Introduction

During World War II the Cirneco almost became extinct. Several people with a passion for the breed got involved to ensure the preservation of the breed with responsible breeding programs instead of “puppy farming.” Many of us are still concerned about the welfare of the Cirneco breed today and want to offer puppies from breeders who breed and raise their puppies more responsibly than a “puppy farm.” Responsible breeders make mating decisions with much thought for breed type, temperament and health. This group of breeders will not allow females older than 7 years old to be bred and no more than 3 litters.

 

Thanks to the diversity of the breeders in our team, we can offer the dogs for different purposes. There are petite and smaller types for exhibitions, the rougher and larger for coursing, the ferocious hunters and also we report the less qualitative dogs to the buyer.

Types of Cirneco Dell'Etna. (From the book of Giuseppe Urzi adapted by Tatiana Butt)
 
Cirneco Dell'Etna is one of the unique Italian hunting dog breeds created by nature.
The breed has an original appearance, ruggedness and high adaptive qualities.
Natural propertiesof  Cirneco is a biological and physiological characteristics, developed evolutionarily under the influence of living conditions and the environment. These include: endurance, agility, courage, speed of reaction, the sharpness of hearing, sight, smell, ability to  adapt quickly to different conditions of existence, etc.
 The breed is currently the smallest and holds the status of species, endangered. At the moment, the number of pure-bred breeding (core of the genetic pool breed Cirneco Dell'Etna) is so small that is considered to be insufficient for intensive breeding for complex of attributs.
Thus, a small number, and therefore, a limited gene pool, and a low level of reproduction in the species threaten the continued existence and improvement of the Cirneco of Etna, as the selection of this breed of dogs involves only thoroughbred breeding. Based on this, the basic idea of ​​the breeding program is not to achieve popularization of breed, but maintaining its gene pool. However, a stabilization of the existing morphological Cirneco type  is not enough. It should also improving the  types within a breed. Only at first sight is  the work on the domestication of native types of two of undertypes seems simple fixation of desirable attributs. The impression of this "simplicity" is not exacerbated by the lack of compatibility of the lines.
 
Cirneco dell'Etna is a breed of long-term directional selection on complex attributs, such as endurance is one of the major criteria for selection. To maintain and increase the population Cirneco of Etna, in the selection of vendors to consider genotypic and phenotypic characteristics of each producer in the future by working with this breed in accordance with the breeding program. In the development of any breed periods signs of stabilization in nurseries must be combined with a compulsory period of "blood updates."
 
Let us remember about what meens the "breed genotype and phenotype".
The fact that one of the characteristics of "retreats" to another does not mean the disappearance of this characteristic. It is stored in the inherited traits in dogs genotype (Genotype - set of hereditary characteristics).
At the same phenotype (Phenotype - the outward expression of hereditary characteristics), we can see quite different. This implies that the genotype of homozygous animal   coincide  with a phenotype and at the heterozygote animal  not.
However, the phenotype (from the Greek word phaino - is find out) is not limited, as many often think, that we can see. This is what we can hear, feel (wool texture, smell), as well as the behavior of the animal and its character. Phenotype - is the result of the implementation of the genetic program laid down in the genotype, under certain environmental conditions.
To breed dogs characterized by a common origin, the similarities between animals (color, exterior), the number of population, area (distribution), constancy (resistance to inherit the characteristic of the day signs of the breed) and variability (except for identical twins, no two exactly the same animal) usefulness to humans, as well as the extent to which the purpose breed.
Factors causing changes in the breed.
1. Nature and geography (soil, climate, topography and character etc.).
2. Acclimatization (adaptation, adaptation to the conditions of life, which are determined by the birth and death rates, the construction of the fortress, and others.)
3. Degeneration (if the conditions are breeding a certain breed unfavorable - failed acclimatization, inadequate feeding)
4. The socio-economic conditions (the main factor).
 
Breed - a dynamic category and at an appropriate breeding work it is able to evolve in the desired direction, depending on the requirements of her man at this stage.
Dogs faster and easier than other pets, are subject to change under the influence of external conditions and natural - historical factors, form the most diverse, sometimes very distant and a little similar to each other form.
Plasticity (variability depending on the breeding areas) breed gives it the ability to adapt to different conditions and is a factor for further progress. The plasticity of breed caused intrabreed types. The plasticity of breed, the presence in it of several dogs interbreed types makes it possible to avoid the overdevelopment organisms. The plasticity of breed is an important positive for its quality, the basis for further progress of the breed.
Formed breed consists of offspring, interbreeding types of lines, families.
Interbreed type is determined by the constitutional features of dogs and their zonal type of working qualities.
 
Aboriginal interbreed types Cirneco Etna, Sicily.
 
