Showsight Presents The Cirneco dell'Etna

CIRNECO DELL’ETNA BREED STANDARD 2020

The color of the Cirneco is tan; it is not brown or red, and there- fore, not chestnut. Self-colored light to dark shades of tan, with a mixture of slightly lighter and darker hairs as well as tan with white markings. The white markings are now specified to include: white blaze or mark on head, chest and/or throat, white feet, point of tail, and/or belly, with a white collar being less desired. Although this is specifically descriptive of the Cirneco coat, it applies to the dog as a whole because the Cirneco is monotone. Please note the other references to color in the standard: A. In Reference to the Eyes: Amber or ochre blending with coat; B. Nose: Rather large, flesh-colored, blending with coat; C. Pads: Well padded, hard and of the same color as the nails; D. Nails: Brown or flesh-colored. It is to be noted that nail color typically flows with the color of its individual toe. If the toe is white rather than tan, the nail will likely be flesh-colored. Black is a disqualification anywhere on a Cirneco.

“Emblem of the Cirneco” is the characterization in the descrip- tion of the ears in the commentary to the Italian standard. For our purposes, this translates to a major characteristic of breed type and includes shape, set, and carriage. The shape is triangular with a narrow tip and proportional to the head. The length is slightly less but no more than half the length of the head. They are set very high and close together. Carriage is erect and rigid, parallel or almost parallel when alert. In an attempt to strive for the optimal, most perfect exemplar possible, our original standard had the aspirational statement: “Full dentition desirable.” Unfortunately, this resulted in a most unintended counting of teeth and penalizing for a missing pre- molar or molar. The wording is now “scissor bite.” Why? The FCI standard allows for “the lack of PM1 and M3.” Canine dentition contains four premolar 1s and two molar 3s. Breed experts in the country of origin, which requires the completion of a hunting trial for breed conformation championship, have determined that the lack of those teeth does not impede the functionality of the breed. Although full dentition is the goal, the breed under AKC should not face greater scrutiny than in its country of origin where func- tion is more than visual.

BIO M Lucia Prieto is a member and President of the Cirneco dell’Etna Club of America, and a member of the Società Amatori Cirneco dell’Etna, Ente Nazionale della Cinofilia Italiana, and Cirneco dell’Etna Club (UK), and an AKC Silver Breeder of Merit. In the breed since 1996, she has imported close to 50 Cirnechi, bred 35 litters, founded the Cirneco dell’Etna Club of America in 1997, and mentored the breed through ASFA and AKC recognition.

photo by Blake Williams

202 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, APRIL 2022

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