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Breed -

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Original Country/Kingdom 

Bracco Italiano

Hunting - Gundog

Breed History

The Bracco Italiano is one of only two native Italian Gundog breeds (the other being the Spinone), and is believed to be the ancestor of  European pointing breeds such as the English Pointer, Brittany, German Shorthaired Pointer, and Portuguese Pointer. It’s considered to be one of the oldest of all gun dogs, a notion supported by paintings and text from the fourth and fifth centuries BC.

Some sources suggest that the Bracco was a cross between the Asiatic Mastiff and the Segugio Italiano, while others claim that the ancient St. Hubert Hound is its more likely ancestor. We may never be as certain of its distant origins as we are about its popularity with Italy’s upper crust during the Renaissance. Bred by both the Medici and Gonzaga families, Bracchi were often gifted by Italian officials to foreign dignitaries to hunt feathered game. During this time, they were known as “bracchi of the net,” for the practice of hunters throwing a large net over a covey of birds.

At one time, there were two distinct types of Bracco Italiano: One type, the white-and-orange Piedmontese from Piemont, was described as being light boned, very similar to the French short haired pointing, and most suited to work in the mountains. The other type was the heavier, roan-and-brown colored Lombardict with the jaunty gallop, a dog bred in Lombardia and better equipped to hunt marshy lowlands.

The fact remains that by the end of the 19th century, the Bracco Italiano faced extinction. It was saved primarily by the efforts of the Societa Amitori Bracco Italiano and an Italian breeder, Ferdinando Delor de Ferrabouc.

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