Cirneco dell’Etna is a friendly, independent Italian hunting breed originating from the island of Sicily. They got their name from Etna volcano. Mostly they were used for small game hunting – rabbits. Cirneco dell’Etna is an athletic dog that is very adaptable and can live in apartments. Many people describe these dogs as a smaller version of Pharaoh Hound – their cousin from Malta. Cirneco dell’Etna dogs are a bit more trainable than the rest of the sighthounds.
16.5–19.5 in (42–50 cm)
17–26 lb (8–12 kg)
Cirneco dell’Etna was used for hunting small game, birds, and rabbits from the beginning. Although these dogs look delicate, they are in fact very tough and durable that can hunt for hours without food and water. At the beginning of the 1930s, this breed faced extinction and because of one Sicilian aristocrat, this dog breed remains as he started reviving this dog breed for the next 26 years.
FUN FACT: American Kennel Club officially recognized this dog breed in 2015.
Dog Breed Characteristics
- Group 5 Spitz and primitive types. Section 7 Primitive type Hunting Dogs. With the working trial in Italy.
- Height at the withers: 17-19.5 in (44-50 cm)
- Weight: Males: 17–28 lb (8–13 kg)
- Height: 16.5–19.5 in (42–50 cm)
- Weight: 17–26 lb (8–12 kg)
- Life Expectancy: 12-14 years
- Group: Hound Group
Cirneco dell’Etna has short smooth hair that lies close to the body. They are low maintenance dogs that require only weekly brushing to keep their coat looking best. Since they are short-haired dogs they are not recommended for colder climates.
Cirneco dell’Etna coat color:
- Light to dark shades of tan
Brush their teeth at least three times a week to prevent tartar buildup and infections. Make sure you use products that are made especially for dogs as human products could potentially harm them. Trim their nails if they don’t wear them down naturally. A good indication is if you can hear them clicking on the floor while they walk. Clean their ears and check for signs of redness or infections. Use a cotton cloth and never insert anything in their ear canal. You can always check with your Vet about the products you should use and the proper technique.
Cirneco dell'Etna Exercise
Cirneco dell’Etna requires a moderate amount of activities to be happy. You will have to provide these dogs with mental and physical exercise. These dogs need an active lifestyle to be happy. They love to be outside and be part of the action, whether running and chasing balls, playing, jumping or jogging. If you are thinking about getting a Cirneco dell'Etna, make sure you have enough free time and energy to spend it outside playing and training your Cirneco dell'Etna. If your schedule can’t allow you that, consider getting some less active breed.
Training such an intelligent dog breed is essential for preventing the development of bad behavioral traits. Start training them as soon as they arrive at your house, and if you do not have time to work with such an active breed, maybe it is not the best choice for you.
If you are interested in properly training your Cirneco dell'Etna and are unsure where to start, you can always ask professionals for help. Many puppy training programs and doggy schools can significantly help you train an active shepherding breed. Most dog breeds do not take well harsh training methods and techniques, and Cirneco dell'Etna is one of them. You should make training sessions exciting, and you will start noticing great results in a matter of hours.,
Cirneco dell'Etna was bred for hunting, and because of that, they will need proper training if you want that your dog develops into a well-behaved dog. Also, their high prey drive can be a problem that you will need to take care of.
FUN FACT: Cirneco dell’Etna dogs excel at canine sports such as obedience, rally, and agility.
There are many ways you can socialize your Cirneco dell'Etna, and the most important thing to do is to get your dog familiar with different situations they can find themselves in. Take your dog to dog parks where they can meet other dogs and people. They can learn to react accordingly and understand that they don’t need to be scared of strangers and other dogs. It is also possible to socialize and teach your dog how to handle other pets, although they might never learn to “play nice” with other pets due to their high prey drive.
Cirneco dell'Etna and children
Early socialization and proper training can teach them to behave even when children are around. Their temperament makes them more suitable for families with older children. If you train and socialize your Cirneco dell'Etna well, your children will get a great playing partner that has plenty of energy. These dogs can play for hours upon hours without getting tired or bored.
Children should never be left alone with any dog, no matter what breed it might be. You should make sure that your children understand how to approach dogs of this breed and understand how to interact and play with them properly.
Cirneco dell'Etna and other pets
Cirneco dell'Etna dogs can get along well with other dogs and can enjoy their company. They are not the best fit for other pets. They have a strong prey drive, so they will most likely try and catch smaller animals such as gerbils, hamsters, squirrels, or rabbits. They can learn to get along with pets they are raised with, but our advice would be never to leave them unattended.
The Cirneco dell'Etna is generally considered a healthy breed, but they are prone to some health issues and concerns like any other dog breed. These dogs have an average lifespan of 12-14 years.
When getting any breed, the breeder must show you health tests that they have done for their breeding dogs. Dogs must be adequately tested because taking a chance and hoping that the puppy’s parents are healthy is a risk no one should ever take. Only healthy dogs should be bred because that is the only way to assure that bloodlines will remain healthy and without any problems.
If you decided that this is the right dog for you, now it's time to find a good and responsible Cirneco dell'Etna breeder. Buying a dog from such a breeder will provide you with a healthy puppy who will not have health and temperament problems.
Buying a dog from a responsible breeder will cost you more money, but you can be sure that you will get a healthy puppy. If you don't have money we advise you to search for local animal shelters because there is a chance you can find Cirneco dell'Etna dog in it.
If you are unsure whether this is the breed for you, check out this FREE GUIDE that will help you decide which dog breed is right for you.
Photo by: Meir Gur
World Dog Finder team