to be shy. Exposing them to new people and situations can keep timidity from becoming an issue.
Separation anxiety can be a problem with a Brittany. They crave companionship and when left alone too long, can become depressed or destructive. If not exercised enough, the Brittany will become hyperactive and hard to control. Lots of mental and physical activity can stave off these potential problems.
Their shyness can lead to excessive whining and urination in the house. When overly excited or nervous, Brittanies can be sure to piddle on the floor and whine uncontrollably. Early and frequent socialization will prevent this nervous behavior.
When outside, unless in the field with a hunter, Brittanies should be leashed or in a fenced-in area. They can take off after birds without warning, and it can be next to impossible to break the spell and get your Brittany to come home.