The concept of "style" and is very simple and very difficult. If you are able to distinguish the Cirneco of another breed, then you own the basic idea of ​​the type. Type is also used to highlight important differences intrapedigree: Cirnechi still quite diverse in type. Simply put, the type determines the amount, ratio and proportions of the dog's body. But the "type" of a broader concept encompassing the overall balance and harmony of the animal, and also includes a concept such as "style" of the breed, and even the character and temperament of the breed. Type includes the behavioral element.
 
I happened to see the representatives of the breed, interbreed and various intermediate types, the birthplace of the breed, to communicate with the oldest Sicilian breeders and hunters, hunt and see the special exhibition, translate and study the different literature about the breed.
Aboriginal Sicilians kept and contain Cirneco in peri-domestic condition. With confidence, we can say that the development of dogs, and changes in the interbreed types of interbreed, have a major impact of natural and geographical factors such as climate, nature of terrain on which the hunt Cirneco et al.), Adaptation to the conditions of life.
We will not dwell on the description of the breed Cirneco, say only that they are not everywhere uniform. Among them we can see the different  interbreed types of interbreed and the intermediate phenotypes.
Cirneco who live in the villages at the foot of Mount Etna, in the province of Catania and Palermo Cirnechi living in the area, other cities of the central part of Sicily, very different phenotypes.
 

In Sicily, Cirnechi always divided and separated into two interbreed types of  - southern and northern.

 

A picture of a southern type

(around 1950)
A modern southern type here under
Dogs of this type of live and hunt around the city of Catania, at the foot of Etna, such as villages and towns: Viagrande, Zafferana, Milo, Linguaglossa, Randazzo, Bronte, Belpasso, Paterno - it is a small sized dog, a bright red color with small white markings on the chest, on the fingers, you can find dogs with a white mask on the face and the so-called "star on the forehead." Required, set high, not large triangular ears with tough cartilage. Striking head with flat skull, the eyes almond shaped, well filled muzzle, long and sharp, with a fairly strong but graceful neck. Graceful, strong, compact, not large and very hardy dog. The coat is hard, vitreous, dense. South interbreed type Cirneco, hunts in very difficult conditions, in the rocky terrain, looking for the rabbit in the voids between the red-hot lava from the scorching sun, in the thorny blackberry bush for hours while in the sun. Dogs have to jump over, climb, to penetrate into crevices and voids between pieces of frozen lava.
 

North Cirneco type -

the Cirneco interbreed type, formed in the conditions of hunting in open areas - agricultural fields, dry steppes.
 
 
Away from the Etna, in the central part of Sicily and the coast, such as the regions and cities - Palermo, Palagonia, Ramacca, Raddusa, Caltagirone, Taormina - Cirnechi completely different type. Preference is given to higher dogs, light color wool, with the presence of large white markings up to the white neck and chest, large triangular ears, frequent soft cartilage and high ear set. For dogs of this type is characterized by: high on, fry, stretched and elongated tapered head, refinement, a lighter skeleton than the "southern intrabreed type." Wool is a soft and delicate. This interbreed type developed due to changes in the terrain, and the method of hunting dogs of this type are valuable for poachers, since this method of hunting easier.
 
 

General information about breed

Originally used to hunt rabbits and other small game on rough ground formed by molten lava, these trim, muscular dogs rely on sight, scent and hearing to track their prey. They are known for their stamina, swiftness and springy gait, which help them to navigate treacherous terrain with relative ease. Bred to hunt for days in extreme heat without access to food or water, the Cirneco is an extraordinarily hardy and resilient dog. Its attentive, affectionate, adaptable disposition makes it a good companion for active families. Despite the efforts of breed aficionados, the Cirneco is still rare outside of Sicily and has not achieved the popularity of its larger Pharaoh Hound and Ibizan Hound cousins.

General Appearance

The Cirneco dell'Etna is a small- to medium-sized elegant hunting dog with exaggerated ears, a long pointy muzzle and a stunning coat. The Cirnechi’s tall, triangular ears, which can be up to one-half the length of its head, are set very high and close together. They must be held erect (“pricked”) and rigid, parallel or almost parallel, when the dog is alert. Droopy ears, or “bat ears,” disqualify the dog from show competition. The Cirneco has a strong, well-arched neck. Its body is lean and elegant, athletic and muscular. Its ribcage is slightly sprung and fairly narrow, although it should never be flat. The Cirnechi’s thick, long, low-set tail is carried high and curved during motion, and sabre-like when standing still. It should never curl tightly over the back. The feet should be strong and oval, without dewclaws on the hind legs. Dewclaws on the forelegs should not be removed. The Cirnechi’s paw pads should be brown or flesh colored, with nails of matching color. Black nails or foot pads are a breed disqualification. This is a long-legged breed, with a kind oval eye and an alert expression. It is often confused with the Pharaoh Hound, to which it bears a striking resemblance. However, the Cirneco is substantially smaller, both in stature and weight, and has a more squared-off profile.

