Cirneco dell'Etna

Type: Sight Hound

Height: 16.5 - 20 inches. Females: 16.5 - 18 inches; Males: 18 - 20 inches.

Weight: Females: 18 - 26 lbs.; Males: 26 - 30 lbs.

Life Span: 12 - 14 years.

Litter Size:

Country of Origin: Sicily, Italy


Watch-dog: High. Sicilian Hounds are very alert and watchful.

Guard-dog: Low. They will be alert and reserved toward strangers, but not aggressive.

Description: Almost identical to the Pharaoh Hound, the Cirneco dell'Etna has a similar history as well. The Cirneco dell'Etna, or Sicilian Hound, is a rare dog not commonly seen out of its native island, Sicily. They are smaller in size, with very short, glossy and harsh to the touch fur. They are thinly wired, with evenly distributed muscles, such as a greyhound. One of the ancient sight hounds, Cirneco dell'Etnas are excellent at catching their prey. They can sneak up to small animals, even birds, in total silence and snatch them from their hiding place. They were once used to hunt rabbit and other small game. They have excellent noses and almond-shaped, deep set eyes. Their eyes range from yellow to hazel brown color. Their appearance is one of wisdom and understanding, with high pointing erect ears and a thin face. Cirneco dell'Etnas will adapt to companion if needed, but does not readily adapt to other dogs and children. Cirneco dell'Etnas will sleep outdoors contentedly, keeping watch for you throughout the night.

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Other Names: Sicilian Hound, Cirneco

Colors: Any shade of fawn, with white markings on the chest acceptable. They may also come in white, or white with orange markings.

Coat: Harsh, short, glossy, and rustic.

Temperament: A quiet companion, the Cirneco dell'Etna it lively and friendly towards family. They do not warm up quickly to other children or strange pets, though. They are not easy to train, but are content with sitting outside to watch the yard for intruders. Cirneco dell'Etnas were said to have

With Children: Does not warm up quickly to children, but should be friendly towards children it knows.

With Pets: Does not warm up quickly to other pets.

Special Skills: Silent hunter and companion.

Care and Training: Cirneco dell'Etnas do not require much grooming. Their coat needs little attention, as it is very short. Training is difficult with this breed, but watchdog capabilities come naturally.

Special Needs: Exercise, socialization and training.

Living Environment: Cirneco dell'Etnas require quite a lot of exercise, making it more difficult to live in the city than in a rural or suburban environment. The best owner for this breed would be an active individual living in a suburban or rural environment that can give it training and good exercise.

History: The Cirneco dell'Etna developed much the same way as the Pharaoh Hound, just on another region of land. The Cirneco was probably brought from Egypt to the island of Sicily 3000 years ago by the Phoenicians. So what difference is there from the Pharaoh Hound? The Sicilian Hound is smaller, with much more deep set eyes. The name is derived from the area of Cirneco, Sicily. Resting on Sicily is the active volcano, Mt. Etna, from which the dog's name arrived. The breed has been almost completely isolated from outside of the island, making it probably have true pure blood. During the time of the arrival of the Cirneco dell'Etna, Phoenicians were known to come from places such as Africa and Asia with greyhounds and other sight hounds, trading them with places in the Aegean and Mediterranean seas. The Cirneco dell'Etna was used in the past as a hunter of sight/scent/sound hound, and is used to today for the same purpose, as well as a pet and show dog.

Class: Sight hound

Registries: KC (UK), FCI (Group 5)