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Cirneco dell'Etna
Cirneco dell Etna 611.jpg
A male Cirneco dell'Etna
Nicknames Cirneco
Country of origin Sicily, Italy
Traits
Notes
The UK K.C. currently only carries an Interim breed standard. (as of December 2007)

The Cirneco dell'Etna (plural Cirnechi) is a small breed of dog originally from Sicily. This hound was historically used to hunt rabbits and can work for hours without food or water. The breed also has a keen sense of smell and is primarily built for endurance over harsh terrain such as that of Mount Etna. It is the smallest of the Mediterranean island hunting hounds, the others being the Pharaoh Hounds and Ibizan Hounds. Cirnechi were believed, most likely correctly, to have been brought to Sicily over 3000 years ago by the Phoenician traders.

The Cirneco dell'Etna is a "wise-looking" hound and carries dignity as it hunts. Today they are increasingly kept for the sport of conformation showing and as pets, due to their low coat maintenance and friendly nature, although as an active hound they do need regular exercise. A Cirneco should measure from 43-51 cm (17-20in) and weigh between 10–12 kg (22-26lb). As with other breeds, those from hunting stock can lie outside these ranges.

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