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Cirneco dell Etna dog… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

When you take a good look at a Cirneco dell Etna dog, you really don’t have to spend much time trying to “guess” what these dogs are good at.  After all, even when they are standing still, it looks as though they are traveling a million miles an hour.

This combined…

With their keen eyesight and constant state of “alertness” it’s no wonder that this ancient breed has gone relatively “unchanged” for centuries.  But simply acknowledging the Cirneco dell Etna dog for just his physical attributes is like only reading half a book!  Because these dogs also make for great companions and wonderful family pets as well.

And unlike many…

Other more “hound” breeds that you may encounter, this one is actually pretty easy to train!  Which all sounds great!

But be warned…

While there’s no denying that the Cirneco dell Etna dog breed is an awesome one, they may not always be the “right” animal for everyone.

This is why…

In this article, we wanted to discuss some of the pros and cons of owning a Cirneco dell Etna so that if you’re ever lucky enough to get your hands on one, you won’t be disappointed six months later for having adopted this incredible animal.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Cirneco dell Etna Fast facts

Country of Origin:  Italy

Original Purpose:  Hunting small game

Height:  21 to 25 inches tall

Weight:  45 to 55 pounds

Lifespan: 11 to 14 years

Dog Breed Classification:  Hound group

Origin of the Cirneco Dell Etna dog breed

It doesn’t take a canine expert to see that the Cirneco dell Etna appears to be a close relative of the Pharaoh Hound or “Egyptian Hound” after all, the Cirneco dell Etna literally looks like a miniaturized version of a Pharaoh dog.

And by “miniature”…

We don’t mean the Cirneco dell Etna any disrespect, after all most experts agree that it was the Egyptians who first perfected the “sight hound” or “coursing hound” category so if the Cirneco dell Etna is directly related to the Pharaoh Hound that’s simply further evidence of how great these guys are.

But it’s important to note…

That while the Cirneco dell Etna may “look” like a Pharaoh Hound, they are in fact a completely separate breed that was developed some 3000 years ago along the Sicilian coastline near Mount Etna.

You see…

Thousands of years ago, it was not uncommon for Phoenician sailors to travel all throughout the Mediterranean Sea, meeting new folks and “spreading” their culture throughout the region.  And it is believed that during one of these adventures, that the Pharaoh Hound became isolated from his brothers and sisters in Sicily where he began to develop into his own unique breed.

It is here…

That this “rough and tumble” hunter established himself to be an accomplished hunter and durable worker, capable of going without food or water for hours at a time when needed.  It is also why if you ask a native Italian, they will be sure to tell you that the Cirneco dell Etna is 100% Italian, they may even call him a “Sicilian Greyhound” depending on where the Italian was born!

Ironically…

Despite the fact that this dog breed was able to survive for 1000’s of years through multiple world empires, by the early 1930’s this beautiful creature was on the verge of extinction!  Fortunately, due to the patronage of a wealthy Sicilian aristocrat by the name of Baroness Agata Paterno Castello, the breed was able to survive.

 With…

Castello’s dedication, the breed was able to “regain” its numbers and was eventually recognized by the Italian Kennel Club in 1939, and in traditional fashion, the American Kennel Club quickly followed by “officially” recognizing the breed themselves in 2015 (insert sarcasm here)!

Characteristics of the Cirneco dell Etna dog breed

As we’ve already stated, the Cirneco dell Etna is going to look quite similar to his brethren; the Pharaoh Hound.  But, once you know what to look for, you’ll see that these two different dog breeds will have different markings and the Cirneco will generally be about 4 to 5 inches shorter and weigh about 20 pounds lighter.

The Cirneco dell Etna…

Will also usually comes in fawn and tan colors, with a thin but glossy coat that makes him a distinctly indoors dog…unless you happen to live somewhere with a similar climate to Sicily (these guys don’t tolerate the cold all that well).

Also…

The Cirneco dell Etna’s “ear length” will also be longer than the Pharaoh Hound, and he has large, erect and almost flat looking ears capable of hearing at vast distances.  But to be honest with you, you really have to look pretty closely to see a major difference here.  And when you look at the two dogs individually, the size of their ears is typically dictated by the size of the actual dog.

Your…

Cirneco dell Etna may be muscled or not may be on the “leaner” side, depending on whether or not he is from hunting dog stock or not.  That said however, you can generally assume that most Cirneco’s will have a distinctly hound shaped muzzle and will require minimal grooming – ideal for all those sick of picking hair off of their clothes!

And while…

They are a skinny breed known for their ability to go long periods with neither food nor water to sustain them, be warned, they love to eat when they have a chance so if you want your Cirneco to keep his or her “classic” build, you’re going to want to be sure an avoid “spoiling” him or her.

The Breed Standard…

Attributes this breed as a medium sized hunting dog that is long limbed – and we agree.

Temperament of a Cirneco dell Etna

You get to earn the nickname “Sicilian Greyhound” if you simply like to sit around the house all day.  Which is why if you do decide to adopt a Cirneco dell Etna puppy or better yet a Cirneco dell Etna rescue dog, you should be prepared to own a dog full of energy.

These guys…

Do require quite a bit of exercise and will definitely love to spend a few hours a week at your local dog park if given a chance.  Plus, most Cirneco’s don’t like being left alone for an extended period of time.

And while…

They are relatively easy to train, if they are not given enough time to run and play or if they are left to their own devices for too long, these little guys can find all sorts of ways to make their owners crazy!

This is why…

If you do decide to adopt a Cirneco, you’ll definitely want to be sure to give him or her plenty of time to run and play.  And… enroll him or her in an obedience class right way.

You see…

Even though these dogs aren’t all that big, they are fast.  And if not trained properly, you could spend the better have of the next decade chasing after one of these guys if you’re not careful.  Heck! Even with a properly trained Cirneco, we would recommend that you go for a walk with him or her “off leash”.

Because…

You need to remember that at their “core” the Cirneco remains a hunting machine.  A “sight hound” hunting machine.  As a result, even if your little guy doesn’t seem like it, he or she is probably always scanning the horizon looking form some small little animal to hunt.

This small little animal…

Could be another dog, your cat or even the neighbors kid who drives you nuts!  Either way, to your Cirneco this “animal” represents an opportunity to chase and unless you’ve trained your Cirneco not to chase as a puppy or you have him or her on a leash, there is a really good chance you will be getting your “steps” in for that day trying to get your dog back!

So, You’ve Been Warned:

Train your Cirneco dell Etna EARLY!

Health of the Cirneco dell Etna dog breed

You are in luck if this is the breed you have chosen. Due to both rarity and lack of over-breeding, there are not many health concerns associated with this breed. Now they may suffer from hip and leg ailments when older or might need their toes looked at once in a while, but apart from that, the Cirneco dell Etna dog breed really doesn’t have all that many health risks to speak of.

That said however…

Because we know that accidents do happen, and because this dog loves to run and chance, we always like to encourage any new Cirneco dell Etna dog owner to take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy so that if anything does happen to their loved one, they wouldn’t be on the “hook” for 100% of the vet costs.

For more information about who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies in the industry right now feel free to check out our article:  Top 10 Best Pet Insurance Companies.

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