The Cirneco dell Etna or Sicilian Hound is a primitive Sighthound originating from Sicily, Italy. He is of the same ancestry like Pharaoh Hound, Podenco Canario, and all other hounds originating from the Old World. The breed was brought by the Phoenicians from the ancient Cyrenaica to Sicily, some 3.000 years ago. There, limited by space, it left isolated for centuries, with the biggest population around the volcanic Mount Etna, hence such name. The breed is included in the Primitive Types – Hunting Dogs group in the class of primitive dogs, and it’s very rare outside its native island. Cirneco dell Etna is an agile, medium-sized hunting dog, who is, in his native country, primarily used in hunting rabbits. It is the smallest of all Mediterranean hounds with whom he shares so many common qualities. Sicilian Hound life expectancy is somewhere between 12 and 15 years.
What Is A Cirneco dell Etna
Main Cirneco dell Etna characteristics are agility, speed, independence, intelligence, endurance, loyalty, hardiness, alertness, persistence, briskness, and emotional sensitivity. Like Pharaoh Hound, this breed is very sensitive to different sorts of factors, such as loud sounds, mistreating, ranting, separation, etc. This sensible side makes training itself harder, but experienced owners won’t have trouble with this dog. His training capability is large since this is highly intelligent and loyal breed. You can easily train him every command, just make sure you apply gentle and focused training sessions without any sort of bullying or shouting. This is also important for the dogs self-confidence. The grown up dog personality literally depends on the way you treat him, so the proper training while he’s still a puppy is mandatory.
The Cirneco dell Etna is a highly energetic dog that requires regular daily exercise. It would be best to take your dog for a long walk or for a jogging together. I suggest you practice with him at least once a day because this is very important for the dog’s mental and physical health. This way you will also prevent your dog to become bored, when he is more than prone to not-so-nice behavior. Speaking of bad behavior, Cirnechi are prone to roaming and digging. For this reason, it would be best to have a large yard with strong high fence or big wall around. Also, make sure you put a fence around your garden too ;) You can as well keep a Sicilian in your house or apartment since these dogs love to be in the company of their owners as much as they can. Besides that, they are often gentle, they love to cuddle, which makes them ideal for life indoors.
Indeed, Cirneco dell Etna is a good family dog who respects owner and other members of the household. Also, this dog has a good memory, so he will quickly get used to his owner’s friends. Strangers, however, will be greeted with loud barking and reserve, but he won’t be aggressive with them. Cirnechi are usually nice and tolerant with children, but they are not recommended for families with toddlers and little kids, unless trained accordingly. You see, small children unknowingly can be very abusive with dogs, which Sicilian Hound won’t tolerate, so it is best to choose some other breed in this case. The same thing is with other pets and dogs. He is more or less tolerant with them and they can live fine together, but his hunting nature can make this relationship uncertain. It would be best to raise a Sicilian Greyound together with your other pets.
Sicilian Hound Physical Characteristics
The Cirneco dell Etna has all the physical characteristics similar to every other Greyhound. In other words, this dog has athletic and dynamic look. He is taller in withers than long. His body is slender and muscular with thin skin closely attached. The coat is short and glossy. These dogs shed sparse, so no regular grooming is required. It is important to mention here that, if you live in the northern hemisphere, it’s advisable to keep your dog indoors during cold days. They are not at all used to cold weather, so keep that in mind. The main Cirneco dell Etna color is red (fawn) with white markings, which can be found on the neck, chest, stomach, feet, head, and tip of tail. White dogs with or without red markings are acceptable as well as those with a few shades of red.
The Cirneco dell Etna is a slim and light dog with incredible maneuver and jumping abilities. I mean, just look at him, his athletic qualities are quite obvious. He has the elongated, wedge-shaped head with large, erect ears and small, oval-shaped eyes, which are often of an amber color, but can also be grey. The muzzle is long and pointed with scissor jaws and broad rectangular nose of the same color as coat. The neck is long, muscular and slightly arched. Sicilian Hound has a straight back and long, thin and slightly curved tail. It is often carried low reaching the hocks, but while the dog’s excited it is carried high atop his back in the shape of a sabre. His chest is deep, narrow and long. The front legs are straight, bony and parallel, while the hind legs are strong, muscular and slightly angled. The paws are oval-shaped with hard pads.
Cirneco dell Etna Dog Size And Weight
– Height between 18 and 19,5 inches (46-50 cm)
– Weight between 22 and 26,5 pounds (10-12 kg)
– Height between 15,5 and 16,5 inches (40-42 cm)
– Weight between 17,5 and 22 pounds (8-10 kg)
Although one of the common names for Cirneco dell Etna is the Sicilian Greyhound, in reality he is actually more a Sighthound. As such, Cirnechi are relying more on their sight, hearing and speed while hunting. However, they have an excellent sense of smell, which helps them greatly in tracking. They are silent hunters, who can work alone or together with other dogs. Using their high intelligence and light, quiet movement, these dogs are capable of approaching the game unnoticed, so they can easily caught it off guard. This is of great importance since they are primarily used to hunt rabbits and other small game, which are very sensitive to any kind of noise. Besides that, these dogs are used to hunt in the harsh volcanic terrain of mount Etna, which makes them more than capable to successfully hunt down any kind of small game, no matter how fast or agile it is.
Great Sporting Dog
The Cirneco dell Etna is an agile, swift and light dog with huge stamina. His slender and athletic figure, combined with long and strong legs, is the reason this dog possesses the incredible movement and jumping abilities. He can easily reach the neck-breaking speed, he can change direction in a blink of an eye, and he can jump very, very high. All these properties make him a great sporting dog. Cirnechi are often participating in dog agility and racing competitions, but they can also successfully compete in tracking. Of course, the proper training is necessary in this case, but considering how fast learners these dogs are that won’t be a problem for an experienced owner. As you can clearly see, Cirneco dell Etna is a wonderful multipurpose dog of many qualities. So, if you decide to buy one, I’m sure he’ll give you many reasons to be proud of :)