Segugio Italiano

Kate Barrington
by Kate Barrington
fast facts

About Segugio Italiano

19-23 inches
40-62 lb
10-14 years
FCI Scenthound
Best Suited For
active singles, active families, house with a yard, hunters
active, friendly, vigilant, gentle, trainable, intelligent
Comparable Breeds
Black and Tan Coonhound, Basset Hound
Segugio Italiano Basics

Although the Segugio Italiano may not be familiar by name, is appearance is one you’ll recognize. This breed is an Italian scenthound, so he has the characteristic red coat and long, floppy ears. Though the exact details of this breed’s origins are unclear, he is thought to be an ancient breed pre-dating the Romans – his predecessors may have existed as far back as ancient Egypt. Though fairly uncommon in the United States, the Segugio Italiano is one of the top 10 breeds in Italy. Keep reading to find out what makes this breed so popular.

The Segugio Italiano is an Italian scenthound.


The Segugio Italiano is an ancient breed thought to have been brought to Italy by Phoenician traders, though there is no evidence to confirm this suspicion. Researchers once suspected a link between the Segugio Italiano and the Pharaoh Hound, a Middle Eastern breed, but DNA testing revealed few genetic similarities. Others suspect that the breed originaled in France during pre-Roman times and was then adopted by the Romans following the invasion.


The exact origins of the Segugio Italiano are unknown but it is thought to be an ancient breed, possibly brought to Italy by Phoenician traders thousands of years ago.


The Segugio Italiano is a unique breed that has the ability to hunt all day in the field but, at home, he is content to laze the day away on the couch. The best diet for your Segugio Italiano will depend on his activity level. Dogs trained for hunting may benefit from an active or working breed formula while companion pets may do fine on a high-quality adult dog food.

The Segugio Italiano is an intelligent and trainable breed.


Like many scenthounds, the Segugio Italiano is an intelligent and trainable breed. These dogs can be a little stubborn or independent at times, however, so you’ll need to be firm and consistent in your training methods. Start training your puppy as early as you can and include plenty of socialization as well. Keep in mind that many scent hounds have a tendency to howl, so train your dog to respond to a “hush” command or make sure he gets plenty of exercise and playtime during the day so he isn’t bored at night.


The Segugio Italiano is a medium-sized dog with a lean, muscular build. Males stand 20.5 to 23 inches tall and weigh 44 to 62 pounds at maturity while females are a little smaller, standing 19 to 22 inches tall and weighing 40 to 57 pounds.


The Segugio Italiano was traditionally used as a scenthound trained to hunt in packs of up to several hundred dogs. As such, these dogs tend to be very dog-friendly, though their strong prey drive makes them a poor choice for families with cats or other small pets. With people, the Segugio Italiano is extremely kind and gentle, adaptable to families with children as long as he is properly trained and socialized. This breed does tend to be suspicious of strangers and does well as a watchdog, though he is not aggressive by nature. He can, however, be a little independent at times. Though he is not a clingy dog, he does appreciate spending time with family.

Common Health Problems

Generally speaking, the Segugio Italiano is a very healthy breed – this is the case for many ancient breeds. These dogs are just as prone to field injuries as any other hunting breed, but they do not seem to be predisposed to many inherited health conditions. One thing to be mindful of, however, is the risk for gastric torsion or bloat. This is a risk for all large and deep-chested breeds, so make sure your dog doesn’t eat too quickly or too much at one time.

Life Expectancy

The average lifespan for the Segugio Italiano is 10 to 14 years.

Exercise Requirements

The Segugio Italiano is a unique breed in that he can run for hours or nap all day on the couch – he is perfectly happy with either situation. Developed as a hunting breed, however, the Segugio Italiano does best when he gets at least 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous exercise.

The Segugio Italiano is extremely kind and gentle, adaptable to families with children.

Recognized Clubs

The Segugio Italiano is not currently recognized by the American Kennel Club. The Kennel Club in the UK recognizes it in the Hound Group and the FCI in Group 6, Section 1.2 for Scenthounds.


The Segugio Italiano comes in two coat types – short-haired or wire-haired. The short-haired variety needs to be brushed on a weekly basis but is generally easy to maintain. Wire-haired dogs may require hand-stripping several times per year to remove dead hairs and to promote coat health. These dogs range from deep red to wheaten or black. Many dogs have white markings on the head, chest, feet, and the tip of the tail.


The average litter size for the Segugio Italiano is 4 to 6 puppies. Early socialization is very important for this breed, especially if you plan to keep him in a home with cats or other household pets. These dogs can also be somewhat suspicious of strangers, but early socialization will help with that as well. If you plan to train your Segugio Italiano for hunting, start him early to make sure he grows into an obedient dog – some dogs of this breed have a tendency toward independence.

Photo credits: Ricantimages/Shutterstock; f8grapher/Shutterstock

Kate Barrington
Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.

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