French brittanys, the Epagneul Breton, are separate and quite different from an American brittany and are recognized as a separate breed. The differences lie in: conformation, temperament and style of hunting.
Plum Creek French Brittanys
are dual registered with the
AKC and UKC
The AKC does not differentiate in their registry between French brittanys and American brittanys, all brittanys are lumped into their "brittany" registry. The United Kennel Club has separated the French and American brittanys into separate breeds and maintains a separate registry for each.
We dual register (both AKC and UKC) our dogs and the pups we produce. Be aware that Epagneul bretons, French brittanys, are barred from AKC show rings due to their black nose and/or coat - a disqualification in the AKC's American brittany standard, but French brittanys are eligible to compete in any of the AKC field competitions, agility etc.
The AKC registry is the only registry in the U.S. that is recognized in Europe by the FCI. Though the AKC has not yet separated the two types of Brittanys, the AKC is the only internationally recognized registry in the United States. Therefore, a UKC registration alone - or a registration from some other off-shoot organization is not sufficient and we would not recommend skipping the AKC registry if you're only going to choose just one.
The name does not imply that all French brittany dogs are from France, but is simply what the Epagneul breton has become commonly known as in the USA. It is simply a designation to distinguish the brittanys in America that are bred out of European lineage and to the European standards for the brittany, which was at one time the standard for ALL brittanys.
Some French brittanys are imported from Ireland, Italy, France or other European countries, but much of what is being bred is from stock that was acquired here in America. Be aware though that in some European countries, especially the Scandinavian countries, and in Australia, Canada and Mexico etc. the use of semen from American brittanys from the USA is common and therefore just because a dog is imported does not guarantee that it is truly an Epagneul Breton. A close inspection of pedigrees is always advised.
The French brittany is, in the European terminology, a cobby dog. Meaning that it is a compact dog. It is shorter than most field bred American brits, standing around 18-20 inches tall and weighing between 28-40 pounds, . The French brittany's muzzle is short, they have dark noses and amber or brown eyes compared to the light nose and eyes on American brittanys, and can be black/white, liver/white, orange/white, tri-color and roan of any of those colors. There are also differences in head, ear set, neck length, tail set and various other areas of conformation.(refer to the FCI standards page).
PERSONALITY & CHARACTERISTICS
The literal translation of the French spaniel, le fougueux, from which the modern day meaning comes, is the "high spirited one". This aptly describes the Brittany personality which shows a zest in general and for hunting in particular. French brittanys are energetic yet calm, they are a dog which prefers to be in their master's companionship and thrive best in an atmosphere where they are included within the home at least on a part time basis. He is affectionate and loyal, he'll put in a whole day's hunt no matter the weather, his energy seemingly bottomless, yet ease calmly right into the home without disrupting the household. With his compact stature, he is light and quick on his feet, which perhaps is what gives him such endurance.
Training of French brittanys should be done in an easy relaxed manner so as not to cow the puppy and if by six months the pup will walk on the leash, stay, come when called and is picking up and carrying around items tossed for them then sufficient has been accomplished until the real training is started when the pup is more mature. A French brittany is an easy dog to train and the hard handed manner utilized for training of other breeds is not the correct method of training for this breed.
IS A FRENCH BRITTANY A GOOD FAMILY DOG?
Most definitely. Although he is an energetic dog in the field, he fits into the home and family life quite smoothly. In fact, the French brittany needs to be included in the family. Click here to see for yourself!
HE IS A HUNTING DOG
The Epagneul Breton, or French brittany, is used on all types of upland birds and cover. The French brittany is a dog that quarters open ground about 50-100 yards on average either side of his handler depending upon the cover and scarcity of birds. On thick cover, the dog will naturally hunt closer, where cover or birds are sparse the range will increase. Most French brittanys, it will be found, quarter their ground naturally, continually check back with you and remain within gun range. The Epagneul breton hunts with drive and enthusiasm and covers his ground at a fast pace. French brittanys are natural hunters and this should not be curbed in the early days of training. He hunts for you, you don't have to hunt for him. His natural hunting instinct and intelligence is the result of meticulous breeding practices. The Epagneul breton is used on all types of upland birds, from pheasant and quail to grouse and woodcock.
If those types of qualities and characteristics are important to you and you're seeking a true FRENCH brittany, it is in your best interest to be certain that you are getting a puppy that has those bloodlines throughout his pedigree, that the breeder has certified the hips of the parents prior to breeding - which means that no dog less than 2 years of age should ever be bred - and that the parents have been proven in the field.