Cirneco dell’Etna – The Agile Sighthound


Dogs are known to be incredible workers ever since thousands of years ago. Some dogs work with their great scent of smell, and such dogs are called scenthounds; on the other hand, some dogs work best with their sight, and apparently, they are called sighthounds. Among the notable sighthounds is the Sicilian breed – Cirneco dell’ Etna.

The Cirneco is a native dog in Sicily, which possesses features resembling the Pharaoh Hound. This dog has a sleek and athletic appearance, which is evident in its abilities. Its healthy body allows it to work in different fields of work, mainly hunting. Furthermore, the Cirneco is a well-known dog for its superior speed, a perfect combination of hunting.

Origins of the Cirneco dell’ Etna

We can trace back the origins of the Cirneco to thousands of years ago in Sicily. Although its name, Cirneco, was a Greek word, which means ‘dog of Cyrene or Libya,’ speculations show that this breed existed in ancient Sicily, wherein a dog similar to its appearance was seenon Sicilian coins. Because of this, it was often called the Sicilian Greyhound.

Ever since, the Cirneco has already dominated the hunting game near the massive volcano, Mount Etna. Despite the place having a harsh environment, the Cirneco proved to be a durable breed that can withstand extreme temperatures and still able to work. Many dog lovers admired this incredible feature of the Cirneco, which greatly showcased its toughness on the field.

However, the tough nature of the Cirneco didn’t last over the years as it reached the brink of extinction during the early 20th century. Because of this catastrophic decline in population, the veterinarian, Dr. Maurizio Migneco, created an article about the breed. It sparked the interest of Baroness AgataPaterno Castello, which responded by bringing the breed to its former glory. Castello succeeded in reviving the breed in Sicily, which took him roughly twenty-six years to accomplish.

Characteristics of the Cirneco dell’ Etna

Height: 16.5 – 19.5 inches

Weight: 17 – 26 pounds

Life Expectancy: 12 – 14 years

Hypoallergenic: No

The Cirneco is a medium-sized dog that could stand up to more than nineteen inches tall and weighs up to twenty-six pounds. This breed has a sleek and athletic body, covered with a slender coat – that often comes with a light to dark tan or chestnut color. Its amber-colored eyes showcase its gentleness and intelligence. Its overall appearance is an excellent definition of athleticism, speed, and skills.

As mentioned earlier, the Cirneco is an incredible sighthound that has outstanding hunting skills. One factor that allows it to become an excellent hunter is its superior speed. It is great at quick bursts, mainly because of its light and sleek body. Furthermore, the Cirneco is a sighthound, which means that it works best with the help of its eyes.

Moreover, this breed is highly trainable compared to other dogs, making it more efficient in various fields. Aside from its fascinating abilities, the Cirneco is affectionate and soft-hearted towards its family. It is highly devoted to its owners, making it an excellent guard dog.

The Cirneco is not just an amazing hunter; it is also a perfect choice as an excellent family companion.

Caring for the Cirneco dell’ Etna

Unlike other dogs, the Cirneco is a low-maintenance dog that could work well with high-quality dog food. Homemade meals are also fine provided that your local vet approves them. However, it is also best to regularly consult your vet for food recommendations to ensure that your dog is consuming an ample amount of food to keep it healthy. Furthermore, be mindful of the amount of food you feed your dog to avoid excessive feeding. This poor monitoring of your dog’s calorie consumption could lead to obesity and other health problems in the future.

In terms of its grooming, the Cirneco also requires less maintenance due to its short and smooth coat. However, always make sure to brush its coat weekly to keep it looking its best. Furthermore, give you dog occasional bath to remove dirt, as well as keeping it clean and healthy; bathe them as needed or when they got into something messy. Lastly, always check their nails, and trim them regularly to prevent them from getting hurt whenever they run or walk.