Are Brittany Spaniels Hard To Train? Not What You Thought


Brittany Spaniels have so many great traits; they are energetic, intelligent, loyal, loving, great with children, and more. However, to enhance your dog’s best qualities, he needs consistent training. You have little hope of having a happy, well-adjusted, disciplined dog if there was no training from an early age.

Brittany spaniels are easy to train because they are intelligent dogs, and they are also eager to please their owners. It’s best to start training your Brittany when they are a puppy; however, you can train an adult rescued dog; it might just take a little longer.

While Brittanys have many excellent traits, they come with some issues which could impede their progress. For this reason, you must be firm and consistent with training, it’s not easy, but you will reap the rewards.

There is nothing greater than seeing your Brittany transform from a rambunctious puppy to a contented, well-adjusted adult. This article will explore how to best train your Brittany puppy and the pitfalls to avoid.

Are Brittany Spaniels Easy To Train?

The Brittany Spaniels is relatively easy to train, especially if you have experience with energetic dog breeds. Brittany dogs are intelligent, friendly, and keen to please their owners, making training them a positive experience.

You will discover that Brittanys thrive on cooperating with their humans; much of this is due to their hunting genes, as they once helped human hunters by pointing and retrieving.

Hunting dogs tend to have lots of energy, coupled with strength and agility, which can make training strenuous at times, but with firmness, gentleness, and patience, you are bound to succeed.

Training a Brittany puppy is a lot easier than training an adult Brittany, as puppies haven’t yet learned bad behaviors and habits. However, training an adult Britt is possible, and they will significantly benefit from learning obedience.

It’s natural to struggle training a rescue dog a home, even one as intelligent as the Brittany Spaniel. If this is you, you should consider enrolling your dog in an obedience class.

Look for signs of canine cognitive disorder in your adult Brittany, as this will reduce his capability to learn. The symptoms of doggy Alzheimer’s include decreased hearing, restlessness, increased sleep, standing in corners, and general disorientation. If your buddy has any of these signs, talk to your vet about using medication to relieve some of the symptoms.

Before you can think of training your Britt, you need to provide him with sufficient exercise opportunities – this helps him to burn energy. It de-stresses him from the day, and a calm and relaxed dog is generally easier to train. Properties with lots of land or even a large fenced yard are best for this dog.

Brittanys are highly sensitive, their feelings get hurt very easily, and they can pick up on the tone of your voice. Lots of empathy is required for Brittany’s ownership; you need to train your dog in a calm, gentle manner.

Avoid shouting at your dog and punishing him, as this will undo any training progress you have made. At the same time, Brittanys need to be lead. These dogs need to know that you are in charge and that you are someone he needs to respect and listen to. Dogs generally don’t like being the leader, it’s very stressful for them, but if you don’t step up, they will.

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Be sure to confront behavioral problems as they arise and explore possible reasons for bad behavior. Aggression is rare with Brittanys, but if it occurs, address it with a professional dog trainer.

Are Brittany Spaniels Stubborn?

Brittanys can be stubborn and often try to get you to do things their way, usually through charm or passive resistance rather than through fighting and barking.

For this reason, a Brittany may not be the best choice for your first dog. If you have adopted an adult Brittany, you may struggle to get him to listen to you.

Positive reinforcement training is effective for both Brittany puppies and adults as it focuses on shaping rather than forcing behaviors. It’s frustrating for dogs (and people) to be told what they’re doing is wrong constantly, especially with the Brittany; they may be stubborn, but they are sensitive.

Positive reinforcement training is about telling the dog when they do something right and rewarding that behavior, through treats and lots of praise. Bad behavior does not get rewarded, and it teaches the dog that the right behaviors lead to good things. Yes, Brittanys can be stubborn, but you can get around that easily with praise and treats.

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Why Do You Train A Brittany Spaniel?

Puppies are full of fun, curiosity, and energy, but they can also be hard work. You must respond the right way to everything your puppy does to make the adjustment period less stressful for you and your puppy. Unfortunately, puppies that are not trained the right way are often handed over to animal shelters and rescue groups.

From the time your puppy is seven weeks old, you can put him on a training schedule beginning with simple daily routines including:

  • The location of his food and water dishes
  • His feeding times
  • His bed’s location
  • His bedtime
  • The time he will be taken out in the morning
  • His bathroom’s location
  • His grooming area’s location (for brushing, teeth cleaning, nail clipping, trimming)

Dogs require familiar, repeated, predictable routines every day. Ensure that the routines you teach your puppy are good ones that won’t lead to bad behavior, as sometimes owners teach bad habits to their dog inadvertently. The following is an example of an ideal mealtime routine:

1. Let your puppy know when you’re ready to prepare his meal. You can ask him, “Are you hungry? Do you want food?.” Feel free to exaggerate the essential words.

2. Encourage him to follow you to the kitchen. Be sure to get his bowl from the same cupboard before putting it on the same counter each time. Make sure that he is watching you as he needs to know that his food comes from you.

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3. If he is overly enthusiastic, make sure to wait until he’s calm before you put his food down because if you put it down when he’s excitable, he will learn that that behavior makes his food appear.

4. You may have more than one dog, and each one needs its own dining area away from the others. The bowls should be put down in the same order each time, and say each dog’s name as his bowl goes down. Don’t allow children or other pets to approach any dog who is eating.

5. After 10 minutes, each bowl should be picked up to prevent picky eating or food guarding behaviors.

6. The last part of the routine is a bathroom break right after the meal. If your pup isn’t 100% housebroken, take him out on a leash; if he is, you can send him out to eliminate. You need to announce the bathroom break in both cases, e.g., “Time to go out.”

Another excellent thing to teach your puppy is to stop doing something you don’t like by saying “no.” Teach your puppy to understand “yes” or “good” to signify that you like the behavior.

You need to teach your Brittany puppy to be calm indoors because if they’re allowed to be excitable indoors, they are more likely to have behavioral issues.

Don’t tolerate running around the house, rough play, barking, jumping, rushing the doorbell. Teach your Brittany to take toys and food gently from your hand; if he grabs at it, don’t give him anything. Your puppy should also learn not to nip at anybody’s hands or feet, don’t let him mouth anything.

Your BRITTANY puppy must learn to respect the other pets in your family and not be allowed to take anything from another pet. He must take turns for attention and treats.

When your puppy is ten weeks old, teach him to walk on a leash without pulling at it. If he pulls at it, don’t take him for walks until you teach him to stop pulling inside your home or yard.

At this age, he can also learn to wait at open doors until you grant permission to go through. He must also learn to come when you call him. Teaching your Brittany to be quiet will be a boon as lots of barking leads to highly excitable.

From the age of twelve weeks, your puppy can learn to sit and remain sitting until you give him the cue to stand up. He can also learn to go to his bed when you give him the command and stay there until you permit him to get up.

Final Thoughts

Brittany spaniels are not difficult to train if you know what you’re doing. They want to please their owners, and they are also highly intelligent, making them highly trainable. Puppies learn things very quickly, and you can teach them things beginning with the basics.

Start slow with training, make it age-appropriate, be gentle, but be quick to stop bad behaviors as they arise. The things you teach your buddy will help him develop into the amazing dog he was born to become.

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