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As the name suggests, the Bracco Italiano originated in Italy. It has a short coat that is very easy to maintain. This large dog, weighing 55 to 88 pounds, loves people, including kids of all ages. It can also get along with any types of animals especially when socialised young. As a hunting dog, it has very high exercise needs.
Are you thinking of getting a Bracco Italiano? Here is a brief background of this large dog with a gentle heart from Italy.
The Bracco Italiano is an ancient breed from Italy. It is believed to have been around since the 4th century as seen in photos in literature and paintings. There are claims that it is a Segugio Italiano and Asiatic Mastiff cross. Some others say it is a descendant of the St. Hubert Hound. The two initial variations of the breed were (1) the Piedmontese Pointer that originated in Piedmont, and (2) the Lombard Pointer from Lombardy.
As records show, the Bracco was utilised by Italian aristocrats and hunters during the 17th century to hunt feathered game. It almost became extinct between the 19th and 20th century but allegedly saved by Italian breeder Ferdinando Delor de Ferrabouc. Breed standards have been set in 1949 in Lombardy. It first came to England in 1989 and it remains a rare breed in the UK.
A large, powerful hunting dog with a noble appearance, the Bracco Italiano stands 55 to 67 centimetres at the withers and weighs 55 to 88 pounds. This muscular and strong-looking dog has a distinctive head, which is long, angular and narrow at the zygomatic arches. Giving this breed a somewhat “Roman nose” are its straight, deep a slightly arched muzzles. It has a strong jaw with a perfect scissor bite. It’s fairly large dark ochre or brown and oval eyes have a soft expression. Its floppy ears are set level to the corner of its eyes. It has a nice symmetrical facial mask that matches its coat colour.
The Bracco’s coat is short, dense and glossy. According to The Kennel Club, the standard colours are white, white with orange, white with amber or chestnut markings, white with speckles, roan with solid markings, and chestnut that has a warm and metallic sheen. It has low grooming needs as it only requires regular brushing and occasional bathing. Frequent brushing means a shinier coat.
Aside from the dog’s coat, owners should also make sure that other aspects of grooming are taken care of. Braccos are prone to ear infections so make sure to keep them clean and dry. Teeth must be brushed twice a week, nails regularly trimmed and skin inspected for red spots and parasites.
The Bracco Italiano may have been raised as a hunting dog but it is actually a gentle giant. It is friendly, loyal, and affectionate. It is often described as a people-loving dog as it blossoms in a home environment where it can bond with its owners. Children have a special place in its heart and it is extremely patient toward them regardless of what age they are. However, interactions should always be supervised to avoid untoward incidents related to its large size. It can also get along with other pets, even cats especially when exposed to them early. This breed will bark at strangers but its gentle nature makes it an ineffective guard dog.
The Bracco is an intelligent breed that is also a people pleaser. This combination may sound perfect when it comes to dog training but for this breed, think again. It has a tendency to test you and decides whether your command is worth following. Obedience training should start early to avoid developing a dominant nature that can be risky in large dogs. While it is important to be firm, it is worth noting that it is a sensitive dog so harsh methods don’t typically work. When you establish your alpha role and treat them with kindness, Braccos would become obedient.
Dog breeds have general characteristics but this does not mean that your Bracco will develop them all. Heredity, environment, socialisation, and training contribute to its overall character. Diet is also believed to influence a dog’s level of intelligence.
A typical serving for an adult Bracco Italiano is 2 to 4 cups of excellent quality dry dog food per day. However, like in every breed, the frequency of feeding and the amount of food depend on its age, size, build, and activity level.
Typical calorie needs of adult Bracco Italiano, weighing 70 pounds, per day:
Considering the size of this breed, it should be given a high-quality dog food formulated for large dogs. If it leads an active lifestyle, select one specifically made for active dogs to support its high energy requirements. Animal protein (lamb, beef and chicken) should be the main ingredient for a health weight, strong muscles and enhanced mobility. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are also recommended to maintain a healthy coat.
The Bracco Italiano, with a lifespan of 12 to 14 years, is generally a healthy dog but may suffer from some hereditary health problems. These include bloat, eye problems, bendy legs, and Hip and Elbow Dysplasia.
Bred as a gundog, the Bracco is an energetic dog with extremely high exercise needs. At least two hours’ worth of physical activities is needed to keep it healthy and happy. Walking may be boring for this breed so better incorporate hunting games to physically and mentally exhaust it and avoid destructive behaviour. Also a great bonding activity is playing hide and seek.
The annual amount to raise a Bracco Italiano can range from £1,300 to £1,900 a year. However, costs can differ significantly if your dog requires major surgeries or long-term treatments. Factors such as size, age and health also contribute to the costs. Premium dog food and treats can go as high as £60 a month. You also have to buy necessary equipment and supplies, which will initially cost around £200.
You also have to factor in important routine vet visits for annual booster vaccination and flea/worming treatments. These can easily add up to around £1,200 a year. As a safety net for unexpected vet expenses, you will have to purchase pet insurance (£50 a month for basic and £100 for lifetime).
Are you sure the Bracco Italiano is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.Dog Breed Selector Quiz
Do you feel like a Bracco Italiano is too big for you? Take our Pet Finder to narrow down your dog breed choices.
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