Getting the right dog to fit your lifestyle and family is not easy, and it’s a process that you shouldn’t rush through. There are many aspects of dog ownership to consider, such as the breed’s activity level, temperament, size, and genetic issues. You must also consider what you have to offer a new pet.
An incredible dog like a Brittany spaniel wouldn’t be considered a good first dog – they have tonnes of energy, and most people new to the breed may not be prepared for such an active dog. That said, if you lead a highly active lifestyle, spend a lot of time outdoors, and have a spacious yard, the Brittany might be right for you.
This article will discuss what you need to prepare for if you are new to Brittany ownership. We will look at their good and bad sides to get a realistic picture of what life could be like with this dog.
Before bringing Brittany Spaniel home to live with you, you must ask yourself if you have the proper criteria to care for this dog. Do you have space in your home to accommodate a Brittany?
Do you have time in your day for walks, training, and socializing with your new buddy? Finally, can you afford a high-quality diet, medical care, and accessories?
Do Brittany Dogs Make Good Pets?
The Brittany Spaniel has many excellent qualities; they are intelligent, athletic, friendly, and family-oriented. These dogs were bred initially as hunting dogs and worked with their masters as hunting birds.
While most Brittany’s today are companion pets, they carry many of the same characteristics of their hunting ancestors – as they love to be part of whatever their owners are doing. They also make good guard dogs as they are wary of strangers.
These dogs are not layabouts. They are sporty, playful, with a high energy level. They also thrive at many canine sports like agility. If you like running, then this dog makes an excellent running partner.
Brittany’s are affectionate and adore children and can even match children’s energy levels, and they can also be protective of them. In addition, they can be friendly with other dogs and cats if raised with them.
These dogs are fast learners and eager to please, which makes them easily trainable. They are also easy to groom as they have a short, single-coat, with some feathering on the belly and legs. They are moderate shedders, so weekly brushing is enough to keep their coats in top condition.
While Brittany’s are undoubtedly excellent pets, they are not ideal for a first-time dog owner. You must know what you’re doing with this dog as they can be challenging. Let’s discuss the potential downsides of life with a Brittany spaniel:
Are Brittany Spaniels Too Hyper?
You need to be sure that you can meet their daily exercise requirements as they can become hyperactive if not given enough exercise. In addition, these dogs cannot be allowed to get bored because it results in destructive behaviors like excessive barking, chewing on your furniture, and jumping.
Do Britany Spaniels Suffer From Separation Anxiety?
You cannot leave a Brittany Spaniel at home for more than a few hours at most as they experience separation anxiety – this leads to destructive behavior and excessive barking.
If you need to be out of the house for a few hours, be sure to train your dog to be alone well in advance of the occasion. If you need to be away for more than a few hours, you will need a sitter to mind your dog. Make sure the sitter is someone your dog knows and likes.
SUBMISSIVE OR EXCITABLE URINATION
Submissive urination occurs with many dogs, and it’s normal; it typically ends when puppies are a bit older. However, submissive urination can last into adulthood with Brittany’s.
Brittany’s are not the most confident dogs, and when they encounter another dog they consider their superior, they tend to lie on their backs and urinate on themselves to appease the alpha.
They also urinate when they are overly excited or a bit nervous. This dog needs to be well-socialized, and you must help them replace submissive urination for confident postures.
Brittany Spaniels can become easily stressed or excited as they are highly sensitive. This inevitably leads to a lot of whining; you need to create a harmonious environment for these pets to prevent whining. You must understand that these dogs are not independent. They need to be close to their owners, feeling safe and secure.
Do Brittany Spaniels Make Good House Dogs?
Brittany Spaniels can make excellent house dogs but, they need early socialization and training. They also need sufficient mental and physical exercise. If they have those things, they are a pleasure to live with.
As Brittany Spaniels do not take well to harsh punishments, the best way to train them to become disciplined, well-adjusted dogs is to use positive reinforcement.
Positive reinforcement is a reward-based training program that involves rewarding the right behaviors without correcting the wrong ones. PRT is centered on telling a dog when he does something right and shaping good behaviors. By way of illustration, rather than forcing a dog’s hind to the ground to teach “sit,” you lure them to sit with a treat.
Luring works better than force as the dog learns how to form his own conduct. Since the behavior is associated with good things, the good behavior will begin appearing automatically without much prompting from the owner.
For positive reinforcement training to work, the owner must know how they want their dog to behave to ignore the unwanted behavior to promote more desired qualities.
Brittany Spaniels have soft personalities, but they can lash out of fear if they are punished- this is called fear aggression.
You must avoid shouting at your Brittany when he does something wrong, or he could become aggressive towards you.
However, your Brittany must respect you and see you as his leader. Most dogs don’t like being in charge; it’s stressful for them, they much prefer to be followers.
Show your dog that you are the alpha by entering a room before him, eating your meals before him, and ensuring that you have the best seat in the house. Being in charge of your dog helps him to trust you, thus feeling safe and happy.
Brittany’s need to receive early socialization to help them relax when they are out in different locations. They also become normalized to new sights, sounds, people, and other dogs.
If your Brittany tends to shy away from visitors or bark at them, you can use positive reinforcement training to help him overcome those tendencies.
It’s also a good idea to invite guests and other dogs regularly to your home so that your Brittany gets used to visitors and it builds up their confidence too.
Use common sense when inviting people to your home if you have a nervous dog. Ensure to invite one person at the beginning.
First, the visitor should give the dog some space and have a calm disposition to get too nervous or excited. Then, your guest can offer your puppy a treat to feel more comfortable.
As time goes on, you can invite more people and dogs to your home, but do it gradually and always reward any positive step with a treat.
Brittany’s are relatively easy to groom as it mainly consists of brushing their coat. This helps to keep shed hair off your furniture, floors, clothes, etc.
They will need a bath once every four weeks unless their coat gets dirty frequently; in that case, you must bathe them more regularly.
Washing this dog is a simple procedure as it mainly consists of shampooing, rinsing, and drying, and it shouldn’t take too long. Brittany’s for a dog show may need their hair trimmed, but that can be simple and neat.
Can You Leave A Brittany Alone?
If you are unfamiliar with these Brittany Spaniels, it may shock you to discover that they cannot be left home on their own for more than a couple of hours at most.
This dog will take up most of your time, and you must be present and dedicated to his care. You cannot leave this dog home alone all day and expect him to be calm and lie at your feet when you come back. This dog will have a day’s worth of energy pent up that he must expend.
You need to be with your Brittany all the time, ensuring that he gets at least one hour of vigorous exercise every day. Since this is a smart breed, you must also provide your dog with mental stimulation. Adding brain games to your dog’s day will challenge him and tire him out.
If you’re thinking of a Brittany Spaniel for your first dog, there is no reason it cannot work out, as long as you have what it takes for this highly active breed. They need space, exercise, mental stimulation, and they need your time. This dog can be a fantastic family pet in the right hands.
Many people will tell you that a Brittany is not ideal as a first dog, and there is some truth to that. However, there are resources to help if you avail of them.
You can get support from a vet, breeder, or animal behaviorist if you are struggling. You can learn the methods of an experienced owner to bring out the best qualities in a Brittany and keep the unwanted behaviors under control.
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