While it varies from dog to dog, for the most part the Brittany's coat will be wavy or somewhat feathered; especially on the chest, the legs and the hindquarters. The Brittany does shed regularly but many owners report that with the amount of time the dog spends outside, the quantity seems quite minimal. One of the main draws of owning this breed is their lack of doggy smell as compared to other types of dogs. This is also part of their benefit as a gun dog; no odor allows the Brittany to get as close to its quarry as possible before setting up the point.
A good feeding regimen with the right balance of vitamins and minerals is necessary for coat support and a healthy sheen. Brushing on a weekly basis not only helps keep shedding light but encourages an even healthier coat to come in. The Brittany will enjoy the attention of this weekly grooming session, plus it gives the owner a chance to look their Brit over for any other noticeable health problems. A soft bristled brush is usually all that is necessary, unless the dog has been out hunting in the fields. In these cases, a mat rake or a wide tooth comb will gently help remove grass, sticks, or other bothersome tangles from sensitive places.
Tail docking is a matter of great debate. In earlier times, the procedure was performed on working and hunting dogs for the sake of preventing tail injuries while out in the field. These days, there is a sentiment that tail docking is a cruelty performed on animals, especially if the dog is mainly a pet and not used for any type of work or hunting. In many European countries, tail docking and ear cropping are both considered illegal; however, it is still a lawful practice in the United States. For the most part, tail docking has now become a matter of preference.
Tail docking is often done by breeders who offer Brittanys for hunting purposes. They will also remove dew claws to do away with the risk of having them caught or snagged on underbrush while out in the field. Some Brittanys are born without a tail but for those who are, tail docking must be done within two to five days of birth. This time period guarantees minimal discomfort as a newborn pup's nervous system is not fully developed immediately after birth. Docking a tail any later than this is considered major surgery and can cause great discomfort for a dog. Banding, whereby an orthodontic band is placed around the puppy's tail to cut off blood supply, is the most common tail docking technique used today. As a general rule, the tail is docked at less than an inch to ensure a Brittany's tail measures no more than four inches long as an adult.