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AKC Meet the Breeds: Cirneco dell’Etna

American Kennel Club, Inc. (c) 2011

A small breed similar in looks to the Pharaoh Hound, the Cirneco dell’Etna is a native of Italy. As a rabbit hunter, the breed is used in lure coursing competitions throughout Europe and in the United States as well. The prick ear may be the breed’s most distinguishing feature, being high set and close together. They also can blush when excited and will tan in the summer. The breed has been a part of AKC’s Foundation Stock Service since 2006 under the Hound designation.

A Look Back
The Cirneco is a small, primitive breed that is used in Sicily to hunt rabbits near the Mount Etna volcano. The breed is believed to have existed in Sicily for the last 2500 years. It almost disappeared until revived in the early 1900's, but is now fairly common in its native land. Cirnechi can now be found throughout Western Europe, Scandinavia, the USA and most recently Russia.

Right Breed for You?
Cirnechi are sweet, affectionate dogs who love their families. They learn quickly and like to stay busy, so owners must provide plenty of exercise and stimulation. Their short coat requires only minimal upkeep.

  • Foundation Stock Service; Hound Group designation.
  • Maximum size: 19 inches tall at the shoulder for males and 18 inches tall for females.
  • Rabbit hunter.

AKC Meet the Breeds is a registered trademark of The American Kennel Club, Inc.