Meet the Bracco Italiano: AKC’s 200th Breed

| Christy Caplan CVT

Meet the Bracco Italiano: The American Kennel Club's 200th Dog Breed. This energetic sporting dog is personable & passionate, suited for both hunting & family life.

a braccio italiano dog in a field

The Bracco Italiano or “Italian Pointer” is an ancient breed with ancestral connections dating back over 500 years to the Egyptian Hound! However, the true origins of the breed remain a mystery.

Ciao Bracco!

When the American Kennel Club added the Bracco Italiano as the 200th dog to their registry, this breed gained immediate eligibility to compete in the Sporting Group. They make a great fit, since they’re known for their hunting and sight abilities, both of which helped the old aristocracies – and even people in the Middle Ages - hunt birds.  

The Bracco Italiano is a muscular and athletic breed – and tends to be eager to learn. While this breed is all pointer, it is the most hound-like of the gun dog breeds – and even looks a bit like a Basset Hound with their long, hanging ears. Best suited to rural life, this breed of hound needs a lot of space to hunt and roam – and is always up for a hike, a swim, or bird tracking.  A couch potato owner would NOT be a good fit!

Bracco Italiano History and Origin

The Bracco Italiano is often referred to as the oldest European pointer, since they can be spotted in paintings from the 4th and 5th centuries.

Physically, they’re a hybrid of the Segugio Italiano (Coursing Hound) and the Asiatic Mastiff, possessing the medium build of the Segugio, as well as some connections to the Bloodhound and St. Hubert Hound.

Bracco Italiano Breed Facts

The Bracco Italiano’s breed standard categorizes them as a high-adaptable and versatile breed, capable of both work and sport. This Italian Pointer is used to track, point, and retrieve.

Here’s VetStreet’s breakdown of breed characteristics:

Height: 22 to 26 inches

Weight: 55 to 88 pounds

Lifespan: 10-14 years

Temperament: They thrive on human companionship and are very affectionate with their family.

Coat and Coloring:

The Bracco Italiano boasts soft folds of skin hanging over the cheeks and a pointed, long head. Their appearance will depend on the size and coloring of the parents, but there are typically four-color combinations:

  • White with orange/amber markings

  • White with chestnut markings

  • White with pale orange speckles

  • White with mottled chestnut markings

5 Fun Facts About the Bracco Italiano

How To Choose a Reputable Breeder

Does this sound like the dog breed for your family? Locating a reputable breeder is the first step, and they will provide a perspective on the breed and the health of the puppy’s parents. Once you find a reputable breeder, ask the following questions:

  • Why did you decide to breed the Bracco Italiano and how long have you been breeding them?

  • Do you have a return contract? (All reputable breeders should say “Yes”)

The American Kennel Club’s breeder resource is an excellent place to start if you want to bring home a Bracco Italiano.

Is a Sporting Breed for You?

Sporting dogs were bred to work closely with hunters to assist in hawking, netting, and shooting. They are trained to help locate, retrieve, or both. Many of the breeds in this group are still used for hunting and competing in field trials, and the most popular breeds are the Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, and Cocker Spaniel.

These dogs are high energy and affectionate, meaning they’ll need a family with the time, energy, and warmth to make them feel at home.

Is the Bracco Italiano Breed on Your Short-List?

There is a lot to love about this breed. The Bracco Italiano is an affectionate sporting breed used to track and point. In the field, this dog is known for having a lovely extended trot. The dog isn’t suited for apartment living, but if you have a big backyard and live an active lifestyle, you’ll have a loyal best friend.

Your Bracco Italiano Puppy Needs Pet Insurance

Planning and budgeting for a new pet gives you the freedom to live in the moment and focus more on enjoying their adorable puppy antics. Things like annual veterinary visits and preventive medication can help protect your pup from the common conditions that typically affect young dogs.

Pet insurance is another great way to help keep your pup healthy. Get a dog insurance quote from AKC Pet Insurance today (underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company) and prepare for unexpected accidents, illnesses, and much more.

Christy Caplan CVT

Christy is a writer, editor, blogger, chicken keeper, and storyteller. She uses her knowledge as a certified veterinary technician to inform animal lovers on health and wellness topics. Christy's Standard Dachshund and Beagle mix are the inspiration behind her writing portfolio and essays.


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