The Italian hunting dog will compete in the Sporting Group at dog shows.
bracco italiano dog breed now recognized by AKC
Credit: Valerie Kessler

New dog breed just dropped. 

OK, the Bracco Italiano actually originated hundreds of years ago, but it did earn American Kennel Club recognition Wednesday—the 200th breed to do so. The recognition means the Bracchi can now compete in AKC-sanctioned events like dog shows and canine sports.

The muscular hunting dog from—you guessed it—Italy will compete in the Sporting Group at conformation dog shows. 

"The Bracco Italiano is a strong, active, and sturdy breed of dog that would make a great companion for active families," AKC Executive Secretary Gina DiNardo said in a news release. "The breed loves people and would be best suited for a family that can give it the love and attention it needs."

Bracchi are the third breed to earn recognition in 2022. The AKC recognized the tiny Russian toy and the herding mudi in January. 

According to the AKC, the Bracco Italiano's roots can be traced back to the fourth or fifth century BC and is considered "the oldest European pointer." These days, the muscular, floppy-eared breed serves as gun dogs for hunters after arriving in the United States in the 1990s. 

In some cases, they can also compete in agility competitions, like Elvira here: 

Breeds like the Bracco Italiano earn AKC recognition by meeting three criteria: the existence of an active interest and following in the United States; an established breed club; and a "sufficient" population of dogs spread across the country. Breeds awaiting AKC recognition occupy spots in the organization's Foundation Stock Service

Get To Know the Bracco Italiano  

  • Height: 21–27 inches
  • Weight: 55–90 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 10–14 years
  • Coat: Short, smooth, and lower amounts of shedding
  • Colors: White; white and orange; and white and chestnut—sometimes with roan markings
  • Disposition: The Bracco Italiano loves their people and working, according to the Bracco Italiano Club of America. They love playing with their families (kids included) and hunting. Plus, they get along with other animals and pets. 
  • Needs: Enough exercise—or else they might become a little too raucous and could destroy your stuff. Thankfully, they're easily trained
  • Health: They're generally healthy, though the breed sometimes suffers from a hereditary kidney disease. Some also deal with eye problemsentropion, ectropion, and cataracts.