Bracco Italiano is an Italian breed of hunting and pointing dogs of strong construction. Its distinctive appearance comes from its long ears, pendulous upper lips, and a somber facial expression. It has a sculpted head with distinct lines, a robust, muscular body with slim legs, and its tail can be either docked or full. Being a versatile breed, the Bracco also excels as a show and companion dog.
Bracco Italiano Pictures
|Alternative Names||Italian Pointing Dog, Italian Pointer|
|Coat||Short, dense, smooth, shiny|
|Color||White, white and orange; chestnut or amber markings|
|Category||Gun Dog, Sporting Dog|
|Height||Male: 23-26 inches|
Female: 22-24 inches
|Temperament||Tough, athletic, playful, stubborn, loyal|
|Good with Children||Yes|
|Country Originated in||Italy|
|Competitive Registration/Qualification Information||FCI, ANKC, UKC, NZKC, KC (UK), AKC FSS|
Video: Bracco Italiano Hunting and Retrieving
The Bracco Italiano dog is believed to have originated during the 4th-5th centuries BC. While some people claim it to be produced by crossing the Asiatic Mastiff with the Segugio Italiano, others think that it was influenced by the Bloodhound. However, the basis of these beliefs are that gundogs and hounds were frequently crossed to produce pointing dogs characterized by strength and endurance.
The breed has two varieties – the Piedmontese Pointer that evolved in Piedmont and the Lombard Pointer originated in Lombardy. The Piedmont-type Bracco is lighter in structure and color as compared to the Lombard-type. During the Renaissance, these dogs became quite popular and were bred by the nobility for hunting game.
Although the Bracco was close to extinction in the 19th and 20th centuries, the efforts of some Italian breeders including Ferdinando Delor de Ferrabouc saved it. The first breed standard was released from the Bracco Italiano Society in Lombardy in 1949.
Temperament and Behavior
The Bracco Italiano has a sweet, affectionate nature, enjoying human company, always eager to please their people. Despite being a hunting breed, they remain calm and gentle indoors, a trait that makes them great family pets.
Although they can alert their owners to anything unusual in or around the house, their gentle disposition does not make them great guardian dogs for families. They have an even temperament towards children and other dogs also getting along well with cats if raised with them.
When hunting, the Bracco Italiano starts with a gallop but reduces the speed to a long and smooth trot as it senses the scent. When it gets closer to the smell, it slows down to a creep, settling into the “point” position. Then, it can either hold its pointing position or “creep” along if the game runs or moves quickly.
Since the Bracco is an active breed, it will need plenty of activities that engage its mind and body. To keep it mentally active, you can hide a treat anywhere in the yard or house and let your dog find it. Moreover, keep it happy by taking it to hunt tests and field trials that do not allow handlers to carry guns.
Weekly grooming involves brushing its coat using a mitt or hound glove. Furthermore, its fur can be kept clean and odor-free by giving it occasional baths. Regularly brush its teeth and check its ears to prevent infection caused by a buildup of wax.
Although no health issues related to the breed have been reported so far, Bracco owners should be aware of hereditary bone and joint disorders such as hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia.
Bracco Italiano puppies are easy-to-train because of their inherent smartness and devotion to their owners.
- Socialization: Since they have high prey drive, early socialization is necessary to teach them not to chase people, small pets, and moving objects. Playing with friends and family or trips to a dog park where they can interact with calm-tempered dogs would help them reform their nature. Make sure that you are using a leash in this regard.
- Obedience Training: As a gun dog, your Bracco Italiano should respond to commands such as ‘sit,’ ‘come,’ ‘stay,’ ‘heel,’ and ‘retrieve.’ To maintain your pup’s attention, start with short sessions and then gradually increase the time spent on the training.
A nutritious diet comprising quality dry dog food is important to help your Bracco Italiano dog perform at its best.
- The Bracco Italiano holds its head above the top line when hunting, as this posture helps it in “air scenting.”