This dog of ancient Italian origin used for bird hunting has modelled itself and developed over the ages; from the hunting of yesteryear by means of nets, he has adapted himself to the present hunting and shooting. Frescoes from the 14th century are proof of the indisputable timelessness of the Italian Pointer over the centuries, whether either regarding his morphology (appearance) or his aptitudes at hunting as a pointing dog. 1
Of strong and harmonious construction with powerful appearance. The preferred subjects are those with lean limbs, well developed muscles, well defined lines with a markedly sculpted head and a very obvious lower orbital chiselling, elements which all contribute to give distinction to this breed. 1.
Important proportions: Length of the body is the same or a little more then the height at the withers. Length of head is equal to 4/10 of the height at the withers; it’s width, measured at the level of the zygomatic arches, is less than half its length. Skull and muzzle are of equal length. 1.
Sizes: Height at the withers: Between 55 and 67 cms. Preferred size for males is 58-67 cms. Preferred size for females: 55-62 cms Weight: Between 25 and 40 kgs depending on size. 1.
Temperament & Suitability
Braccos are very much a people-loving dog and thrive on human companionship, having a strong need to be close to their people. They are a particularly good family dog, and many have a strong love of children. They get along well with other dogs and pets, if trained to do so - it is, after all, a hunting breed - and must be taught what to chase and what not to.
They are very willing to please as long as they have decided that your idea is better than theirs. Obedience training is a must for a Bracco, and the more is asked of them, the better they do. Harsh reprimands do not work with this breed unless the reprimand is a fair one – but some dogs need to be reminded who is actually in charge. Although not an aggressive breed, many Braccos will alert if there is a reason, and some will bark or growl if there's a good reason.2.
Being loyal and loving to their human families, they will sometimes get separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time. It's best to take them on long walks in order to expend their large amounts of energy. These dogs are well suited for households of all sizes. 3.
This breed loves to hunt, and they excel at it - in fact, a non-hunting Bracco is not a happy Bracco, and will act out in various other ways. Hunting is an area in which the Bracco can excel and this can be a great opportunity for training the dog to connect with the owner.
Calm and intelligent, this active breed aims to please and training should be gentle and consistent.
They are an active breed, but require more mental exercise than physical exercise to keep them happy. A Bracco owner can teach games like hide-and-seek (an object or person) which fits into the breed's original and current usage and keeps them mentally active. 2.
As with all dogs, you should keep up with your Bracco Italiano's regular veterinary checkups to detect any health concerns early. Your vet can help you develop a care routine that will keep your dog healthy.
Bracco Italianos are prone to weight gain, and they have high energy levels. Make sure your dog gets at least one good half-hour- to hour-long walk per day with a few good, active play session and shorter walks mixed in.
Check their ears for debris and pests daily and clean them as recommended by your vet. Trim your dog's nails before they get too long—usually once or twice per month. They should not be clicking against the floor. Your groomer can help us with this.
Your main concern when it comes to your Bracco Italiano's care will be maintaining their oral health. You should brush their teeth daily, as many dogs are prone to dental issues. Your veterinarian can instruct you on how to brush your dog's teeth properly.
Grooming is fairly easy because their coats are short and dense. Use a grooming mitt once a week to keep them looking their best. Because they tend to have shorter coats, Bracco Italianos aren't particularly suited for extreme weather. Prepare accordingly when bringing your dog somewhere extremely cold or hot. 3.
The Bracco Italiano might be predisposed to the some of the same conditions that most dog breeds in the pointing group also face. While most are generally healthy, some may be prone to a few health issues, which is why it is important to maintain good care and regular veterinary checkups. Some of the more common health problems the Bracco Italiano suffer from include:
Now you know a little about the Bracco Italiano and have decided this is the dog for you, or you would like more information, please make contact with the breed club or your State controlling body for purebred dogs. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog shows where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the Bracco Italiano and its needs and whether this breed would suit your lifestyle.