Cirneco Dell'etna

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18-20 lbs
17-20"
Italy
Cirneco, Sicilian Greyhound

The Cirneco Dell’etna or commonly just called the Cirneco, is a smaller sight hound who originated in Sicily. Cirneco is pronounced “churn echo”. The plural form of Cirneco is Cirnechi. Since he is a sight hound, he is sensitive to movement and will chase cats and other small animals. He is also an expert jumper and requires a tall, sturdy fence. Being a typical hound, the Cirneco Dell’etna will gladly steal any food he can and can easily become overweight from his foraging for goodies. He is a low maintenance dog who does require a good amount of attention to keep him happy. The Cirneco can become destructive and noisy if left to his own devices. Provide him with plenty of toys and companionship to keep him content. 

Purpose
hunting
Date of Origin
ancient times
Ancestry
sight hound

Cirneco Dell'etna Health

Average Size
Height: 18-22 inches Weight: 22-26 lbs
Height: 17-20 inches Weight: 18-20 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Obesity
Minor Concerns
  • Toe and Muscle Injury
Occasional Tests
  • Blood Test
  • X-Rays
  • Physical Examination

Cirneco Dell'etna Breed History

The Cirneco Dell’etna has been the best kept secret of Sicily for over 2,500 years. He shares his origins with the Pharaoh Hound and was originally bred to hunt fowl and small mammals. The Cirneco may look fragile but he is a hardy, compact dog that is used to high heat and rugged terrain. In 1939 the Italian Kennel Club adopted the official breed standard and added the Dell’etna to the Cirneco’s name. Etna refers to Mount Etna which is the largest active volcano in Europe. Mount Etna is located on the east coast of Sicily and has the largest number of Cirnechi. That is still true today, with over one half of the total population of Cirneco Dell’etna remaining in Italy near Mount Etna. In Italy, the Cirneco Dell’etna is still referred to as the Sicilian Greyhound and many people mistake him for a small Pharaoh Hound. When he is hunting, the Cirneco will silently stalk his prey. He is so quiet when he moves that he can sneak up on fowl. The Cirneco Dell’etna has evolved from fierce hunter to family companion. He is rarely used as a sight hound except during dog competitions. In 2006, the Cirneco Dell’etna was recognized by the United Kennel Club and he began appearing in more and more dog events across the United States. The American Kennel Club allowed the Cirneco to be part of the Foundation Stock Service and in 2012 he was admitted into the Miscellaneous Class at American Kennel Club events. In 2015, the American Kennel Club officially recognized the Cirneco Dell’etna. There are only about 200 Cirnechi in the United States.

Cirneco Dell'etna Breed Appearance

The Cirneco Dell’etna is a medium sized dog that is slender in build and elegant. He is a hardy dog that is also strong. His ears should always be alert and upright and he should be long legged with a lightweight body. He should have small, oval eyes that are alert. His eyes can be amber or ochre. His ears are set high on his head and should be upright and rigid. His ears should always be alert. The Cirneco has short hair on his legs, ears and head. He will have short to semi-long hair on his body. Hair should not be longer than 1 ¼ inch. His coat should be sleek and lie close to the body. Hair can be fine to just slightly coarse; wiry hair is undesirable. The Cirneco will have varying colors including self-colored light to dark hues of chestnut or tan. White, fawn and white and orange and white are accepted colors but are less desirable than the other colors. Fawn, sable and fawn sable are the most desirable colors in the Cirneco Dell’etna. 

Cirneco Dell'etna Breed Maintenance

Since the Cirneco Dell’etna has a relatively short coat, he is easy to maintain. By keeping him brushed weekly, you will not have excessive shedding. He can be brushed using a hound glove, natural bristle brush or a rubber curry brush. Brushing him weekly will redistribute the oils on his skin and keep his skin and coat clean and healthy. A spray on conditioner can be used if you notice flakes or dry skin. The Cirneco does not need to be bathed often. If you over-bathe he can develop dry, itchy skin. Clean his ears once a week to prevent dirt build-up and infection. His nails will need to be trimmed every 2-3 weeks or as needed. The Cirneco is not fond of having his nails clipped so routine clippings will help him become more accustomed to the idea. Routine teeth cleanings should also be done to ensure good oral health. Between teeth cleanings done by the veterinarian, you will also want to brush his teeth or provide chews that promote teeth cleaning. 

Cirneco Dell'etna Temperament

The Cirneco Dell’etna is independent by nature but is also very smart and trainable. He is curious and playful, making him a great family companion. The Cirneco does well with children. He trains easiest when using positive reinforcement techniques, especially treats. However, do not over do it on the treats as the Cirneco can easily become obese. He is an escape artist and an expert jumper. Have a fence that is dig proof as well as sturdy and tall. Never leave your Cirneco alone in the yard for longer than a few minutes as he will begin to look for ways to entertain himself. He can easily become noisy and destructive if he becomes bored. Provide plenty of toys and play games with him to keep him occupied. When walking your Cirneco Dell’etna, keep him tightly leashed. He is a sight hound and is sensitive to movement. He will give chase to any small animal or bird that crosses his path if not properly restrained.

Cirneco Dell'etna Owner Experiences