Also known as the Sicilian Greyhound, the Cirneco dell Etna hails from Italy and takes its name from Sicily’s Mount Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe.
History and Origin of the Cirneco dell Etna
The earliest appearance of the Cirneco dell Etna can be traced back approximately 2,500 years and closely resembles the Pharaoh Hound. The Cirneco is an adept hunter of small animals and birds, and handles less-than-desirable hunting conditions–such as high heat and rough terrain–with ease. The breed is known for being able to withstand long hours of work without food or water, and is generally low maintenance in nature.
Appearance and Size of the Cirneco dell Etna
The compact Cirneco weighs in at 18-27 pounds and stands approximately 18-19 inches tall. The breed has a short, smooth, thin coat and is naturally lean and bony. They have pointed, pricked ears and are usually chestnut brown in color.
Personality of the Cirneco dell Etna
Friendly and affable, the Cirneco is now mainly kept as companion animals rather than being used for hunting. However, due to the breed’s innate hunting abilities and natural athleticism, the Cirneco craves exercise and activity. This is a breed that will perform excellently in dog sports such as agility, lure coursing, and even rally and tracking.
Home and Family Relations with the Cirneco dell Etna
The Cirneco develops deep affection for family members and likes to be in close proximity to them. Thanks to their alert nature, the breed is also an excellent watchdog. While they can live in harmony with pets such as cats and small dogs, families should remember that the Cirneco does possess a natural prey drive which may result in chasing.
Training of the Cirneco dell Etna
The Cirneco is known for being easier to train than other sighthounds. Because they respond best to positive reinforcement techniques, rewards such as food/treats and praise are effective. Short, frequent training sessions also help in keeping their attention for increased learning and carryover.
Grooming of the Cirneco dell Etna
Having a short, thin coat means easy care for the Cirneco. Weekly brushing with a soft-bristled brush and regular maintenance of teeth, nails, and ears are recommended.
Special Care of the Cirneco dell Etna
Families should keep in mind that the Cirneco is an excellent jumper. Care is to be exercised when leaving food or other desirable items within jumping reach. In addition, secure above ground fencing will not only help the Cirneco get the exercise it craves, but will also aid in preventing escape into an unsafe situation.
Common Diseases and Disorders of the Cirneco dell Etna
As the Cirneco dell Etna is a rarer breed, less is known about its health. Generally, the breed appears to be healthy, with most conditions stemming from muscle injuries gained from running or exercise.
Life Span of the Cirneco dell Etna
The average life span of the Cirneco dell Etna is approximately 12-14 years.