The Bracco Italiano (plural Bracchi Italiani) was developed in Italy around the fifth century BC and is the oldest continental pointing breed. It is also known as the Italian Pointer.
It’s an aristocratic gundog, both in bearing and temperament. Its original function was to hunt, point and retrieve feathered game, and it is still used primarily as a working dog to this day, having changed very little over the millennia.
The Bracco Italiano can be white, with or without orange or chestnut markings.
The Bracco Italiano is an ancient breed, with evidence of its existence dating as far back as the fifth and sixth centuries BC. Its origins probably lay in a cross between a Phoenician sighthound and an Asiatic Mastiff. In antiquity, two variations of the breed existed: the first, lighter in color in build, was from the Piedmont region, and the second, with darker color and heavier conformation, came from Lombardy. They have been considered a single breed for many years.
The Bracco was always a breed of the aristocracy, as bird hunting was a sport for the wealthy. Well established by the Middle Ages, they were bred by the Medici and Gonzaga families during the Renaissance, which is often viewed as the breed’s zenith. Originally, the Bracco drove birds into nets, and thus were known as “bracchi da astore,”
however their hunting style has evolved as firepower became available.
At the turn of the twentieth century, the breed’s popularity declined sharply and they faced extinction. The Bracco was saved by careful breeding practices, headed by the Italian breeder and field judge Ferdinando Delor de Ferrabouc.
- The Italian breed standard was released in 1949.
- The Bracco came to the US in the late 1990s.
- Although it is still practically unheard of in this country, the breed has a small, staunch group of enthusiasts.
Bracco Italiano Pedigree Database
Below is a link to the database created by the Bracco Italiano Club of the UK showing pedigress and searchable data for dogs in the UK.