The Epagneul Breton

There are plenty of great sites on the web discussing the origin, history and evolution of the Epagneul Breton. The CEB-US has a excellent site here. This page is about the difference between the EB (French Brittany) and the American Brittany.

The French Brittany is a different breed from the American Brittany. As the dogs diverged from a common ancestor years ago, the American breeders went in one direction based upon hunting styles and terrain here in the US, and the French went in another direction based on their hunting styles and terrain. The result is two different breeds with different body structure, temperament/personality and hunting style. I am not making the argument that one is better than the other, just that they are, and should be, separate breeds judged on separate standards. This is primarily why we participate in United Kennel Club (UKC) events; they recognize the EB based on the French Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) standard of 2003 and the American Kennel Club (AKC) does not. The AKC groups both breeds together as a "Brittany".

Felix has achieved his Senior Hunter title through the AKC, but as a Brittany with black in his coat he is eliminated from the confirmation/show ring. Even if he was orange and white, he would be judged against the structural standard of the American Brittany.

I am not bashing the AKC or any other registry for that matter. I am simply pointing out the differences between the two major registries as they relate to the EB, as I get asked quite often. It's like Coke or Pepsi, Chevy or Ford; it's your preference and what events are available where you live. We have friends with EBs that participate mostly in AKC hunt tests and field events because that is the only choice they have in their region of the country. Sort of like only getting Coke in Georgia!

The only way to ensure that you have purchased a true Epagneul Breton is to insist it is at least UKC registered as an Epagneul Breton, not a Brittany. I have heard several horror stories of buyers trying to UKC register their dogs after the fact to have a litter, run in a field trial or show in the ring, only to be denied as there is more American Brittany than French in their pedigree. The UKC works diligently to ensure that the Epagneul Breton (French Brittany) stands alone as a separate breed and that there are no American Brittany crosses within at least five generations of that dog's lineage. Again, I am not saying it is a bad dog, just that it is not a true Epagneul Breton or French Brittany.