Meet the Newest Official Dog Breed, the Bracco Italiano
At one point, dog breeds didn't exist. Today, the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes 197 official dog breeds, and it just welcomed a new one: the Bracco Italiano.
The breed isn't really new at all, but only recently did the AKC add the long-eared European pointer to its registry. Here's what you need to know about this unique and friendly breed.
The Bracco Italiano's History
While the Bracco Italiano is the latest breed to be recognized by the AKC, it's actually one of the oldest pointing breeds, and it was brought to the U.S. in the 1990s.
The breed has continued to develop in the states, becoming a popular hunting dog with a long list of desirable qualities.
How Should Bracco Italiano Dogs Look?
Unlike poodles and many other popular dog breeds, the Bracco Italiano only comes in a handful of colors: white, orange and white, and chestnut and white.
They're often roan patterned as well, with heavily mottled areas of color mixed with white. The effect is a splotchy look that almost resembles that of a brown cow. (Only way, way cuter.)
The Bracco Italiano Temperament Is a Dream ... Mostly
The Bracco Italiano boasts a number of admirable characteristics, including:
- Patience with young children
- Tolerance of other dogs in the house
- Moderate watch-dog skills
- Low likelihood of barking excessively
They're affectionate with people they trust, but they're more independent than, say, a golden retriever or chocolate lab. They're very easy to train and eager to please, but since they were bred to be hunting dogs, they are very energetic and do best when given a job to do that helps with mental stimulation. If hunting isn't up your alley, a Bracco Italiano puppy will need long lots of physical exercise, including walks, jogs and plenty of games of fetch, to burn off all that energy.
Taking Care of Them Is Like Taking Care of Most Big Dog Breeds
Aside from providing a Bracco with at least 30 minutes of daily exercise, caring for them is a breeze. They have short coats that require minimal grooming, but their long ears should be cleaned weekly to reduce the risk of developing ear infections. Regular nail trimming is a must, and brushing your dog's teeth will help prevent more expensive dental cleanings later on.
While the Bracco Italiano is a very healthy breed overall, they're so active that they can develop stress injuries to bones and joints while they're growing. For this reason, it's wise to avoid letting them run on hard surfaces or to jump repeatedly until they're at least a year old.
Braccco Italianos Are Great With Other Dogs
One easy way to give them more exercise is by providing them with a canine pal to play with. Braccos get along with just about anyone, especially fellow Braccos.
They can also learn to be gentle with cats and small family pets if socialized with them early on.
But Their Pointing Instinct Can Be a Nuisance
Since this Italian pointer is a hunting breed, chasing squirrels is in their nature.
With regular training, however, owners can channel their Bracco Italiano's instincts into games of fetch instead of retrieving local wildlife or the neighbor's gerbil.
Even So, Their Antics Are Worth the Trouble
Overall, Bracco Italianos are intelligent, social and hardworking. They thrive in homes with large yards or with active families who spend plenty of time outdoors. Braccos are delighted to accompany the family everywhere they go, from the couch to camping.
Don't be fooled by their size or history. Braccos love to snuggle and will happily follow owners from room to room just to stay near them.
That warm, fuzzy feeling emanating from the screen? That's love, and Bracco Italianos are full of it for their favorite human companions.
Get ready to wake up to a wagging tail and a wet nose in your face because Braccos want to be close to you whenever they can. They'd sleep in your bed without hesitation if you let them.
Their Goofy Demeanor Makes Them Great Family Dogs
Alternatively, Braccos can be your entire family.
They behave a lot like kids anyway, and they make awfully cute fur babies at bath time.
They’re Good at Many Things, but Selfies Aren’t One of Them
A Bracco Italiano Will Totally Make You Feel Better About Aging
Wrinkles are nothing to be ashamed of. Otherwise, Bracco Italiano dogs would be first in line for facelifts, because Botox definitely wouldn't cut it.
Fortunately, these velvet-eared canines couldn't be bothered by their soft rolls of skin in the slightest.
See? Reading Glasses Are Sophisticated
They don't mind partaking in an occasional round of dress-up, either.
And Their Droopy Ears Are Almost Distinguished at the Right Angle
This good boy clearly deserves a treat. Maybe an entire roast chicken.
In Reality, Braccos Are Very Agile
Yes, Bracco Italianos have a derpy look at times, but behind their droopy faces lies an athlete in hiding.
With patience, Braccos are excellent at navigating agility courses, and they have the intelligence and endurance to pick up new skills quickly.
Bottom Line: The Bracco Italiano in a Nutshell
Bracco Italianos weigh about 55 to 88 pounds and hover around 24 inches in height, so they're not ideal for apartment living. This large breed dog has a lifespan of between 10 to 12 years, and those years are filled with puppy-like energy.
To learn more about the latest addition to the AKC breed list, watch this video.
Not sold on Bracco Italianos? Learn more about other awesome breeds here: