The history and origin of Segugio Italiano is lost in the past. It is believed that it is an ancient dog breed and there are ancient Roman statues portraying hunting dogs similar to Segugio Italiano. One theory claims, that the Segugio Italiano might be a descendant of Pharaoh Hounds of the Middle East, but it is impossible to verify this theory. For centuries, this dog breed was used as a skilled hunting and tracking dog. The Segugio Italiano was finally officially recognized in 1920s when the first breed standard was written.
2) Two breeds
There are two, almost identical dogs, known as Segugio Italiano. They have the same personality, size, body type and purpose, but they differ in one main thing, and that is the coat type. The two breeds are known as Segugio Italiano a Pelo Forte and as Segugio Italiano a Pelo Raso. A genetic comparison found that these two breeds are almost indistinguishable and they are very close to other italian breeds as well, such as Segugio Maremmano.
3) Coat types
So what are the actual coat types of the two Segugio Italiano breeds. The first one is short coated type, with straight and dense coat. The second one is wire haired. This type has longer hair, up to 5 cm long (2 in) and the coat is smoother on the head, tail and legs. Two coat colors are officially recognized and those are any shade of fawn-coloured, varying from deep fox-red to very pale; and black-and-tan. They might have few white markings on the head or chest.
The Segugio Italiano always had one main purpose, which he serves even today and that is of course hunting. Segugio Italiano main weapons on the hunt are its extremely good sense of smell and never ending stamina, they could really hunt all day long without tiring. These dogs are adaptable hunters and they hunt alone, but also in large packs. Their main quarry are hares, but they can be used to hunt larger prey as well, such as wild boar. The Segugio Italiano is known for its loud baying which he is using when pursuing the game.
Of course, the Segugio Italiano is not only a hunter, but also loving family pet. It is known for its kind and gentle character and they create strong bond with the family. Most of these dogs adore children and they will love to play with them, but it is always a must to supervise any actions between any dog breed and young child. If considering Segugio Italiano as a pet, you should be prepared for kind of independent and stubborn dog. They are intelligent and they will learn all the commands easily, but because of their independent mind, they dont always want to obey them. And of course, they are not the best for families with other household pets, as Segugio Italiano is natural born hunter with strong prey drive.
As you can probably imagine from a dog that can hunt all day long, these dogs require quite a lot of exercise to stay healthy and happy. They will love daily long walks, jogs, hikes, vigorous playtime or fun traning sessions, anything that will occupy their mind and body. Without enough exercise, these dogs might develop unwanted behaviour such as excessive barking or destruction.
This is very athletic dog breed with squared shaped body and with average height between 48-58 cm, which is 19-23 inch and weight is usually between 18-28 kg, which is 40-62 lbs. Females are naturally slightly smaller than males.
The Segugio Italiano has longish and oval head with large and almond shaped dark colored eyes with soft expression, large, triangular and hanging ears and thin tail that is set high and it is typically hanging at rest and it is raised above when the dog is at work or at any kind of action.
It is relatively easy to keep the coat of Segugio Italiano in good condition. As you already know, these dogs can have two coat types, the short and rough haired coat types. Both coats should be brushed regularly, lets say few times a week, to keep them clean and healthy. They do not need much bathing, only when it is really really necessary. You should take extra care about their long hanging ears and properly clean them and dry them so they do not develop any infections. And just like with any other dog breed, you should regularly check their eyes, nails and teeth as well and keep them in good condition.
The Segugio Italiano is usually very hardy and healthy dog breed with average lifespan around 13 years. There are no known health issues, which would be very common in this breed and they should typically not suffer from any serious genetic health issues. As i already mentioned, they might have problems with ear infections, ocassionally bloating or some joint problems, but as i said, this is usually very healthy dog breed.