Bracco Italiano (Italian Pointing dog)
The Bracco Italiano is a pointer dog that adapts to a number of different hunting styles. Although they are rarely used as pets they prove to be rather docile and affectionate despite their reputation as difficult dogs. Sometimes a little bipolar, they know how to be calm in a family setting but also how to unleash their energy and give it their all at work.
Key facts about the Bracco Italiano (Italian Pointing dog)
Life expectancy :
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Origins and history
This is an ancient breed, mainly selected from the North of Italy, this dog was around in the Middle ages and common during the Renaissance. Brunetto Latini described the Bracco Italiano as orange and white in 1260. Their direct ancestors probably come from the Oysel dog, a hunting dog that has been around since the second Crusade. The breed was officially recognised by the FCI in 1956.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 7 - Pointing Dogs
Section 1 : Continental Pointing Dogs
Physical characteristics of the Bracco Italiano (Italian Pointing dog)
Female : Between 22 and 24 in
Male : Between 23 and 26 in
Female : Between 55 and 88 lb
Male : Between 55 and 88 lb
Their coats can be white-orange in colour: a white body with orange, amber or pale orange markings; brown roan: a white body with solid brown markings or speckles.
Type of coat
The hair is short.
Their coat is dense and shiny.
Their eyes are brown or ochre and lighter or darker according to the colour of their coat.
The Bracco Italiano is built harmoniously, they are a solid dog, noble and elegant. They have a long and supple body, a large neck with a dewlap, a big chest and a robust frame. Their head is angular with an unpronounced stop and divergent craniofacial axes.
With droopy lips and oval eyes, they have a good-natured expression. Their ears are long and dangling sitting towards the back of the head.
Good to know
Going to a good breeder to buy a Bracco Italiano puppy is important. If not, you may end up with a shy or stubborn dog. Today, this dog has been bred to a high standard, in terms of both how they look and their work ethic.
Here is a dog that knows how to be loved by all, with a simple look they could melt even the hardest of hearts.
Although this pointer dog is independent by nature, they love being a part of the family.
Playing with a Bracco Italiano puppy is a great way to start their training. Even when they are older, combining playful yet educational games is a great way to enhance their education especially if they are stimulated physically, mentally and use their sense of smell.
The Bracco Italiano knows how to be calm at home, as long as he’s well exercised. On the other hand, out on the hunting field they are anything but calm and demonstrate exceptional levels of endurance and resistance.
The Bracco Italiano has a number of commendable skills that they put to good use for their owner when tasked with various activities, especially hunting.
This Pointing dog is as well adapted to mountainous landscapes as they are to open plains: they hunt with their head high up. They have an elegant elongated trot, a recognisable trait of this breed.
They Bracco Italiano is a versatile and skilful dog, not settling for just being a pointer they are also a good retriever. This makes them the perfect hunting partner.
Fearful / wary of strangers
Very kind and friendly to those they know well, the Bracco Italiano can be distant with people that they cannot smell. Despite this, they are not usually too shy nor aggressive.
Hunting dogs are generally more independent than other types of dog. However, once adopted into the home and used to it, the Bracco Italiano enjoys family life.
Behaviour of the Bracco Italiano (Italian Pointing dog)
This hunting dog shouldn’t be left alone for too long, especially if they aren’t used to being away from their owners, or if they haven’t been properly exercised before being left.
Easy to train / obedience
Originally, because of poor breeding choices, the Bracco Italiano had a reputation for being stubborn and difficult to train. Today, it’s another story, they are very docile, remarkably intelligent and are quick to understand.
However, they are still hunting dogs! With working dogs, nothing is 100% guaranteed. It is important to always stay vigilant, give regular top-up training sessions, and continue to educate them in a way that stimulates them physically and mentally.
They tend to bark when they are alone, when bored or even when they are very excited. However, it is never too much.
Tendency to run away
If they aren’t properly enclosed and pick up the scent of something interesting they could run to follow it.