Size and Weight

The ideal male Cirneco dell'Etna measures between 18 and 19¾ inches at the withers, although dogs between 17¼ and 20½ inches in height are tolerated under the AKC breed standard. Females ideally stand between 16½ and 18 inches tall, with heights from 15¾ to 19¾ inches being allowed in the American show ring. Both males and females typically weigh between 17 and 27 pounds.

Coat and Color

The Cirneco’s coat is short on the head, ears and legs and usually a bit longer but still sleek and close on the body. It can be fine or slightly coarse and should have no feathering. One of the most striking characteristics of the Cirneco is its beautiful, shiny, solid-colored coat, which preferably ranges from a rich tan to a deep chestnut. It can have a mixture of slightly lighter and darker hairs, with or without white patches on the face, chest, belly, feet and/or tail tip. Dogs that are solid white, white with orange patches, or any color with a white collar are accepted but less desirable under the AKC breed standard. Cirnechi that are solid brown or liver, and those with brown patches, brindle coats or any black patches, hairs, pigmentation or mucous membranes, are disqualified from the show ring. The extremely short hair coat of this breed makes it especially susceptible to the cold. These dogs should wear a sweater or coat if they are exposed to damp, chilly weather for any length of time. Cirnechi are indoor dogs that are not well-suited to living in cold climates.

Grooming

The Cirneco dell'Etna is a low-maintenance breed. Its short coat only needs an occasional brushing to keep it tidy and clean. A rubber curry brush or hound glove, or even a warm damp cloth, work well to keep its coat looking shiny and lustrous. Frequent bathing is not necessary and really should only be done when the dog is obviously smelly or dirty. Other routine maintenance is the same as for most breeds, including dental care to keep teeth clean, reduce plaque build-up and prevent bad breath. Regular nail clipping is also important. Many sighthounds, including many Cirnechi, are sensitive to having their feet handled. Nail care should start at a very young age, so that it does not become a struggle. Owners should do their best to avoid cutting into the quick of the nail, which is quite painful for the animal. For those who are not comfortable clipping nails, a quick trip to a professional groomer can be a godsend for both owner and dog.

Personality

 

The Cirneco dell'Etna has a strong, inquisitive, independent temperament, which is important in keen hunting dogs. It is also outgoing, friendly, affectionate and smart. Cirnechi are loyal and loving with their owners and friends. They are willing and eager to please and love to receive pets and praise. They usually make great family pets, although they can be reserved around strangers. The Cirneco is an extremely adaptable breed that can thrive in a wide variety of environments. However, these are house dogs that definitely need to live indoors due to their short coats, thin skin and absence of body fat. They like to nestle on warm soft furniture, blankets and bedding, almost as much as they like to snuggle with their favorite people. Cirnechi typically are tolerant of children, although this is not a bomb-proof breed and probably isn’t the best choice for families with very young kids. Cirnechi are social animals that tend to get along well with other dogs. They rarely cause problems in multiple-pet homes and, unlike most sighthounds, get along remarkably well with familiar cats. Of course, the earlier any dog is exposed to other household pets and small children, the more likely it is to get along with them as they age.

 

Activity Requirements

 

Cirnechi are high-energy animals that need quite a bit of regular exercise to keep them physically and mentally fit. They love taking long daily walks and having a chance to stretch their legs in safely-enclosed areas. It is important for Cirneco owners to have well-fenced yards, so that their dogs can run freely and burn off excess energy, which usually happens in short bursts. While they can be gregarious and playful, Cirnechi usually are calm and quiet, both indoors and out, as long as their exercise needs are met. They are great fans of toys of all sorts. A Cirneco can play with a single toy for hours, keeping it out of mischief. Cirnechi are active contestants in lure coursing and agility competitions. Participation in these and other canine sporting events provides a great opportunity to showcase the Cirneco’s athleticism, while at the same time giving him a chance to get physical exercise and canine socialization.

 

 

 

Trainability

 

The Cirneco is extremely bright and responds well to gentle, positive training methods. It is considered to be easier to train than many of its sighthound cousins. Because of the breed's intelligence, it can do well with both long and short training sessions. However, short sessions seem to be better, since these dogs can become bored and inattentive if training lasts too long. This is a terrific breed for agility and lure coursing competitions, due to its superior speed, nimbleness and “smarts.”

 

Behavioral Traits

 

As sighthounds, Cirnechi are extremely observant and instinctively programmed to dart after almost any small thing that moves. Because they are natural chasers, Cirnechi should be kept in safely-enclosed areas, preferably surrounded by a tall solid fence that they cannot climb over, jumpe over or wiggle through. An underground or above-ground electric fence is not a wise containment option for this breed, as Cirnechi are also keen diggers, going back to their rodent- and rabbit-hunting roots. The Cirneco dell'Etna can become depressed or destructive if it doesn’t get enough exercise and human attention. If an owner cannot spend lots of time with his Cirneco every day, this breed is not a good choice.

 

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Copyright © 2008, PetWave Corporation. All rights reserved