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Official Breed Standard


A Study of

the Standard

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The Look
of an Epagneul Breton

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FCI Standard for the Epagneul Breton
(French Brittany)

(Standard de l'Epagneul Breton FCI Standard No 95, 4/2/2001,Origine France. Translated)

Brief Historical Summary:   Of French origin, specifically from the center of Brittany. Probably one of the oldest of the spaniel type dogs, improved at the beginning of the 20th century by diverse outcrosses and selections. A draft of a breed standard drawn up in Nantes in 1907 was presented and adopted at the first General Assembly held in Loudeac June 7, 1908. This was the first standard of the "Naturally Short-Tailed Brittany Spaniel Club". General Appearance: Smallest of the pointing breeds, with a spaniel-type head and a short or non-existent tail. Built harmoniously on a solid but not weighty frame, compact and well-knit without undue heaviness, while staying sufficiently elegant. Vigorous and lively with a bright, intelligent expression. The general aspect is "cobby", full of energy, having conserved in the course of its evolution a short-coupled model sought after.

Important Proportions:
The skull is longer than the muzzle, with a ration of 3:2
Length of body should equal the height at the withers. (the dog fits in a square).
Head is in proportion to the body.
The depth of the chest, from withers to brisket, is slightly less than half the height of the dog.

Character:   Dog adapting itself to any environment, sociable, with an intelligent and attentive expression, mentally balanced. Versatile pointing dog for any game on any terrain, precocious in revealing its hunting passion. Remarkable in its searching for game, its gaits, its scenting ability, its ranging in the field, its spontaneity and duration of pointing, its retrieving and its aptitude for training.

HEAD The features are finely chiseled. The skin fits tightly.

CRANIAL REGION: Slightly rounded seen either from the front or profile. Seen from above, the lateral sides are also slightly convex.  The top lines of the head and the muzzle are parallel. The width of skull taken at level of zygomatic arches is less than its length.  Stop: Moderate. The occipital crest as well as the zygomatic arches are moderately defined. The superciliary arches are not prominent but form a slightly rounded curve.

Nose:Large, with wide, humid and well-open nostrils, of a color in harmony with that of the coat and/or the edges of the eyelids and natural orifices.

Lips: Fine, rather tight fitting. On the sides the top lip slightly overlaps the bottom lip.

Jaws/Teeth: The teeth are set square to the jaws and form a complete, healthy set. Scissor bite.

Muzzle: Straight with lateral surfaces practically parallel. Shorter than the skull in a 3:2 proportion.

Cheeks: Not heavy, the skin fitting tightly.

Eyes: Slightly oblique. With an intelligent, soft and frank expression. Somewhat oval, not protruding with fine, well pigmented, tightly fitting eyelids. Color of the iris in harmony with the nose and coat, preferably dark. Eye expression coupled with upward movement of the base of the ears give rise to the true "brittany expression".

Ears: Set high, triangular shape, slightly rounded at the tip, relatively large and rather short (drawn forward the tip of the ear reaches the stop). Partially covered with wavy hair, especially in the upper part, the extremity being covered by short hair. Always quite mobile when the dog is attentive or in action.



Medium length, and well muscled, in the form of a slightly curved, never arched, truncated cone. Set smoothly to the shoulders and without dewlap.


Topline: Level to the loins and the beginning of the croup.
Withers: Sufficiently mobile and hardly protruding.
Back: Short, straight, firm. Well coupled.
Loins: Short, broad and muscular.
Hips:  Very slightly slanting (slightly lower than the withers), broad and muscular.
Chest: Well let down to elbow level, broad with ribs well sprung but not barrel chested. Sternum wide and rising slightly towards the rear. The rearmost ribs long and supple.
Abdomen: Normally raised, without excess, neither too tucked up nor drooping.
Rump: Slightly sloping and short.

TAIL: Set high, carried horizontally or slightly lowered, often lively when the dog is attentive or in action. Brittany spaniels can be born without a tail or with a very short tail.  Unless the dog is bob-tailed always short, maximum length 4 inches, ideal length being 1.1-2.5 inches (3-6 cms). A tail carriage above the horizontal line is considered a fault.


Limbs well poised, Joints flexible and sturdy.
Shoulder: Mobile, long (30% of the height at the withers), close to the body with thick muscle. Its slope is that of a galloper, between 55 and 60 degrees from the horizontal. The tips of the shoulder blades are separated by 5cm (2").
Arm: Very muscular, slightly longer than the shoulder blade. The angle between the shoulder blade and the arm is between 115 and 120 degrees.
Forearm: Muscular and clean, slightly longer than the arm. It should be practically perpendicular to the ground.
Elbow: Close to body - neither in nor out.
Pastern (metacarpus): Solid while maintaining a certain flexibility, slightly oblique (about 15-20 degrees from the vertical).
Feet: Rather round, toes tight, pads firms, toenails short. 

