National Brittany Rescue & Adoption Network (NBRAN)

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FAQ's

What is a shelter Brittany?

Many Brittanys come from shelters, taken in as strays. They may be lost, or dogs dumped by their owners. We receive very little information on these dogs, and know nothing about their past lives or medical histories. However, many of these dogs are healthy, handsome and appear to have some training. Many are housebroken and make fine pets. Brittanys often do not adjust well to shelters, and may be put down due to lack of space or to despondent behavior. We suggest whenever you look at a Brittany in a shelter, keep in mind the animal is stressed, and may appear hyper, depressed or unresponsive. To best judge the dog, take it for a walk away from other barking dogs. If you decide to adopt a Brittany out of a shelter, give it 3-4 weeks to transition itself into your home. Many shelter Brittanys turn out to be loving, gentle, happy dogs.

How do Brittanys Become Homeless?

Brittanys can be surrendered by their owners for a variety of reasons. Some people buy Brittanys as puppies and do not properly train them. Months later, these owners dump their dogs in shelters or to surrender them to rescue because the puppy has grown into an unmannered, hard-to-handle adult dog. Other owners surrender their Brittanys due to death, divorce, or because they are moving and do not wish to take their pet. Many brittanys are released by owners because they do not hunt or are gun-shy. Because of this, we cannot guarantee that our rescue dogs will hunt.

What is a Foster Home?

As much as possible, we try to put stray and shelter Brittanys into foster homes. This allows the foster home to assess the dog's personality and see to its medical needs. Once a dog is placed in a foster home, we can provide accurate information to adopters about the dog's habits and disposition. Often, a foster home will housebreak and train a Brittany to prepare it for adoption. Foster homes feed and house the dog as volunteers, and do not get paid for this service. To be a foster parent, you must be prepared to handle dogs might have some problems, usually solvable through some minimal training. Each dog that enters a foster home has a unique and different personality, and will bring with it challenges for the foster home....these challenges are often positive and help teach the foster homes about dog behavior and training strategies.

What Kind of Veterinary Care Does a 
Foster Brittany Receive?

All rescue dogs are vaccinated, tested for heartworm, and spayed/neutered before adoption. The adoption fee covers these expenses. Dogs with serious medical conditions are often rehabilitated or, in extreme cases, euthanized. Sometimes a badly injured Brittany will enter rescue, whether hit by a car, abused by an owner, or accidentally shot while hunting. These dogs will receive medical care, and will be completely healed before adoption. All medical conditions known at the time of adoption will be disclosed to the new owners. Those dogs with medical conditions will be posted on the website as having these conditions, and adopted with all veterinary information available to prospective owners.

What is Heartworm Disease?

In some parts of the country, particularly the Midwest and South, dogs owners face epidemic proportions of heartworm infection. Due to this problem, dog owners should have their pets on heartworm preventative year around. Heartworm is transmitted through mosquitos, and can eventually kill the dog. Heartworms live in the dog's heart; as those worms reproduce and accumulate, the heart must work harder and harder to pump blood through arteries clogged by the worms. After 4-6 years of heartworm disease, the infected dog most likely will suffer a heart attack and die. Dogs can be treated for this condition, and can become healthy, active pets who live long lives. Treatment involves a four-week period in which the dog cannot run or exercise excessively. To begin treatment, poison is injected into the dog to kill the heartworms. It then takes 3-4 weeks for these worms to break down and dissolve into the blood stream. Since a clot of worm debris can suddenly hit the heart, it is required the dog remain quiet, preferably in a crate or small pen, during treatment. Most dogs do not need to be retreated for heartworms, though treatment has been linked to causing seizures. Heartworm preventative kills the larvae of this parasite and thus prevents them from migrating to the heart.

What are Some Other Diseases 
that Might Affect Brittanys?

Brittanys can suffer from hip dysplasia and seizure disorders, which are usually genetic. However, hip dysplasia is often not serious to Brittanys since they are small, lighter dogs and a bad hip can carry their weight. HP can also be surgically corrected. Seizures can usually be controlled by certain medicines. It is advised that all dogs with seizure disorders avoid eating dog food that contains dyes, as they can exacerbate a seizure condition. On the whole, though, Brittanys do not suffer from genetic disorders, and are healthy, long-lived dogs.

Are Brittanys Too Hyper?

Like most sporting dogs, Brittanys are active dogs and require exercise. They like to run, and should be given plenty of opportunity to do so, whether in a fenced yard or at the end of a leash. A Brittany who does not receive adequate exercise can be destructive and resort to chewing, digging and excessive barking. Moreover, a well-exercised dog often makes a better house pet. Some Brittanys are calm, and do not require as much exercise. Some are even couch potatoes, and would rather spend the day indoors lounging on a bed or sofa. Brittanys are best placed in a home with a fenced yard. Brittanys do not always make good apartment or townhouse dogs.

