The Italian shorthaired pointer, or bracco italiano, is like an aristocrat of an old date – refined, kind and valuing family life. However, no one will ever know him who will not see this pointer on the hunt.
In relation to strangers and other dogs, the Italian Shorthaired Pointer (Bracco Italiano) is gentle and friendly. He can bark a warning when something disturbing happens and the voice is loud. However, he is not a defender. He is gentle and patient with children. However, it can show a hunting instinct for cats and smaller animals.
This hunting dog with strong instincts works great in the field. He is not as fast as his lighter-built cousins (which sometimes accuse him of hunters accustomed to a different style of work), but he is characterized by perseverance and economical energy management.
He moves with an efficient trot and holds his head high, which often contributes to the title of Best in Show at exhibitions.
Bracco italiano. Training and education
It must not be forgotten that he was bred as a working dog. You have to provide him with at least long walks, and preferably some activity – even having fun together. Bracco loves to wear different items, even several at the same time, for which he should not be disciplined. An adult dog can run by a bicycle, and swimming is advisable for all ages. He is a very lively animal: when he sees something behind a fence, he jumps out of curiosity.
Intelligent bracco learns quickly and willingly works with people, although he can be a bit stubborn. In addition, it slowly matures: it reaches full mental maturity only at the age of 2.5-3 years, and physical – 4-5 years.
Who is this race for?
As a sensitive animal, it requires patience, peace and sensitivity from the guide. It cannot be treated harshly. The trainer must be consistent and make clear demands, but be gentle. Because bracco loves the company and always wants to be close to a man, ignoring him is a severe enough punishment.
Bracco italiano. Advantages and disadvantages
- has a strong hunting instinct
- he doesn’t like loneliness
- a great companion during jogging and cycling
- accepts the company of children
- very attached to the family
Bracco italiano. Health
Bracco health information is not precise because Italians are not very willing to examine their dogs, and even less willingly talk about problems. Therefore, data on this subject come mainly from breeders from other countries where the breed does not occur as numerous as in their homeland.
In any case, it is known that as large, quite heavy dogs, Bracco are exposed to iliac and elbow dysplasia (a young animal must not be overloaded or overfed). In turn, the deep chest contributes to the susceptibility to gastric expansion and twist.
Loose skin on the head can cause eyelid problems, and dejected, low-set ears require frequent checks for infection. In general, bracco is a healthy dog, resistant to environmental conditions.
Bracco has a good appetite and are not picky, but their sensitive stomach requires top quality food. That is why owners usually choose super premium dry foods or home-made food, but prepared after consulting a veterinarian.
What needs to be checked regularly is the weight of the dog – good appetite often leads to excess weight, and each extra kilo is a burden for the pointer joints.
Care includes reviews and possible cleaning of the ears and brushing during molting. You can wipe it with chamois to give your coat shine.
Bracco italiano. History
Bracco italiano is the second – next to the rough-haired spinone – Italian pointer breed. And this is very old, because similar dogs can be seen already in Roman paintings from IV-V century BC. For this reason, the Italian pointer is considered the ancestor of other European pointer. However, his progenitors could be segugio italiano, or Italian hounds, to which the blood of ancient molars was added. This theory justifies that the hounds are more of a primitive type of hunting dog than the exposing (setter).
On the other hand, dogs could decide on a larger mass and more lymphatic structure of pointer. Some think that Bracco also has the blood of St. Hubert, which would be particularly evidenced by the head structure.
It is difficult to determine exactly when we can talk about Bracco as we know it today, but in the Middle Ages the breed was well established. The peak of its popularity fell on the Renaissance – then it became fashionable among the aristocracy. Powerful Italian Medici and Gonzag families dealt with her breeding. Even kings sought for quadrupeds from their kennels.
The use of the breed has evolved with the development of hunting techniques. In the Middle Ages, these dogs chased birds into the net, later they accompanied falconers in the hunt. When the firearms were invented, they became pointer in the modern sense of the word – they exhibited, flung and apported birds.
Over time, however, the breed began to decline. Other, foreign strangers denied her. At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries the specter of extermination faced her. Fortunately, the Bracco Italiano Lovers Association (SABI) prevented this in time. Ferdinando Delor de Ferrabouc breeder played the biggest role in saving them. In 1949 a breed standard was published. Today in Italy it is popular and promoted as a hunting dog.
Italian Shorthaired Pointer (Bracco Italiano) – Group VII FCI, Section 1, Model No. 202
- origin: Italy
- character: balanced, gentle towards people and animals, attached to the family, persistent hunting dog
- size: 55-67 cm, preferred
- dimensions of dogs: 58-67 cm, bitches: 55-62 cm
- weight: 25-40 kg, usually above 30 kg
- coat: short, dense and shiny; softer and shorter on the head, ears and paws
- ointment: white, white with orange, amber or chestnut patches, white-orange spotted, white-chestnut spotted; symmetrical mask (distribution of meanings) on the face desired; nose color, depending on the primary color, from flesh to brown
- life expectancy: 12-13 years
- susceptibility to training: quite high
- activity: moderate; quiet at home, but needs movement and activity
- resistance/susceptibility to diseases: resistant to weather conditions; there are eye diseases, including entropy (eyelid opening) and ectropion (eversion), dysplasia, kidney disease, ear infections, and gastric enlargement and twist
It comes in two basic colors: white-orange and white-chestnut – in the past these were different varieties.
The first comes from Piedmont and the second comes from Lombardy. The Piedmontese variety was lighter, adapted for hunting in the mountains.
The pattern currently allows both lighter and heavier types. Bracco is generally stronger and heavier than other pointer.