Bracco Italiano is probably one of the oldest, if not the oldest, gun dogs in the world. This breed has been developed well before keeping records of dog breeding has been practised.
It was believed that this breed has been developed as ancient as the 5th century BC to the 1200s AD.
There are many theories regarding the development of the Bracco Italiano. The most popular theory is the combination of a coursing dog (presumably the Segugio Italiano) and a type of Molosser or Mastiff.
Recent fanciers believe that the dog descended from a scenthound-sighthound-molosser cross with the Saint Huberd Hound as a likely candidate for its ancestor.
Whatever the story behind their development, it has remained a fact that this dog is indeed ancient. They were originally used by falconers as gun dogs.
Their keen sense of smell makes it ideal for hunting birds. Nowadays, Bracco Italianos are still used primarily as working dogs while others use them as companions.
Traits and Behavior
Bracco Italiano has a temperament that is similar to other working dogs. It is very affectionate, often too much. This is a dog that can form deep bonds with its family and will devote itself to its owner wholeheartedly.
This people-oriented dog wants to be constantly around their family, which can become a problem since it can develop separation anxiety when left alone for a long time.
Socialized Bracco Italianos are exceptionally good with children. They are very gentle and would often create bonds with them.
This dog has a keen sense of alertness that is good as watchdogs. With proper socialization, they are quite tolerable around strangers.
They are however wary around intruders and would not think twice about barking whenever they spot one. But, they are not aggressive enough to become guard dogs.
Bracco Italianos are highly intelligent and trainable. They can be taught to learn complex tasks at high levels. Even though they are very eager to please, training them can be quite a challenge.
This breed is less obedient than most gundogs and will tend to disobey commands if they are uninterested. This dog works well with reward-based methods and should therefore be practised.
Pet Care and Diseases
As a working dog, Bracco Italianos can work for long hours. They need rigorous daily activity to stay happy and healthy. This dog is good as jogging companions; however, they prefer to roam around in a large area freely. This dog would love nothing but to go outside and explore.
Owners should keep in mind that this dog can be messy. Others occasionally drool and would tend to track the house with dirty paws.
They can also be messy eaters and drinkers. They are likely to be sloppy and cause food to fly around the house.
Grooming this dog does not require any professional help. They just need occasional brushing and bathing.
One important thing that the owner should remember is to keep the ears clean from dirt and grime. Otherwise, it can get irritated and infected.
Not many studies have been done regarding the health of this breed.
They are believed to be of average health, but they can suffer from skeletal and eye problems. It is advisable to have the dogs checked at the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF) for early detection of any disease.
Other health issues include dysplasia, hernias, allergies, and bloat.
The Braco Italiano is the most hound-like of all gun dogs in terms of appearance. They are a medium-large dog that resembles a cross between a scenthound and a pointer. Males stand between 23.75 to 26.25 inches and weigh around 50 to 90 pounds.
This breed is very lean and muscular but it is hidden underneath loose skin. The tail of this breed is naturally thick, strong, and tapers slightly.
The head of this dog is long, angular and narrow. The muzzle is at equal length with its head. The most distinct feature of its face is its lips. The upper lips are pendulous and form a v-shape under the nose.
The large, fleshy nose can be brown, pink, or flesh-coloured, depending on the dog’s coat. The large, oval eyes are either brown or dark ochre.
The ears are very long and droop to the sides. Overall, this breed has a gentle, laid back, and submissive expression.
This breed is covered by a short, dense and glossy coat that has a small number of color patterns.
They may have solid colors of white, orange, or chestnut roan, white with orange marking, and white with chestnut markings.
The breed is expected to live for 12-13 years. A litter may consist of 3-5 puppies. Italian Pointer, Italian Pointing Dog and Bracco are among its few other names.
Visit these dog club websites dedicated to Bracco Italiano. Click this link: