Showsight Presents The Cirneco dell'Etna

by the Egyptian Anubis, throughout their trade routes in the Mediterranean and beyond. It is unknown whether the dog was transported primarily as a hunting tool for the Phoenicians or as a commodity in trade but, whether one or both, the value of the dog rested in its ability as an e ff ective hunter. Artifacts from antiquity depict the objects of the hunt as small mammals, pre- dominantly rabbits, but include wild boar. Over the course of centuries, the dog from the Nile survived throughout the ancient trade routes by adapting to its displacement. In Sicily there was little manipulation by man allowing nature to dictate survival to an intelligent and har- dy breed with no known genetic issues. Th e breed that is the Cirneco of today is

capable of hunting small mammals and fowl for extended periods of time over rug- ged volcanic terrain. Although hunting rabbit is not uncommon for multiple breeds, includ- ing most classified as “sighthounds”, the Cirneco is very specialized in its form of hunting. Th e Cirneco’s abilities are honed for success in locating, flushing, follow- ing and directing the hunter to the prey. Th e primary sense employed is scent, the Cirneco must be able to track the rabbit. Sight and sound are also well developed and used in the hunt but should not be primary. Although capable of running distances with great speed, the Cirneco, in fulfilling its function, is not typically required to experience large expanses of

open land. Th e hunt is typically limited to encumbered areas—a riverbank, rocky slopes, forest, an agricultural field. Th e talents necessary in a well-trained hunter are acute dexterity and athleticism. Hybrid functionality in hunting is one of the most interesting aspects of the Cir- neco. Two of the crossovers from standard classifications are retrieval and pointing. Although not normally trained to do so, and not expected of a Cirneco, they are capable of retrieving and the stron- gest hunters will enter water to do so. Of greater significance is that Cirnechi point, particularly when hunting fowl. Although there is the opinion that few Cirnechi employ this function it has been our experience in the United States that most, if not all, Cirnechi “point”. As hunters the instinct of the Cirneco must be respected within the parameters of our modern day society. Th e situations most frequently encountered are the intro- duction of a Cirneco to other pets as well as their ability to be run o ff lead. Cirnechi typically do well as members of a family that can include small mammals or even birds but care and precaution must be tak- en when introducing them. When trained for hunting, the Cirnechi can and will respond to recall but even those who have been well-trained should only be allowed o ff leash in safe and secure areas. Th is primitive hunter, consummate athlete and independent thinker, is bid- dable, a ff ectionate, responsive to gentle methods of training and well suited to family life. Because it is an independent thinker, it requires creativity on the part of its trainer. It is a breed possessing a lively and active disposition, acutely perceptive, learning quickly and in need of mental stimulation and interplay with its family for its well-being. Th is hardy breed has no known genetic issues and lifespans can therefore surpass 15 years. Th e Cirneco is an excellent candidate for activities such as hunting, obedience, agility, tracking and coursing. It is consid- ered easier to train than some of its sight- hound cousins and thrives with the oppor- tunity to learn and have a function. After a day of work, the Cirneco relishes its role as family member and bed warmer. 4 )08 4 *()5 . "(";*/& % &$&.#&3 t

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