Cirneco Dell’Etna

AKC Group: Hound

The Cirneco is a small, primitive dog used in Sicily to hunt rabbits near Mount Etna. The Cirneco has recovered nicely from near extinction and is very common throughout Italy. The Cirneco is believed to have been around for 2500 years.

Size: 15 to 20 inches tall; 15 to 25 pounds.

Color: Tan or chestnut

Health problems: Due to survival from natural selection, the Cirneco breed is virtually free of major ailments.

The Cirneco looks like the Pharaoh Hound. A natural hunter by sight, sound and scent, Cirnecos are extremely rare and difficult to obtain — unless you live in Italy.

A Cirneco is a strong-willed, independent dog with a lovely loyal and affectionate personality. They do well with children and other companion animals they’ve been raised with. In unfamiliar settings or around people (or animals), they are aloof and reserved. They are ever alert and watchful (see the above photo), but aren’t naturally aggressive.

Bathing should be done as a last resort. Otherwise, brush occasionally with a firm bristle brush. It will probably be easiest to train your Cirneco with food. (It helps them learn quicker; or at least they think so.) Otherwise, be firm, fair, patient and consistent. The Cirneco is an intelligent dog. Socialization can help overcome their natural shyness and timidity. As a natural hunter, it’s best to keep them on a leash. When training is going well, your Cirneco will become responsive. A Cirneco does very well in obedience and agility programs.

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