The Cirneco dell'Etna!

The Cirneco dell'Etna (Cirneco" is pronounced "cheer-NAY-ko" and its plural is Cirnechi, pronounced “cheer-NAY-kee”) is a small sleek dog in the hound group that is used in Sicily for hunting rabbits on the rocky volcanic terrain. It is an ancient breed and the dogs found today are quite similar today to their primitive cousins. Coins engraved with pictures of dogs resembling the Cirneco have been discovered in Sicily dating back to 6 BC!

Some Quick Facts:

Life Expectancy:
12-16 years

Energy Level:
Very active.

Living Conditions:
Ok for urban life and apartments..

Quiet and infrequent.

Exercise Needs:
At least 1 hour walk plus yard play.

Breed Group:


16 - 19 inches

17-27 pounds

Standard Hair Colors:
Tan, tan with white marks, white with orange patches

National breed club:
Cirneco dell'Etna Club of America

Cirneco dell'Etna Skills

Cirnechi have amazing scenting capabilities and are able to flush game from cover. The breed is agile, swift and full of stamina. They can hunt for hours on end even in hot temperatures.

Cirneco dell'Etna Personality

One unique feature of Cirnechi is that the breed can blush when they get excited. The breed is gentle, loving and stable. They get along well with children but generally will not tolerate living with rodents or birds (they see them as prey). Cirnechi are quiet dogs that do not bark excessively. These dogs are alert and intelligent and bond heavily with “their person”.

Exercise Needs

Cirnechi are an active breed that will play endlessly. They excel at lure coursing because of their instinct to hunt and chase. In Italy all Cirnechi must pass a hunting/working exam before being awarded championship points in the show ring in order to preserve the true nature of the breed.

Living Conditions

Cirnechi will thrive in an active household full of stimulation. Because of the breeds compact size (they range from about 15-25 lbs) they can adjust well to urban life.

Grooming Requirements

This breed has a very short, sleek coat and needs very little grooming. An occasional brushing with a soft rubber brush will remove dead hair and reduce shedding.

Health Issues

The Cirneco dell'Etna is generally a healthy breed. Make sure you take all the steps to seek out a reputable breeder if you are looking for a puppy.

If you liked this dog…

... you might want to check out the Pharaoh Hound. The breeds are quite similar in appearance though the Pharaoh Hound is quite a bit larger than the Cirneco!

Cirneco dell'Etna Picture


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