Brittanys are commonly characterized as having a happy or sweet nature, and being both easy to train and energetic. These traits in addition to a keen sense of smell make the breed good hunting dogs. However, because of its high level of activity, the pet Brittany needs physical and mental stimulation in the family environment. This stimulation can be achieved by through reward-based training and dog sports that take advantage of the Brittany's scent detection capabilities such as field trials and tracking events.
The official history of the Brittany dates back to 1865, although earlier records indicate a dog strikingly similar to the Brittany. The breed was developed in an area of Brittany in France referred to as Callac. When British nobility visited France to shoot partridge and woodcock, they took their dogs with them. Due to quarantine laws, they were not able to take their dogs back with them when they returned home. When the abandoned dogs started producing offspring with local spaniels, the Brittany was created. The breed quickly became very popular once locals recognized they had a keen sense of smell, a great tracking ability and a general aptitude for work. The breed standard was established in 1907, though an effort was made to reduce the breed's size later on. The Brittany first came to the United States in 1931 and three years later, in 1934, the breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club.