Bracco Italiano

Amy Tokic
by Amy Tokic
fast facts

About Bracco Italiano

55-88 lb
12-15 years
AKC Foundation Stock Service
Best Suited For
houses with yards, singles, families with children, active singles, hunters
Gentle, loving, obedient, intelligent
Comparable Breeds
English Pointer, Spinone Italiano
22-26 inches
Bracco Italiano Basics

Also known as the Italian Pointer, the Bracco Italiano is proud, athletic gun dog. With their strong muscles and long ears, it is easy to see why these dogs are the pride of Italy. Though this breed was originally developed for hunting, their gentle temperament makes them excellent family pets as well. Their droopy lips, soft eyes and loving nature makes them a great pet for any family.

Also known as the Italian Pointer, the Bracco Italiano is proud, athletic gun dog.


The Bracco Italiano breed is generally considered to be one of the classic pointer breeds, present since the Middle Ages. During the Renaissance period, the popularity of this breed spread rapidly among nobility who came to value its skill in hunting feathered game. Though originally used for bird hunting, the Bracco Italiano is a versatile breed that has adapted well to modern hunting methods.

Currently there are two different variations of the breed – the Piedmontese Pointer and the Lombard Pointer. As suggested by its name, the Piedmontese Pointer originated in Piedmont and it is known for its lighter color and build. These dogs typically exhibit a white-and-orange coloration. Both variations became nearly extinct during the early 20th century but the breed was saved by the efforts of a few Italian breeders who dedicated themselves to preserving the breed. The standard for the breed was released by the Societa Amatori Bracco Italiano in 1949 and the breed was introduced to England forty years later in 1989.


The exact origins of the breed are unknown but it is thought that the Bracco Italiano may be a cross between the Segugio Italiano (an Italian coursing hound) and the Asiatic Mastiff.


Given the size of this breed, a high-quality large-breed dog food formula is recommended. If you plan to train your dog for hunting or if he leads an otherwise active lifestyle, choose a dog food formulated for active dogs that will provide for his energy needs.

The Bracco Italiano is a highly intelligent breed which is one of the many features that makes it a great hunting dog.


The Bracco Italiano is a highly intelligent breed which is one of the many features that makes it a great hunting dog. Not only does this dog have great hunting instincts, but he is naturally eager to please. The best training methods for this dog are gentle but consistent – the gentle nature of this dog may make him stop trying if he is treated with harshness or cruelty. For the best results, use positive reinforcement training and start obedience training from a young age.

Many fans of the breed will argue that a Bracco Italiano that is not trained to hunt will not be a happy dog. Not only is this the activity the breed was meant for, but the dogs truly enjoy the activity. Even if you choose not to train your dog for hunting, you should provide him with plenty of mental exercise in addition to physical exercise to keep him sharp.


The average weight of an adult Bracco Italiano ranges between 55 and 88 pounds. Females of the breed are slightly smaller than the males.


Though the breed originated as a hunting dog, the Bracco Italiano actually makes a wonderful family pet. His gentle, people-loving nature makes him an excellent companion pet and his patience enables him to get along well with even young children. This breed tends to get along well with other dogs and, if introduced at a young age, even with cats and other pets. This breed is eager to please so, as long as they are treated with kindness, they will be obedient. The Bracco Italiano will bark when strangers come to the house, but they are too gentle to make very effective guard dogs.

Common Health Problems

The Bracco Italiano is generally a healthy breed but, like all dogs, they are prone to developing certain minor health conditions. Some of the most common health problems seen in this breed include hip dysplasia, entropion, umbilical hernias and ear mites. The Bracco Italiano is also sensitive to anesthesia, particularly to the drug Domitor.

Life Expectancy

The average life expectancy of this breed is between 12 and 15 years

Exercise Requirements

As a hunting breed, the Bracco Italiano likes to be fairly active but they can do well in an apartment or house without a yard if given adequate exercise. A nice 30-minute walk once a day will be adequate for this breed, though he will gladly accept more exercise. The Bracco Italiano has a unique gait that you may see if you give him a chance to run – he starts out at a slow trot with long strides but is capable of a fast gallops. When hunting, the Bracco Italiano reduces his speed the closer he gets to his quarry, coming to a near crawl and ending in a non-moving “point”.

Though the breed originated as a hunting dog, the Bracco Italiano actually makes a wonderful family pet.


The Bracco Italiano has yet to be officially recognized by the AKC. Currently, the breed is in the Foundation Stock Service Program – once the number of registered Bracco Italiano dogs in the U.S. reaches 150, the breed will be fully accepted by the AKC.


As a hunting breed that spends a lot of time running through brush and grassland, the Bracco Italiano has a very short and dense coat. The texture of the breed’s coat is fairly rough but with a good sheen – the fur may be softer on the head, throat, ears and legs. There two most common color combinations, white-orange and roano-brown – chestnut or amber-colored patches are also allowed on the face, ears, tail and body. The Bracco Italiano standard indicates that any black on the coat is a fault.


Bracco Italiano dogs tend to give birth to litters of 3 to 8 puppies. As puppies, this breed loves to romp and play – they can also be quite curious. If you intend to use your dog for hunting, it is best to start as early as possible. This is also the case with obedience training – the breed is very intelligent and highly trainable so there is no reason not to start early. Early socialization is also important to ensure that your dog remains friendly around people as well as other dogs and pets.

Photo credit: Giotto BI/Wikimedia; Pleple2000/Wikimedia; Rei Momo/Wikimedia

Amy Tokic
Amy Tokic

Amy Tokic, Editor of, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).

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