The Bracco Italiano is one of only two native Italian gundog breeds, both of which are known as Hunt, Point and Retrieve dogs. The other breed is Spinone Italiano, and both are held in high esteem in their homeland. The Bracco Italiano or Italian Pointer is a versatile hunting dog that not only points, but also retrieves both from land and water. Some Italian authorities believe that this breed is one of the most ancient of all hunting dogs, having been ctreated in ancient times between lighter sighthounds and heavier local Molossus breeds. Others believe that the breed evolved in the 17th century from a mixture of hound and gun dog. Over the time, the breed nearly vanished and was saved from extinction in the late 19th century by enthusiastic Italian breeder Ferdinando Delor. In the 20th century the breed gained considerable support and is shown in many Italian and European shows. Recently, the Societa Amatori di Bracco Italiano was founded to maintain the high quality of the breed and to strengthen its position as a versatile hunting dog with superb scenting ability.
The Bracco Italiano is always friendly, but somewhat cautious with those whom he doesn't know. In general, this is a healthy breed, but you are advised to ask the breeder about the hips and elbows clearances. It is generally accepted that the Bracco Italiano is better suited for the life in the country. The Bracco are happiest when he has a job to do in his life. Work for the breed can take many forms: performing as a gundog, taking part in working tests and trials, tracking, seraching and rescuing, serving as aids in falconry or even working as therapy dogs.
Country of Origin: Italy
Utilization: Pointing dog capable of both pointing and retrieving
FCI Classification: Group 7 - Pointing Dogs; Section 1.1 - Continental Pointing Dogs, type "Braque" (with working trial); AKC Classification: FSS
Size: Large (21.5-26.5 inches at shoulders)
Colors: All white; white with large or small patches of orabge, amber or chestnut; white with light orange or chestnut-brown mottling.
Litter Size: 3-5
Life Span: 9-14 years
Grooming Requirements: His short and shiny coat doesn't require much care. During the shedding peroid groom with a rubber glove to remove dead hair.
Personality: Sober, calm, obedient, highly responsive to training, powerful and energetic on the hunt, gentle, docile and faithful.
Social skills: Braccos get along with other dogs and household animals.
Suitability for Children: Gentle and patient with children with whome they become close friends.
Exercise Needs: Braccos do best in homes with large fenced yards. Not a "townie" by nature, he needs wide spaces, lots of exercise and, because of his long, crinkly ears, lots of attention from his owners. They love to swim and retrieve things.
Train Ability: These dogs are very sensitive to the tone of voice and respond well to kind training methods. When trained in the right way, they pick up things quickly.
Health & Behavioral Issues: The most common genetic health disorders in the breed are hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and gastric dilation/torsion (bloat).