Bracco Italiano

The Bracco Italiano is a dog breeds developed in Italy as a versatile gun dog. It is not common in its native country and is virtually unknown elsewhere. The Bracco should be athletic and powerful in appearance, most resembling a cross between a German Shorthair Pointer and a Bloodhound. It has pendulous upper lips and long ears that create a serious expression. It should be "square", meaning that its height at the withers should be the same as the length of its body. The tail is docked at mid-length, mostly due to the strong possibility of injury in rough terrain when hunting.

The Bracco Italiano originated in Italy, and there are writings concerning the breed that date back to the 4th and 5th centuries BC. It is believed to be a cross between a Segugio Italiano (a coursing hound) and the Asiatic Mastiff.

There are two variations of the breed. The first originated in Piedmont, and was for that reason known as the Piedmontese Pointer. The other originated in Lombardy, and was known as the Lombard Pointer. The Bracco from Piedmont is lighter in color and in build, probably due to the mountainous terrain there. The Lombard Pointer is dark in color and thicker in body. It was well established by the Middle Ages. The Bracco thrived during the Renaissance and was bred by both the Medici and Gonzaga families.

They were sought out by the aristocracy and used to hunt feathered game. At the end of the 1800s and the early 1900s the breed nearly became extinct. It was saved primarily by the efforts of the Italian breeder Ferdinando Delor de Ferrabouc.

The Italian standard for the breed was released in 1949 from the S.A.B.I. (Societá Amatori Bracco Italiano) in Lodi, Italy. It came to England in 1988. It is practically unheard of by most in the United States, though it has a small, but staunch, group of supporters there.

Bracco Italiano Coat and colour

The coat is short, dense, and glossy. The texture should be fairly hard, though somewhat shorter and softer on the head, throat, ears, legs, and feet. Shedding happens a couple of times a year, and a hound glove really helps in removing dead coat.

The most common colours are Bianco-Arancio - White-Orange and Roano-Marrone - Roano-Brown, chestnut, or amber coloured patches on the face, ears, base of tail, and body.

Black on the coat is a fault, as are "three-color" dogs, such as orange/white with chestnut spottings above the eyes, on the muzzle and legs, such as the pattern of a Doberman or Rottweiler. weight is 25-40kg.

Bracco Italiano Movement

The gait, when hunting, starts out as a gallop, but slows to a long trot as the dog comes into scent. This trot should be long and fluid, with plenty of reach and drive. As a Bracco comes closer and closer to scent, the gait slows to a creep, and settles into a non-moving "point", with a front leg usually held up in the classic pointing dog position. The head should be held above the topline, which facilitates the air scenting for which this breed is known. A well-built Bracco is an attractive mover and covers a lot of ground.

Bracco Italiano Temperament

Braccos are very much a people-loving dog and thrive on human companionship, having a strong need to be close to their people. They are a particularly good family dog, and many have a strong love of children. They get along well with other dogs and pets, if trained to do so - remember, this is a hunting breed, so they must be taught what to chase and what not to! They are very willing to please as long as they have decided that your idea is better than theirs. Obedience training is a must for a Bracco, and the more is asked of them, the better they do. Harsh reprimands do not work with this breed unless the reprimand is a fair one - and harshness must occasionally be used with some dogs to remind them who is actually in charge. Although not an aggressive breed, many Braccos will alert if there is a reason, and some will bark or growl if there's a good reason.

The dog breed loves to hunt, and they excel at it - in fact, a non-hunting Bracco is not a happy Bracco, and will act out in various other ways. Hunting without a gun is an area in which the Bracco can excel and this can be a great opportunity for training the dog to connect with the owner. They are an active breed, but require more mental exercise than physical exercise to keep them happy.

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