Italian Hound

Breed Rating

family friendly:
Dog friendly:
Watch/guard dog:
Affection / Dependance:
Exercise needed:
Space needed:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:

Breed Attributes


Breed group: Hounding    Type: Pure Breed    Talent: , ,


Size: Medium     Weight: 40-62 lbs     Fur length: Short    Ears: Flappy    Fur type: Straight    Fur Color: Black, Black & Brown, Black & White, Dark Brown / Chocolate, Gray / Salt & Pepper, Light Brown / Golden


Life Expectancy: 10-14 years    Rarity: Uncommon    Availability: Hard to find    Climate: Not good for cold climate.

Breed Details


The Italian Hound is also known as Segugio Italiano. It is an ancient scenthound dog breed originating in Italy from ancient Egyptian coursing hounds and Roman Molussus. An excellent tracking and very fast dog, the Italian Hound was originally developed to hunt wild boar but with decline in boar population, it is now used to hunt hares and other furry game.

The dog has lean and light boned and square body. It comes with a elongated head and slightly arched and narrow skull. Nose is black with wide nostrils. Oval shaped large eyes are dark in colour. Triangular shaped fine ears are set low on the head and hang down the cheek. Medium length neck is slightly arched. Short back is muscular with deep chest and moderately sprung ribs. Strong and set on high tail is thin and tapering. It is carried high when the dog is in motion. The dog comes in two coat varieties. Short coated Italian Hound have smooth, thick and shiny coat while Coarsehaired Italian Hound has harsh, dense, wiry and close-fitting coat. Either coat can come in colours ranging from black/tan to any shade from deep red to wheaten.

This breed is NOT recognized by AKC however it is recognized by FCI and KC(UK).


Colour for this breed ranges from shades of deep red to wheaten to black.


There are two varieties of this dog with respect to coat type. One is smooth haired and other is short haired. Wire coated dogs have harsh dense coat that grows not more than 5 cm and lies close to the body. The smooth coated variety has thick shiny coat that looks like glass.


The Italian Hound is first and foremost a working dog. It is among the most popular hunting dog breed in Italy due to its excellent hunting skills. It has a keen sense of smell and determination of a bloodhound to track a game. This dog not only tracks the game, it also captures and kills it. It can hunt in packs or alone depending upon size of the game. It is most valued by lone hunters or small groups for its exceptional abilities. This tireless dog can work all day long without needing time to rest and will be ever so ready the very next day for another hunting expedition. Though this dog was bred for hunting purposes, living with humans has accustomed this breed to human companionship. It is a loyal, loving and affectionate dog with an even temperament. It gets along well with other dogs and pets in the family while being very kind and gentle towards children. With its playful and gentle nature, the dog is trustworthy around children. It is an alert dog who makes a good watch dog as it will signal arrival of an stranger. This breed is highly trainable with an eager to please and willing to learn nature. The Italian Hound makes an excellent family pet with proper and early age socialization and training.


Both types of Italian Hound dogs, the smooth coated and wire coated, are easy to take care of. The coats will need weekly brushing to distribute skin oils evenly and to remove dead hair. Ears should be checked for infection.


Unlike most hound dogs, the Italian Hound is very trainable with its intelligence, eager to please and willing to learn attitude. Some dogs can show stubborn attitude but that can be taken care of with firm and consistent training. The trainer should keep in mind that this intelligent breed can quickly get bored with repetitive exercise routines and he should devise interesting training tricks.


As a working dog, this breed has high activity demands. The dog would need to be taken for daily walks and given ample playing time, preferably in a large open area. It is an unsuitable dog for apartment dwellers for its propensity for barking. This dog is best suited in a rural or suburban setting.

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