Posts Tagged ‘Brittany’

American Brittany or French Brittany?

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Rick Affuso’s American Brittany, “Cody."

Rick Affuso’s American Brittany, “Cody.”

Since my previous blog post about the difference between the German wirehaired pointer and the wirehaired pointing griffon, I’ve had conversations about several other breeds that get confused. In particular, the difference between the American Brittany and the French Brittany.

Nothing beats a good dog encyclopedia or reference book, so I went first to my number one, premier source, Craig Koshyk’s Pointing Dogs: The Continentals. He notes that any breed popular in both Europe and North America runs the risk of becoming distinct from each other as their popularity and use cause breeders to follow different paths in their breeding programs. When the Brittany (Epagneul Breton), originally developed in France, generated a strong following here in the 1960s and ‘70s field trial circuit, many American kennels began breeding for big running “all age” Brittanies.*

Koshyk goes on to explain, “These and other factors caused what many feel is a split between American Brittanies and ‘French  Brittanies.’ Everyone recognizes that the two types have a shared ancestry and are the same breed genetically, but some believe that after nearly 80 years of moving in slightly different directions, the two types are irrevocably split.”

So without digging into the historical details, what does this split generally mean to a bird hunter interested in one of these beautiful dogs as a partner for pursuing pheasant, grouse, woodcock or quail?

The name. Rick Affuso, whose two American Brittanys qualified to run the NAVHDA Invitational this year, says, “I have had the American Britts since the late ‘60s. They were originally called the Brittany Spaniel, but in the early ‘80s, the ‘spaniel’ was removed and were referred to as the ‘American Brittany.’”

Appearance. Susanna Love, who breeds Brittanys with her husband, pro trainer Ronnie Smith, explains: “My understanding is that the French Brittanys have the black color gene. You will often see black roan French Brittanys. Even if it is an orange coated French Brittany, you can tell because the nose will have black pigmentation. The American Brittanys only allow liver or orange color, and the nose is always a brownish tone. French Brittanys also tend to be smaller with a more compact body style.”

Hunting style. While any breed can display a variety of hunting styles depending on the particular dog, the consensus on the American vs. French Brittany seems to be that the French Brittany tends to hunt closer and quarter tighter while the American Brittany adapts more readily to a wider range with its longer legs and faster speed.

Temperament. Both the American and French Brittany are considered high energy, sweet-natured dogs. Well-bred Brittanys of both types have notably strong pointing instincts and excellent noses. They’re known for their enthusiasm and, like most great hunting dogs, their ability to con you into allowing them on the couch after a long day in the field.

*The plural of “Brittany” appears equally as “Brittanys” and “Brittanies,” and I couldn’t find an official ruling. Both spellings appear here according to the information sources used.

Nancy Anisfield, an outdoor photographer/writer, sporting dog enthusiast and bird hunter, serves on Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s National Board of Directors. She resides in Hinesburg, Vermont.

Dog of the Day: “Ollie”

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Ollie

Dave Books and his Brittany, “Ollie,” found this sharptail in Montana’s Missouri  Breaks country. An avid bird hunter, the retired Books is former editor of Montana Outdoors magazine, and still writes frequently about hunting, mostly focusing on his dogs.

Have your own bird dog photo you’d like to share? Email it to Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor, at ahauck@pheasantsforever.org.

Dog of the Day: “Britt”

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Britt

“Britt” is Michael McMillan’s 11-year-old Brittany. “She’s my first pointer,” McMillan says, “Over the years she’s had the pleasure of introducing dozens of youth to the joy of bird hunting and the thrill of working behind a pointer.”

Have your own bird dog photo you’d like to share? Email it to Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor, at ahauck@pheasantsforever.org.

Dog of the Day: “Emma”

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Emma

Randy Lee’s Brittany, “Emma,” basked in the success of a 2013 pheasant hunt in southern Alberta, Canada.

Have your own bird dog photo you’d like to share? Email it to Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor, at ahauck@pheasantsforever.org.

Dog of the Day: “Sadie”

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Sadie

“Sadie,” a 10-week-old Brittany, is the new addition to the Lennartson family. Proud family members and future bird hunting partners include Matt, Colleen, Kenzie, Noah and Sally Lennartson.

Have your own bird dog photo you’d like to share? Email it to Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor, at ahauck@pheasantsforever.org.

Dog of the Day: “Julio”

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Julio

Queen Marvin’s Quintorris Lopez “Julio” Jones is John Hardy Willson’s year-and-a-half old Brittany. Named after the former standout wide receiver at the University of Alabama and current Atlanta Falcon, Willson describes his Brit as a “Natural athlete, hunter and steadfast companion here in the Commonwealth of Virginia.” Willson and Julio call Hanover, Virginia, home.

Have your own bird dog photo you’d like to share? Email it to Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor, at ahauck@pheasantsforever.org.

Dogs of the Day: “Tob” and “Wille”

Monday, March 17th, 2014

Tob

The enjoyment of pointing dogs runs in the Kunde family. Tyler Kunde hunts with his year-and-a-half old Llewellin setter, “Tob,” and his dad, Butch Kunde, works the uplands with his two-and-a-half-year-old Brittany, “Wille.” The Kundes’ dogs are pictured following a preserve pheasant hunt in Wisconsin.

Have your own bird dog photo you’d like to share? Email it to Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor, at ahauck@pheasantsforever.org.

Dog of the Day: “Tucker”

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Tucker2

“Tucker,” an 11-year-old Brittany, passed away during the 2013 hunting season. “We were able to get out pheasant hunting on opening day this year in beautiful North Dakota, and got our three roosters in less than an hour thanks to this guy despite his failing health,” says owner Marv Dorner, “He lived to hunt.”

Have your own bird dog photo you’d like to share? Email it to Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor, at ahauck@pheasantsforever.org.

Dogs of the Day: “Max” and “Kate”

Friday, January 24th, 2014

Max&Kate

Craig Happel’s Brittanys, “Max” and “Kate,” had a very productive late season quail hunt in Texas.

Have your own bird dog photo you’d like to share? Email it to Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor, at ahauck@pheasantsforever.org.

Dog of the Day: “Katie”

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Katie

Christopher Tishka and his Brittany, “Katie,” found these roosters while hunting at the Des Plaines Fish and Wildlife Area near Wilmington, Illinois.

Have your own bird dog photo you’d like to share? Email it to Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor, at ahauck@pheasantsforever.org.