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  • Temperament: Affectionate, Intelligent, Enthusiastic
  • Height: 21-27 inches
  • Weight: 55-90 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 10-14 years
  • Group: Foundation Stock Service

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

FCI Standard
Bracco Italiano standing facing left.
Bracco Italiano head facing left.
Bracco Italiano standing sideways facing left outdoors in grass.
Bracco Italiano running through the grass outdoors in the evening.
Bracco Italiano walking through the grass outdoors in the sunshine.
Two Bracci Italiani standing side by side in three-quarter view on stone steps.
Bracco Italiano in three-quarter view playing in the grass.
Bracco Italiano head and shoulders facing forward, head tilted.
Bracco Italiano standing sideways facing left outdoors.
Close-up of a Bracco Italiano head in three-quarter view.

About the Bracco Italiano

Tough and adapted to all types of hunting, the Bracco Italiano is reliable, intelligent, docile and easy to train. He has a powerful appearance, with lean limbs, well-developed muscles and a sculpted head. In English, he is the Italian Pointing Dog.

National Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country. Secretary Valerie Kessler is the point of contact for any inquiries sent to the Bracco Italiano Club of America. Marilyn Vinson, the Secretary of the Bracco Italiano Society of America, can answer any questions directed to that club. Inquire about adopting a rescue through the BICA Rescue.
Bracco Italiano puppy standing outdoors in the evening.

Find a Puppy: Bracco Italiano

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Find Bracco Italiano Puppies

Care

NUTRITION

The Bracco Italiano should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

GROOMING

Bracchi Italiani are easy to groom. Their short coats require minimal care and their long ears require routine cleaning to minimize the risk of ear infections. Beyond that, the occasional bath will keep them clean and looking their best. Their nails should be trimmed regularly with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splitting and cracking. Teeth should be brushed regularly.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Specialty/Professional
Occasional Bath/Brush

Shedding

Infrequent
Frequent
Occasional

EXERCISE

The Bracco is a moderate- to high-energy breed that requires daily exercise and mental stimulation. This can be accomplished by running free in a safe, enclosed space or by scheduled exercises such as daily jogs. At least 30 minutes of exercise per day is needed, but more is preferred. Furthermore, to be happy, they need time each day spent with their family doing organized training or playing.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity
Energetic

TRAINING

A Bracco needs a calm, patient trainer who is gentle but firm. This breed may be slightly independent, but for the most part, they are eager to please and are thrilled when they see they’ve made you happy. They are most suited to a home that will use their hunting ability and give them a job to do. However, in lieu of hunting, training for dog sports like agility, obedience and rally can also be a great way to give your dog the physical and mental stimulation he needs.

Trainability

May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
Easy Training

Temperament/Demeanor

Aloof/Wary
Outgoing
Alert/Responsive

HEALTH

The Bracco is an overall healthy breed, and responsible breeders screen their stock for health conditions such as hip and elbow dysplasia, eye anomalies such as entropion, ectropion, and cataracts, and kidney disorders such as renal amyloidosis. To avoid orthopedic stresses on their fast-growing bodies, Bracco puppies should be fed a balanced food and should not be run on hard surfaces such as on concrete or perform repeated high-impact exercises until at least one year of age. Check the Bracco’s long, pendulous ears for ear infections, and use a veterinarian-recommended ear cleaner once or twice weekly to keep the ear clean and dry to prevent infections.

 

 

Bracco Italiano head and shoulders in three-quarter view.
Bracco Italiano
Bracco Italiano
Bracco Italiano
Bracco Italiano

