Italian Hound

40-62 lbs
Italian Rough-Haired Segugio, Chien Courant Italien A Poil Dur, Drahthaariger Italienischer Laufhund, Sabueso Italiano De Pelo Duro

The Italian Hound is not the same as the Italian Greyhound. This breed, while rare everywhere except his native Italy, is a popular hunting dog. They are intelligent, loyal and affectionate dogs. The Italian Hound is devoted to their family and makes excellent watchdogs. They do not bark like other dogs, instead they make high pitched noises that sound like “ba-ba-ba”. This noise is especially pronounced when he is hunting and becomes excited. The Italian Hound is excellent with children and other dogs but should be closely watched when around small pets such as rabbits, guinea pigs or ferrets. They do require daily exercise.

purpose Purpose
Rabbit Hunter
history Date of Origin
Ancient Times
ancestry Ancestry
Egyptian Primitive Dogs, Celtic Sight Hounds, Roman Mastiff-type Dogs

Italian Hound Health

Average Size
Male Italian Hound size stats
Height: 19-23 inches Weight: 40-62 lbs
Female Italian Hound size stats
Height: 19-23 inches Weight: 40-62 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Ear Infections
Minor Concerns
  • Hip And Elbow Dysplasia
Occasional Diagnoses
  • None Known
Occasional Tests
  • Yearly Physical Examination
  • OFA on hips and elbows

Italian Hound Breed History

The Italian Hound is an ancient breed and their ancestry is somewhat of a mystery. They have appeared throughout history in famous art and literature including a painting commissioned in 1600 found at the Castle of Borso d’Este. A sculpture of Diana the Huntress in the Naples Museum includes a dog that closely resembles the Italian Hound. Another sculpture of Diana displayed at the Vatican Museum, titled Diana with Bow and Arrow, depicts Diana with another dog that is very similar to the Italian Hound. Archaeologists unearthed two perfectly intact skeletons of dogs that are identical to the Italian Hound in Lombard, a province of Verona. Some researchers believe that the Italian Hound descended from primitive hounds of Egypt. They are similar in structure to dogs found during the Egyptian Pharaonic eras. It is thought that Phoenician traders brought these Egyptian dogs into the Mediterranean coasts. The Egyptian hounds were then bred to Celtic sight hounds possibly from southern Gaul. These dogs were then bred to Roman Mastiff-type dogs to improve the scenting ability of the sight hound. The resulting dogs were named Segugio Italiano or Italian Hound. They were able to scent and sight their prey, making them an ideal hunting dog during the renaissance period when grand hunts were a common form of entertainment for nobility. The Italian Hound hunted in large packs with the nobles riding horses through the forests while the dogs did most of the work, flushing out prey for the hunters. The popularity of the Italian Hound began to wane when grand hunting parties also lost popularity. The breed was revived in the mid- 20th century and he has gained more popularity within Italy as a companion rather than a hunter. 

Italian Hound Breed Appearance

The Italian Hound can be found in two distinctive coat types: rough and smooth. The rough coat is no more than two inches long and the hair is rough or harsh. They have a beard and small eyebrows that should never cover the eyes. The smooth coat is straight, smooth and slightly harsh. They are medium sized dogs, robust and well balanced. They should never give the appearance of being heavily boned or unable to follow prey through the underbrush with ease. Overall, they are squarely built with moderate bone size and no excess fat should be visible. The Italian Hound is built for speed and stamina. Their nose is large, with wide nostrils and is always black. Their eyes are almond in shape and dark brown. The eyes should be larger and have a soft expression. Their ears hang down, are flat and broad with a narrow point. The ear should reach midway to the end of their muzzle. The Italian Hound can be found in any shade of fawn or black and tan. 

Eye Color Possibilities
brown Italian Hound eyes
Nose Color Possibilities
black Italian Hound nose
Coat Color Possibilities
fawn Italian Hound coat
black Italian Hound coat
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
coat density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
coat texture
Italian Hound straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Italian Hound Breed Maintenance

The Italian Hound does not require a lot of maintenance. Expect to groom your Italian Hound once a week to keep the coat shiny and healthy. The smooth coated variety can be brushed with a soft slicker brush or a natural bristle brush. The rough coated variety will need to be brushed with a stiff natural bristle brush and a metal comb. The hair between the pads on their feet will need to be trimmed every few weeks to keep dirt and debris from accumulating and causing irritation. They do not generally have a strong smell and should not need to be bathed often. Between baths you can sprinkle a cornstarch and baby powder mixture through the coat and then brush out to remove any smell and excess oils from the coat. Clean the ears weekly since the Italian Hound is prone to ear infections. Check his nails each week and trim when needed. 

Brushes for Italian Hound
Slicker Brush
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
fur daily fur weekly fur monthly
Italian Hound requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Italian Hound Temperament

The Italian Hound was originally used only for hunting and was kept kenneled when not hunting. Over time, they have become more of a companion dog rather than strictly a hunting dog. They are lively, loyal and sociable; however the rough coated Italian Hound does tend to be more reserved than the smooth coated variety. They were used in packs to hunt and therefore do great in multiple dog homes where they can run and play with their dog friends. They do require daily human interaction as well or they will become bored and destructive. The Italian Hound can also be a very vocal dog, they do not bark like a typical dog; instead they make high pitched noises that can easily become annoying to your neighbors if they are allowed to carry on for long periods of time. For many Italian Hounds, their primary purpose is to be a companion but they also make excellent watchdogs because they form close bonds with their family and home. 

Italian Hound Activity Requirements

Generally, the Italian Hound is a calm dog except when out on a hunt or left alone for too long. They can live happily in an apartment as long as their owner takes the time each day to go for long walks and play games that keep them mentally sharp. Because the Italian Hound has a strong prey drive, keep them leashed when not in a fenced area. They are very fast runners and can run for miles without becoming tired. Spend plenty of time each day with your Italian Hound to ensure they do not become destructive or barky. Dog sports or basic obedience training are great ways to keep them feeling happy and will create a nice bond between owner and dog.

Activity Level
low activity medium activity high activity
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
12 miles
walk mileage
Minutes of Activity Per Day
45 minutes
activity minutes

Italian Hound Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
2.4 cups
cup per day cost cup per day cost
Daily Cost
$1.20 - $1.40
food bowls daily cost
Monthly Cost
$34.00 - $45.00
food bag monthly cost

Italian Hound Height & Weight

6 Months
Male Italian Hound size stats at six months
Height: 17.0 inches Weight: 24.0 lbs
Female Italian Hound size stats at six months
Height: 17.0 inches Weight: 24.0 lbs
12 Months
Male Italian Hound size stats at 12 months
Height: 19.0 inches Weight: 40.0 lbs
Female Italian Hound size stats at 12 months
Height: 19.0 inches Weight: 40.0 lbs
18 Months
Male Italian Hound size stats at 18 months
Height: 21.0 inches Weight: 51.0 lbs
Female Italian Hound size stats at 18 months
Height: 21.0 inches Weight: 51.0 lbs

Italian Hound Owner Experiences

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