The Bracco Italiano is one of the oldest hunting breeds today. This breed is also one of the oldest pointing breeds alive.
This fantastic breed was first introduced into the States during the 1990s and has remained true to its heritage as a versatile gun dog.
Real name: Bracco Italiano
Other names: Italian Pointer, Italian Pointing Dog
Breed type: Gundogs
Weight: 25–40 kg (55–88 lb)
Height: Male 58–67 cm (23–26 in), Female 55–62 cm (22–24 in)
Lifespan: Over 10 years
Color: White or white with orange, amber or chestnut markings
Coat: Short, dense and glossy
Bracco Italiano History
The Bracco Italiano is among dog lovers known as the oldest European pointer. This breed is so ancient that it reaches back to the fourth or fifth century BC.
The exact origins of the breed are unknown, but it’s generally accepted that this breed was the first cross between the Segugio Italiano and the Asiatic Mastiff, which has since become extinct.
Initially, the breed was developed in northern Italy. There are two varieties of the breed. One originated in Piedmont, and for that reason is known as the Piedmontese Pointer.
The other type originated in Lombardy and was named the Lombard Pointer. The Bracco from Piedmont has a lighter color and smaller built, while he Lombard is more robust and has a darker coat. By the medieval period, the breed was well-established, and the breed was even exported across the Old World.
During the Renaissance, the breed’s popularity was at the peak, and they remained popular until the twentieth century when the popularity faced a strong decline. By the end of the 1800s, the breed was almost extinct.
Over the years, poor breeding and crossing with hounds lead to various health problems. A huge turning moment was in the 1920s when it was decided to unify the two variations of the breed to preserve genetic diversity.
Main characteristics of this Bracco Italiano type:
- Light construction
- Light color
- Used for the work in the mountains
- Medium size dog
- Hunting style similar to western European pointers
- Coat was primarily white, with or without orange markings
Main characteristics of this Bracco Italiano type:
- Has the heavier body
- The coat is usually brown
- Used for hunting in the marshy lowlands
Once the breed was officially unified, the breed’s popularity could continue. As a result, in 1949, the Societa Amatori Bracco Italiano was founded in Italy.
From that moment on, the breed’s standard was created, and it included aspects of both breed types, resulting in variability within the standard.
The Bracco Italiano was brought to the United Kingdom in the late 1980s, and in 1994 in the States. Infra 2001, the fabulous Bracco Italiano was accepted into the AKC Foundation Stock Service.
In 2005, the first national “Gathering” was held, and the Bracco Italiano Club of America was founded in 2007.
Bracco Italiano Physical Appearance
Italian Pointer or Bracco Italiano is known for is elegant a sturdy appearance. This breed always looks as if he is on the watch.
By physical attributes, this breed is most similar to a cross German Shorthaired Pointer and a Bloodhound and has nothing with them in character.
The Bracco Italiano has several colors that are officially accepted. Overall, this breed is considered to be a large breed dog, that usually measures between 55 and 67 cm at the withers and weight between 25 and 40 kg.
Female dogs are always slightly shorter, and their weight is proportional to height. The front legs are straight and strong, while the overall body provides a wide appearance.
In working dogs, the tail is usually docked, but when undocked – the tail is leveled with the body. The Bracco Italiano has a distinctive head that is fairly long and of good width.
Jaws should be firm with nothing less but a perfect scissor bite, and cheeks are also flat. The eyes are rather expressive, oval, and large, with a deep and gentle expression.
Ears are long, but not as long as they are in Basset Hound, and they are always set at the level of the eyes.
Bracco Italiano Temperament And Personality
The Bracco Italiano is a gentle dog with high intelligence, and need to please with people. The Bracco Italiano puppies are gentle and amazing with children and other pets as well -, especially dogs.
Their nature is so gentle that they will be great with cats as well, as long as they are raised together. Still, make sure that you educate your children on how to behave around dogs because an accident can still happen.
Since Bracco dogs are highly social, they will easily hit off with new humans, so make sure that you include them in your activities and a friendly dog environment – they will love it.
The Bracco loves human interaction, so expect to see your Bracco underfoot all the time.
Washing dishes? This dog will be next to you. Watching movies? This dog will watch it with you. Chasing butterflies? The Bracco will be the first one in line to do so? The bottom line is that whatever you might be doing, your dog will be next to you, helping you.
They thrive on human companionship, and they need to be close to their people. Since they are so attached to their humans, they are great family dogs.
You should bear in mind that this breed is a great hunter – still, and they will excel at it. If the breed is not used for hunting, Bracco will probably be unhappy.
So, make sure that you provide enough mental stimulation and hunt-like games so you Bracco can satisfy his hunting drive. This way, you will also connect more with your Bracco, and he will be a truly happy dog.
Also, you can teach games like hide-and-seek (an object or person) – this fits into the breed’s current and original usage and keeps them mentally active.
Living With Bracco Italiano
As mentioned earlier, Bracco Italiano is a great family dog. They are not known for regular barking or even watching duties, but they will alert you if they notice any changes in the environment.
However, if they are left for too long, they may develop destructive habits and behavior, such as excessive barking, damaging furniture, anxiety, and so on. They will do fine in both houses and apartments as long as they are trained well.
Bracco Italiano Training
The Bracco Italiano is eager to please his humans, so the training process should be easy. Make sure that you start training your puppy from the first day. Obedience training is a must if you want a well-shaped dog.
Make sure that you expose your dog to various people, smells, and dog-friendly environment. Never force your dog to obey, and do something, but instead use treats and well-designed training plans to train your dog.
If you feel that you need extra help, think about puppy school or professional trainer. If you are adopting a dog, see what he knows, and be willing to teach him some new tricks.
Training at an early age is key for this breed. Also, don’t forget to provide mandatory exercise and running sessions. Your Bracco will be more than thankful for outdoor time and play.
Bracco Italiano Grooming
This breed is easy to groom. If you are not a fan of grooming, you will be happy to learn that Bracco’s coat requires minimal care. However, you will have to invest more time in keeping their ears clean.
To minimize the risk of ear infections, you must clean ears on a weekly level and clean them to avoid wax build-up.
Nails should be trimmed regularly with a nail clipper or a grinder to avoid cracking, splitting, and overgrowths.
Gums should be checked weekly and teeth.
Talk with your veterinarian about the best ways to brush your dog’s teeth. Look for any change in the eye and bath your dog only when it’s mandatory.
Bracco Italiano Health
The Bracco is an overall healthy breed, but some health issues may still appear. Responsible breeders will always screen for health conditions such as:
- Hip dysplasia
- Eye anomalies
- Kidney disorders
Moreover, these papers will always be presented to you. If a breeder doesn’t give you any medical documentation or avoids talking about it, you should know that something is wrong.
This breed grows fast, and it can create stress in their body. To avoid stress on their fast-growing bodies, Bracco puppies should be fed a balanced food and should avoid running in hard surfaces at least one year of age.
In any breed with longe ears, an ear infection may occur often, so keep them clean and dry to prevent infections.
The Bottom Line
The Bracco Italiano is known for being a highly intelligent and affectionate dog. This breed is known for decades as being one of the most affectionate breeds alive.
If you think that you can provide enough exercise and activities for your Bracco Italiano, then you should welcome this wonderful breed to your home.
Make sure that you know for sure if you can afford to have a dog, if you have enough time to invest in training your Bracco and if you are willing to have a dog following you anywhere you go.