Brittany Spaniels are known to be sweet and loving to their owners, and regardless of gender, they are good companions that will always have your back. However, male and female Brittany Spaniels can have different temperaments, and these differences are important if you are looking for the perfect pet for you.
One thing to keep in mind is that you’re not looking for a perfect pet, instead, you are looking for the best one that would suit you and your lifestyle.
So, should you choose a male or a female Brittany? If you like a softer and more affectionate Brittany Spaniel that will always depend on you and likes being babied, then get a male. If you want a more independent and robust Brittany Spaniel that can handle themselves and are easier to train, then you should get a female.
These are the basic differences between male and female Brittany Spaniels, and you will find in this article that there are many things that differentiate them. Read on below to look at them!
Male Brittany Spaniels
Height: 17 – 21 inches (43 – 53 cm)
Weight: 35 – 40 lbs (16 – 18 kg)
Puppy Price: $800 – $1,500
Lifespan: 12 – 13 Years
Build: Bigger built.
- Easily distracted, harder to train.
- More playful and full of energy.
- More demanding of attention.
- Less obedient.
- More stable moods.
- More hyper.
- Softer and more affectionate.
- Erratic and less refined hunting style.
- Slightly less smart.
- Alert, protective, and intelligent.
- Less likely to get along with other dogs or animals.
- Prone to laziness.
- Clumsy around children.
- Good with strangers.
- Matures slower.
- Less independent.
- More desire to please his owner.
Female Brittany Spaniels
Height: 18 – 20 inches (46 – 51 cm)
Weight: 30 – 40 lbs (13 – 18 kg)
Puppy Price: $800 – $1,500
Lifespan: 12 – 13 Years
Build: More slender built.
- More focused, easier to train.
- Slightly less playful.
- Less demanding of attention.
- More obedient.
- Prone to mood swings.
- Less hyper.
- Sharper and more aggressive.
- More refined hunting style.
- Alert, protective, and intelligent.
- More likely to get along with other dogs or animals.
- More driven.
- Gentler around children.
- More suspicious of strangers.
- Matures quicker.
- More independent.
- Less desire to please her onwer.
There are not a lot of physical differences between male and female Brittanys, especially in photos. The only noticeable difference in real life is their size and weight.
Male Brittany Spaniels are slightly taller and weigh more than females. On average, male Brittanys have a wider range in height than females. They also weigh 5 lbs more than a female Brittany.
Females are slightly smaller than male Brittanys. While the males have a wider range in height, females have a wider range in terms of weight. They can weigh 5 lbs less than an average male Brittany Spaniel.
Male Brittany Spaniels tend to be more emotionally stable than females. This also makes them more reliable and dependent when it comes to being house pets. While males in most breeds are bolder and more aggressive than females, a male Brittany is different.
They are known to be more affectionate and softer than their female counterparts. They are also more patient with children, and they are content with having their fur-parents just by their side.
In terms of hunting, male Brittanys are more erratic and unpredictable. They like to stray from time to time and get lost in their own agenda. They’re also more energetic during hunting time but this energy can quickly backfire when they can’t stop running and getting distracted.
Because of this, they also get tired more quickly. Owners who prefer a stable, cuddly, and affectionate house dog rather than a hunting partner tend to pick male Brittany Spaniels more.
One minute they’re so excited to have you petting them and the next, they act as if you’re not even there. These mood swings are common in female Brittanys, making them more unpredictable as house pets.
Most owners agree that female Brittany Spaniels are a little more independent than their male counterparts, and their love and affection are often on their own terms. They can also be a bit sulky and moody when they don’t like something.
Brittany females are better in the field than males. They have a more refined hunting style, they are more driven, and they typically have the drive to hunt all day nonstop. They are also more intelligent and this turns into a habit of manipulation.
If they have their heart set on doing something, there’s nothing you can do. However, if they don’t like what they need to do, you’ll see lots of puppy eyes aimed at you. If that doesn’t work, they become resistant and act like you’re the worst person ever.
Males are known to be the “goofballs” of the breed, and they love their playtime. They might even see training time as an extension to playtime and would just try to play with your hand without listening to commands. They also reach maturity slower than female Brittany Spaniels, and this affects their trainability, especially as puppies.
Males also tend to be distracted easily, but they can still keep their tasks in mind. They love pleasing and obeying their owners, but sometimes, you just can’t compete with a bright color or a new sound when it comes to a male Brittany Spaniel’s attention.
Don’t be disheartened when you’re trying to teach him new tricks and he won’t listen, he’ll eventually get them as long as you have the time and patience to train them.
