The Bracco Italiano is the only hunting dog that originates in Italy. Loyal and hardworking, the Bracco makes an excellent family dog. With his sleek coat and mottled fur, Bracco dogs are a handsome and unusual looking breed. They have a Romanesque nose, not unlike that of the Bull Terrier, and long, pendulous ears that make them an excellent scent hound.
Illustration courtesy of the American Kennel Club
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The Bracco Italiano was the favorite breed of the Medici family, the richest and most powerful family in Renaissance Florence!
About this Breed
The Bracco Italiano is the only hunting dog that originates in Italy. Loyal and hardworking, the Bracco makes an excellent family dog. With his sleek coat and mottled fur, Bracco dogs are a handsome and unusual looking breed. They have a Romanesque nose, not unlike that of the Bull Terrier, and long, pendulous ears that make them an excellent pointing breed.
The Bracco Italiano can trace their roots back to ancient Italy. A written record that describes the breed was found in a work written by a student of Socrates around 460 BC. The breed peaked in popularity during the Renaissance period and was favored by the Italian aristocracy for its friendly nature and exceptional hunting abilities. In the 20th century, however, the breed nearly died out until a dedicated and passionate group of breeders worked hard to bring the Braccos back. While not common outside their native Italy, the Bracco is now found all over the world and is primarily used as a hunting companion. And the Bracco is just that—a hunting dog! While the breed is adaptable, the Bracco is happiest doing what they were bred to do. If a Bracco is kept as a pet, it’s necessary to give the dog plenty of exercise but also plenty of mental stimulation—a bored Bracco is a destructive Bracco!
An adult Bracco Italiano will weigh roughly 55-75 pounds when fully grown and will reach a height of about 65-70 centimeters. Bracco dogs have a very serious, almost wise expression, and are very jowly (sort of like the much more recognizable Bloodhound). Braccos usually have red, roan, or orange colored splotches, mottled over a solid white coat. They can also come in a reddish-brown variation. Because they were bred primarily as gun dogs, less attention was paid to their appearance during their formation; this breed was bred for function. The breed is relatively easy to train—they are biddable and want nothing more than to please their owners. However, like most hunting dogs, they are extremely prey driven—this is not a dog to let loose off their leash—and owners should use caution when introducing them to smaller animals.
The Bracco Italiano is very popular in Italy, and is one of the most recognizable breeds on the peninsula. Outside Italy, the breed is a little less common. But for those who are willing to seek them out, the Bracco breed is a family-friendly, intelligent, and versatile dog.