French Brittany (dog)
The French Brittany ( _fr. Épagneul Breton)is a breed of
gun dogthat is bred for bird hunting. In French, the word "Épagneul" means a longhair pointing dog and the English word " Spaniel" means a flushing breed. So we cannot name the breed "Spaniel". However, this is an unfortunate consequence of ignoring the common and original etymology of these words, both in French and in English: the French word "Épagneul" is etymologically related to the old French verb "s'espagnir", which means to crouch and refers to the first pointing dogs (before shot guns were invented), which were "crouching dogs", i.e. dogs that would lie down in front of the game to allow the hunters to throw a net over the game and the dog. The same etymology is found in the English word "Spaniel" as it is related to the verb "to span", also referring to the early crouching dogs or "setters" from which all pointing breeds derive. Why use the word "French"? It is because there are 2 different Brittanies. There is the "American Brittany" which is in the United States of America (standard owner is the AKC with the ABC as parent club) and in Canadaunder the CKC and there is the "French Brittany". In the FCI countries, they use another standard, the French standard done by the CEB of France. But many specialists of the breed disagree with this division of the breed in two types and consider this again to be based on an unfortunate consequence of ignorance of etymology and of the true breed history. As a matter of fact, many european "spaniel" type breeds are pointing breeds (in France, Germany, The Neteherlands, etc.) and not "flushing" breeds as argued by proponents of the breed division into distinctive types.
Smallest of the pointing breeds. The French Brittany is a dog with a Continental epagneul-type head (braccoïde in French) and a short or inexistent tail. Built harmoniously on a solid but not weighty frame. The whole is compact and well-knit, without undue heaviness, while staying sufficiently elegant. The dog is vigorous, the look is bright and the expression intelligent. The general aspect is cobby (brachymorphic), full of energy, having conserved in the course of its evolution the short-coupled model sought after and fixed by those having recreated the breed.
Brief Historical Summary
Of French origin and more precisely, from the centre of
Brittany. At present, in first place numerically among French sporting breeds. Probably one of the oldest of the epagneul type dogs, improved at the beginning of the 20th century by diverse outcrosses and selections. A draft of a breed standard drawn up in Nantesin 1907 was presented and adopted at the first General Assembly held in Loudéac (in former Côtes du Nord department, now Côtes d’Armor), June 7, 1908. This was the first standard of the «Club de l'Épagneul Breton à courte queue naturelle. / Naturally Short-Tailed French Brittany Club ».
* [http://www.epagneul-breton.ws/en/index.php Club de l'Épagneul Breton (France)]
* [http://www.fci.be/uploaded_files/095gb2003_en.doc FCI official standard]
* [http://www.ceb-usa.org/ CEB-USA]
* [http://www.frenchbrittany.org/ French Brittany Gun Dog Association]
* [http://www.frenchbrittany4u.org/ INTERNATIONAL FRENCH BRITTANY CLUB of AMERICA]
* [http://www.brittanyclub.co.uk/ Brittany Club of Great Britain]
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