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Cirneco del Etna - Discover this gentle and affectionate breed

Cirneco del Etna - Descubre esta gentil y cariñosa raza

Lobo Azul |

The dog known as Cirneco del Etna , also called Sicilian Greyhound or Cirneco dell'Etna, is a breed native to Sicily, Italy. Although possibly its true origin comes from Egypt, due to the great similarity with Egyptian dog breeds. These dogs have the ability to live in difficult terrain and are a hunting dog, mainly for wild rabbits. This breed is very little known, in fact, they are not found very easily outside of Sicily.
  • Small size .
  • Weight : Between 8 and 12kg.
  • Hair type : Curly and long.
  • Character : Affectionate, Gentle
  • Health : Strong and Healthy
  • Life expectancy : Between 12 and 14 years.

Origin of the Cirneco del Etna

Due to their great resemblance to the pharaoh dog, it is presumed that they belong to the same family. Therefore, it is believed that this breed, along with other game species, comes from the Middle East, specifically Egypt. In any case, the history of this dog goes back thousands of years, since an image very similar to that of the cirneco of Etna was found on coins from ancient Rome. Evidence of its existence was also found in mosaics, vessels and even statues. All these finds are from several centuries before Christ. On the other hand, it is presumed that its name comes from Cyrene , a city where, according to Aristotle, dogs of this type existed. So, based on all these details, it is said that the Phoenicians took these dogs to Sicilian lands and there they were adopted by the peasants, who were responsible for keeping the breed pure. Initially, they were used as hunting dogs , but now they are also kept as pets.

Characteristics of the Sicilian Greyhound

This ancient breed has preserved its purity for hundreds of years, and is characterized by its excellence as a hunting dog, very agile, fast and with an excellent sense of smell. Despite being a primitive looking dog, it is very elegant. They have an average age that ranges between 12 and 14 years of life.


It is also called the “Sicilian sniffer dog”, it is an animal with a very lively temperament, tremendously active and tenacious, which is why it requires constant physical activity. He is characterized by having a very strong, confident and independent personality, which leads him to decide on his own. It has great endurance and does not tire so easily and, in addition, it can be an affectionate pet, very friendly, faithful, happy and sociable, who loves to play and run with its owners. And, of course, he is always waiting to receive the love and attention of his family .

Physical traits of the cirneco dell'Etna

Regarding their physical features, it should be noted that their shapes stand out for being proportionate and with marked muscles, especially in their extremities. In its male species, it can measure between 46 and 60 cm and reach a weight of between 10 and 12 kg. For its part, the females of the breed have a size that ranges from 42 to 46 cm and can weigh between 8 and 10 kg.

They have a slightly elongated head, a sharp snout, a particular light brown nose, small almond-shaped eyes that can be ocher, amber or gray tones; and pointed ears. They are thin and have very short fur, making them vulnerable to excessive cold. For this reason, they prefer to spend indoors with the whole family during low temperature seasons. The tones of their coat can be varied, usually homogeneous such as copper, tan, beige and orange. However, in some cases they may present with some white spots.

Care of the Sicilian Hunter

When you take care of a pet, you should know that you are assuming a great responsibility. Well, we all know that the quality and years of life will depend on the care provided. We already know that the Cirneco dell'Etna is a very strong and healthy canine, therefore the care it requires is very basic and specific, such as its daily physical training and, obviously, the veterinary requirements that any dog ​​needs.


This aspect is very important, because you should know that its health and appearance depend on your cirneco's diet. Therefore, it is recommended that you feed him dry, good quality foods that contain all the nutrients necessary for his development. Furthermore, one of the advantages of feeding them with quality food is that they help keep the dog's teeth clean, thus preventing the appearance of bacteria and tartar.

Bathing, drying and brushing hair

In this case we are talking about a breed that has very short hair, which becomes an advantage, since it is not prone to tangles. Therefore, keeping their coat nice and shiny is extremely easy. You should only bathe your greyhound once a month, unless it becomes very dirty and it is necessary to do it before the appointed period. It is advisable to use a special shampoo with a pH7 for bathing, which is very similar to the pH of your skin.

As we have already mentioned, this breed of dog is very susceptible to the cold , so you should not let it dry outdoors. It is advisable to use a hair dryer to dry, but always with the necessary caution so as not to burn your skin. Regarding brushing, it will be enough to do it two to three times a week to remove any dirt that may accumulate. On the other hand, it is important that during the periods when the dog sheds its hair, you increase the frequency of brushing in order to eliminate dead hair and, in this way, prevent it from suffering from skin problems.