One known aspect of Brittany Spaniels is that they’re very sensitive, and shouting or punishing them doesn’t work well. Males are softer and more sensitive than the female Brittany Spaniels, so this aspect is heightened. Keep this in mind when you’re trying to train him, as loud voices or tight leashes will just aggravate him.
Females are said to be more intelligent than male Brittany Spaniels, and this, along with the fact that they also mature faster, makes them much easier to train.
Most owners prefer a female to hunt with them because aside from being easier to train, they are also more obedient and less distracted. They are more focused, and they’re hard to distract when they’ve set their heart on a task.
Of course, this intelligence is a double-edged sword. Sometimes, your female might not be in the mood to train or do a task, and she will be very passively stubborn about it.
She will do what she can to make you change your mind but if you keep a steady resolve and let her know who’s the boss, she’ll do the task, although a little sulkily.
Even though males are softer and less aggressive than females, it’s important to keep in mind that Brittany Spaniels, as a breed, are very sensitive. You should always use a soft, calm voice and a slightly loose leash when training them to make them less likely to be anxious.
Cerebellar Ataxia is often seen in male Brittany Spaniels. This disorder causes weakness and coordination loss in young males, and one early sign is the characteristic goose-step gait. In major cases, Cerebellar Ataxia can lead to paralysis.
Elbow Dysplasia is also a common problem among males. This happens when your Brittany’s joints don’t develop properly and result in arthritis. One symptom is having difficulty getting up after lying down.
The earlier you have it treated, the better, because the condition worsens as he grows and matures. It can lead to malformation and joint degeneration, and it’s also very painful for them.
Another health issue present in some male Brittany Spaniels is Retained Testicle. This is when one or two testicles don’t descend into the scrotum and stay in the abdomen instead. This phenomenon actually makes them more prone to cancer, and it’s recommended that the testicles be removed if he has a Retained Testicle.
Because of their hyperactivity, sometimes male Brittanys (and in some cases, female Brittanys) dislocate their kneecap (patellar luxation). A sign of a luxating patella is when he suddenly wouldn’t use his back leg or he suddenly hops. They easily solve this by kicking their leg out to pop the kneecap back in place, and no further medical attention is required.
If the symptom persists and his kneecap isn’t popping back in place, then it’s time to call your vet. Surgery is needed to realign the kneecap, especially in severe or continuous patellar luxation.
Hip Dysplasia is common in female dogs, and it can also be seen in Brittanys. This occurs when there is a malformation of the hip socket, where the ball and hip socket don’t fit properly and they grind or rub against each other instead.
When left unattended, it can cause lameness and very painful arthritis. Hip dysplasia is genetic, so be sure you know the medical history of your puppy’s parents.
Canine Glaucoma is a group of diseases that is also common in female dogs. When left untreated, glaucoma can lead to permanent optic nerve damage and loss of visual field, ultimately leading to blindness. Symptoms include cloudy eyes, red eyes, loss of vision (you can check if your dog keeps bumping into things), and consistent pawing or rubbing of the eyes.
Both males and females are prone to allergies and bacterial skin infections. There is also a rare disease present in Brittany Spaniels called Complement Deficiency. This is caused by a deficiency of proteins that are important to their immune system. Without them, your dog is more susceptible to recurring kidney disease and bacterial infections.
There are also Brittanys with myopathy, a disease of the muscles. Symptoms include loss of muscle in the limbs, a gait, and a “bunny hop.” This disease can develop between 3 to 7 months old, and it’s best to have them tested out if you suspect your dog has myopathy.
Most treated dogs are stable after they reach 1 year old, and they also have a normal lifespan. Remember, your dog still needs to have their stress levels reduced, so keep your Brittany at home and avoid hunting or overexercising!
In general, males tend to see kids as their playmates rather than children, and they can be a little too rough. However, the male Brittany’s cuddly and soft personality makes them especially patient with children, and some owners say the random boosts of hyperactivity in male Brittany match children’s own hyper activeness, and they typically tire each other out.
Aside from possible dangers because of an overly cuddly Brittany, or injuries from playtime, there are not many risks associated with male Brittany Spaniels and children.
Female Brittany Spaniels, like other female dogs, are naturally more protective of young children. They aren’t as boisterous or as loud as their male counterpart, but they are as patient and as loving.
Since female Brittanys are also smarter, they can control themselves more when there are children around, lessening the potential dangers and injuries during playtime. Since they are also moody, females are less likely to play with children all day long as they need their own space as well.
Like males, female Brittanys are great around children, and there are not many risks associated with them and children.