Are Brittanys Outdoor Dogs, or 
Can They Be Made into House Pets?

Brittanys are highly social, and require lots of human contact. They can survive as "kennel dogs," but bloom wonderfully when they can be indoors with the family. Some hunters believe Brittanys become better hunting dogs when they are trained to be house pets. Brittanys normally do not do well when isolated outside away from the core of human activity and contact. They can become overly hyper or despondent.

Will My Rescue Brittany Hunt?

NBRAN only adopts Brittanys as pets and companions, and not as hunting dogs. Some rescue brittanys are trained to hunt, and will hunt with vigor and skill. However, many rescue dogs are gun-shy, or have been too abused to make good hunting dogs. NBRAN does not guarantee that any of its rescue dogs will hunt. Indeed, we feel if you want a hunting dog, do not seek one through rescue, but find a breeder who breeds responsibly and with full knowledge of the dogs being bred. All of our rescue dogs need to be placed in permanent homes, and as pets who will be regarded as another family member.

Are Brittanys Good with 
Cats and Other Dogs?

Brittanys, like most dogs, have their own personalities and quirks. Some Brittanys will be dominant and aggressive to other dogs. Some Brittanys will stalk and kill cats. However, a majority of rescue Brittanys are good with cats and other dogs. Because of their sensitive natures, Brittanys can be trained to live with cats, and usually they are not aggressive to other dogs. Before adopting a Brittany, please inquire about its ability to be with cats or other dogs. Also, foster homes will provide this information whenever possible.

Will an Older Dog Bond Properly 
With Me and My Family?

Older dogs make excellent pets. Often, older dogs - even those found in shelters -- are housebroken crate-trained and have some obedience training. These dogs are usually well socialized and will bond rapidly to anyone providing them with food, love and attention. Even dogs that are 10 years and older have closely bonded with a new owner. Under-socialized dogs can also learn to bond, if given enough time and attention. Some dogs take more time that others to transition into a new home, and we ask that anyone adopting an older dog to give it 3-4 weeks, or even longer, to transition.

Can I Get a Puppy Through Rescue?

Most rescue dogs are between the ages 1-5 years old. The majority of rescue dogs fall within the age of 1-3. Puppies are rare to rescue, though they can be found. When most puppies enter rescue, they are 3-9 months old.

Will A Puppy Be Better for Me Than an Older Dog?

Puppies are cute and fun to watch. However, they need constant attention. They need to be crate-trained, housebroken, and obedience trained. They also need to be properly socialized by being inside with the family and handled frequently. This takes time and patience. You must expect the puppy to have accidents in your home as it learns to control its bladder and gives a signal it needs to go outside. Puppies also require a monthly regimen of shots until they are 6 months old. Puppies cry, bark, vomit and chew. They can invade gardens and decapitate flowers and dig up young plants. If adopting a puppy, you must expect to face these kinds of problems, and be prepared to deal with them effectively and without abusing or mistreating the dog.

Do Rescue Dogs Have A Lot of 
Behavioral Problems?

There is a common saying among rescue folks: "a shelter dog is not a bad dog, it just had a bad owner." Most dogs are surrendered because of inadequate training on the part of the owner. Some people get a dog and expect it to be a perfect pet, and they become disgruntled when the dog behaves in a way that does not suit them. Some owners leave their dogs outside all day (and night) on a chain or alone in a back yard, and they become frustrated when a dog jumps all over them seeking attention. These dogs end up in shelters through no fault of their own. Many dogs who enter rescue are so well trained and behaved, it mystifies us how the dog ended up lost or as a stray. Other rescue dogs do need training and socialization to make up for the training they did not receive when with a former owner. Generally, however, most rescue dogs are gentle, affectionate and eager-to-please. If you are considering a rescue dog, but have doubts, please feel free to post your concerns on our message board. Many people who adopted rescue dogs from us will be able to communicate to you about their experiences.

What If I Adopt a Brittany 
and It Doesn't Work Out?

NBRAN endeavors to find the best and most suitable home for the dog, and we seek to place the dog in a permanent home. We require you fill out an adoption application that helps us to place the right dog in your home. We also interview extensively to make sure you know as much as possible about the dog you are adopting. If, for whatever reason, the dog does not work out, NBRAN requires the dog be returned to rescue. Indeed, all dogs are adopted with a contract that stipulates the dog will be returned to rescue if an adopter cannot keep it. NBRAN will even take the dog back after several months of being adopted. In that case, we ask you function as a foster home and keep the dog until it can properly be placed. Sometimes, if you want to keep the dog but are facing problems you do not know how to solve, a rescue volunteer will help you find a trainer or dog behaviorist to consult. We have many resources available to help you transition a dog into your home. We urge you to consult a NBRAN volunteer if you are facing problems with your new dog.

  © NBRAN 2011