(aka: Sicilian Hound)
Originating in Italy, the Cirneco dell Etna bears a strong resemblance to the Pharaoh Hound. A sight, sound, and scent hound, this breed is extremely rare, difficult to obtain, and is not commonly seen out of its native island of Sicily.
Cirneco dell'Etna Temperament
The Cirneco dell Etna breed is not recommended for inexperienced or first time dog owners. The Cirneco dell Etna possesses a strong, independent personality. They are affectionate, loyal, and lively companions. They do well with children and other pets they have been raised with from puppyhood. However, they are reserved and aloof with strangers and pets they do not know. They are exceedingly alert and watchful, but are not typically aggressive.
Occasional brushing with a firm bristle brush is recommended for the Cirneco dell Etna. Bathing should only be done when necessary.
The Cirneco is a small, primitive breed that is used in Sicily to hunt rabbits near the mount Etna volcano. Now fairly common in its native land, the breed almost disappeared until revived in the early 1900's.
The first breed standard was written and accepted by the ENCI (FCI) in Italy in 1939. An updated version was approved by the FCI in 1956, and is a member of Group 5 for Spitz and Primitive breeds, and is classified under section 7 as a primitive hunting breed. This year also saw the creation of the breed club in Italy.
The breed is believed to have existed in Sicily for the last 2500 years. Cirnechi can now be found throughout Western Europe, Scandinavia, the USA and most recently Russia.
The Cirneco dell'Etna is an intelligentand dominant dog that learns quickly, especially being easily motivated with food! They do not respond well to heavy handed training methods. They need firmness, fairness, patience and consistency. Early socialization with other animals is highly recommended.
They are best kept on a leash since they are natural hunters and may go into "hunting" mode at any time when they see small "prey". With training they can become very responsive to their owner and even compete in obedience and agility trials.
Being an ancient breed that has survived through natural selection, they are virtually free of any health problems.