Facts & Origin
Cirneco dell'Etna - the italian dog breed in portrait
Ancestry and origin of the Cirneco dell'Etna
The Cirneco dell' Etna originates from the island of Sicily. Dogs of this breed already lived before the birth of Christ on the slopes of the 3,295 m high Etna. This theory is supported by coins, engravings and illustrations from Roman times. In the Italian municipality of Piazza Armerina, a specimen of this breed can be seen on a Roman fresco. The dogs fed on the numerous wild rabbits which they tracked down in the bushes around the volcano. This hunting instinct is still used by hunters today to hunt rabbits. The dog drives the rabbits out of their hiding places so that the hunter can get a shot.
Breed characteristics and temperament
The Cirneco dell' Etna is an Italian dog breed recognized by the FCI, which is listed in FCI Group 5 (Spitz and primitive type dogs), Section 7 (Primitive type - dogs for hunting use), Standard No. 199, without working test. The breed is of impetuous but at the same time gentle, good-natured temperament. Towards strangers the watchful dogs behave very reserved and reserved. This sometimes goes so far that even friends of their master are eyed suspiciously. Beyond that, however, the dogs are quite playfully inclined and for every fun to have.
|Life expectancy||10 - 12 years|
|FCI group||Primitive type - Hunting Dogs|
|AKC group||not recognised|
|KC group||not recognised|
Attitude, character and temperament of the breed
Husbandry and education
The Cirneco dell' Etna is a hunting dog by nature, but can also be kept well as a family dog. In this capacity, it shows itself to be a lively and friendly member of the family. The dogs get along well with children and also with their conspecifics. However, it is better not to socialize with small animals, including cats. Otherwise the rabbit hunter in the dog could gain the upper hand. Since they are very athletic and active dogs, keeping them in rural areas is preferable. If the dog is kept in the city, its natural urge to move must be taken into account and regular, extensive walks are mandatory. The dog wants to romp around and be mentally occupied. A good occupational therapy that meets both his physical and mental needs is, for example, fetch. Agility and obedience are also suitable, as are dog sports in general. The somewhat stubborn breed needs a consistent loving education. With pressure one achieves nothing with the headstrong dogs.
Care and nutrition
The short coat of the Cirneco dell' Etna only needs to be brushed extensively once a week with a soft brush. To maintain the natural shine of the coat, it can be smoothed with a chamois cloth. The coat does not need more care. Bathing is counterproductive and should be avoided. In addition a regular check of the teeth is necessary. The simple but balanced diet consists of meat, cereals, fats and vitamins. Since the dogs drink little, the food should be enriched with sufficient liquid.
Health and life expectancy
The breed has no diseases typical of the breed. The average life expectancy is 12 years.
Things to know
Outside of Italy, the dog breed is little known. Contact addresses for the purchase of a Cirneco dell' Etna can be found on the homepage of the VDH.
Breed characteristics and appearance of the Cirneco dell'Etna.
The dogs of this breed have a square, slender and elegant build.
- Height at withers males 46-52 cm
- Height at withers bitches 42-50 cm
- Body weight males 10-12 kg
- Body weight bitches 8-10 kg
The thin coat of the dogs is firm and of smooth structure. The hair on the head, ears and legs is very short, on the rump and tail a little longer with about 3 cm. The coat colours are fawn and isabelline-sand. A white chest stripe, white paws, white tail tip and white belly are permitted in the standard. The large ears of the dogs are of upright position.
|Ear shape||Standing Ears|
|Size ♀||42 - 50 cm|
|Weight ♀||8 - 10 kg|
|Size ♂||46 - 52 cm|
|Weight ♂||10 - 12 kg|