From the January 2019 Issue of ShowSight. Click to subscribe.
When first asked to write on the Bracco Italiano I thought about relating some of the issues that most “new” breeds have. We have had the conflict within a club, second club forming, and so on. The Bracco was first registered in 2001 but no real efforts to move forward until 2014-15. The main reason was fear. Fear that we would become a divided breed- show and field. Little by little, as breeders and owners became more learned some started to realize these great dogs can be both and that WE control this—not AKC, and we started to move forward. So, I thought instead I’d relate a little about the dog and the people involved with the breed.
The Bracco is a glorious, sweet, silly, intelligent stubborn animal! First, and most important, it is a dual breed. When you see 6 and 8 week old puppies on point you know it’s a trait that has to be acknowledged. They are truly born to hunt! Known for their strong, fluid, effortless appearing trot, they can take your breath away in the field and the ring. Structured hunt tests do not always show the trot to the best as, while a Bracco is looking down their Roman nose and doing their elegant trot, the other pointing breeds will blow right by them with a grin on their face. So they blast off with the best of the other breeds. However, when they have used a lot of energy or are bringing the bird back on retrieve; you will see that trot! They are great bird dogs and we are getting more dogs competing in AKC hunt tests all the time.
Below - photo by Tina Steffens.
Showing is “new” to many Bracco owners and, although the breed is willing, unless you are young and/or fit, they not easy to keep up with. Three steps and I become a land anchor and get a really disgusted look from my dogs. Most people want to stretch them out but they are to be stacked square. We have had a National Specialty each year for a while—even when two clubs were doing one. The Spinone Club of America has been incredible and included us in their Nationals each year.
April Burchfield, who bred Black and Tan Hounds for years has her first Bracco and commented: “Before getting my first Bracco, I did a lot of research on the breed. When I saw a video of a Bracco hunting in the bird field exhibiting the incredible “trotto,” it actually gave me chill bumps! They are beauty in motion.
I’ve now had that first dog for almost two years and am amazed at how true to the standard he is: noble, gentle, serious sometimes, comical others, loyal, driven, and exceptionally smart and biddable. The drive is a huge part of their temperament and should not be underestimated. They must have a job or they, and their owners, will not be happy!”
Right - Photo ©Lauren Till
Long time breeders and hunt trainers in other sporting breeds, Tony and Kristi Libertore stated: “We have been involved with the Bracco Italiano breed for the past seven years. We are excited to see that this very old breed which is recognized in so many other countries is finally moving towards full AKC recognition, but we need the support of the entire dog community. This is an ancient, beautiful Sporting breed that deserves recognition, but hasn't gotten the full push here in the US. We think that the move to MISC is a great step and look forward to introducing this breed to others.”
Most breeders and exhibitors and hunters are excited about moving up to Miscellaneous July 2019. Still have many hoops to jump and hope fanciers will look us up, give us a boost, and meet this ancient breed.