Thinking About Getting A Brittany For Your Family??
Pros & Cons
This breed has SO much to offer! They are versatile, great size, and don't shed as much as some other bird dog breeds. They have AMAZING temperaments, personalities, and their patience with children is beautiful. They are SO loving and loyal. They put their families above all. Watching this breed in the field is unlike so many other bird dog breeds... They are INTENSE in the field and it's absolutely breath taking to watch! But are they perfect for you? Things to keep in mind is that they are high energy and high drive with a high will to please. Now does that mean that they all have to be in the field 3 times a week tracking scents? No. Their high energy and drive will depend on each pup. I have plenty of pups that are in homes that are not actively hunting with them. Does that mean that they are not in the backyard tracking and chasing lizards, squirrels, or basically anything that moves? NO! Brittanys are by nature hunting dogs. It runs in their veins! I don't have to force a puppy to show interest in the smell of the bird. I only have to teach them what they are supposed to do when they find one and fine tune most of what comes naturally to them! If you are a busy family that loves outdoor activities and able to bring your pup with you than a Brittany may still be the right choice for you!
There are a lot of Brittany breeders that will not sell their Brittany puppies to families that choose not to hunt. I don't believe in that. I personally think that Brittanys love their people more than hunting and I don't believe families should be deprived of this wonderful breed because they don't hunt! As long as the family is active a Brittany could be the perfect dog for your home. Now that is why it is so important to match families to the puppy and why I do not recommend you to pick your puppy off markings alone. Temperament should ALWAYS be more important than color or looks! I recommend my higher energy and drive puppies to hunting homes and lower key puppies to pet homes. I still allow my buyers to pick out their puppy- I just have 2 groups of puppies. I let my pet buyers pick from the lower drive group of puppies and let my hunting buyers pick from the higher drive group in the order that their deposits were placed. So, for example, first pick on my list looking for a pet gets first pick from the "pet" group and my first pick buyer looking for a hunting pup gets first pick of my "hunting" group pups and etc. Now to clarify- temperament is always number one in my breeding program. All of my puppies are raised in a family environment and they will always be great family dogs! But some were built for the field and are little hunting machines and those puppies should get to do what they love to do!!! And this does not mean your pet Brittany will be a couch potato! They are still a high energy dog that needs exercise and mental stimulation! It just means that the pet pup will not "need a job" and need that field work and running to be calmer pet in the house.
How active do you need to be to handle a Brittany as a family pet? I always say if you can take your Britt for a walk, throw a ball in the backyard a couple of times a day, and devote some time on them on the weekend where they can really spread their legs and run than you can handle a Britt's energy. Again this will depend on your individual Brittany as they do not have the same energy level as a group! If you are honest with your breeder and your breeder has a passion to match the right pup to the right family like I am, you should be able to find the right pup for you!
Remember how I said above that they have a high will to please? Well it's 100% true. Brittanys want to please their owners. They are sensitive souls that want nothing but to see you happy. They don't require a heavy hand just positive reinforcement. First they have to learn that digging makes you unhappy. That chewing on your belongings instead of theirs makes you unhappy. They are silly characters that love to get into anything and everything when they are young. Having a high will to please make them easy to train. Consistency is key! At first a puppy is going to play hard for 15-30 minutes and then crash for a nap multiple times a day. But as they get a bit older they will stay up for longer periods of time but the more you play outside the more they understand that playtime is for outside and inside the house is for settling down and naps. I try to teach all mine from an early age that if you want to rough house you do it outside and I kick them to the backyard when they start. That is my personal preference. I don't mind a little playing in the house or playing with toys, but the rough and loud playing they do with multiple Brittanys is done outside! If you have had 2 Brittanys at the same time- you know the playing I'm talking about!
Many of my Brittanys owners work full time. Don't be afraid to crate train. Remember Brittanys are dogs and dogs are den animals. Their crate should never be used as a form of punishment when teaching them that their crate is their safe place! Crates keep your dogs safe not keep them locked in cell. If you would prefer you can use a puppy exercise pen if you prefer but get a tall one. Brittanys can and do learn to climb out! And surprisingly fast! I also like to put a kennel up against a doggy door so they can go out and play and come in for a nap to cool down or warm up! But please remember that when you are not home it is your responsibility to keep your pup safe so if that means keeping them in the crate until you get home than so be it. It is not cruel or abusive!
Should I get a second Brittany??
