Breed standards

Bracco Italiano

Breed standards are the official guidelines that describe the ideal characteristics, temperament, and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function with soundness essential.

Last Updated: 12 Nov 2014
Group 3 (Gundogs)

This dog of ancient Italian origin used for bird hunting has modelled itself and developed over the ages; from the hunting of yesteryear by means of nets, he has adapted himself to the present hunting and shooting. Frescoes from the 14th century are proof of the indisputable timelessness of the Italian Pointer over the centuries, whether either regarding his morphology (appearance) or his aptitudes at hunting as a pointing dog.


Of strong and harmonious construction with powerful appearance. The preferred subjects are those with lean limbs, well developed muscles, well defined lines with a markedly sculpted head and a very obvious lower orbital chiselling, elements which all contribute to give distinction to this breed.
Important proportions: Length of the body is the same or a little more then the height at the withers. Length of head is equal to 4/10 of the height at the withers; it’s width, measured at the level of the zygomatic arches, is less than half its length. Skull and muzzle are of equal length.


Tough and adapted to all types of hunting, reliable, endowed with an excellent ability to understand, docile and easy to train.

Head And Skull:

The head is angular and narrow at the level of the zygomatic arches; its length corresponds to 4/10 of the height at the withers; the middle of its length is at the level of a line which unite the inner angles of both eyes. The upper longitudinal axes of the skull and muzzle are divergent, i.e. if extending the top line of the muzzle, this one must emerge in front of the occipital protuberance, ideally at mid-length of the skull.
When seen in profile the skull is in the shape of a very open arch. Seen from the top. It forms lengthwise an elongated ellipse (elongated oval). The width of the skull, measured at the level of the zygomatic arches, should not exceed half the length of the head. The bulge of the forehead and the supraorbital ridges are perceptible. The frontal groove is visible and ends mid-length of the skull. The interparietal crest is short and not very prominent. The occipital protuberance is very pronounced. The stop is not pronounced.
The nose is voluminous, with large well opened nostrils, protrudes slightly over the lips with which it forms an angle. Colour is more or less pink to flesh-colour or brown, depending on the colour of the coat.
Muzzle: Foreface either slightly arched or straight. Its length is equal to half of the length of the head and its depth measures 4/5 of its length. Seen from the front, the lateral sides of the muzzle converge slightly, still presenting a foreface with good width. The chin is not very apparent.
Lips: The upper lips are well developed, thin and floppy without being flaccid, covering the jaw; seen in profile, they form an inverted “V” below the nose; the corner of the lips must be marked without being droopy.
Cheeks: Lean


Semi-lateral position with a soft and submissive expression, neither deep set nor prominent. Eyes fairly large, eyelids oval-shaped and close fitting (no entropion or ectropion). The iris is of a more or less dark ochre or brown colour depending on the coat colour.


Well developed, in length they should, without being stretched, reach the tip of the nose. Their width is at least equal to half their length; raised only very slightly; base rather narrow, set rather backwards at a level of the zygomatic arches. A supple ear with a front rim well turned inwards and really close to the cheek is appreciated. The lower extremity of the ear ends in a slightly rounded tip.


Dental arches are well adapted, with the teeth square to the jaw. Scissor bite. A pincer bite is also acceptable.


Powerful, in truncated cone shape, length not less than 2/3 of the length of the head, well detached from the nape. The throat shows a soft double dewlap.


The shoulders are strong, well muscled, long and sloping, very free in their movement.
The upper arm is sloping and fitting to the ribcage.
The point of the elbow should be on a perpendicular line from the rear point of the shoulder-blade to the ground
The forearm is strong, straight, with strong and well muscled sinews.
The pasterns are well proportioned, lean, of good length and slightly sloping.


Chest: Broad, deep and well let down to level of the elbows, without forming a keel, with well sprung ribs, particularly in their lower part, and sloping.
Topline: The upper profile of the back is made up of two lines. One almost straight, slopes from the withers to the 11th dorsal vertebra, the other is slightly arched, joining with the line of the rump.
Withers: Well defined, with the points of the shoulder-blades well separated.
Loin: wide lumbar region, muscled, short and slightly convex.
Croup: Long (about 1/3 of the height at the withers), broad and well muscled; the ideal pelvic angulation (angle formed by the pelvic girdle with a horizontal line) is 30 degrees. Pelvis wide.
Underline: Lower profile almost horizontal in its ribcage part, rising slightly in its abdominal part.
Skin: Tough but elastic. Finer on the head, the throat, the armpits and on the lower parts of the body. The visible mucous membranes must be of a corresponding colour with the coat, but never show black spots. The mucous membranes of the mouth are pink; in the roans or white and chestnut coloured dogs they sometimes show brown or pale chestnut spotting.


Upper thigh: Long, parallel, muscular, with a rear edge almost straight.
Lower Thigh: Strong.
Hocks: Wide
Metatarsus: Relatively short and lean.


Forefeet: Strong, slightly oval shaped; well-arched and tight toes, with strong nails well curved towards the ground.
Colour of nails is white, yellow or brown, of more or less dark shade depending on the colour of the coat; pads elastic and lean.
Hind Feet: With all of the characteristics of the front feet; they have dewclaws, the absence of which is not a fault.
Double dewclaw is tolerated.


Thick at the base, straight, with a slight tendency to taper; hair short. When the dog is in action and especially when questing, is carried horizontally or nearly like that. Should be docked at 15-25 cm from the root.


Extended and fast trot, with powerful impulsion from the hindquarters. Head raised, nose held high in such a way that, when hunting, the nose is higher than the topline.


Short, dense and glossy, finer and shorter on the head, the ears, front part of the legs and feet.


White with patches of varied size of an orange or more or less dark amber colour.
White with more or less large chestnut patches.
White speckled with pale orange (melato).
White speckled with chestnut (roano-marrone). In this last combination, a metallic sheen is appreciated, and a warm shade of chestnut is preferred, recalling the colour of a monk’s frock.
A symmetrical facial mask is preferred, but the absence of a mask is tolerated.


Height at the withers: Between 55 and 67 cms
Preferred size for males 58-67 cms
Preferred size for females: 55-62 cms

Weight: Between 25 and 40 kgs depending on size


Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog, and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.

Aggressive or overly shy
Convergence of cranial-facial axes
Split nose
Accentuated undershot mouth, overshot mouth.
Wall eye
Coat black, white and black, tricolour, fawn, hazel, uniclour, with tan markings.
Absence of pigmentation (Albinism)
Mucous membranes, skin and annexes with traces of black
Size of 2 cm above or below the limits indicated in the standard.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.


N.B. Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

As docking is banned in Australia, dogs may be exhibited with full tails.