History

The Bracco Italiano has been called the oldest European pointer, and its history reaches back to the fourth or fifth century BC. While the exact ancestral origins are unknown, it is generally accepted that the Bracco Italiano was first a cross between the Segugio Italiano and the Asiatic Mastiff, which has since become extinct. The breed was developed in northern Italy, with two distinct varieties: the white-and-orange-colored variety known to be from the Piedmont region and the roan-and-brown from Lombardy.
By the medieval period, the breed had become well-established and the Italian aristocracy exported the Bracco across the Old World. The Bracco’s popularity peaked during the Renaissance, and they remained at healthy numbers until the turn of the twentieth century, when they faced a sharp decline.
By the end of the 1800s, the Bracco Italiano faced extinction. Over the years, crossing with hounds and poor breeding resulted in dogs that were too heavily built to perform their work, and the breed suffered from various health problems. Diligent breeding selection and care aided in rebuilding the breed. In the 1920s, it was decided to unify the two variations of the breed in order to preserve genetic diversity.
First, the Piedmontese Pointer was a dog of lighter construction and color, and it originated in the Piedmont region of Italy, as its name suggests. This dog was used for work in the mountains, which its conformation and temperament reflected. The Piedmontese dog was smaller than its counterpart in Lombardy, and its hunting style was reminiscent of some western European pointers in that it traveled with a jaunty gallop. This dog was primarily white, with or without orange markings.
Alternately, the Lombard Pointer was a rich brown roan and had a heavier body type. This dog was used for hunting in the marshy lowlands, and was a trotting breed. These big dogs were bred both for their eye appeal and natural hunting ability.
Shortly after the breed was officially unified, the working standard was written and released, and in 1949 the Societa Amatori Bracco Italiano was founded in Italy. When the Italian conformation standard was published, it incorporated aspects of both breed types, resulting in noted variability within the standard. The breed standard had existed for over a century prior to being compiled into this single document.
The Bracco Italiano was brought to the United Kingdom in the late 1980s, however the United States did not experience the Italian Pointer until approximately 1994. In 2001, the Bracco was accepted into the AKC Foundation Stock Service. In 2005, the first national “Gathering” was held, and the Bracco Italiano Club of America was founded in 2007.

Did You Know?

The Bracco Italiano has been assigned the Sporting Group designation.
The Bracco Italiano is a very ancient breed and appears in paintings and texts since the 4th and 5th centuries BC.
The breed was bred by the Gonzaga and Medici families. The subjects born in those kennels were sought out by nobles and royal families.
The Bracco was originally divided into two varieties: the Lombard Pointer and the Piedmontese Pointer. These two types were merged in the early 20th century to maintain genetic diversity.
The Bracco Italiano is also known as the Italian Pointer, as it hails from Italy.
The Bracco Italiano has been recorded in the Foundation Stock Service since 2001.
The Bracco Italiano has been approved to compete in AKC Companion and Performance Events since January 1, 2010.
The Bracco loves water and is a strong swimmer.
At the October 2018 Board Meeting The Bracco Italiano was approved to compete in the Miscellaneous Class effective July 3, 2019. The Bracco Italiano Club of America will serve as the AKC Parent Club to represent the Bracco Italiano.

The Breed Standard

GENERAL APPEARANCE

Of strong and harmonious construction, powerful appearance. The preferred subjects are those with lean limbs, well developed muscles, well defined lines with a markedly sculpted head and a very obvious lower orbital chiselling, elements which all contribute to give distinction to this breed.
Important Proportions: Length of the body is the same or a little more than the height at the withers. Length of head is equal to 4/10 of the height at the withers; its width, measured at the level of the zygomatic arches, is less than half its length. Skull and muzzle are of equal length.

