The Cirneco dell’Etna: A Complete Guide

Having been the best-kept secret of Sicily for over 2500 years, the Cirneco is a purebred dog that was originally been bred to hunt fowl and small mammals.

Its supposed origins lie in the Pharaoh Hound.

Even though he was bred for thousands of years before that, the Cirneco was recognized by the Italian Kennel Club in 1939.

This is also when the name “dell’Etna” was added, which was a reference to the place of his origin: Mount Etna.

Mount Etna is the largest active volcano in Europe, and up to date, over half of the Cirneco population still resides there.

Although Cirneco dell’Etna is his official name, he gets referred to as Cirneco most frequently.

Although it was originally a hunting dog, the Cirneco developed more and more into a family companion.

He still shares the typical attributes of a hound today, but his purpose has since changed.

After this breed was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 2006, he slowly started to become popular in the United States and was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2015.

Currently, he’s mainly bred in Italy, and it’s hard to find this breed in any other country.

Cirneco dell’Etna Puppies – Before You Buy…

Curious Cirneco dell’Etna on bed
The Cirneco dell’Etna are dogs with an independent nature.

Before having a look at available Cirneco puppies or possible Cirneco breeders, make sure that you have studied the main features and character traits of the hound.

These dogs need a human companion by their side not only when they’re puppies but also when they’re full-grown.

You will have to expect an energetic and independent dog into your home. They will require lots of extra attention and training.

However, if you can provide this, then you’ll find the breed to be a very interesting companion.

Let’s take a look at some of the basic information that all owners should know before bringing home their first Cerneco dell’Etna puppy.

What Price are Cirneco dell’Etna Puppies?

What makes the Cirneco a rather pricey dog is his rarity.

As there are only around 200 Cirnechi in the United States presently. This means that you’ll need to invest a minimum of $800 to $1000 to get a pup.

As he is considered to be a “sacred” dog in many Italian communities, his price will continue to remain the same.

How to Find Reputable Cirneco dell’Etna Breeders?

Finding a reputable Cirneco breeder can be a challenge as they haven’t been popularized outside of their home country of Italy much.

His rarity, as well as his relation to the Pharaoh Hound, will tempt breeders to charge highly unreasonable prices, so you will have to combine careful research with haggling to get the best deal on one of these puppies.

Due to the fact that the Cirneco has been recognized by the American Kennel Club only recently, his popularity should increase in the next couple of years.

However, this doesn’t automatically mean that his price will decrease.

As of today, over half of the Cirnechi population still resides on Mount Etna, and it’ll probably take a couple of years more for him to gain popularity in other countries.

3 Little-Known Facts about Cirneco dell’Etna Puppies

  1. Even though the Cirneco was used primarily for hunting in the past, he is kept primarily as a companion dog these days.
  2. Although the Cirneco may look small, he is an escape artist at heart. If you want to be able to let him outside, you will need to make sure that he is trained not to run away.
  3. The Cirneco needs a lot of attention. He does not do well when he is left to fend for himself and often will become depressed or develop anxious habits.

Physical Traits of the Cirneco dell’Etna

Cirneco dell’Etna sitting
The Cirneco dell’Etna needs its private space.

As the Cirneco is a descendant of ancient sighthounds, he tends to be small to medium in size. The most desirable coat colors in a Cirenco are fawn or sable.

He’s a compact dog that has a slender and elegant build. Their long legs, as well as their short coat, are their most distinctive identifying features.

The short to semi-long hair on the Cirneco’s body makes him a low maintenance dog that only needs to be brushed once a week.

He sheds very rarely, and when he does, it’s only during the hot summer months that follow a cold winter.

His bathing needs may vary depending upon his outdoor activity, but you shouldn’t over-bath him as it can cause skin conditions such as eczema.

How Big is a Full-Grown Cirneco dell’Etna?

When full-grown, the Cirneco appears to be a smaller sighthound. With an average of 17 to 22 inches in height, he is the smallest of the Mediterranean island hunting hounds.

Weight-wise, he weighs only around 18 to 26 pounds with females generally being a couple of inches shorter and less heavy.

Even though they are rather small dogs, they need to be surrounded by a fence as their pervasive hunting instinct will make them try to escape and chase wild game.

Their previous function of being a hunter is still visible in the breed today, and he needs plenty of space to run around and have room to explore his independent nature.

What is the Life Expectancy of the Cirneco dell’Etna?

The Cinerco has an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years.

This rather long lifespan makes him a good candidate for families looking for an active family member to participate in their everyday life and keep them company.

If you pay attention to his needs and show him the affection he’ll live a long and happy life.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Cirneco dell’Etna

Cirneco dell’Etnala laying by pool
The Cirneco dell’Etna was primarily used as a hunting dog.

Cirnecos are considered to be smart dogs. Even though they’re independent by nature, they are very easy to train.

The most sustainable training results from a positive attitude on your part as the Cirneco tends to take after the characteristics of its owners.

To learn how to control his hunting instinct, you need to socialize the Cinerco early and train him continuously.

Whenever he progresses, it’s a good idea to reward him with treats.

As this dog loves and needs both attention as well as plenty of companionship in order to have someone to play with, a big family is what he needs to feel at home.

Therefore, he can be kept around children of all ages. When given enough exercise and activity, he’s considered to be a friendly dog that is a good complement to a family.

However, be prepared to spend a lot of time with your Cinerco. He doesn’t like to be left alone. Once he feels bored, he’ll start to develop undesirable behavior, and he’ll be noisy and bark a lot.

If you have to go away for a few hours, make sure that your dog has plenty of toys to keep him company while you’re away.

Overall, though, the Cirneco is a true family companion. As much as he loves hunting waterfowl and small mammals, he is just as happy being a companion to his family.

The Cirneco dell’Etna’s Diet

The Cirneco will need to be given around 2.5 to 3 cups of food per day to stay in a healthy condition.

It’s important that you don’t allow this dog to become obese as they can develop dog diabetes or begin to have joint pains.

How Much Exercise Does a Cirneco dell’Etna Need?

Coming from an island where they could move around freely and hunt all day long, the Cirneco needs a fair amount of exercise.

If you don’t walk him several times daily, he’s likely to find his own exercise by trying to escape from your home.

With his long legs, he can run for hours so taking him to parks where he can socialize with other dogs is a far better alternative.

In general, try to make sure that your Cirneco gets at least 30 to 40 minutes a day of outdoor activity.

Cirneco dell’Etna Health and Conditions

While obesity is considered to be the Cirneco’s only problem, you should take him to the vet regularly nevertheless.

He may not be very susceptible to diseases, but they’re always is the possibility for him to develop common health issues when aging.

Final Thoughts on the Cirneco dell’EtnaCirneco dell’Etna guide

Cirnechi are dogs with an independent nature.

However, they need lots of companionship and inclusion in your day to day activities.

They are looking for an owner who can provide them with both affections as well as their own private space.

These dogs have been living on their own on a volcanic mountainside for most of their existence, but they’ll get used to everyday family life in no time as they’ve always been surrounded by groups of Cirnechi.

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