Cirneco dell Etna is a small hunting hound coming from Italy. It originates from the island of Sicily and is the smallest hunting hounds out of all Mediterranean dog breeds. The idea behind creating this dog was to help hunt hare. The Cirneco dell Etna is also known for being a very enduring type of dog and can go without water and found for a long time.
When developing this type of dog, they also wanted to make a dog which would endure the harsh terrain of Mount Etna. These dogs are very active and have the ability to endure all kinds of harsh situations. Today they are mainly kept as pets and as show dogs.
History & Origins
The Cirneco dell Etna is a small hunting dog which is related to the Mediterranean group of dogs. It is related to the Pharaoh Hound and other breeds of the similar kind which also come from the Mediterranean basin. The Cirneco has a long history in Sicily and has been around some 2,500 years in the past. They have been initially developed as rodent hunters and the idea was also to make them adaptable to the harsh volcanic terrain and to go without food and water for long periods of time.
The conditions that the Cirneco was developed in certainly made it a tough hound. Although small in stature, these dogs are very energetic, vigorous, enduring and persevering. Until 1939, these dogs were only called Cirneco. But then the “dell Etna” part was added since they originally come from the region where the largest active volcano in Europe is located. The breed’s standard were also drawn back then by the Italian Kennel Club and in 2015 the breed was officially recognized by the AKC.
Cirneco dell Etna Characteristics & Temperament
The Cirneco dell Etna is a very energetic and playful kind of a breed. It is affectionate to its owners and likes being close to them. It also is great with kids and likes being around them. Playing with your Cirneco will make it really happy as it also allows it to expand energy.
When it comes to exercising, the Cirneco needs moderate physical exercise. But it is an energetic dog with a lot of energy so sometimes walks are not going to do the trick. You can walk your dog as often as you can but you also need to play with it and let it run around the yard as well. These dogs thrive when they are given something to do as it stimulates them mentally and physically. Also make sure not to allow it to go off without a leash as they may easily run off. Due to their innate prey drive, they tend to chase smaller animals and especially cats.
When it comes to training a Cirneco, you should have some experience. This is a hunting dog and they can be independent like all hunting dogs. But if you apply gentle methods of training and give it a lot of situation and social experience, the dog will be just fine.
Appearance, Colors, Size
The Cirneco dell Etna is a small breed of dog. They usually grow up to be somewhere between 43 to 51 cm (17 to 20 in) in height, and weigh around 10 and 12 kg (22 and 26 lb). These dogs love bikes, so keep in mind they would fit into a bike basket for 30 lb dog. Put your Cirneco dell Etna in a basket and enjoy the ride!
The coat of the Cirneco is short and glossy. They usually come in chestnut color and the dog is very easy to groom. They are small and have a cat like appearance in some sense. The muzzle is long and the ears stand erected on their heads, giving them a poise of alertness all the time. The usual color options are chestnut and tan.
Cirneco dell Etna Health
The Cirneco dell Etna is a very healthy dog. Probably one of the healthiest dogs in the world. Since it was specifically bred to survive a harsh environment, this dog has become a sturdy and enduring one. They are not only resistant to the environment they are set in but also to some sicknesses and health conditions that affect other dogs.
If you keep your Cirneco as properly as you can you will get a healthy dog. The most that they live is somewhere between 12 and 15 years as their lifespan states. Owners should clean their ears and their teeth which is to avoid infection and bacteria. Give them the regular treatment your vet recommends and your dog will do just fine.
Grooming & Shedding
The Cirneco dell Etna sheds almost unnoticeably. They are minimal shedders and are perfect for people who really do not want to deal with the dog’s hair lying everywhere. But you still need to clean and maintain them. Luckily, grooming is not so hard for a Cirneco. Thanks to their short hair you only need to provide them with weekly brushing. Doing it a few times a week with a soft bristle brush will do the trick.
You can give them occasional baths, but the Cirneco does not have a specific doggy odor to it. Bathing is required when they get really dirty and even then you can just while the dirt clean off of them. But one thing you really need to do is to clean their ears. This will help avoid infection which they are prone to. Clip their nails as well so it doesn’t hurt the dog.
Price and Breeders
The Cirneco dell Etna may not be as popular as some of the other breeds of its kind, but it has a big following. Breeders have exited in Italy, especially in Sicily for years. The home of the dog is where the best offer can be found. But since the acceptation of the breed by other Kennel Clubs, the Cirneco has started spreading all around the world. The price for a single puppy costs somewhere between 800 and 1,000 dollars.
Cirneco dell Etna Rescue
With the Cirneco dell Etna breed starting to spread all around the globe, we also have more opportunities to get this type of a dog. Our options are not only buying one, but it now also comes in rescue form. Organizations which have deal with Cirneco dell Etna adoptions are Cirneco dell’Etna rescue and Cirneco dell’Etna Breed Rescue. You can find out all about them on Facebook and see the offer that they have made.