Bracco Italiano

The imposing, athletic Bracco Italiano is one of the rarely seen Pointers in the gundog group here in the UK.

Bracco Italiano breed Group

The Bracco Italiano belongs to the popular gundog group.

Size of Bracco Italiano

Large. A stocky, imposing, squarish, robust and well-muscled dog.

Country of origin

Italy

Time of original development

The Bracco Italiano’s roots are not really clear, but the breed was thought to be developed by mating hounds and gundogs in Europe to produce a hardy all-round working dog capable of hunting, pointing and retrieving.

The Bracco is a fairly new and exciting addition to the Pointers that form part of the gundog group in the U.K., only making its first appearance in the early 1990s. It’s a striking breed, deep chested and has a noble and majestic stance and holds his head high.

The Bracco Italiano through History

A competent and versatile working dog used for hunting, pointing and retrieving on shoots in its native Italy. It is now more likely to be kept simply as a companion dog and loving family pet.

Bracco Italiano breed introduction and overview

Also known as the Italian Pointer, this large athletic dog originated in Italy, and still remains popular in Europe today. This fairly new breed only arrived in the U.K. in the early 1900s and is sadly still quite a rare sight, with only around 500 dogs registered at present in the U.K. and just 147 puppies registered with the Kennel Club in the whole of 2015.

The sheer size of this robust and elegant breed makes it an impractical choice of dog breed for many owners with a limited amount of space.

The Bracco Italiano is reputed to have a sweet musky scent, which seasoned owners of large breeds accept, and tend not to notice after a while. However, the musky odour may be unpleasant to visitors and people who are not dog owners.

Bracco Italiano temperament

The breed is generally placid, with a gentle, and slightly sensitive nature. It can be a little aloof with unfamiliar dogs, but rarely aggressive, and usually good with other pets if socialised carefully from an early age.

The Bracco Italiano is reputed to be excellent with children, forming close bonds with its owner and fellow family members. It makes an interesting choice of family pet for experienced Pointer owners who can offer this large breed plenty of space, regular physical exercise and plenty of mental stimulation and adequate training to prevent roaming and running off.

The Bracco Italiano is a big, heavy dog that requires a serious commitment from prospective new owners of the breed. The sheer size of this breed may make it an unsuitable and impractical choice of dog for many family homes.

This handsome Pointer is seldom seen, apart from in the show ring or at dog breed discovery/ meet the breed events.

Colour varieties of the Bracco Italiano

The breed comes in a variety of colours which include:

  • Solid White
  • White and Orange
  • White and Amber
  • White and Chesnut

The areas of white may be speckled, or have patches of solid markings.

Size and weight of the Bracco Italiano

Height bitch 55-62cms

Height dog 58-67cms

Weight (kilos) bitch 25-40kgs

Weight (kilos) dog 25-40kgs

Exercise requirements of the Bracco Italiano

The Bracco Italiano is a deceptively energetic and athletic breed that requires at least 2 hours of vigorous exercise daily off the lead.

The Bracco Italiano is a seriously big dog, and needs plenty of living space in a family home. It’s not a dog suited to urban living. It requires good access to plenty of open green spaces to exercise and explore adequately and despite its stature is a joy to watch in full flow and extremely graceful and light on its feet.

As a fairly new arrival to the UK it is easy to see how the Bracco Italiano is mistaken for the Bloodhound at dog shows, with its similar almost mournful expression.

Is the Bracco Italiano a good dog for a first time dog owner?

Not recommended. Potential owners should be familiar and aware of the needs of this large dog and have good training skills and be confident with handling large breeds.

The Bracco Italiano is an enthusiastic explorer and hunter, driven by its amazing sense of smell. A good recall is essential for this breed, so an experienced handler is preferable. Other Pointers such as the English or German Pointers may be more suitable for owners keen to own a Pointer.

Bracco Italiano coat length

The glossy coat is short and low maintenance.

Grooming requirements of the Bracco Italiano

Low. The short no-fuss coat requires little grooming, although a regular brushing with a good quality bristle brush will add a lovely sheen to the coat.

The Bracco Italiano’s long pendulous ears need to be cleaned and checked regularly for any sign of infections and foreign bodies such as ticks, thorns or foreign bodies they may collect when exploring.

Hypoallergenic

No. The Bracco Italiano sheds hair steadily throughout the year, making it an unsuitable choice of dog for allergy sufferers.

Health Issues in the Bracco Italiano

With so few Bracco Italiano’s owned in the U.K. it is difficult to establish all the problems that may exist in the breed, and how common these conditions actually are. The following health issues however have been noted in the breed so do consult your breeder for advice:

  • Hip Dysplasia - A malformation of the hip joint, has been found in the breed, so ensure your puppy has been hip scored.
  • Bendy Legs - The breed is prone to a condition known as ‘bendy legs’ that make the front legs bow out, and is common in puppies. The condition tends to correct itself as the puppy matures, with legs straightening up as it grows.
  • Joint Problems - The Bracco Italiano is a heavy dog, so exercise should be restricted to no more than an hour a day in the first year to prevent damage to vulnerable joints. Excessive jumping up and down should be discouraged.
  • Ears problems - The long pendant ears should be checked on a daily basis for any signs of infection.
  • Bloat

As with all pedigree dogs, it is very important to obtain a puppy from a reputable source where you can be guaranteed that it has been bred with a view to avoiding the inherent physical and psychological diseases of the breed.

Average lifespan of the Bracco Italiano

A healthy Bracco should enjoy an expected lifespan of around 12-13 years, which is quite high for such a large dog.

Insuring a Bracco Italiano

The Bracco Italiano is a big heavy dog, quite rare and an expensive dog to buy, so pet insurance premiums are above average for this breed. Remember that whatever your premium starts out at, will steadily increase with your pet’s age. On-going illnesses or conditions your dog develops will also affect your annual insurance premiums from then on.

Estimating how much a Bracco Italiano would need to be fed each day

A bitch weighing 30kgs will require around 365gms of complete dry food daily.

A dog weighing 40kgs will require around 435gms of complete dry food daily.

The estimated weekly cost of feeding a 30kgs bitch is around £9.00

The estimated weekly cost of feeding a 40kgs dog is around £11.50

Our figures are based on feeding a slightly ‘above average quality’ and popular complete dry food bought from a leading supermarket on the high street. A good quality feed is suggested for the energetic dogs in the gundog group. Remember to reduce the amount of kibble accordingly at meal times if offering treats between meals.