Italians breeds

Italian pointer - Bracco Italiano - Italian Pointing dog
Italian breeds of dogs

Origin, classification and brief historical summary

Origin: Italy.
Classification F.C.I. N. 202: Group 7 - Pointing Dogs; Section 1.1 - Continental Pointing Dogs, type "Braque"; with working trial.

This was a very popular breed in the Renaissance, especially appreciated by nobles and the kings of various European countries. It was bred at  the Gonzaga’s and The Medici’s, largely employed during hunting in the nearby woods, which at that time were rich of game. The breed sharply declined towards the 19th century but in the last century it was revalued and employed for hunting feathered game. The hunting gait is the trot just as the griffon does, while all other breeds gallop in hunting.

General appearance

The Italian Pointer has a strong build at the same time showing a vigorous but a harmonious and well-proportioned body: a distinguishing trait is his lean shape and his particular head with suborbital chisel.

Behaviour and temperament

Although the Italian pointer is not as quick as some English pointers, that are very quick to search and notice the presence of the prey, he can do well in any kind of area and ground. Very clever and extremely loving, he can learn surprisingly fast. As this breed is highly gifted both in the aspect and in the behaviour, it should be appreciated and developed even more all over the world.

Italian pointer Italian pointer (photo www.agraria.org)

Italian pointer Italian pointer (photo www.agraria.org)

Standard

Size:
 - males 58-67 cm
 - females 55-62 cm
Weight: between 25 and 40 kg

Head:
Angular and narrow at the level of the zygomatic arches, its length corresponds to 4/10 of the height at the withers: the middle of its length is at the level of a line which unites the inner angles of both eyes: the upper longitudinal axes of the skull ad muzzle are divergent, i.e. if extended the top line of the muzzle, emerges in front of the occipital protuberance, ideally at mid-length of the skull.

Skull region:
Seen in profile, the skull shape is a very open arch. Seen from the top, it forms lengthwise an elongated ellipse. The width of the skull, measured at the level of the zygomatic arches should not exceed half of the length of the head. Cheeks are lean, the bugle of the forehead and the supraorbital ridges are perceptible, whereas the stop is not pronounced. The frontal groove is visible and ends at mid-length of the skull. The interparietal crest is short and not very prominent. The occipital protuberance is pronounced.

Facial region:
Nose: voluminous, with large well opened nostrils, protrudes slightly over the lips with which it forms an angle. Colour: brown or from pale pink to more or less deep fleshy red depending on the colour of the coat.
Muzzle: foreface either straight or slightly arched. Its length is equal to half of the length of the head and its depth measures 4/5 of its length. Seen from the front, the lateral sides of the muzzle converge slightly, still presenting a foreface of good width. The chin not very apparent.
Lips: upper lips well developed, thin and floppy without being flaccid, covering the jaw; seen in profile, they overlap the lower jaw slightly, seen from the front, they form an inverted "V" below the nose; the corner of the lips must be marked without being droopy.
Teeth: dental arches well adapted, with the teeth square to the jaw; scissor bite - pincer bite is also acceptable.
Eyes: semi-lateral position with a soft and submissive expression neither deep set nor prominent. Eyes fairly large, eyelids ovalshaped and close fitting (no entropion or ectropion). The iris is of a more or less dark ochre or brown colour depending on the coat colour.
Ears: well developed, in length they should, without being stretched, reach the tip of the nose. Their width is at least equal to half their length; raised only very slightly; base rather narrow, set rather backwards at level of zygomatic arches: a supple ear with a front rim well turned inwards and really close to the cheek is appreciated; the lower extremity of the ear ends in a slightly rounded tip.

Neck:
Powerful, in truncated cone shape, length not less than 2/3 of the length of the head, well detached from the nape. The throat shows a soft double dewlap.

Body:
Topline: the upper profile of the back is made up of two lines: one, almost straight, slopes from the withers to the 11th dorsal vertebra; the other is slightly arched, joining with the line of the rump.
Withers: well defined, with the points of the shoulder blades well separated.
Loin: wide lumbar region, muscled, short and slightly convex.
Rump: long (about 1/3 of the height at the withers), broad and well muscled; the pelvic angulation (angle formed by the pelvic girdle with a horizontal line) is 30°. Pelvis wide.

Chest: broad, deep and well down to level of elbows, without forming a heel, with well sprung ribs, particularly in their lower part, and sloping.
Underline: lower profile almost horizontal in its ribcage part, rising slightly in its abdominal part.
Tail: thick at the base, straight, with a slight tendency to taper, hair short. When the dog is in action and especially when questing, is carried horizontally or nearly. Should be docked at 15 - 25 cm from the root.

Limbs:
Forequarters: shoulder strong, well muscled, long and sloping, very free in its movement; the upperarm sloping, fitting to the ribcage; forearm strong, straight, with strong and well marked sinews; the point of the elbows should be on a perpendicular line from the rear point of the shoulder blade to the ground; metacarpus (pasterns) well proportioned, lean, of good length and slightly sloping; feet strong, slightly oval shaped, well arched and closed toes with strong nails well curved towards the ground. Colour of nails is white, yellow or brown, of a more or less dark shade depending on the colour of the coat: pads elastic and lean.

Hindquarters: thigh long, parallel, muscular, with a rear edge almost straight; strong limbs; hocks wide, metatarsals relatively short and lean. The feet with all the characteristics of the front feet, have dewclaws, the absence of which is not a fault. Double dewclaw is tolerated.

Skin:
Tough but elastic: fine on the head, the throat, inside the elbows and on lower part of the body. The visible mucous membranes must be a corresponding colour with the coat, but never show black spots. The mucous membranes of the mouth are pink; in the roans or white and chestnut coloured dogs they sometimes show brown or light chestnut spotting.

Coat:
Type of hair: short, dense and glossy, fine and shorter on the head, the ears, front part of the legs and feet.
Colour of coat: white; white with marking of varied size of an orange or more or less dark amber colour, white with more or less large chestnut marking; white with pale orange (speckled); white mottled with chestnut (roan-chestnut); in this last combination, a metallic sheen is appreciated, and a warm shade of chestnut is preferred, recalling the colour of a monk's tunic. A symmetrical facial mask is preferred but the absence of a mask is tolerated.

Faults: any departure from the foregoing constitutes a fault which when judging must be penalized according to its seriousness and its extension.

by Vinattieri Federico www.difossombrone.it - Ente Nazionale della Cinofilia Italiana www.enci.it


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