Showsight Presents The Cirneco dell'Etna

Cirneco

BREED STANDARD 2020 dell’Etna

BY CDECA & M LUCIA PRIETO

H idden in the deep sleep of the COVID pan- demic was the first revision of the AKC Cirneco dell’Etna breed standard. Although effective on March 31, 2020, we are, two years later, still encountering the “old” standard online, in publications, and applied in the show ring. Many of the changes in the breed standard were made to better illustrate and define the specific characteristics with a more familiar terminology such as “set somewhat obliquely” for the position of the eyes, replacing the more ambiguous “semi-lateral position.” There was also the need to correct the previous omission of acceptance of honorable scars in recogni- tion of the function of the breed. WHAT ARE THE SALIENT CHANGES? The breed has disqualifications for size, both over and under the stated limits. There was originally a more complex height evaluation involving a standard, a tolerance outside of the standard, and a disqualification outside of the tolerance. Application of these tiers, which were originally incorporated from the FCI standard, resulted in a tremendous amount of confusion, with many AKC judges recommending removal of the tolerance. As such, as of 2020, the standard height for dogs is 18 to 20 inches, height for bitches is 17 to 19 inches, and height not within those stated limits is a breed disqualification. Size is important. The function of the Cirneco determined its survival and evolution. Hunting terrain upon which the Cirne- co survived and thrived is dependent on the ability to enter and work in restricted areas yet have sufficient body substance to effectively succeed in harvesting prey. The wicket is our friend. Because of the AKC Hound Group designation, there is a preconceived notion of a fast, lean, running sighthound. The Cirneco is not a sighthound. The Cirneco is not a lean running machine. The Cirneco is capable of running, but its construc- tion is not optimal for that function. Of “light construction” refers to the fact that it is not heavy-boned. It is not a reference to body mass, which is that of a hunter, not a runner. The most egregious misapplication of the sighthound courser construc- tion to the Cirneco fell in the description of the Underline & Tuck-Up. Clean, gently rising, lean underline is proper for a Cirneco but, in note of the importance of the characteristic to the breed, “excessive tuck-up is a severe fault” has replaced the innocuous and easily brushed over “without excessive tuck-up” language of the old standard. The Cirneco is not a Whippet.

photo by Malee Earle

photo by Jane L. Moore

SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, APRIL 2022 | 201

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