History of The Cirneco dell’Etna
The Cirneco (pronounced cheer-NAY-ko) dell’Etna may resemble a small Pharaoh Hound, but he’s a distinct breed of Italian origin, with his own color markings, tail shape, and triangle-shaped ears. He gets his name from Mount Etna, on the Italian island of Sicily.
The Cirneco dell’Etna has been on the island of Sicily for more than 2,500 years. Sicilian coins minted between the 5th and 2nd centuries BC have an image of a pricked-eared canine on them that is similar to the dog we know today.
The Cirneco is a very fast and hardy compact breed that survived hunting mainly rabbit, but also sought out other small mammals and birds to become a specialist hunter in extremely adverse conditions. These canines hunt by scent, sight and hearing. They traditionally had a hunting partner – the ferret – who flushed a rabbit from its burrow after the dog located it.
The Cirneco was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 2006 and the American Kennel Club in 2015.
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