The Segugio Italiano is a breed of scent hounds from Italy that has a long history, stretching back to ancient times. It comes in two coat types: short-haired and wire-haired. Both types have a dense and straight coat, but the wire-haired variety has a harsher, more weather-resistant texture. It's popular both in its home country and internationally. The breed is known for its hunting skills, strength, and endurance, as well as its distinctive appearance and endearing personality. The Segugio Italiano, also known as the Italian Hound or Italian Segugio, is believed to have a very ancient lineage, dating back to the times of the ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks. The ancestors of these dogs were likely brought to Italy by Phoenician traders. Many art and artifacts from these ancient civilizations depict dogs that resemble the modern Segugio Italiano. The breed has been selectively bred over centuries for its scent tracking abilities and was primarily used for hunting hare and wild boar in its native Italy.
Segugio Italianos are known to be generally healthy dogs, but as a larger breed they are at risk for developing ear infections (due to their floppy ears) and orthopedic problems, such as hip and elbow dysplasia. Genetic testing is recommended, including for the following specific conditions: hyperuricosoria, degenerative myelopathy, and progressive rod-cone degeneration.
The Segugio Italiano is known for its sharp scent tracking skills, resilience, and eagerness to work. They are intelligent and learn quickly, but also have a bit of a stubborn streak which can make training challenging at times. They are affectionate and good with children, making them suitable family pets. However, they have a strong hunting instinct and may chase small animals if not properly trained .
Despite their hunting background, these dogs are quite adaptable and can live comfortably in a variety of home environments, provided they get enough exercise. They need regular physical and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. They are generally friendly towards strangers and other dogs, but early socialization is important to ensure they grow into well-rounded adults.
The name "Segugio Italiano" literally translates to "Italian hound."
These dogs have been depicted in numerous works of art throughout history, from ancient Roman frescoes to Renaissance paintings, testifying to their long-standing popularity in Italy.
Despite their hunting skills, many Segugio Italianos are kept purely as pets and companions due to their friendly and loyal nature.