If you’re looking for a working gundog who is also a loving companion, consider a Bracco Italiano. The Bracco Italiano temperament is gentle and loving but with a strong need to work.
This breed (Italian Pointing Dog in English) is an Italian bird dog. You may also hear it called an Italian Pointer or a Bracco Italiano Dog.
The Bracco Italiano temperament also makes her a lovely family dog with a loyal and playful temperament.
This breed is not for everyone, though. She is a gentle soul, but she can be stubborn.
If you think you may want to add one to your family, you will need to understand the Bracco Italiano temperament.
The Bracco Italiano Temperament
The Bracco Italiano is a smart breed. She is easy to train but can be stubborn at times.
She has a proud and self-confident air that demands respect.
The Bracco Italiano temperament is sweet and affectionate. She loves everyone she meets. She is especially affectionate toward her own people.
Eager to Please
The Bracco Italiano loves to make you happy provided you treat her kindly.
This breed bonds tightly with her family and loves to be near them. When she has had enough exercise, she likes to snuggle on the couch with her humans. She may need reminding that she is not a lap dog!
She is very people-oriented and does not do well left alone. This Bracco Italiano temperament trait makes her a poor choice for homes where there is no one around during the day.
This breed is friendly to people, children, and other dogs. She especially loves kids but may need to be socialized to very young children.
Don’t let the Bracco Italiano’s serious expression fool you. This dog loves to play. Running, playing with the kids, or a game of hide-and-seek—she’s up for all of it.
This breed is sweet and gentle in the home if she gets enough exercise.
This Bracco Italiano trait needs to be taken seriously. She needs a gentle hand with training.
The Bracco Italiano is eager to work and loves her job. She is equally enthusiastic at playtime.
She needs a lot of exercise, but she’s not hyperactive like some working dogs. She is agile and athletic and loves activities such as hiking and swimming.
If she doesn’t hunt, she will need an alternative form of exercise.
This breed does best in a hunting household or one with an active family. She needs to have a job to do.
The Bracco Italiano temperament needs both mental and physical stimulation. She is a great candidate for canine sporting events.
She’s happy to do whatever you ask of her if you treat her kindly. She is a dependable hunter.
She will let you know if a stranger is around, but she is too gentle to be a good guard dog.
Strong Prey Drive
She is a hunter, but she will accept cats if you raise them together. Some say she can be taught what she is allowed to chase.
Others feel that small pets may be too much temptation for the Bracco Italiano temperament.
She will usually be eager to please when treated gently and kindly. If not, she can dig in and refuse to obey.
Bracco Italiano Training
The Bracco Italiano is an easy dog to train if you are firm and consistent and start early. Again, she needs a gentle hand. She responds well to positive reinforcement.
If you correct her harshly, she will show you her stubborn side.
You should expose her to many different environments and situations—places, sounds, strangers, young children, etc.
If you intend to hunt your Bracco Italiano, you will want to desensitize her to the sound of gunshots very early. You will also want to introduce her to birds at a young age.
Helpful Dog Training Resource:
For help with training your Bracco Italiano dog take a look at The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan. Doggy Dan is an expert Dog Trainer based in New Zealand. His online resource contains Hundreds of Excellent Dog Training Videos that will take you step-by-step through the process of developing a healthy, happy well-behaved dog.
Bracco Italiano Appearance
The Bracco Italiano’s build is powerful and muscular. Her coat is short, dense, and shiny.
She has a kind face with a somber expression. She looks more like a hound than a gundog. Her ears are long and dangling.
Bracco Italiano Colors
Her coat is white with orange, chestnut, or roan.
Bracco Italiano Size
This is a large breed. Bracco Italiano weight is 55 to 90 pounds. Height is 21 to 27 inches.
Bracco Italiano History
The Bracco Italiano is an ancient breed that originated in Italy. She has been around at least since the 4th or 5th century BC. Dog experts think she is a cross between a gundog and a hound.
The breed has a proud lineage as a prized hunting and companion dog of early Italian aristocracy. They used them as hunting and coursing dogs and to flush game for falcon hunters.
Today they are more gundogs. They also make great companion dogs because the Bracco Italiano temperament is gentle and loyal.
They have been known in the US only as recently as 1994.
Bracco Italiano Lifespan
This breed’s life expectancy is 10-14 years, with average being 12-13 years.
Bracco Italiano Hunting
The Bracco Italiano is a versatile hunting dog, which means she excels in more than one hunting skill. She is a bird dog who tracks, points, and retrieves.
This is a breed that needs to hunt. Some breeders will only place them with hunting families.
She is technically called a gundog, but she is also a good non-gun hunting dog. She doesn’t need to kill her prey. Tracking and pointing fulfill her instinctive needs.
A non-hunting family could provide the hunting activity she needs without guns. You may want to consider joining the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association (NAVHDA). They don’t allow members to kill prey in their hunting events.
Bracco Italiano Health Issues
The Bracco Italiano is a healthy breed overall. However, all purebreds are susceptible to certain health conditions.
The Bracco Italiano is prone to:
This is a malformation of the ball-and-socket joint of the hip common to large breeds. You can help to prevent this by not overfeeding your Bracco Italiano. Rapid growth is one cause of hip dysplasia.
