Cirneco del Etna (Sicilian Greyhound)

Cirneco del Etna or the Sicilian greyhound is an ancient breed of dog that has been used for centuries to hunt rabbits in difficult terrain. He has a strong character and a pronounced craving for the pursuit of the beast, smart and quick-witted, can show leadership qualities, in the family circle is soft and affectionate.

Origin history

Cirneco del Etna is a small hunting dog that is also called Sicilian Greyhound or Sicilian Greyhound. On the Italian island, it is a living attraction, one of the oldest breeds. Cirneca belongs to primitive breeds, which means that it was formed with minimal human influence and practically has not changed over several millennia. Most dog handlers agree that borzoi dogs originate from witty Egyptian dogs. In their present form they are represented by the breed of the pharaoh dog. They could get to Sicily with the Phoenicians.

Famous canine specialist Fiorenzo Fiorone says that there are no real greyhounds in Sicily, but Cirneco del Etna is the result of the adaptation of those that were once brought to the coast of the island. Prolonged inbreeding, limited space, and a small amount of food led to miniaturization.

Evidence that the Chirnekis are found in Sicily for at least 2,000 years is a large number of artifacts with their image, which were minted in the 5-3 century BC. During excavations, about 150 different variations of bronze and silver coins were discovered. Cirneca can be found throughout Sicily, but the region of Mount Etna is considered the cradle of the breed. According to legend, the temple of the god Ardanos was once built here and thousands of dogs guarded it, recognizing unbelievers and thieves who were immediately attacked.

Until 1932, Cirneco del Etna practically did not occur outside Sicily. They became known about them after the veterinarian from Atron, Dr. Maurizio Minieko, published an article in the magazine Italian Hunter in which he spoke about the undeserved oblivion of this wonderful breed. Soon, under the patronage of Baroness Agatha Paterno Castello, enthusiasts took up the revival and development of Cirneco. Dogs were selected throughout Sicily. The first standard for Cirneco del Etna was made by the outstanding zoologist Giuseppe Solaro. The description was adopted by the Italian Kennel Club in 1939. The International Cynological Association Cirneco del Etna was officially recognized in 1956.

Video about the dog breed Cirneco del Etna:

Appearance according to standard

Cirneco del Etna - a dog of a primitive type, sophisticated elegant build, medium size, strong and strong, square format with short, fine hair. Sexual dimorphism is moderate. Height at the withers of males - 46-50 cm, weight - 10-12 kg. The height of the bitches is 42-46 cm, weight - 8-10 kg.

The skull is oval, elongated, its width between the zygomatic arches should not exceed 1/2 the length of the head. The stop is smooth, almost not pronounced and equal to an angle of 140 degrees. The muzzle is at least 80% of the length of the skull, pointed with the straight back of the nose. The nose is rectangular, large, light, dark brown or fleshly, depending on the color. Lips are dry, thin, fit tightly. The teeth are strong, strong, white, scissor bite. Cheekbones are flat. The eyes are small, oval, amber or gray. Eyelid pigmentation matches the color of the nose. Ears are set high, close to each other, erect, directed forward. The length of the ears should not exceed half the length of the head.

The neck is well bent, its length is equal to the length of the head. The top line is straight, leans slightly from the withers to the croup. The withers stand out, harmoniously passes into the neck. The back is straight, with moderately developed muscles. The loin reaches 1/5 of the height, and its width is equal to the length. The croup is flat, inclined. The chest is flat, the length is slightly higher than the height, and the width is slightly less than 1/3 of the height at the withers. The chest does not extend beyond the line of the elbows. The stomach is lean, dry. The tail is set low, long. In a calm state it rushes saber. During excitement or alertness rises above the back vertically. The muscles are well developed, but inexpressive. The front and hind limbs are straight, parallel.

The skin is thin, tight throughout the body. Color depends on coat color. The mucous membranes, skin and nose are the same color, without black spots, but also not depigmented. The coat is smooth and short. On the ears, legs and head elongated, about 3 cm, fits snugly. Color:

  • Solid fawn in light or dark shades, and can also be a weakened type of sable, isabella and so on.
  • Red with less or more pronounced white marks on the head, chest, legs, tip of the tail and abdomen. Undesirable white "collar".
  • Allowed a completely white color or white with red marks.

Nature and behavior

Cirneco del Etna is very energetic, smart, sociable and playful. They are strongly attached to all family members, loyal and obedient, but at the same time very demanding. They should always be in business under the guidance of the owner, they will not independently entertain themselves or sit at home and be content with short walks. If the dog does not pour out all its energy on the street, it ceases to obey, becomes destructive. Chirneki remain courageous until old age. To a lesser or greater degree, proud and independent.

In many countries, the Chirnekis take part in coursing competitions and often become champions. They can also be found in field trials in the rabbit and competitions in agility, flyball, freestyle.

With all the charm and attractiveness of Cirneka, one should not forget about its purpose. A gambling hunter by nature must be stubborn and persistent, capable of high concentration and passion for persecution. Cirneco del Etna work as hounds (in the wake) and as greyhounds (for the sighted). Bitches usually have a more pronounced hunting instinct, but also males are ready at any time to run for the goal.

On the one hand, such qualities as energy, a pronounced instinct for persecution and anger towards the beast are useful. They allow you to raise excellent kursingistov or use enthusiastic, speedy dogs for hunting. But also they are fraught with difficulties keeping the cirnec in urban conditions, where birds and neighboring cats are plentiful, and cars jump out from every angle.

