The Cirneco del Etna is a dog considered primitive, which gives an idea of its antiquity. It is a hunting dog with an excellent sense of smell, although it can become a great companion dog if we provide it with activity and take care of its education.
Weight: 8-13 kg.
Height: 44-50 cm. Females are a little bit smaller.
Life expectancy: 12-14 years.
Ideal for: active people with previous experience in handling dogs.
The history of the Cirneco del Etna
As its name allows us to guess, this breed of dog comes from Italy. Its origins are lost in antiquity. It is one of the primitive breeds that are considered descendants of the Egyptian dogs that spread thanks to the merchants of the Mediterranean. Specifically, it is believed that the Phoenicians were the ones who introduced the current Cirneco del Etna.
It is the smallest dog of this group, among which is the Ibizan Hound and the Pharaoh’s Hound. The relative isolation in which he grew up in Sicily has allowed him to retain his characteristics. These dogs have dated there 2000 years ago. Representations of him have been found on coins, engravings, and mosaics.
They were dogs dedicated to hunting, guided by sight, hearing, and, above all, by their keen sense of smell. Today they continue to practice small game hunting. Specifically, they are appreciated when hunting rabbits, although they also hunt any other small animal with hair or feathers. They are little known and are scarcely widespread outside their place of origin.
Characteristics of the Italian Cirneco del Etna
It is a medium-sized dog with an athletic appearance, elegant and slender. The skull is elongated and the stop is not very accentuated. The nose is large and rectangular. The muzzle is pointed and no longer than the skull. The lips are thin, thin, and tight. The bite is scissors. The eyes are small and ocher, amber or hazel colored. They are oval.
The ears are large, wide and erect, triangular and set high. The neck is the same length as the head, muscular and slightly arched. The loin is almost as long as it is wide. The chest is deep and the ribs are slightly arched. The front legs are long and strong, suitable for running.
The rear ones are hard and well-muscled. The thighs are long and broad. The feet are compact, oval and with arched toes. They have tan-colored pads. The tail is set low. Broad at the base, ending just below the hock. The skin is thin. The coat is short, dense, soft, and shiny. It is a tawny or tan and white color.
Sicilian Greyhound temperament
Sicilian Greyhound dogs are intelligent, very active, and need a lot of physical activity on a daily basis to burn off all their energy. They are used to moving through the difficult terrain on the slopes of the Etna volcano in Sicily, jumping from rock to rock. This shows its tenacity and resistance.
They are dogs that are alert, vigilant of what is happening around them, and somewhat distant and independent. They are affectionate and bond with their caregiver. They are faithful, but let’s not expect them to show us great expressions of affection. With strangers, they will remain suspicious and even aggressive.
Like most primitive dogs, it is not a particularly easy breed to train. They have strong and headstrong characters. Nor are they characterized by their good relationships with children or with their peers. For all this, it is necessary to pay attention to their socialization and insist on their education with patience and perseverance.
Care and hygiene of the Cirneco del Etna
Given its significant needs for physical activity, the Cirneco del Etna is not the most suitable dog for living in an apartment in the city, since it is likely that in this situation it will not have the opportunities or enough space where it can deploy its great energy. . That is why you will be more comfortable in a house with land.
Still, it is imperative that he be able to run and play. He has to walk 3-4 times a day and, at least on some of the outings, he should be able to run loose in a safe environment. Play sessions would also have to be daily. It is more comfortable in temperate climates. If good temperatures are maintained where you live, you could stay outside.
On the other hand, we can play with him to follow the trail, taking advantage of his outstanding nose. In this way, we offer you good stimulation. It is enough that we hide an object from him and teach him to look for it using his nose. His coat hardly requires care. It can be brushed from time to time with a rubber mitten.
The health of the Cirneco del Etna
In general, they are dogs that are in good health. But, in the psychological aspect, if the Cirneco del Etna does not receive all the stimulation it needs for its well-being, behavioral problems can arise, such as destructiveness or excessive barking