You should also avoid high-impact exercise or running her on hard surfaces for the first year of her life.
This doesn’t sound too horrible, but it’s actually a medical emergency. It’s called gastric dilation and volvulus syndrome (GDV). It means that the dog’s stomach fills with air and twists. This leads to pressure on the diaphragm and difficulty breathing.
This is protein deposits in a dog’s kidneys that can lead to organ failure. It’s a good idea to test for this with your Bracco Italiano’s annual exam.
These can include entropion, ectropion, and cataracts. Your vet will need to check her eyes regularly.
The Bracco Italiano’s ears need special care. She needs them checked frequently.
Always be on the lookout for changes in your Bracco Italiano’s temperament. This can be an indicator of a health problem. You should check with your vet for any unusual Bracco Italiano behaviors.
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Caring for the Bracco Italiano
Bracco Italiano Grooming
This breed is easy to groom. They have short coats, so Bracco Italiano shedding is not a major issue. The do need weekly brushing.
They need only occasional baths. You should not bathe this dog often as it strips the oils from the skin and can cause skin problems.
You should wipe her ears clean once or twice a week. Ask your vet for a recommendation for a good ear cleaner.
She also needs regular tooth brushing and nail trimming.
Bracco Italiano Diet
This is a large breed with a high metabolism, so your Bracco Italiano will eat a lot. If she is getting the recommended exercise, she may need a high-calorie diet.
You should feed a good-quality dry food twice daily instead of all at once in one meal. This will help prevent bloat.
Bracco Italiano Exercise
They also love to swim and to participate in organized dog sports. They need one to two hours of exercise a day, including playtime with the family.
If they get enough exercise, they will be quiet and calm in the house. If they don’t, they can become overactive and destructive (mostly chewing).
Finding a Bracco Italiano
Buying From a Breeder
This breed is still rare in North America. There are a few Bracco Italiano breeders online, but you should never buy a dog online without a trustworthy recommendation.
Chances are good that you would be purchasing a puppy mill dog. Puppy mill breeders often expose dogs to inhumane treatment.
Not surprisingly, they come with no health guarantees.
You would also be contributing to the practice of irresponsible breeding. Puppy mill breeders don’t concern themselves with the genetic health of their dogs. This weakens the health and temperament of the entire breed.
Responsible breeders guarantee their pups. They will take them back for any reason if needed. In fact, most require you to sign a contract agreeing to that up front.
A reputable breeder is always the way to go. Your best bet to find a quality Bracco Italiano for sale is through the Bracco Italiano Club of America (BICA).
Word of mouth is another good way to find a healthy puppy. Try visiting online forums for Bracco Italiano owners.
Another good option is to attend dog sporting events such as obedience and agility meets. There you could ask for breeder recommendations from current Bracco Italiano owners.
Once you have found a breeder, if possible you should plan a visit to the breeder site.
You will want to be sure the facility is clean and the dogs look healthy. A site visit will also give you the opportunity to ask questions.
A responsible breeder screens for the Bracco Italiano’s potential health conditions. They will also be able to tell you about the health of the parents and how the pup has been socialized.
Bracco Italiano price for puppies is from $800 to $1200.
Bracco Italiano Adoption
Again, this breed is still rare in North America. It may take patience if you’re looking for a Bracco Italiano for adoption.
But adopting an adult Bracco Italiano is so worthwhile. Of course, you would be changing the life of a dog that needs a loving home.
But there are other advantages to adopting an adult dog. If you get your Bracco Italiano from a shelter or rescue, it will be spayed or neutered.
Its immunizations will be up to date. It will probably have at least some basic training. And it will have had a health screening.
It is also likely to be housebroken and possibly microchipped.
The Bracco Italiano cost would be less than buying from a breeder. Most shelters charge from $75 to $250 for an adult dog. Bracco Italiano rescues generally charge a little more, from $200 to $500 plus shipping if needed.
If you choose to go this route, you’ll want to alert any shelters in your area that you’re looking for one.
If you’re considering Bracco Italiano rescue, there are some online resources to help. BICA would be a good place to start.
You could also try the Bracco Italiano Rescue Organisation (BIRO). This is a worldwide group that “rehomes abroad.”
Whether you choose to search shelters or rescues or both, let them know if you would consider a Bracco Italiano mix.
A mix can be a great way to go. A mixed breed would probably be easier to find and would shorten your search time.
It’s possible to get a mixed breed with purebred Bracco Italiano traits. As a bonus, mixed breeds often have a lower risk of breed-specific health conditions.
Is the Bracco Italiano the Right Breed for You?
So you know the joys and challenges of owning a Bracco Italiano. The keys to successfully raising one are providing an active life and respecting her sensitivity.
If your family is a hunting or sports-oriented one, this breed could be the one for you. She needs a lot of physical and mental stimulation and firm training. If you can give her these, the Bracco Italiano temperament will reward you with years of loving loyalty.
Paula is an experienced writer who loves dogs and had many of them through the years. Her family always had large dogs—Border Collies, Labs, and Golden Retrievers. When her beloved Golden died of cancer, she decided to practice what she preached and do some research before choosing her next breed. She now shares this knowledge with thousands of dogtemperament.com readers worldwide.