The Brittany in the UK is a Hunter Pointer Retriever. It is the smallest of these breeds, which include German wire, short, and long haired Pointers, Hungarian Vizslas, Munsterlanders, and Spinones, amongst others. These Continental or Versatile Gundogs are mainly dual purpose - work and show, and Brittanys also make good companions if they are correctly schooled as youngsters. Brittanys can be boisterous and should be controlled near young children. They are non aggressive but can knock a child over accidentally. They are adaptable and can turn their paws to other work such as agility, obedience, falconry, as well as working with guns, with equal and considerable enthusiasm. They do need an active lifestyle, and definitely need their brains exercised as well as their bodies.
The breed began in the 1800s with a local variety of the spaniel (contrary to some beliefs, in French this word means any dog with semi long wavy hair - not that it emanates from Spain!) This variety of Spaniel was known as Le Fougeres (the High spirited one), a high energy hunter with a naturally bobbed tail, which was mated to working setters and springers (also with semi long hair, so classed as spaniel in France) brought over by English Aristocracy to France on their shooting expeditions. The aim of the original breeders was to produce and maintain a sound, dynamic, clever, and efficient hunter. This is true today.
Of all the French breeds, the Epagneul Breton is believed to be the most widespread in the world!
A Brittany is a big dog in a small body - as the French say - "Un maximum de qualités pour un volume minimum" - The best of quality in the smallest package.