The Bracco Italiano was first bred as a hunting dog many centuries ago, to drive game into hunters' nets. When the gun became popular with the hunting fraternity, the dogs' role changed and they were used for pointing and retrieving. The breed is thought to be a cross that developed over hundreds of years, with the Segugio Italiano and Asiatic Mastiff probably involved. In Italy they are the most popular of all hunting breeds, renowned for their handsome, noble appearance.
The Bracco is affectionate dog and loves to meet new people. They make good pets and like to be close to their owners, and do not like to be left alone for too long, craving companionship. They like children and are very calm and patient with them. The same applies to other dogs/cats within the home, if they have been raised with them. They are a hunting breed and need to learn early on what they can 'hunt' and what is out of bounds. They will gladly climb on to your lap for a cuddle and ear scratch, forgetting just how big they are. They will warn you with woofs when someone is at the door, but are rarely aggressive. They are generally friendly towards strangers, but can be slightly wary at times.
Training is relatively straightforward, as the dogs are responsive and enjoy the attention that positive praise brings. You do need to remind them who is boss every so often, but harsh correction should be avoided. They respond best to consistent and fun training and relish in learning new things. Braccos are a working breed and as such they like to work - the more you ask them to do, the happier they will be. They excel in competitions such as obedience, tracking, and retrieving. They like the mental challenge of working, which keep them mentally stimulated. Games within the house will fulfil this to a certain extent, and will keep them entertained, as will food-based games in which they need to work out how to get the treat.
Braccos need plenty of exercise and this is best done is a secure area. They have terrible road sense and will dash off as soon as they pick up a scent. Recall is usually good, however - unless something very interesting has caught their nose. As long as they receive a very long walk every day, they are undemanding and will quite happily sleep at home. If bored they can get up to mischief and like to steal things and wander off with them. Destructive behavior is a sign that they need more exercise and/or stimulation.
The Bracco's coat is short and requires only occasional brushing to remove dead hair.
Bracco Italianos are companionable and loving. They thrive on human interaction and will form tight bonds with their family. They get on well with other pets (especially if raised with them) but early training and socialization can really improve their obedience and tolerance in adult life. These are alert dogs who will often bark when a guest arrives, but without any aggression.
Bracco Italianos are prone to bloat, skin infections, and eye and ear infections (mainly due to loose skin folds that get dirty).
- Status: Common
- Life Expectancy: 12 - 13 years
- Weight: 55 - 88 lb
- Height: 22 - 26"
- Rare: No
- Coat: Short
- Grooming Requirements: Once a week
- Town or Country: Country
- Minimum Home Size: Large House
- Minimum Garden Size: Large Garden
- Breed Type: Gun Dog
- Size: Large
- Energy Level: Medium
- Exercise Required: Over 2 hours
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