The Bracco Italiano is large, strong hunting dog who needs good training and plenty of opportunity to follow his hunting instincts. Ideally he needs plenty of space in natural surroundings but he enjoys home comforts too. His owner needs to have plenty of energy and time for the regular exercise that a Bracco needs. As a short coated breed the Bracco’s grooming needs are not excessive but his coat should be checked after outdoor excursions in the open countryside.
Inbreeding Coefficient - COI
(Should be as low as possible)
The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 3.0% - see 'A Beginners Guide to COI'
Effective Population Size - EPSTBC
EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.
Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)
- As a large, deep chested breed the Bracco is prone to Gastric dilatation volvulus (Bloat/torsion) (the stomach fills with air and can twist) causing severe pain and requiring urgent veterinary treatment
- Loose folds of skin around the face and neck can lead to skin infections and eye problems
- Hip dysplasia (abnormality of the hip joints causing pain and disability) breed mean score 14.1 (parents should be lower)
- Elbow dysplasia (cartilege fails to develop naturally, causing chronic arthritis and pain) score ideally 0:0
Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) are now available for Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia:
DNA Tests Available
Unofficial (Breed Club) Schemes
Kidney function test for Amyloidosis.
Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.
Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)
The Bracco is a relatively new breed in this country and its health problems are not fully documented.
- Kidney disease (Amaloidosis) (some lines affected)
- Entropion (inward turning eyelashes which can scratch the surface of the eye)
- Ectropion (outward turning eyelashes which allow dust and dirt to collect and cause excessive tear production)
- Cherry eye (prolapse of the gland in the third eyelid, causing dry eye)
- Eye disease: Glaucoma and Primary lens luxation (PLL) have been reported
Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.
Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions. Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.
You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP): www.puppycontract.org.uk
You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding: