By Lisa Moller

With Jessica Freni

Since its formation in 1884, the American Kennel Club has expanded from just nine breeds in 1878 to now encompasses two hundred! June 29, 2022 will mark American Kennel Club’s acceptance of the 200th breed into full recognition status. That 200th breed is the Bracco Italiano and they will be joining their other hunting colleagues in the Sporting Group!

Though Bracchi Italiani (plural) are from Italy like Spinoni Italiani, Bracchi are dogs built of angles while Spinoni are dogs built of curves.

While Italy has held a formal breed standard since 1949, the Bracco’s history reaches back into the 4th and 5th Centuries B.C. While the breed might be newly AKC recognized, they have been referred to as one of the oldest European pointing breeds. There were,  initially, two distinct breed types, which originated from two different regions of Italy. Originally, there was one variety from the Piedmont area- that was predominantly lighter in build, shorter and also lighter in color, more often orange and white. Their lighter build enabled them to be more agile in the mountain regions and they often hunted at a gallop. The second variety, hailing from the Lombardy region- heavier boned, of larger build and heavier in color, more often in roan and brown colors. The Lombardy type were built for swampy lowlands and moved with a more characteristic trot. Around the late 1800’s, the breed faced near extinction and these two were officially merged together to formulate one breed in 1923.

With increasing popularity and growing interest, some of the first imports arrived stateside in the mid 1990’s. The breed has been shown in the AKC conformation ring under the FSS and Open designation, with more recent recognition in the MISC Class. The judges who have completed conformation judging assignments of the breed thus far have expressed overwhelming interest and enthusiasm, often asking “WHEN are you going to be fully accepted? I can hardly wait!” The most common compliments and acknowledgements given by judges refer to the breed’s noble and proud personality and their beautiful and graceful movement.

The breed exemplifies this athletic movement known as the flying trot predominantly when they are in the field hunting.

It is breathtaking to watch a beautifully moving Bracco in full trot. While other hunting and pointing breeds race past the Bracco with their magnificent speed, you will often see the Bracco gaiting effortlessly, covering wide spans of territory looking down their roman noses when they halt into their point.

While their movement is eye- catching in the show ring, it has a purpose the parent club wishes to remain true to preserving for intended function.  The parent club, BICA, is committed to keeping the breed true to their roots as a well-rounded hunting dog of upland game, waterfowl and fur.


It’s important that advancing this breed into AKC acceptance, that emphasis is not forgotten related to their origin, function and unique hunting style.

With the AKC emphasis on the correct conformation and precise build, we will enable our beloved hunting companions to be an all day/many day hunting dog with fewer physical injuries.  The appearance of a lean and muscled dog in the conformation show ring should be examined with the consideration that this animal may be in hunting condition and weight.

The Bracco Italiano Club of America is committed to education. BICA will be offering breed seminars to those who desire to learn more about the Bracco. AKC is excited about promoting this breed in a variety of venues, shows and publications in the upcoming months. There are a number of Judge’s Education Seminars scheduled and enrolling at shows near you! If there are regions in which there are cluster breed seminars taking place and there is not a seminar offered for the Bracco Italiano, please let the person organizing the Judges Education offerings know that you would like to request a seminar for this breed. You may also reach out to me, Lisa Moller, via email lisa@sentrykennels.com for assistance in getting a seminar scheduled. We will work together with various events and organizations to spread the word and assist in mentoring others in our wonderful breed.

The Bracco Club of America welcomes your inquiries and appreciates your admiration of Bracchi Italiani and invite you to join us on this continued journey!