If you're intent is to
purchase a purebred Epagneul Breton (French Brittany) both parents
must be registered or registerable with the United
as an Epagneul Breton. The American
Club does not separate the Epagneul
Breton (French Brittany) from the American Brittany even though they
are two completely different dogs bred to hunt differently.
Purchasing an Epagneul
Breton (French Brittany) should entail at least the same amount of
thought and research you'd put into buying a new appliance or car,
if not more. After all, you'll likely spend a good amount of money
for a companion that will spend the next 10 or more years with you.
Visiting a breeder's
home/facility gives you a chance to meet the Dam, Sire, breeder, and
other dogs in his/her care. Most breeders are proud to "show
off " their dogs and you should be welcome to visit their operation.
If the parents have nice temperaments your puppy probably will too.
If they're shy or aggressive, there's a good chance the puppy has
inherited those undesirable traits.
It may not be possible to visit. If this is the case speak to the
breeder directly; ask for testimonials, photos, video and any other
means to get to know how your puppy and the dogs in the breeders possession
are being cared for. Be cautious if your puppy is being raised or
kept in a "Barn" type setting unless that is how he/she
will live at your residence.
Rule out breeders who
don't want you to visit their home/facility, this is a sign that the
breeder doesn't want you to see the conditions in which the dogs live
and where the puppies were raised. If you do see the home a good rule
of thumb is, never buy a puppy from a place where you wouldn't want
to eat dinner or use the bathroom.
Defective dogs most often
come from two kinds of breeders: the clueless and/or the careless.
The first group is blissfully ignorant of the potential for congenital
problems and the importance of socialization; the second group knows
full well and could not care less.
You may think this won't happen and purchase a puppy based on price
or color only, even the best of breeders with the most thorough screenings
and certifications may produce dogs with congenital problems. By purchasing
a puppy from a "quality" breeder you greatly decrease your
chances of receiving a defective dog, and you should have a written
guarantee to insure your purchase.
There is nothing worse in pet ownership than finding out your 2 year
old trained dog has a genetic defect that will complicate and/or shorten
its life. By purchasing dogs from irresponsible breeders your money
is invested into increasing the number of dogs produced with genetic
problems contaminating the breed.
Questions to ask Epagneul
Breton (French Brittany) breeders:
-- What are the congenital
defects in this breed?
The breeder who says "none" or "I don't know"
is to be avoided. That's a person who's not screening for what she
doesn't know about, and you don't want to pay the price for his/her
A good breeder tells you every remotely possible problem in the breed.
**Hip Dysplasia is a major genetic proble with this breed.**Luxating
patella is becomming to show itself**
-- What steps have you taken to decrease defects in your dogs?
You want to hear words like "screened", "tested",
"certified" and "removed"
The Epagneul Breton (French Brittany) has an increased potential for
hip dysplasia, look for PennHIP or Orthopedic Foundation for Animals
certification. These are expert, unbiased evaluators who know exactly
what to look for. Insist on documentation on both parents. And their
parents, too. If the parents have not been certified assume your puppy
will have this serious genetic disease. Hip checked is NOT the
same as hip certified!
--Do you have the parents on site? May I see them? Do they have
any congenital and/or conformational defects?
You should always be able to see the mother -- unless she died giving
It is most important
to select offspring from excellent specimins of the breed regarding
health, temprament, conformation and hunting. This will greatly increase
the odds of purchasing a dog that will live up to your expectations
from home to hunting.
--Is this a proven or repeat breeding? How many litters has the
female had? How old was she when she had them? If so, tell me a little
about their offspring? Have either dogs produced offspring
with genetic problems in the past?
Females should not be bred before their 3rd heat cycle, or around
2 years old.
The explanation of their offspring should be a good indication if
this particular breeding fits into your lifestyle, training ability,
and expectations of a dog. Rule out pairings that have produced defective
offspring even if both have been certified, some pairings do not possess
the correct "chemistry" for healthy puppies.
--Do the parents retrieve
out of the water?
In our experience with this breed, some lines will not go into the
water for anything. They are not water dogs, although are versatile
hunters which includes deep-water retrieving ability..
--Do you train your
dogs? How many dogs have you trained? Or how do you assess the dogs
Breeders who are not trainers have a difficult time assessing the
puppies they produce thus not being able to produce proven hunters,
an experienced trainer is necessary to assess the dogs being produced
in a effective breeding program. If you intend to hunt the dog stay
away from show lines, these breedings are focused on conformation
only and in time the "natural hunting" instincts are bred
out of the line..
doesn't matter if you go home and throw that fine pedigree in a drawer.
Recent field and show titles on both sides of a pedigree are the sign
of a breeder who's making a good-faith effort to produce healthy dogs
that conform to the breed standard and that possess the genetics for
"natural hunting" instincts found in the breed. After all
this is why you decided to purchase a purebred dog in the first place
-- How have you socialized
Environmental socialization is important, but so, too, is the intentional
kind. The best breeders make sure puppies have been handled by adults
of both genders and by children.
do you provide?
You want to see written contract explaining the breeder's responsibilities,
should the puppy develop a congenital ailment. In most cases, such
contracts state either replacement with a new puppy or refunding of
your purchase price.
Read and discuss the paperwork with the breeder. The best breeders
offer contracts that protect not only the buyer and seller, but also
the most vulnerable part of the transaction: the puppy.
Prices can vary from
one extreme to another with this breed, a puppy should not be a spur
of the moment purchase. Please, as a responsible consumer research
breeders to insure you are investing in a healthy sound animal where
details have been taken into consideration to better the breed.