A look at the Cirneco dell’Etna
Ears : Set quite high and close together, erect and rigid, the opening towards the front; triangular shape with narrow tip, must not be cropped. Their length is not more than half the length of the head. NECK: Upper profile well arched (convex). The length of the neck is the same as that of the head. In shape similar to a trun- cated cone; the muscles are apparent, especially along the crest of the neck. Skin fine and taut, fitting closely; no dewlap. BODY Topline: Straight, sloping gracefully from the withers towards the rump. Withers: Raised above dorsal line, narrow because of the con- vergence of the shoulder blades; join harmoniously into the neck without any break in the line. Back: Upper profile straight, with moderately developed mus- cles; the length of the thoracic part measures about 3 times the length of the lumbar part. Loins: The length of the loins reaches about 1/5th of the height at the withers and its width is close to its length; muscles are short and slightly visible, but firm. Croup: Upper profile rather flat, obliqueness below the horizon- tal reaching around 45°. The length of this lean and solid sloping rump reaches about the third of the height at the withers, and its width is nearly half of its length; muscles of the rump are not visible. Chest: The length of chest is slightly more than half the height at the withers (about 57%) and its width (measured at the point of its largest width) is slightly less than the third of the height at the withers; the thorax reaches to, or nearly, the level of the elbow, but without going beyound that level; the ribs are only lightly sprung, but never flat; the perimeter of the chest which is more than the height of the withers by about 1/8th, determines a rather narrow chest. Underline: The lower profile corresponds with an evenly ascending line along the belly without any sudden interruption. Belly lean and tucked up, flanks of equal length to that of the renal region. TAIL: Low set, rather thick and of equal thickness in its entire length, quite long, goes down to or slightly lower than the level of the hock; carried sabre fashion when in repose; lifted over the back, trumpet fashion, when the dog is alert; hair smooth. LIMBS FOREQUARTERS: Straight and parallel. Seen in profile a vertical line drawn from the point of the shoulder touches the tip of the toes. Another vertical line, going from the radial- humeral articulation, divides the forearm and the carpus in two more or less equal parts ending at half - length of the metacar- pus. Seen from the front, the limb must correspond to a vertical line lowered from the point of the shoulder which divides fore- arm, carpus, metacarpus and foot in two, more or less equal parts. The height of the foreleg from the ground to the elbow is slightly more than half the height at the withers. Shoulders: The length of the shoulder blade must reach about
the Nile at the time of the Pharaos, dogs which would have arrived in Sicily with the Phoenicians. But very recent research- es speak in favour of a new conception, according to which it would concern a native breed of Sicilian origin from precisely the vicinity of Etna. Coins and engravings prove in effect that the Cirneco existed in those parts many centuries BC. GENERALAPPEARANCE: Primitive type dog of elegant and slender shapes, medium size, not cumbersome, robust and strong. Of morphological conformation in slightly longish lines, of light construction; his body fits into a square; the coat is fine. I MPORTANT PROPORTIONS: - Length of body equal to the height at the withers (built in a square). - Depth of chest slightly less than the height from ground to elbow. - Length of the muzzle does not reach half the length of the head (the ratio skull-muzzle is of 10 to 8, but preference is given to sub- jects whose length of muzzle reaches that of the skull). HEAD CRANIAL REGION: Skull: Oval shaped lengthwise, the superior axes of the skull and muzzle are hardly divergent or parallel. The upper profile of the skull is so slightly convex as to appear almost flat; the width of the skull between the zygomatic arches must not be more than half the length of the head; the superciliary arches are not very protruding; the frontal furrow is only slightly marked; the occipital crest and the occipital protuberance are only slightly developed. Stop: Well accentuated, in shape of about 140° angle. FACIAL REGION: Nose: Of quite rectangular shape, rather large, its colour corre- sponding to colour of the coat (rather dark chestnut, light chest- nut, flesh colour). Muzzle: The length of the muzzle is at least 80% of the length of the skull; its depth or height (measured at the middle of the muzzle) reaches at least its proper length; its width (measured at the middle of the muzzle) is less than half its length. The muzzle is therefore pointed with a straight topline of the foreface; its lower lateral profile is defined by the mandible. Lips : Fine, thin and taut, only just covering the teeth of the lower jaw. The mucous membrane at the corner of the lips is hardly visible. Jaws/Teeth: Jaws normally developed although do not appear strong; lower jaw lightly developed, with receding chin. Incisors, set square in the jaws, are perfectly in line and adapted. Teeth well developed and complete, scissor bite. Cheeks: Flat. Eyes: The eyes, which seem rather small, are of an ochre colour, not too dark, amber or even grey, never brown or dark hazel; in lateral position; soft expression; oval shaped, with pigmentation of the eyelid rims corresponding with the colour of the nose.
106 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE • J ANUARY 2011
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