HEAD

Head: Angular and narrow at the level of the zygomatic arches; the length of the skull equals the length of the muzzle. The upper longitudinal axes of the skull and muzzle are divergent, i.e. if extending the top line of the muzzle the latter must emerge in front of the occipital protuberance, ideally at mid-length of the skull.
Skull: Seen in profile, the skull is in the shape of a very open arch. Seen from above, it forms lengthwise an elongated ellipse. The width of the skull, measured at the level of the zygomatic arches, should not exceed half of the length of the head. The bulge of the forehead and the supraorbital ridges are perceptible. The frontal groove is visible and ends at mid-length of the skull. The interparietal crest is short and not very prominent. The occipital protuberance is pronounced.
Stop: Not pronounced.
Nose: Voluminous, with large well-opened nostrils, protruding slightly over the lips with which it forms an angle. Colour is more or less pink – to flesh-coloured or brown, depending on the colour of the coat.
Muzzle: Either slightly arched or straight. Its length is equal to half of the length of the head and its depth measures 4/5 of its length. Seen from the front, the lateral sides of the muzzle converge slightly, still presenting a foreface of good width. The chin is not very apparent.
Lips: Upper lips well developed, thin and floppy without being flaccid, covering the jaw; seen in profile, they overlap the lower jaw slightly. Seen from the front, they form an inverted V below the nose; the corner of the lips must be marked without being droopy.
Jaws/Teeth: Dental arches well adapted, with the teeth square set to the jaw; scissor bite. A pincer bite is also acceptable.
Cheeks: Lean.
Eyes: Semi-lateral position with a soft and submissive expression, neither deep set nor prominent. Eyes fairly large, eyelids oval- shaped and close fitting (no entropion or ectropion). The iris is of a more or less dark ochre or brown colour depending on the coat colour.
Ears: Long, they should reach the tip of the nose without being stretched. Their width is at least equal to half their length; raised only very slightly; base rather narrow, set rather backwards at level of zygomatic arches; a supple ear with a front rim well turned inwards and really close to the cheek is appreciated; the tips are slightly rounded.

BODY

Neck: Powerful, in truncated cone shape, length not less than 2/3 of the length of the head, well detached from the nape. The throat shows a soft double dewlap.
Topline: The topline presents two lines: one, almost straight, slopes from the withers to the 11th dorsal vertebra; the other is slightly arched, joining with the line of the rump.
Withers: Well defined, with the points of the shoulder blades well separated.
Loin: Wide lumbar region, muscled, short and slightly convex. Croup: Long (about 1/3 of the height at the withers), broad and well muscled; the ideal pelvic angulation (angle formed by the pelvic girdle with a horizontal line) is 30°.
Chest: Broad, deep and well let down to the elbows, without forming a keel, with well-sprung ribs, particularly in the lower part. Underline and belly: Lower profile almost horizontal along the ribcage rising slightly at the abdomen.
Tail: Thick at the base, straight, with a slight tendency to taper; hair short. When the dog is in action and especially when questing, it is carried horizontally or nearly. The natural tail should not extend below the hock and have the above-mentioned features. If docked, for hunting purposes and in compliance with health and animal welfare, the tail must have a length of 15–25 cm from the root.

FOREQUARTERS

General appearance: Very free in movement.
Shoulder: Strong, well muscled, long and sloping.
Upper arm: Sloping, fitting to the ribcage.
Elbow: The point of the elbow should be on perpendicular line from the rear point of the shoulder blade to the ground.
Forearm: Strong, straight, with strong and well marked sinews. Metacarpus (Pastern): Well proportioned, lean, of good length and slightly sloping.
Forefeet: Strong, slightly oval shaped; well arched with tight toes and strong nails well curved towards the ground. Colour of nails is white, yellow or brown, of a more or less dark shade depending on the colour of the coat; pads elastic and lean.

HINDQUARTERS

Thigh: Long, parallel, muscular, with a rear edge almost straight. Stifle (Knee): Well angulated.
Lower thigh: Strong.
Hock joint: Broad.
Metatarsus (Rear pastern): Relatively short and lean.
Hind feet: With all the characteristics of the forefeet: they have dewclaws, the absence of which is not a fault. Double dewclaw is tolerated.

COAT

Hair: Short, dense and glossy, finer and shorter on the head, the ears, front part of the legs and feet.
Colour:
White. White with patches of varied size of an orange or more or less dark amber colour. White with more or less large brown patches. White speckled with pale orange, i.e. orange roan. White speckled with brown, i.e. liver roan. In this last combination, a metallic sheen is appreciated, and a warm shade of brown is preferred, recalling the colour of a monk’s frock.
A symmetrical facial mask is preferred, but the absence of a mask is tolerated.

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Bracco Italiano illustration.

Colors & Markings

Colors

Description Standard Colors Registration Code
White Check Mark For Standard Color 199
White & Chestnut Check Mark For Standard Color 499
White & Orange Check Mark For Standard Color 213

Markings

Description Standard Markings Registration Code
Roan Check Mark For Standard Mark 036
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