Purchasing an Epagneul Breton

(French Brittany)




If you're intent is to purchase a purebred Epagneul Breton (French Brittany) both parents must be registered or registerable with the United Kennel Club as an Epagneul Breton. The American Kennel 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 ignorance.
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 birth.

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 you produce?
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..

It 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…. Isn't it?

-- How have you socialized the puppies?
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.

--What guarantees 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.

Thank you,

Steve Broughton




Steve & Cristin Broughton