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Segugio Italiano Breed Summary

Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Energetic and Trainable

These doggies are extremely ancient and are thought to have been bought to Italy by Phoenician Traders, although no-one knows for sure. However, they are physically similar to other types of Middle Eastern Doggies, including Pharaoh Hounds, but a DNA relationship has not proved this. It is more likely that they originated in Ancient France (Gaul) during pre-Roman times with the Segusian tribe, that were local to the region and probably taken by Romans during invasions. In fact, the well known Emperor Caliguli was though to have hunted with a pack of similar looking dogs! The breed are though to have hunted in extremely large packs, up to several hundred in size and possessed the instinct to kill prey in a hunter absence. It's thought they probably peaked in popularity during the Renaissance, painted by many notable painters! However, they started to decline after this period of time and it was only due to breed enthusiasts and development with Mastiffs that they were successfully revived. Nowadays, they remain a very popular dog in their native country, but are little known across the rest of the world.

Lifespan 10 - 14 Years
Height (at the withers) Males 51cm - 76cm, Females 48cm - 71cm
Weight Males 17.5kg - 28kg, Females 16.5kg - 27kg
Coat Medium Length, Straight Coat
Colour Pied, Red, Fawn, Brown
Eye colour Brown, Amber
Common health issues Ear Infections
Other Names Italian Segugio, Segugio, Italian Hound

These doggies, aside from their fantastic hunting skills, are known for being extremely gentle and kind in nature. They also absolutely love being part of family life. However, for families with cats and smaller animals, the breed wouldn't be the best introduction, due to their high prey drive. They are also a fairly independent in nature and don't like to be lovely fussed. But they do make excellent watch dogs and will always alert their owners to anything suspicious. They can be fairly stubborn, but as they are intelligent and fairly eager to please, they can usually be trained quite easily, so long as given lots of incentive and positive reinforcement. And for the right family, they make lovely family pets!

The history of the Segugio Italiano is lost to the past, but it is acknowledged to be an ancient breed, often quoted as being a descendant of the Pharoah Hounds of the Middle East. In times of ancient Gaul - now France, they were established with local tribal groups of the region. The Romans adopted the Segugio Italiano upon their invasion of the country and the breed was moved to Italy where further refinement took place and the work use of the Segugio Italiano expanded. The Segugio was known to hunt in packs for the infamous Emperor Caliguli and were depicted in statues of Diana, the Goddess of Hunting. You can find artifacts to substantiate this in the museums in Italy, the Vatican and elsewhere in Europe. The Segugio Italiano hunted in large packs, and although not as good as the Bloodhound in tracking prey, they did possess the instinct to capture or kill prey in their master's absence. The demand for this elegant dog decreased, and they became quite rare in the nineteenth century. Introduction of some Mastiff blood into the pedigree developed this dog into an animal that was more versatile, even capable of working alone. This new trait appealed to the hunter who wasn't interested in keeping large packs of dogs to hunt. While they are now a popular dog within their homeland, their popularity has not spread far beyond the borders. But this beautiful dog has gained ground amongst the locals and is now considered as one of the ten most popular breeds within their homeland of Italy.