The Chirneks are strongly attached to the owner, suffer during parting or prolonged loneliness. They may be offended if they consider that they were unfair to them. They are stubborn, prefer to make decisions independently. However, it is not worthwhile to allow this in all life situations, as well as to spoil the dog too much. As a result, she may consider herself a leader in the family, which is fraught with various behavioral problems. Puppies that have passed the correct social adaptation are very good with children, without aggression. They are not afraid of kids, they know when it is better to step aside.

The Chirneks rarely bark, mostly in excitement or when they demand something. By nature, they are very curious, they should always be in the center of events. With pleasure they will accompany the owner everywhere. They are interested in absolutely everything, surrounding people, dogs, everything that lies on the ground, runs or flies.

With other animals, family members, dogs and cats, they get along well, are not aggressive, but may try to dominate. Very large dogs are often afraid. Those who fit their size are happy to play or ignore. True, they can provoke a conflict due to the division of territory, food or attention.

Parenting and training

For the training and training of Cirneco del Etna, a generally accepted scheme designed for service dogs will not work. Cirnec cannot be forced to execute commands, and they cannot stand elevated tones or physical punishments. They will fulfill requests only if they themselves are interested in this.

Training for any team should be based on the fact that the dog is interested in doing it. Encouragement can be a treat, praise or a toy.

Content Features

Cirneco del Etna is great for living in an apartment or in a house; they are neat and tidy. They do not require complicated care. Variants of life in an aviary and especially on a leash should not be considered at all. Firstly, it is a short-haired dog sensitive to cold and damp. Secondly, it is a hunter who needs close contact with the owner and the greatest possible freedom. Personal space in the house is better to equip on a hill. Cirnechi prefer armchairs, sofas and a master's bed, but you can also teach your puppy to sleep on his own couch from an early age.

Physical and mental stress should be consistent with the activity of the dog. Normal mode - 2 walks lasting 30-45 minutes, full of active games with the owner or relatives and the possibility of free running. It is possible to lower the Sicilian greyhound from a leash only in a fenced area, for example, in a park or in nature, provided that it is trained to return by command, monitors the whereabouts of the owner and does not run very far.

Rarely among the cirnek there are pigs that flounder in the first puddle. More often they proudly walk along the dry sidewalk, they love warmth and comfort. With the onset of the first cold weather and humid windy weather, it is better to warm the dog.

The overalls will save from hypothermia, dirt and daily washing. In windy and frosty weather, the ears of the cirnek should be protected from weathering and hypothermia by the hood.


The coat of Cirneco del Etna consists of a short outer coat without undercoat, therefore, with proper care, seasonal molting is weakly expressed, and there is no specific smell at all.

Sicilian dogs do not require any special care. All procedures are standard, weekly combing, nail clipping, brushing of ears, teeth and occasional washing.


Most breeders and owners of cirnec prefer to feed their dogs with natural products using the BARF system. This diet is considered as close to natural and meets all the needs of the animal. Also, if desired, you can choose high-quality dry food. Cirneco suited feed above the super-premium class for active dogs of small and medium size. In addition, he must meet the age (for puppies, juniors or adults) and the physiological condition of the dog (pregnancy, lactation).

Health and Life Expectancy

Cirneco del Etna are considered exceptionally healthy dogs. Of course, they can suffer from various infectious and non-communicable diseases, as well as get sick as a result of improper care and nutrition, but in terms of genetics the breed is safe. Veterinary preventive measures (vaccination, treatment against parasites, scheduled physical examination) are mandatory for maintaining good health.

Cirneco del Etna is very hardy, they can work for several hours without water and food in the scorching sun. However, this does not mean that the dog needs to constantly create extreme conditions. This only says why they were bred and in what conditions they can work, and not in which they should live permanently. Life expectancy is usually 12-15 years.

Choosing a puppy of the Cirneco del Etna breed

Literally 10-15 years ago it was almost impossible to meet Chirnek in the former CIS, and the number of breed representatives could be counted on fingers. Today, Cirneco del Etna is still rare and small in view of its specificity, but every year they attract more and more attention. This contributed to an increase in livestock. Today in most European countries there is an officially registered nursery that breeds Cirneco del Etna. In addition, puppies are sometimes sold by private breeders. Very rarely, these dogs are knitted by the owners "for health" or earnings and then sell puppies without documents, but much cheaper.

Regardless of the purpose of acquiring tealocks, the selected puppy must be healthy, with the right psyche and exterior. Of course, outwardly it is still different from an adult dog and does not fully comply with the standard, but there are drawbacks that even a baby should not have: a malocclusion, hanging ears, a curled tail, black claws or pads, very dark eyes or nose, a plain brown color the presence of black hair or dark spots on the mucosa. Pay attention to the conditions of keeping and feeding dogs. Well-educated babies have the right condition, they are active and curious, with a good appetite, outwardly absolutely healthy, with clean clear eyes, shiny hair.

Proof of belonging to the breed will be a stigma and a puppy card, which is then exchanged for a pedigree. Also, future owners will need to get a contract of sale and a veterinary passport, which contains notes on the manipulations and vaccinations done.


The price of a puppy Cirneco del Etna in Russia on average ranges from 40,000-50,000 rubles. Promising babies can be much more expensive, and sometimes they don’t sell dogs for breeding for 5,000-10,000 rubles. cheaper.


The gallery contains vivid photos of sunny bunnies - dogs of the Cirneco del Etna breed (Sicilian greyhound).

Watch the video: Best of Breed - Cirneco Dell'etna. Crufts 2016 (February 2020).