Brittanys are versatile gundogs of medium size that originate from a region in France called Brittany. They are energetic, highly trainable, and make excellent hunting and sporting companions.
Do they shed lots? Brittanys have dense (flat or wavy) coats of short-to-medium length that shed a moderate amount of fur. They’re fairly easy to groom, but may need some trimming around the head and neck area on occasion. Either way, brushing a few times per week can help keep the shedding under control.
Let’s see just how much shedding these bright, upbeat dogs are capable of, and what it takes to maintain their coat, so you know what to expect if you decide to adopt!
Brittany Shedding – What to Expect
Brittanys (known as Brittany Spaniels in France) are a moderate shedding breed.
To help put this into perspective, they shed less than a Golden Retriever (high shedder), more than a Basenji (low shedder), and about the same amount as most Pointers (average shedders).
So, they’re not the most ideal breed if you’re looking for a non-shedding dog. But they’re certainly not the worst option either. And as long as you keep up with a regular brushing routine, chances are you’ll hardly notice it.
How often do they shed?
Brittanys tend to shed fairly evenly year-round. Some dogs, like the Malamute for example, shed seasonally once or twice per year. But this is not the case with a Brittany. You may notice some increase in shedding during spring, but they tend to shed more constantly throughout the year.
Either way, shedding (or molting) is normal in most healthy dogs. The reason dogs shed is simply because the old hair stops growing and falls out, to make way for the new hair.
Related: Why Do Dogs Shed?
So, in most cases, it is nothing to be concerned about. It’s more just something that can be annoying if you don’t like seeing dog hair on your clothes, floors and upholstery.
In some cases, however, the shedding can be caused by factors like stress, poor diet, fleas, or some other health issue. So if you have any concerns at all, you should contact your veterinarian.
Grooming Your Brittany
Grooming a Brittany is not very difficult. For the most part, brushing them 2-3 times per week should be enough to maintain their coat.
However, because they love being outside a lot, they can sometimes get mats and debris in their coat. So it may be worth brushing them after a good outing.
Brushing is also one of the best ways to remove the dead hair from his coat, before it falls off of him and starts floating around the home. So more regular brushing during times of heavier shedding can be beneficial.
And it can also help to improve his coat. Because, when you brush, it distributes his skin oils. And this is a good thing, because a healthy, moisture-rich coat is going to shed less than one that is dry or irritated.
What sort of brush is best for a Brittany?
Given the short-to-medium length of their coat, a slicker brush and metal comb work well. The slicker is a good all-round dog brush that will help keep his coat mat free and remove much of the old, dead fur. And the comb is good for brushing the feathered areas around the legs and underside of his body.
You could also use a deshedding brush if you want to remove more of the dead fur, in less time. These do tend to cost more, depending on which one you buy, but can save you some time and effort in the long run.
Aside from brushing, there’s not much involved with grooming a Brittany. Some owners have them lightly trimmed around the head and neck area, either as a preference or to prepare them for the show ring. But for the most part, grooming really comes down to brushing and regular things like the occasional bath, nail trimming, cleaning his teeth and so on.
Overall, Brittanys are tough, no-fuss dogs that were bred for hunting game birds and being outdoors in rugged terrain. Kind of like the English Springer Spaniel.
Are Brittanys Hypoallergenic?
No. Brittanys are not a hypoallergenic dog.
But the truth is, no dog is completely non-allergenic, they can all cause allergies to some extent. Even dogs that shed nothing or that have no hair on their body at all. And this is because it’s actually the dog’s dander (flaky skin) that is the problem, not the hair itself.
However, there are some dogs that are more suitable for people who suffer from allergies and for the most part, these are dogs that don’t produce much dander and that shed very little. The reason shedding is a factor is because dander collects in the fur, so the more a dog sheds, the more he spreads the allergens around the home.
Related: What is a Hypoallergenic Dog?
Either way, Brittanys aren’t the best choice for someone who is looking for a hypoallergenic breed. There are more suitable breeds in this respect, like the Poodle or Mini Schnauzer.
Can You Stop Them From Shedding?
You can’t stop a dog from shedding completely. Almost all dogs shed at least some hair, it’s a natural process. However, there are some things you can do to reduce it. Such as regular grooming and making sure he’s as healthy as can be.
For the most part, grooming is your best defence.
Regular brushing can help keep the fur from filling your home and improve the condition of his coat. And bathing on occasion, with a good quality dog shampoo, can help remove a lot of excess fur. Both during the bath, and with a subsequent brushing session.
These things aren’t difficult or particularly time consuming either. But if you factor them into your weekly routine, they can make a huge difference. Not just to how much shedding he does, but how much of the hair drops inside the home.
It’s not all about brushing and bathing though.
It also matters how healthy he is overall. Which is something you can generally improve with things like diet and exercise. These dogs need lots of exercise as they are very active, and making sure you only feed him high quality dog food can help prevent excessive shedding.
Either way, there’s no quick fix for shedding. But through regular grooming and proper diet, you can manage the shedding and keep your home relatively fur-free.