General Information

Dog NameCirneco dell’Etna
Other NamesCirneco
Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Breed TypeHound
Breed ForHunting small game
Country of OriginItaly

Physical And Size

SizeSmall to Medium
Min Life Span12
Max Life Span14
Min Ideal Weight for male9
Max Ideal Weight for male10
Min Ideal Weight for female9
Max Ideal Weight for male10


Intelligent Rank
Affection Level
Social Needs
Watchdog Ability


TemperamentAlert, Curious, Loving
Prey DriveYes
Fighting DogNo


Stranger FriendlyMedium
Child FriendlyMedium
Cat FriendlyMedium
Dog FriendlyHigh
Office FriendlyLow
Apartment FriendlyHigh
Senior Citizens FriendlyHigh
Service DogHigh
Search and Rescue DogHigh
Biting PotentialLow
Country of OriginItaly
Nicknames and Other NamesCirneco
Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Breed TypePurebred
GroupHound Group
Bred Forhunting small game like rabbits
Recognized ByAKC, UKC, FCI, KC
Life Span12-14 years
Ideal WeightMale: 22-26 pounds
Female:20-22 pounds
Ideal HeightMale: 18-20 inches
Female: 17-20 inches
Fur TypeShort hair on the head,
short-semi length on the body
Common ColorsChestnut, Tan
MarkingsWhite markings
AvailabilityModerately available
Achievementsnamed after volcano
Suitable for ApartmentsYes
Used in World WarNo
Most Similar ToPharaoh Hound

The Cirneco dell’Etna (pronounced as sheer-nek-o) is a small to medium size hunting dog with a short silky coat. They have a long pointy muzzle with very high triangular ears set close together like an alert dog. The body is slender and thin but very powerful.

The Cirneco dell’Etna is a sighthound who used to track his pray using sight, scent, and hearing. They are known for their swiftness, stamina and flexible gait.

Origin and History

Cirneco dell’Etna was orifinated in Sicily. Cirneco means “dog of Cyrene (Libya) which is derived from a Greek word. Whereas, dell’Etna is from the name of Mount Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe. They looked like a smaller version of Pharaoh Hound, the cousin from the island of Malta.

Cirneco dell’Etna were originally bred to hunt rabbits and other small game using their sight, scent, and hearing. They stalk so quietly that they can even sneak up on birds. Although Cirneco dell’Etna looks delicate, they are tough and can even go hours and even day without food and water for hunting in the extreme hot terrain.

Cirneco dell’Etna is registered in American Kennel Club, which is recognized in 2015. It ranks 183 of 193 among the registered breed of AKC.

Is Cirneco dell’Etna Child-Friendly?

Cirneco dell’Etna is tolerant of children and makes a great partner for them. Although younger children can play rough and Cirneco dell’Etna may become defensive which can lead to biting. Therefore, proper supervision is necessary.

If you are considering to keep this dog in a house with small children, make sure to socialize them and raised them together.

Cirneco dell’Etna playing snow with a child

Behavior, Temperament and Personality

Behavior: Cirneco dell’Etna is naturally a hunting dog who loves to chase small animals. This behavior of them came from their ancestor sighthounds. To avoid this behavior, he should be kept in a well-fenced area.

Temperament: Cirneco dell’Etna is of curious and playful temperament which makes them a great family companion. They are lively and want to be occupied with some household work or fun games. Keep them occupied to avoid any destructive behavior due to boredom.

Personality: Cirneco dell’Etna is of friendly, smart and affectionate personality. They adore children and are typically tolerant of them. However, they are little reserved around strangers, therefore, early exposure to a variety of people is necessary.


Cirneco dell’Etna is moderately trainable as they are an independent dog, they can be stubborn sometime and do not want to listen to you. They are eager to please their master, so they respond well to gentle and positive training. Present treat as a reward and a gentle pat on his back which will keep him motivated.

Keep the training session short and entertaining with no repetition of the task. Include tricks and fun games so that they won’t get bored easily.

Agility Training Cirneco dell’Etna


  • Cirneco dell’Etna is one of the newest breeds recognized by AKC, which is in 2015.
  • Cirneco dell’Etna primarily use sight and speed to hunt animals.
  • Like with many hound dogs, Cirneco dell’Etna was not owned by aristocrats. They were owned by farmers to hunt rabbits and other small animals.
  • The name dell’ Etna is after the volcano named Mount Etna.

Health Issues

General HealthHealthy
Common Health IssuesObesity, Hip Dysplasia, Cataracts,
Patellar Luxation,
Heart Diseases, Cancer, Diabetes
Vaccination RequiredRabies, Canine Distemper,
Canine Parvovirus, Kennel Cough,
Canine Coronavirus, Leptospirosis,
Canine Parainfluenza,
SheddingNone to Minimal
DroolingAverage Drooler
GroomingEasy to Minimal Required
Weight Gain PotentialLow to Average
Separation AnxietyModerate Chance
Diets and SupplementsProtein: 25%
Fat: 10%
Fish Oil

Cirneco dell’ Etna is a tough breed that was developed in an isolated place. There is no serious health condition that can cause to them. However, they might suffer from canine diseases in their 12-15 years of life span. Some of the health problems they might face are:

  • Obesity
  • Toe and Muscle Injury
  • Genetic health problem


Cirneco dell’Etna comes in two different colors which is chestnut and tan. They come in white marking in either of the two colors.


Cirneco dell'Etna Puppies
Cirneco dell’ Etna Puppies
Image Source: spiceisle toy manchester terrier


The average cost of a Cirneco dell’Etna puppy is somewhere between $800- $1200 USD. Price may vary with the quality of the dog.


The average height of a Cirneco dell’Etna male is 18-19.5 inches and a female is 16.5-18 inches. The average weight of a male is 22-26 pounds and a female is 17-22 pounds.

Dog Breeds Similar to Cirneco dell’Etna

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