The Epagneul Breton originated in Brittany where it was probably first used by hunters who trapped birds in nets. Breton-type dogs appear in 17th and 18th century paintings. The first Epagneul Breton standard was written in France in 1907 and was adopted by the Society Central Canine the following year. Epagneul Bretons were imported into the United States in the 1930s and quickly became popular with hunters. Over time, the American Brittany developed into a taller, longer-necked, racier type with a different hunting style from its French ancestors. Also, unlike the French and other European breeders, the American breeders did not approve of any black in the coat color. In 2002, UKC agreed to split the breed into two: the Brittany and the Epagneul Breton.
The Epagneul Breton is the smallest of the pointing breeds with a cobby, short-coupled body that is the same length (point of shoulder to point of buttocks) as height (withers to ground). The distance from the withers to the elbow is fractionally less than half the dogs height. The head is proportionate to the size of the dog with high-set drop ears that are relatively wide and short. Epagneul Bretons may have a naturally short tail, a docked tail or may be born without a tail. The overall picture is that of a cobby (compact, square, muscular), energetic, intelligent hunter. The Epagneul Breton should be evaluated as a working gun dog, and exaggerations or faults should be penalized in proportion to how much they interfere with or affect the dogs ability to work.
The Epagneul Breton is a versatile pointing dog, able to hunt any game on any terrain. The breed often displays natural hunting ability at a young age. The breed is noted for its natural hunting ability, scenting ability, its endurance and range in the field, the steadiness of its pointing, its willingness to retrieve, its ease of training and its eagerness to please. It is an adaptable, mentally balanced breed, comfortable in any environment. Epagneul Bretons seek human attention and are sociable and intelligent dogs, equally happy as working dogs and companions.
Serious fault: Sluggish.
Disqualifications: Aggressiveness toward dog or man.
Viewed from the side, the skull is slightly longer than the muzzle in a ratio of 3:2. Stop is moderate. Although the skull is slightly rounded, the topline of the muzzle is parallel to the skull. There is a slight median furrow between the eyes at the forehead. Skin is tight and features are finely chiseled.
Fault: Divergent head planes (down-faced). The greater the divergence, the more serious the fault.
Disqualifications: Convergent head planes (dish faced).
The skull is slightly rounded when viewed either from the front or side. Viewed from
above, the sides of the skull curve slightly outward, with the widest point of the skull
being where the ear attaches. The width of skull taken at level of zygomatic arches is
slightly less than its length. The occipital crest
as well as the zygomatic arches are moderately defined. The superciliary arches are not
prominent but form a slightly rounded curve. Cheeks are moderately flat and covered with
Serious faults: Zygomatic or superciliary arches too prominent, stop very pronounced.
The sides of the muzzle are nearly parallel, tapering only slightly toward the nose. The
muzzle is close to half the width of the skull. Lips are fine and rather tight fitting
with full pigmentation matching the nose. The top lip should fall naturally over the lower
without folds or drooping, giving a square appearance to the muzzle when viewed from the
Faults: Pinched or snipey muzzle; heavy, pendulous upper lip; upper lip covering lower insufficiently or excessively.
The Epagneul Breton has a complete set of evenly spaced teeth meeting in a scissors bite.
A limit of two second premolars or one second and one third premolar can be missing,
provided in both cases that the missing teeth are not contiguous. Faults: Level bite; crooked teeth.
Disqualifications: Overshot or undershot; missing more than two second premolars; contiguous absence of second and third premolars; missing any tooth other than as described above.
Large, with wide and well-open nostrils. Nose pigment may be black or self-colored, but
darker pigment is preferred.
Faults: Very slight depigmentation; depigmentation of interior of nostrils; flesh-colored nose pigment.
Disqualifications: Distinct unpigmented areas on the nose, butterfly nose.
eyes are set slightly oblique, and are somewhat oval in shape with tight, well-pigmented
eyelids that match the nose color. Eye color is in harmony with the coat and nose colors,
the darker the better. Eye expression is intelligent, soft and frank. Eye expression
coupled with upward movement of the base of the ears give rise to the true Epagneul Breton
expression. Very light amber and yellow eyes are to be severely penalized.
Faults: Eyes prominent, round or almond shaped.
Serious faults: Light eyes.
Disqualification: Distinct unpigmented areas on eyelids, eyes of different colors; eyes very light in color; entropion or ectropion.
EARS The ears are drop, set high, triangular in shape, slightly rounded at the tip, relatively wide and rather short. The inside edge of the ear lies against the cheek. Drawn forward, the tip of the ear reaches the stop. Ears are covered with wavy hair, longer on the upper part of the ear and gradually becoming shorter toward the tip. Always quite mobile when the dog is attentive or in action. Faults: Ears set too low; inside edge of ears not lying close to cheeks.
The neck is of medium length, never arched, and without dewlap, widening gradually from the nape to the withers, blending smoothly into the shoulders, giving a sturdy, muscular appearance.
Serious faults: Excessively long neck; arched neck, dewlap.