With Other Dogs
Males are typically more protective of their territory. This doesn’t mean that they aren’t social with the same sex, as the male Brittany’s outgoing and energetic nature overpowers their initial aggression. Males tend to play with other dogs than females, and their energetic personality can be seen in how easy they get accustomed to new dogs.
Male dogs will get in minor fights, but they will usually stop before anything turns serious. Male Brittanys get along with female dogs of all breeds. Neutered male Brittanys are also known to be softer and sweeter than usual, so if you must have more than one male dog in the house, consider having them neutered to avoid aggression and fights.
Same-sex aggression is also common in female Brittanys, and female dog fights are more severe than male ones. A good thing is that Brittany Spaniels are very intelligent, so a dog fight is less likely to occur. Females are also more cautious around new dogs, making them harder to play with others.
Female Brittanys are also known to be very stubborn, so making them socialize when they don’t want to is impossible. It’s best to socialize them at a very early age so that they aren’t shy or aggressive.
If you must have two female dogs in your household, it’s best to keep a 2-year age gap or more to increase their chances of getting along, since they wouldn’t see each other as competition.
Which Is Better for a Family?
Brittany Spaniels in general have a lot of energy that they translate into the need for exercise, and this might be a problem for families with a busy schedule. Ultimately, it boils down to your lifestyle.
Advantages of Male Brittany Spaniels in a Family Environment:
- Hyperactive – can handle children’s drive.
- More social with other pets.
- Loves cuddling and playtime.
- Gets along with female dogs.
- Loves being at home but also very outgoing.
- Protective of his home.
Advantages of Female Brittany Spaniels in a Family Environment:
- More careful around children.
- Less “in your face” – enjoy both cuddles and alone time.
- Gets along with male dogs.
- Loves outdoor activities.
- Easier to train.
- More cautious around strangers.
Brittany Spaniels are one of the best choices for families, especially because they are really gentle and patient with children. They are also known to get along with other dogs, especially if you have them socialize as puppies.
The best part about well socialized Brittany puppies is that they’ll also accept any other animals you have in your home and bond with them. If you have feline friends, they’ll also readily accept them, but not any cat they come across outdoor.
A male Brittany Spaniel is better for you if you spend more of your time at home. They’re also best if you have children with high energy and want to wear them out.
Male Brittanys are very affectionate, and they are less likely to have mood swings where they wouldn’t want any cuddles. They’re also a good choice if you already have a dog of the opposite sex.
If you love spending time outdoors and would like a companion, then a female Brittany Spaniel is the better choice. They are easier to train and more obedient to the following tasks. They’re also better if you have younger children since they’re gentler and more cautious around kids.
If you value your alone time, a female Brittany will respect this more than the hyper male Brittany, and they’ll also get along with male dogs if you already have one.
Which Is a Better Guard Dog?
Brittany Spaniels overall are very cautious of strangers, and each gender has its own advantages. One thing to keep in mind is what kind of guard dog you will use them.
Below we expound on the advantages of each gender as guard dogs. Most of these traits are universal to all types of breeds, but of course, there are some unique cases.
Advantages of Male Brittany Spaniels as Guard Dogs:
- Bigger build.
- More territorial, better at protecting their homes.
- Stronger bite.
- Fiercely loyal, more determined to please their owner.
Advantages of Female Brittany Spaniels as Guard Dogs:
- More aggressive.
- More cautious of strangers.
- Maternal instinct, better at protecting one person.
- More mature, easier to train.
Female Brittany Spaniels are better guard dogs if you’re looking for personal protection. This can also work out since they’re obedient partners when going out for hunting.
They’ll be focused on you and will be able to protect you more. Since they’re easier to train and more intelligent, you can also add commands to have them differentiate between strangers and friends.
If you’re looking for a guard dog for your property or home, then a male Brittany Spaniel is better. Males are naturally very territorial, and they will guard any area they think is part of it. Males also tend to protect their whole family, so no one will get into your property or near family members without approval.
This article looks at the minute differences between a male and female Brittany Spaniel. Of course, each dog is unique, and they might not fit into each description perfectly.
Keep in mind that male and female differences aren’t as important as the dog’s overall temperament, behavior, and history, so be sure to check on all of those as well.
Regardless of what gender you choose, Brittany Spaniels are one of the sweetest and most energetic dogs out there. As long as you train them at an early age, keep up with their need for exercise, and socialize them well, you can’t go wrong with getting a Brittany Spaniel.
My name is John Carter and I absolutely love pets, especially cats and dogs. I’ve got a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and have several years’ experience working in animal shelters and rescues. My passion for animals started at a very young age as I grow up on a farm with several horses, cows, cats, chickens, and dogs on our property.