This breed is an ancient breed originating in Italy – Bracco Italiano literally is the Italian Pointer. The breed first appeared in literature from as early as the fifth century, BCE.
Bracco Italiano were developed in northern Italy, with two distinct varieties: white-and-orange-colored from the Piedmont region and the roan-and-brown from Lombardy. By medieval times the breed was well-established and was being exported by Italian aristocrats across the Old World. Their breed’s popularity peaked during the Renaissance through the twentieth century, but then took a steep decline.
The white and orange dogs from Piedmont tended to be smaller in stature in order to handle mountainous terrain. The white and chestnut roan dogs were bred for covering terrain in Lombardy, which has more lowland. It was decided to unify the two variations in the 1920s in order to preserve genetic diversity to save and rebuild the breed.
Bracco Italianos were originally trained to drive birds into nets and flush game. But after the advent of shotguns, the dogs were trained to point and retrieve. They are well known for a long and distinguished trot, as well as dangling ears and a short, shiny coat.
The Italian Pointer makes a loving pet and takes to training readily to make great companions afield. Height at the shoulders ranges from 22 to 26 inches and they weigh between 55 and 80 pounds.