Limbs well poised and parallel when seen from behind.
Thigh Important with well defined muscling. Should be slanted between 70-75 degrees from the horizontal.
    Upper Thigh: Broad and well let down.
    Lower Thighs: Very slightly longer than the upper thigh with clean, defined muscling. Broad in the upper part, diminishing gradually in size towards its junction with the hock. The angle between the upper thigh and lower thigh is close to 130 degrees.
Hips: Lower than the withers, slightly prominent. The points of the hip are level with the back.
Hock: Clean, with visible tendons. 
Rear Pastern (metatarsus): Solid, nearly vertical when seen from the side. 
Feet: Longer than the forefeet, while maintaining the same characteristics.

SKIN: Fine, tight fitting and well pigmented.


Hair: The coat is fine but not silky, lying flat on the body or very slightly wavy. Never curly. Short on the head and the front of the limbs. The hind part of the latter has a heavier coat, furnished with abundant feathering, diminishing along their length down to the wrist or the hock or even lower.
Coat Color: Orange and white, liver and white, black and white or tri-color, with more or less extensive irregular white patches. Piebald or roan. Often with ticking on the top and sides of the muzzle or the limbs.
In the case of tri-color coats, tan markings (orange to dark tan) can be located on the top and sides of the muzzle, over the eyes, on the limbs, on the chest and at the base of the tail.  A narrow blaze is desirable with any color of coat. A self-colored coat (one color) is not allowed.

Height at the wither::
Males:  Minimum 18.9 inches (48cm) with tolerance of minus 0.4" (1 cm)
     Maximum 20.1 inches (51cm)  with tolerance of plus 0.4" (1 cm)
             Ideal Height: 19.3 to 19.7" (49 to 50cm)
Females: Minimum 18.5" (47cm) with tolerance of minus 0.4" (1 cm)
      Maximum 19.7" (50cm) with tolerance of plus 0.4" (1 cm)
             Ideal Height: 18.9 to 19.3" (48 to 49cm)


The different gaits are easy but powerful, even and lively. The legs move straight without exaggerated bouncing of the body and without rolling, the top line staying level. The canter is the most common gait in the field, the strides are rapid and of medium length with relatively short extension.


Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.

Character: Timidity, shifty-eyed.
Head planes: Somewhat divergent.
Nose: Very slight depigmentation, interior of the nostrils depigmented.
Teeth: Pincer bite, teeth out of line.
Muzzle: Pinched or snipy.
Lips: Heavy, pendulous, upper lip covering the lower either insufficiently or excessively.
Eyes: Prominent, round or almond shaped.
Ears: Hung too low or falling away too sharply.
Back: Arched (roach back) or saddle back.
Croup: Too narrow or falling away too sharply.
Abdomen: Bulky or too tucked up (whippety).
Feet: Splayed, too round or too long.
Loin: Long, narrow, weak.
Flank: Too hollow, often accompanied by a weak loin lacking breadth.
Limbs: Insufficient bone. Out at the elbows. Pigeon toed. Slew feet.
Coat: Not heavy enough on the body.

Serious Faults:
Behavior: Sluggish.
Skull: Zygomatic arches too prominent, stop very pronounced, Superciliary arches too prominent.
Eyes: Light, mean look, hawk-like expression.
Neck: Excessively long. Distinct dewlap.
Gait: Poor mover.

Eliminating Faults:
Any fault in temperament such as: snapping, aggressiveness towards dog or man, excessive shyness.
Lack of type: Insufficient breed characteristics, which means the animal on the whole doesn't resemble other samples of the breed.
Height: Outside the limits defined by the standard.
Head Planes: Marked convergence.
Abnormal markings: White spot on the ear or eye in a white patch.
Eyes: Very light in color, heterochromia (eyes of different colors), entropion, ectropion.
Jaws: Over or under-shot mouth.
Teeth: The PCI, 1st premolar, of both jaws and the last molars of the lower jaw are considered as being unimportant. Can only be admitted in the absence of two PM2 or one PM2 and one PM3. Contiguous absence of these two teeth (PM2 and PM3) is eliminating. Absence of any other tooth is eliminating.
Pigmentation: Distinct unpigmented areas on the nose or eyelids.
Dewclaws: Presence of rear dewclaws, even if rudimentary.
Serious morphological anomaly.
N.B. Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended.

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