This working dog needs almost constant stimulation to feel happy. Because of this, when they are bored they can be destructive to pass the time.
Greedy / Gluttony
This is a robust dog, that only has one major vice: they are extremely greedy and tend to put on weight if they aren’t properly fed.
Their imposing stature can be a deterrent, but in reality, the Bracco Italiano is absolutely not a guard dog. On the other hand, like many dogs, you can never truly guess how they will react in the face of danger; you could be surprised by their courage and sense of service.
For a first hunting dog, they are recommended. However, for a first pet dog it would be wiser to take on one with less of a hunting instinct. Generally speaking, working dogs are not best suited to novice owners.
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Bracco Italiano (Italian Pointing dog) in a flat
This dog can live as well inside as they can out. They adapt to any lifestyle as long as their needs are met.
If they live outside and sleep in the garden you will want to provide them with their own kennel but know that they like being around people. They would be happier spending the night inside, closer to their owners.
Need for exercise / Sporty
As well regular hunting, if they live with an owner who practises it, the Bracco Italiano should run as often as possible, preferably in the open countryside.
So, if you aren’t a hunter, it is important to still be active enough to provide this Pointer dog with activities which will allow them to burn off all their energy: agility, long walks, trailing, dog-dancing, dog cross country, cycling with your dog.
Travelling / easy to transport
Unfortunately, their large size doesn’t make it easy to travel, especially on public transport as their stature makes them difficult to accommodate.
Bracco Italiano (Italian Pointing dog) and cats
For a hunting dog, they are very friendly, even with other small pets. However, note that to cohabit comfortably with cats, it’s necessary that they are introduced when they are a young puppy.
Bracco Italiano (Italian Pointing dog) and dogs
Very sociable and even-tempered, this hunting dog gets on well with other dogs. Although watch out for individual cases of dogs that don’t get along well.
Bracco Italiano (Italian Pointing dog) and children
This dog shows an infinite amount of patience with children. They can spend hours with children, as long as they are respected and aren’t treated as a cuddly teddy or a giant toy.
Bracco Italiano (Italian Pointing dog) and the elderly
As they are so lively, this dog wouldn’t suit someone who may have a fairly sedentary lifestyle.
The price of a Bracco Italiano varies according to their origins, age and sex. There are not many puppies registered at the Kennel club, so if you are looking to purchase a Bracco Italiano, you might be on a waiting list. They cost on average between £1050 - £1200.
The average budget needed to meet the needs of a dog of this size is about £45 / month.
The Bracco Italiano doesn’t require too much maintenance. They need to be brushed regularly but shouldn’t be bathed nor clipped or shaved.
However, it is important to look after their ears. Dogs with long droopy ears need regular care to stop dirt becoming lodged inside.
Their short coat sheds moderately, which is even more obvious during the annual moult. Daily brushing is needed to remove the dead hair.
Nutrition of the Bracco Italiano (Italian Pointing dog)
Being of such a large stature, the puppy’s diet will determine how they grow. Check-ups at the vets are important to assure a solid bone structure into adult years.
Two meals a day is enough, but as the Bracco Italiano is inclined to put on weight, make sure the food isn’t too rich and give appropriate-sized proportions.
Whether to food is mass-produced (dog biscuits) or traditional (raw or homemade) it should be eaten in a relaxed environment to avoid bloating or stomach torsion.
Health of the Bracco Italiano (Italian Pointing dog)
Life expectancy is around 12 years.
Strong / robust
This is a hardy dog that is generally in good health.
Be careful with too much physical exertion in the summer: water and a spot in the shade should be readily available.
Their coat and robustness allow them to cope in difficult seasons without a problem.
Tendency to put on weight
Their diet needs to be watched and their daily exercise should be physically stimulating so that they don’t succumb to obesity. Very greedy, don’t give in to their demands, even if they turn on those puppy dog eyes.
No particular illness for this dog, they may suffer from various some skin complaints.