Bracco Italiano Dog: Characteristics, Origin, Temperament & Lifespan

The Bracco Italiano dog is a versatile gun dog. But today it is gaining notice as a sweet and affectionate family companion. It is gentle in the home, and tireless in the field. The breed is also known by some other names such as Italian Pointer, Italian Pointing Dog, or simply as Bracco.

As the name suggests, the Bracco Italiano dog breed was originated from Italy. It is believed to be an ancient breed, dating back to the fourth or fifth Century B.C.

These hunting dogs were popular among the Italian noble families, as they were bred by the Medici and Gonzaga families. Their original job was to drive game into nets or flush birds and other prey from falconers. Later the Bracco Italiano dogs were used to retrieve game, when firearms were used by the hunters.

The population of the Bracco Italiano dog breed dwindled in the early 20th Century. An Italian breeder named Ferdinando Delor de Ferrabouc revived the breed and founded the Societa Amitori Bracco Italiano. Today, the breed is popular in Europe and the United States, and can still be seen as hunting and working companions.

There are two varieties of the Bracco Italiano dog breed. The first one originated in Piedmont, and was for that reason known as the Piedmontese Pointer. The other one originated in Lombardy, and for for that reason known as the Lombard Pointer.

The Bracco from Piedmont is lighter in color and build than the Lombard variety, probably due to the mountainous terrain there. It was well established by the Middle Ages.

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The Italian standard for the breed was released in 1949 from the SABI (Società Amatori Bracco Italiano) in Lodi, Lombardy. It came to England in 1989. The breed was introduced into the United States in the 1990s and has remained true to it’s heritage as a versatile gun dog.[1]

Bracco Italiano Dog Characteristics

The Bracco Italiano dog has a distinctive look with it’s long ears, droopy lips and soulful expression. It is powerful in appearance, most resembling a cross between a German Shorthaird Pointer and a Bloodhound. Although, it is nothing like them in character.

The breed has a pendulous upper lips and long ears that create a serious expression. It should be almost square, meaning that it’s height at the withers should be almost the same as the length of it’s body.

The tail of the Bracco Italiano dog has historically been docked, mostly due to the strong possibility of injury in rough/dense terrain when hunting.

The coat of these dogs is short, dense and glossy. The texture should be fairly hard, though somewhat shorter and softer on the head, throat, ears, legs and feet. Shedding happens a couple of times a year, and a hound glove really helps in removing dead coat.

Most common coloration of the Bracco Italiano dog are white-orange, roan-brown, chestnut or amber colored patches on the face, ears, base of tail and body. Black on the coat is a fault.

The Bracco Italiano dogs are large in size. Average body height of the mature dogs is between 23 and 26 inches at the withers for males, and between 22 and 24 inches for the females. Average live body weight of the mature dog is between 25 and 40 kg.

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Temperament

The Bracco Italiano dogs are very friendly and they love their human counterparts. They are known to be great hunting and working companions if you live in the countryside. They are also great and affectionate at home where they like to snuggle and relax.

The Bracco Italiano dogs have high energy and they love to play games, especially in the yard. They are fairly easy to train, but need a strong and confident trainer.

The Bracco Italiano dogs are great with strangers, They have a strong prey drive due to being originally bred to hunt and chase game. They are not made to be watchdogs as they do not bark often. They are generally calm and will stay by your side most of the time.

The Bracco Italiano dogs are great with children. They will sometimes get separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time. It’s best to take them on long walks in order to expend their large amounts of energy.

Lifespan

Average lifespan of the Bracco Italiano dogs is between 10 and 14 years.

Feeding

How much a mature dog eats depends on it’s size, age, build, metabolism and activity level. Dogs are individuals, just like people, and they don’t all need the same amount of food.

The Bracco Italiano dogs are large in size and are very active. So, their diet should be formulated for a large sized breed with high exercise needs. You can consult with a vet in your area for better feeding recommendations.

Caring

Taking good care of the animals is very important for raising Bracco Italiano dogs. Like other breeds, you should keep up with your Bracco Italiano’s regular vet checkups for detecting any health concerns early. Your vet can help you develop a care routine that will keep your dog healthy.

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The Bracco Italiano dogs have high energy levels, and they are prone to weight gain. So, ensure your dog gets at least one good half-hour to hour-long walk per day with a few good, active play session and shorter walks mixed in.

Check the ears of your dog for debris and pests daily and clean them when needed. Trim their nails before they get too long. Also brush their teeth daily for avoiding dental issues.

Health

The Bracco Italiano dogs are generally healthy. But like all other dog breeds, they are also prone to certain health conditions.

Their common health problems include hip dysplasia, entropion, umbilical hernias and ear mites. Always try to keep good contact with a vet in your area.

Breed NameBracco Italiano
Other NamesAlso known as Italian Pointer, Italian Pointing Dog, or simply as Bracco
Breed SizeLarge
HeightBetween 23 and 26 inches at the withers for males, and between 22 and 24 inches for the females
WeightBetween 25 and 40 kg
Good as petsYes
Climate ToleranceAll climates
ColorWhite or white with orange, amber or chestnut markings
LifespanBetween 10 and 14 years
Good for childrenYes
RarityCommon
Country of OriginItaly