AKC New Breed! Welcome the Bracco Italiano

Each year the AKC recognizes a new breed to add to its roster of more than 300 dog breeds, and each year that announcement is made at the AKC Westminster Dog Show. This year was no exception: at the 147th AKC Westminster Dog Show, the Bracco Italiano will be knighted (not really) as an official dog breed.

This mean this breed has earned its own show ring among the Sporting Dog Group and could possibly be one of the dogs prancing in circles Tuesday, May 9, 2023 competing for the coveted ‘Best in Show’ title.

But first a Bracco Italiano (who won its breed event Tuesday afternoon) has to win the Sporting Group title Monday evening. Yes, Westminster Dog Show is actually a two-day, two-evening event.

This year the 147th AKC Westminster Dog Show is in Flushing, Queens, a borough of NYC. For the third time in it’s 100 plus year history, this event didn’t take place at Madison Square Gardens in the heart of New York City. It’s the first time since 2020 that’s it’s open to the public. (Best in Show just isn’t the same without an audience).

Pure breed dog enthusiast might question why it took so long – after all, the Bracco Italiano has been around since the 4th century BC thanks to an Italian need for a hunting dog. The breed didn’t make it to North American shores, however, until the 1990s.

Fun facts about the Bracco Italiano Dog Breed

  • The breed originates from Italy and is also know as the Italian Pointer or Italian Hound
  • They are large standing between 55 and 68 cm tall at the shoulder
  • Two colour combinations are common: orange and white or chestnut brown
  • Originally bred as hunting dogs, they have a strong prey drive and good scenting abilities
  • According to the AKC, Bracco Italianos are affectionate and calm, so make good family pets (but they say this about a lot of breeds)
  • Outdoorsy people might work best with this hunting breed
  • Average lifespan is similar to most large breed dogs – about 10 to 12 years

I’ve only met a pet Bracco Italiano once before attending Westminster Dog Show. It was at a dog park with my Sprocker (half cocker half springer spaniel), and dog dad shared the name of the breed with pride. It’s one of those breed names that people say with a flourish like Leonberger and Affenpinscher.

Frankly, I look forward the possible eventual Bracco Italiano hybrid crosses – maybe the Braccodoodle or Italianosky?

Hybrids are not likely any time soon considering there aren’t many Bracco Italianos around, or breeders in North America. I likely have a better chance of seeing the Sprocker eventually declared an official AKC breed! And if it is, I know a Sprocker with ideal Sprocker confirmation who should set the Sprocker standard. She’s already Best in Show at my house.

Writer bio: Sherri Telenko has been a professional writer for decades and a travel writer for the last two. She’s a member of TMAC (Travel Media Association of Canada) and Dog Writers Association of America and travels almost weekly with her canine companion, Victoria. Contact Sherri at dogtrotting.net here. All written content is original, written by a person, and based on experience and research. Please subscribe!

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