Italian Segugio

Other names: Segugio Italiano, SEGIT, Italian Hound

Italian Segugio

This Italian breed of canine is from the scent hound group. This ancient dog group actually comes in two coat varieties – a wire haired and a smooth haired dog. In addition to being a scent hound, the Segugio Italiano also excels at hunting and the capture and killing of his prey.

Key facts about the Italian Segugio

Life expectancy :





Temperament :


Size :

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Origins and history

The Segugio Italiano, or SEGIT as it is also known, is an ancient breed dating back thousands of years. It was initially bred by farmers, who needed a dog to hunt hare and rabbits and in some cases, even wild boar. The breed is more common in Italy, but not well known elsewhere. 

Remains of other dogs, very similar to this breed, were found in the province of Verona. Also, a painting from around 1600, in the Borso d’Este castle, displays a dog very similar to the Segugio Italiano. Although no one really knows of their exact ancestry, these artefacts go some way to prove his heritage in Italy. In more recent years, the Segugio has become one of the most popular Italian hunting dogs.

FCI breed nomenclature

FCI Group

Group 6 - Scent hounds and related breeds


Section 1 : Scent hounds

Physical characteristics of the Italian Segugio

Adult size

Female : Between 20 and 23 in

Male : Between 20 and 24 in


Female : Between 40 and 57 lb

Male : Between 44 and 62 lb

Coat colour

Type of coat

Eye colour



The Segugio Italiano is a medium sized dog, athletic but not heavy. His lean, long limbs together with his muscular build allow him to hunt over many terrains for long periods. His square-shaped body is broad, but not stocky. He has a large, long head carried on a slender long neck. The Segugio’s ears are triangle-shaped and are set low on the side of his head.

Good to know

It will be no surprise if you have never even heard of this breed of dog. This is probably because not even one dog has been registered in the United Kingdom during the last 10 years. Any prospective owners will need to look further afield, most likely to Europe, to find a puppy.


Italian Short-haired Segugio

Italian Rough-haired Segugio


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    The Segugio Italiano dog is affectionate to almost everyone he meets.

  • 33%


    This breed certainly loves kids. They make excellent childminders and playmates.

  • 66%


    He has a very sensitive nature and doesn’t like to hear raised voices in the home. But likewise, he is a very calm and gentle character.

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    A very smart dog, however can also be stubborn if things get too repetitive when training.

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    The Segugio Italiano is certainly an excellent scent hound and in addition, he will hunt and kill prey when required to.

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    Fearful / wary of strangers

    Even though the Segugio Italiano will bark when a stranger approaches, he will be friendly when he gets to know them.

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    As with the majority of hounds, he can be quite independent. However, he does need the company of his master or another dog for most of the day.

    Behaviour of the Italian Segugio

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      Tolerates solitude

      If this dog is left alone for any long period of time, he will become bored, and start to “sing”.

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      Easy to train / obedience

      Although these canines are eager to please and train quite easily, a firm but consistent hand is required. He can also be quite stubborn if repetitive routines are used when training. As a noisy dog, his “singing” can annoy the neighbours, so the Segugio Italiano must be taught the command to remain quiet from a very young age. 

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      Part of this dog’s hunting technique involves baying loudly and melodiously when on a scent trail.

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      Tendency to run away

      As with many scent hounds, when out walking he only needs to pick up on a scent and he will dash off without thinking of the consequences. The Segugio Italiano has little road sense when he is following a scent, so it’s important to keep him on a lead when out walking. 

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      This breed is meant to be active and engaged as a working dog. If he becomes bored, or is left alone for long periods of time, he can become quite destructive

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      Greedy / Gluttony

      As a working breed, this dog will always appear to be hungry and ready to accept a welcome snack.

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      Guard dog

      The Segugio Italiano will definitely alert you to any unwanted visitors, however your neighbours may not appreciate his loud voice.

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      First dog

      This is a very energetic dog, who needs a minimum of 2 hours vigorous exercise each day. Providing you can meet these needs, the dog will happily lay on the floor and sleep afterwards. Bear in mind that he can often be quite stubborn too.

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        Italian Segugio in a flat

        Although the Segugio Italiano can adapt to living in a town, he does actually need plenty of outside space.

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        Need for exercise / Sporty

        This canine needs a vast amount of daily exercise, supplemented with other dog sports, such as obedience, agility and even jogging. 

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        Travelling / easy to transport

        This dog will be fine travelling in a dog crate in the rear of a vehicle, especially if on route to the hunting field. 


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          Italian Segugio and cats

          Not very friendly towards cats and other small pets, due to his high prey drive.

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          Italian Segugio and dogs

          As a pack animal, he gets along fine with other canines, especially if he has been socialised with them from a young age. 

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          Italian Segugio and children

          Providing the Segugio Italiano has been properly socialised and trained with small children, he will have no problem being their playmate. He is very adaptable and gentle around kids.

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          Italian Segugio and the elderly

          A good tempered, loving and gentle dog, but he does have a very high need for lots of exercise. Probably not best suited to an elderly owner.



          As this dog breed appears to be quite rare outside of its native Italy, it can cost anywhere from £300 upwards. In addition, a monthly budget of around £100 to £120 is needed to meet his dietary needs, vet bills, and pet insurance costs. 


          This dog breed has 2 different coat types, smooth and short, and coarse and wiry. However, both types of hair need minimal grooming. Care must be taken with the Segugio Italiano’s long ears, to keep them clean and free from infection.


          Moderate shedder.

          Nutrition of the Italian Segugio

          A high protein, low fat diet should be given to the Segugio Italiano, in keeping with his working and energetic personality. 

          Health of the Italian Segugio

          Life expectancy

          There are no documented health issues with this breed at present. Its average life expectancy is 12 to 14 years.

          Strong / robust

          The Segugio Italiano scent hound is known for his powerful nose and muscular legs. This breed can work over any terrain with speed and accuracy for many hours. 

          Withstand heat

          As a working dog, he doesn’t generally suffer any ill effects from hunting in warmer climates.

          Withstand cold

          This dog won’t have any issues being outside in cooler climates.

          Tendency to put on weight

          As is the case with many working dogs, providing they are given adequate exercise, they shouldn’t gain any additional weight. However, for a retired scent hound, there is more of a risk of obesity once he becomes more sedentary, with little exercise. 

          Common illnesses

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