BrittanyThe breed started life in an area of France called Callac. In the village of Callac itself, there stands a statue of a French Cob horse, on which the Brittany is reputed to be based. In the 1800s it was usual for the landed gentry in England to shoot partridge and snipe in France, and of course, they took with them their best gundogs, mostly setters and pointers. These were often left with the French landowners from one season to the next, and resulted in a number of matings between the popular Fougeres, a very high spirited spaniel from the area, and these English Pointers and English and Gordon Setters - A hot gundog was born - The Brittany!
Due to the variety of colours in the English Pointers and Setters, and the black and tan Gordon Setter, the Brittany also appeared in many coats. (Contrary to some opinions, the Welsh Springer Spaniel is not generally regarded as being related, even though the colouring is similar to the orange and white version of the Brittany, their basic origins being substantially different!). It was such a popular combination of dog that by 1900, the animals produced from planned matings had become more or less typified. The Brittany has a very strong nose, is an excellent hunter, and can sometimes be spectacular in pointing game, since it works the ground at great speed, and may suddenly stop or leap on to point.
The first French Champion in the breed was a liver and white dog named MAX DE CALLAC. Another outstanding dog in France was SKA DE SAINT TUGEN ( a black based tri-colour ), himself a Grand Champion and Grand Trialler, and also sire, grand-sire and great-grand-sire of many champions and triallers. SKA was the epitome of the Callac horse, being well ribbed, short coupled, well muscled and having great presence. Many British dogs are related to him.
The breed is becoming increasingly popular in this country, particularly with the sportsmen interested in rough shooting and falconry in its various forms. It is a very stylish dog in field trials, and two Field Trial Champions have been made up since 1982. It is also popular in the show ring and the Kennel Club granted Challenge Certificate Status in 1997. There are now also a number of Show Champions and two Full Champions.
His square shape gives him an unusual, clipped style of movement, and though he is a fairly light-built dog, he is capable of carrying hare or pheasant. The breed is not dissimilar to the old coaching dogs of Europe, especially some of the all-purpose gundogs to be found in Germany.
More information on this breed can be found on the Kennel Club website