Breeds 101

Bracco Italiano


Extremely fashionable in Renaissance Italy, this energetic, sensible, but slightly stubborn breed then declined in popularity.

It was recently “rediscovered”, first by Italian dog breeders and then by breeders elsewhere in the European Union.

This unique-looking breed is also a vigorous hunter, capable of scenting, pointing and retrieving both on land and in water.

Some say that this breed, which evolved in Piedmont and Lombardy, Italy, is the result of crosses between the Segugio Italiano and an ancient Asiatic mastiff. Others claim that it descends from the St. Hubert Jura Hound, a Swiss mountain dog.

There are two variations of the breed. The first originated in Piedmont, and was for that reason known as the Piedmonts Pointer. The other originated in Lombardy, and was known as the Lombard Pointer. The Bracco Italiano from Piedmont is lighter in color and build than the Lombard variety, probably due to the mountainous terrain there.

The breed loves to hunt, and they excel at it – in fact, a non-hunting Bracco Italiano is not a happy Bracco Italiano and will act out in various other ways.

Today, this powerful and well-proportioned dog is a common sight at major European dog shows. Serious, but with a gentle air, it makes a sensitive companion.

Male 58-67 cm (23-26 in); Female 55-62 cm (22-24 in);
weight is 25-40 kilograms (55-88 lb).

White or white with orange, amber or chestnut markings.

Gentle, devoted, eager to please, and affectionate.

Best owner:
An active owner or hunter. They are an active breed, but require more mental exercise than physical exercise to keep them happy. A Bracco Italiano owner can teach games like hide-and-seek (an object or person) which fits into the breed’s original and current usage, and keeps them mentally active.

They can be a family dog too. Bracco Italiano ┬áis very much a people-loving dog and thrive on human companionship, having a strong need to be close to 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 – it is, after all, a hunting breed – and 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 Italiano 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.

Life expectancy: over 10 years.