Bracco Italiano: Affectionate Italian Breed

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Here is everything that you should know about tender Bracco Italiano. Discover how old this breed is and what makes Bracco Italiano unique.
Dog Breed Group:
Sporting Dogs
22 to 26 inches
55 to 90 pounds
Life Span:
10 to 14 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

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.

Quick Facts

Real name: Bracco Italiano
Other names: Italian Pointer, Italian Pointing Dog
Nickname: Bracco
Origin: Italy
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.

Piedmontese Pointer

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

Lombard Pointer

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.

If you are adopting a senior dog, make sure that you know how to treat a senior dog and avoid any physically difficult exercises and 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:

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.

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