Hygiene is very important for both humans and pets. However, hygiene needs are very different from one another. But there are basic criteria that must be met to guarantee the best conditions for these faithful and loving friends. If this is the case of an animal that is constantly being petted and there is a close physical approach, the hygiene guidelines must be stricter. One of the aspects to which you must be most attentive is dental hygiene, to avoid bad breath problems and the accumulation of bacterial plaque and tartar on your dog's teeth. You can combat this with tooth brushing, of course, with special toothpastes and brushes for dogs. And there are also special cookies and bones on the market for cleaning the teeth of these pampered animals. In any case, you must create the habit with your pet from the time he is a puppy, to maintain good dental hygiene and avoid oral infections. But, if you decide to use edible supplements for this purpose, you must be careful so that their use does not lead to excessive calorie intake and affect the dog's health.

Vaccinations and deworming

Just like a human being, a dog from a puppy should receive all doses of vaccines and antiparasitic treatments necessary for good health. This, of course, must be done under the supervision and indication of the veterinarian. Remember that it is the specialist doctor who is trained to handle this process. Try as far as possible to collect all the information about the animal's medical history at the time of adopting it, in this way the veterinarian will be able to more accurately indicate the treatments that the dog needs, whether vaccines or antiparasitic. In case of infection with a parasite, you should always go to the veterinarian to take the necessary measures to eradicate the problem and prevent future infections. Currently you have very easy-to-use accessories to repel these horrible parasites that can harm your dog's health, such as pipettes or collars. Regarding the frequency of check-ups with the veterinarian, it is recommended that you take your faithful friend about twice a year for evaluation. In this way, it is possible to detect any pathological condition in time and thus you will be ensuring the good health of your canine.


This species of dog does not suffer from common hereditary diseases thanks to the purity of its breed, since it has not been mixed. However, like all dogs, they can suffer from physical ailments, such as skin diseases that manifest themselves with allergies or irritations, and they can also suffer from bone diseases. They may be prone to eye, ear, or skin infections. Therefore, a constant review of these parts of your body is recommended in order to avoid the accumulation of fungi and bacteria. Since we are talking about a hunting dog, after a day in the field you should check it thoroughly, especially the ears and legs, because it is possible that they have particles stuck or that external parasites, such as ticks or fleas, have stuck to the skin or fur. These parasites can transmit very dangerous diseases to your canine.


In any breed of dog, it is necessary to focus on appropriate training guidelines, in order to achieve a good coexistence between the pet and its owners, trying as much as possible to make it as harmonious and happy for everyone.

Physical training

When training a dog of this breed, you must know its characteristics, temperament, and weaknesses well. Given its status as a hunter and primitive dog, El Cirneco del Etna performs very well in rugged terrain . On the other hand, the training of these animals must be focused. mainly, in the wear and tear of the excess energy that characterizes them. At the same time, you can choose to include games that, along with exercise, will directly contribute to their education. After a strong physical training, you can move on to a calmer session of about ten minutes, to teach him new things. Always keeping in mind that it is very important to use positive techniques, it is never recommended to use abuse of any kind to train an animal. It is important that the dog feels loved, cared for and respected so that it responds positively to training. Every time he manages to do things well, you should give him a reward, which can be a cookie or a tender caress. In this way, the animal will learn to do what you ask of it. To the extent that your dog feels rewarded, he will respond with appropriate behavior. If you are fortunate enough to have had it as a puppy, it is much better, but you can also train a slightly older animal. In any case, do not forget that the physical and emotional well-being of your pet must come before the training objectives.

The Etna cirneco, due to its status as a hunter, is an extremely active dog. That is why you need to do physical exercise constantly . If you want to ensure adequate physical and mental health for your dog, the recommendation is to take him for a walk two or three times a day, so that he can exercise, explore and socialize. You should know that if an Etna Cirneco spends a lot of time inactive, it will feel uncomfortable, which can arouse its anxiety and even become an annoying, barking and destructive dog.

Interaction with other pets

Normally, this breed of dog does not present any problem when living with other pets that are their size or a little larger and, even more so, if they have been socialized with them since they were little. However, you need to be a little careful with smaller pets, as they are not as compatible and less tolerant.

Relationship with the little ones

The Cirneco del Etna is a very friendly , affectionate, familiar, faithful, playful, tolerant dog and, if well trained, it is docile and obedient. Therefore, he can have a very good relationship with the little ones in the house. A dog of this breed is an intelligent and loyal companion for your children , ideal for playing with them and entertaining them. However, do not forget that he is an animal and, therefore, may feel the need for a little reassurance when the children become unbearable. If you liked this post, you will like these too:
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