I get asked this all the time! My answer is YES IF
you have the time and money for a second Brittany! There are many advantages and disadvantages of owning two Brittanys. Now when I say money I don't just mean the initial cost. I'm talking about vet care, chews, food, emergencies, etc. The initial year of owning any dog is expensive. Buying their belongings, toys, chews, food, vet care, can be expensive by itself not to mention the time and training necessary for two dogs! The advantages of having two is that they have a play mate to chew on and run their energy out instead of relying so much on you to wear them out. The older Brittany can help train the young pup and teach him/her the house rules. However the pup can also influence the older dog to get into trouble with them, loosen up a little. and have some fun! Peer pressure can be hard to resist! Get ready for the ride but also remember to laugh! They are only little for a short time!
This was written by one of our buyers- Kristi Cardoza Elliott
who has a Diamond Brittany pup named Enzo
. I loved it so much I wanted to share it to my website. And the picture shared with it couldn't have gone forgotten! To the right is Enzo napping on Kristi while writing her post. Below is written by Kristi Cardoza Elliott
owned by Enzo
While I was sitting here this morning pondering the last few years of puppy-hood with our Enzo, I saw Stephanie’s post about the puppies that are expected soon. Couldn’t help but jot down some thoughts on Brittany puppy-hood, which I am attaching here.
BEFORE YOU GET A PUPPY
So you think you want a Brittany puppy? Seeing those adorable puppy faces and puppy tummies can make us forget what getting a new puppy can involve. Before you make the decision, you might want to consider these things...
1. For at least six months, and possibly many months longer, you must be willing to get up several times during the night in all types of weather to take the puppy outside. Picture snow, rain wind and hail...and you standing there saying “Go potty Spot”.
2. Expect to never go to the bathroom alone again.
3. Some dogs end up sleeping with their owners, while some more fastidious owners would NEVER let their dog in bed with them. If you get a Brittany and don’t object to another bed partner, be prepared to have that dog with you, under the covers, with legs outstretched and, often, with his head on your pillow.
4. Understand that it will be a long time before you can leave a closet open, a shoe on the floor, or any clothing item within reach of your Brittany. Skeins of yarn, rolls of toilet paper and Kleenex boxes are also favorite chew toys for this breed.
5. Please note...EVERYTHING is food to a Brittany. This includes the above mentioned clothing items, paper goods etc. It also includes anything plastic, all stuffed toys, dirt, clothes hangers, TV remotes, water bottles, and poop. This last lovely little item includes their own and that of other dogs, and often the puppy will devour it before it hits the ground. Gross, right?? But if you truly want a Brittany puppy, you must be properly informed.
6. We now move to the subject of biting. No..these are not aggressive or mean dogs. Their mouths, however, never stop. They bite your ankles, your toes, your pant legs, your hands, your feet, and anything else within their reach. I can’t tell you how many times I, with love and adoration written all over my face, lovingly reached for my puppy only to have him bite me on the nose. Oh yes..and trying to walk down the stairs with a puppy hanging from your pant leg is always a challenge. Watch how two puppies play and remember that if you don’t have a second puppy, YOU will fill that role. Their razor sharp teeth hurt....and don’t stop for at least a year.
7. Next..consider puppy toenails. Their teeth are razor sharp, but their nails should be registered weapons. All I can say is that you will not get through the puppy stage unscathed...there will be scars. Trust me on this.
8. Be aware that, in my experience, Britts need human interaction as much as they need exercise....maybe more. This is not a breed that can be alone all day. They will follow you from room to room, sit next to you (or on you) whenever possible, and don’t seem to understand the concept of personal space. If this is a problem for you, you might want to consider a cat.
9. Finally, do not clean your carpet until after the puppy stage is over, and may I suggest a table tree at Christmas for the first year or so.
If you read the above and still feel up to the task... get that Brittany pup. You will have the sweetest, funniest, and most lovingly loyal companion ever. After the first year anyway....
Thanks Kristi! 100% TRUE! Thank you for taking the time to write this and thank you for allowing me to share it!
I have always said, "If you can survive the first year, you're GOLDEN!!!" Brittany puppies are busy bodies! You must keep them physically and mentally stimulated. But the reward after that first year, is the best companion you have ever had. This breed is the most patient I've ever seen with children and they LOVE their families! It's a lot of training and consistency in that first year but the rewards are SO GREAT!