Shoulder blade is long (30% of the height at the withers), close to the body and thickly muscled. It slopes backward at between 55 and 60 degrees from the horizontal. Tips of the shoulder blades are separated by two inches. Upper arm is very muscular and slightly longer than the shoulder blade. The angle between the shoulder blade and upper arm is between 115 and 120 degrees. The forearm is muscular and clean, slightly longer than the upper arm, and should be practically perpendicular to the ground when the dog is standing normally. Elbow is close to the body, neither in nor out. Pastern is strong, flexible and slightly sloping (about 15-20 degrees from the vertical).
Faults: Fine bone; out at elbows; toeing in or out.
A properly proportioned Epagneul Breton is roughly square in shape. The length of the front legs (measured from point of elbow to the ground) is only slightly longer than the distance from withers to the point of elbow. Ribs are well sprung but not barrel-chested. The rearmost ribs are long and supple.
The topline is mostly level, never exaggerated or overly sloped, with only a slight rise from the croup to the withers. Withers are not pronounced. The back is short, strong, and straight. The loin is short, broad and muscular. Hips are slightly prominent and very slightly lower than the withers. The points of the hip are level with the back. The croup is short and slightly sloping.
Chest is broad and let down to the level of the elbow. Sternum is wide and rising slightly towards the rear. Tuck-up is apparent but not exaggerated.
Faults: Roached or sway back; croup too narrow or too steep; absence of or exaggerated tuck-up; long, narrow or weak loin; flank too hollow.
Hindquarters are broad and well muscled. The upper thigh is broad and well let down. Lower thigh is very slightly longer than the upper thigh with clean, defined muscling. Broad in the upper part, the lower thigh diminishes gradually in size towards its junction with the hock. The angle between the upper thigh and lower thigh is about 130 degrees. Hock joint is clean with visible tendons. When the dog is standing, the strong rear pasterns are nearly perpendicular to the ground and, viewed from the rear, parallel to one another.
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Good feet are essential for a working gun dog. Front feet are rather round, toes tight, pads firms, toenails short. Rear feet are longer than the forefeet, while maintaining the same characteristics. Front dewclaws may be removed.
Faults: Splayed feet, slew feet, feet too round or too long.
Disqualification: Rear dewclaws, even if rudimentary.
The Epagneul Breton may be born without a tail, with a naturally short tail, or with a long tail that is customarily docked to a length of 1.1 to 2.5 inches and no longer than 4 inches. Tail is set high and carried horizontally or slightly lowered, often lively when the dog is attentive or in action.
Faults: Tail carriage above the horizontal line. Tail length over 4 inches.
The coat is fine but not silky, lying flat on the body or very slightly wavy. Never curly. Short on the head and the front of the limbs. The hind part of the latter has a heavier coat, furnished with abundant feathering, diminishing along their length down to the wrist or the hock or even lower.
Faults: Thin body coat, curly coat.
The Epagneul Breton is divided into two varieties:
· Orange and white, and
· All other colors. This variety includes liver and white; black and white; liver white and orange; or black white and orange; with more or less extensive irregular white patches.
Acceptable color patterns
include piebald, often with ticking, and roan, or ticking
on the top and sides of the muzzle or the limbs. In the case of tri-color coats, orange
markings (orange to dark tan) can be located on the top and sides of the muzzle, over the
eyes, on the limbs, on the chest and at the base of the tail. A narrow blaze is
desirable with any color of coat. A solid-colored (one color) coat is not allowed.
Disqualifications: Solid coat color; white spot on the ear; eye in a white patch; albinism.
SIZE AND WEIGHT
Males: 18 ½ - 20 ½ inches. Ideal height: 19 - 19 ½ inches
Females: 18 - 20 inches. Ideal height: 18 ½ - 19 inches
Eliminating Fault: Size outside the limits of the standard.
At any speed, gait is easy but powerful, even and lively. The legs move straight without exaggerated bouncing of the body and without sideways rolling, the top line staying level. The canter is the most common gait in the field, the strides are rapid and of medium length with relatively short extension. When trotting, the gait is effortless, smooth, powerful and well coordinated, showing good but not exaggerated reach in front and powerful drive behind. The head is carried so as to utilize the wind with occasional ground scenting. The backline remains level with a slight flexing to indicate suppleness. Viewed from any position, legs turn neither in nor out, nor do feet cross or interfere with each other. As speed increases, feet tend to converge toward the centerline of balance. Poor movement should be penalized to the degree to which it reduces the Epagneul Bretons ability to perform the tasks it was bred to do.
Size outside the limits of the standard.
Viciousness or extreme shyness. Aggressiveness toward dog or man. Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Marked convergence of head planes. Overshot or undershot. Missing two second premolars. Contiguous absence of second and third premolars. Missing any tooth other than as described above in the subparagraph entitled TEETH. Distinct unpigmented areas on the nose or eyelids. Eyes of different colors. Entropion or ectropion. Rear dewclaws, even if rudimentary. Solid coat color. White spot on the ear. Eye in a white patch. Albinism.
OTHER RELATED LINKS
Breton Club U.S.A.
French Brittany Gun Dog Association of America, Inc.
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