The Segugio Italiano, or Italian Hound, is an ancient breed of scenthounds. The origins of the Segugio go back to the highest antiquity. These dogs are certainly descendants from the early hounds of ancient Egypt, used for hunting game. They were subsequently introduced along the Mediterranean coast by Phoenician merchants and finally arrived in Italy where they became popular as a tireless and enthusiastic hunters. The Segugio Italiano is suitable for working on almost any terrain and can work alone or in a pack.
There are two varieties of this breed. The wire-haired variety, known in his native country as Segugio Italiano a Pelo Forte, has a harsh, dense, wiry, close lying coat of two inches long. The short-hair type, called Segugio Italiano a Pelo Raso, has a smooth, thick, shiny coat. All other characteristics are the same. Acceptable colors are black and tan or any shade from deep red to wheaten with white markings on head, chest, feet and tip of tail. According to the breed standard, the ideal height at the shoulders should be between 19 and 23 inches. Its temperament is described as gentle, affectionate and even. Compared with the short-haired variety, the wire-haired variety is more reserved, wise, calm and poised for the job. (Adapted from FCI Standard #198, #337)