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Sicilian Greyhound Breed Description

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Breed Organization

United Kennel Club (UKC)

Native Country

Other Names
Cirneco Sicilian Hound, Cirneco dell'Etna

Life Expectancy
Approximately 12-14 Years

Litter Size
Average 2-5 Puppies

Breed Group

General Description

They are smaller in size, with very short, glossy and rough to the touch, fur. They are thinly wired, with evenly distributed muscles, such as a greyhound. One of the ancient sight hounds, Cirneco dell'Etnas are excellent at catching their prey. They can sneak up to small animals, even birds, in total silence and snatch them from their hiding place. They were once used to hunt rabbit and other small game. They have excellent noses and almond-shaped, deep set eyes. Their eyes range from yellow to hazel brown color. Their appearance is one of wisdom, with high pointing erect ears and a thin face.

Breed Standard

Head: Long. Skull is almost flat. Distinct stop. Straight nose bridge. Pointed muzzle. Flat cheeks. Fine, thin, tight, lips.
Ears: Set high and close together. Triangular with narrow, pointed tips. Held rigidly erect and forward.
Eyes: Small, almond shape. Ocher (not too dark), amber, or gray color.
Body: Square body outline. Top profile of neck is well arched. Tapered neck. Rather narrow chest. Ribs barely sprung.
Tail: Set low. Rather thick and long. Carried in the shape of a saber at rest and curving up to the back when in action.
Hair: Stiff like horse hair. Short on the head, ears, and legs. Longer (3 cm), smooth, and close-lying on the body and tail.
Coat: Solid fawn, either bright or diluted (Isabella, tawny). Fawn with white markings. Solid white with orange markings is permissible, but not desirable.
Size: Dog: 46 to 50 cm.Bitch: 42 to 46 cm.
Weight: Dog: 10 to 12 kg.Bitch: 8 to 10 kg.


Some experts believe the Cirneco was brought to Sicily by the Phoenicians and that it is descended from the Pharaoh Hound. According to current thinking, however, the Cirneco is an indigenous breed that originated around the Sicilian volcano Mount Etna as early as the fourth century before the common era. The breed closely resembles the dog depicted in bas-reliefs on Egyptian tombstones. The Cirneco was used to hunt rabbit, pheasant, and partridge on rough terrain. The first standard for the breed was written in 1939.


This very rustic, hardy, lively, agile, powerful dog has a strong personality, but a good temperament. He is an affectionate, cheerful, gentle pet. Reserved toward strangers, but not aggressive, the Cirneco makes a good guard dog. This sighthound specializes in rabbit hunting. Early, firm training is required.

The Cirneco adapts easily to city-living. However, it needs constant exercise. Regular brushing is required.


Hunting Dog, Guard Dog, Pet.


No Health Information Available.

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