The Cirneco dell'Etna has been present in Sicily for over 2,500 years and shares a common origin with the Pharaoh Hound and other breeds throughout the Mediterranean basin. As a hunter of small mammals and fowl, the Cirneco is a hardy, compact dog that was successful in hunting under adverse conditions - high heat, on rugged terrain formed by volcanic lava and with little food or water over extended periods of time. The affix "dell'Etna" was only added to the name Cirneco in 1939 when the first breed standard was accepted by the Italian Kennel Club. Etna comes from Mount Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe, situated on the east coast of Sicily and the area with the highest concentration of Cirnechi.
Did You Know?
The Cirneco dell'Etna takes it name from Mount Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe, situated on the east coast of Sicily. The Cirneco can be found all over Sicily. The affix "dell'Etna" was only added to the name Cirneco in 1939 when the first breed standard was accepted by the Italian Kennel Club.
Between the 5th and 2nd centuries B.C., during the period of colonization of Sicily by Greece, hundreds of variations of coins were minted all over Sicily depicting a dog which is so similar that it could be the Cirneco as we know it today.
The Cirneco has been assigned the Hound Group Designation.
The Cirneco has been recorded in the Foundation Stock Service since 2006.
At the February 2011 Board Meeting the Cirneco dell'Etna Club of America will serve as the AKC Parent Club to represent the Cirneco dell'Etna.
The Cirneco has been selected over centuries as a "specialist" for hunting wild rabbit primarily using scent, although in its method of hunting the breed characteristically also employs hearing and sight. The traditional method of hunting involved the Cirneco's "partner" - the ferret.
Legend has it that the Temple on the south western slopes of the volcano dedicated to the God Adranos, personification of the Etna volcano, was guarded by 1000 Cirnechi who had the divine ability to recognize thieves and disbelievers, whom they attacked.
At the November 2009 Board Meeting the Cirneco dell'Etna became eligible to compete in AKC Performance Events effective July 1, 2010.
At the July 2009 Board Meeting the Cirneco dell'Etna became eligible compete in AKC Companion Events effective January 1, 2010.
At the January 2007 Board Meeting one new breed was added to the Foundation Stock Service Program - Cirneco dell'Etna.
"Cirneco" is pronounced "cheer-nec-ko" and its plural is Cirnechi (cheer-nec-kee).
Despite its primitive origins, the Cirneco is biddable and affectionate, responding well to gentle methods of training, with a lively and active disposition which requires mental stimulation and interplay with its family to maintain its well-being.
A group of Cirneco aficionados established the first "colony" of pure bred Cirnechi in the USA in 1996 forming a breed club in 1997. The breed was first accepted by ASFA in 1999.
At the February 2014 Board Meeting the Cirneco dell'Etna Club of America became the official parent club for the Cirneco dell'Etna. The Cirneco dell'Etna became eligible for AKC registration, December 1, 2014 and was eligible to compete in the Hound Group, effective January 2, 2015. AKC will maintain an open registry for the breed until January 1, 2020.
At the April 2011 Board Meeting the Cirneco dellEtna was approved to compete in the Miscellaneous Class, effective January 1, 2012.
colors & Markings
Below is a list of the colors and markings available for this breed. Please refer to the breed standard for descriptions and the difference in types.
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