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Cirneco dell'Etna dogs of sirocco color

Written by Diana Elisova

I look at the mummy of Pharaoh in the museum. And I feel sincerely sorry for him. Not because he died. But because his death, this intimate moment of a powerful ruler, now exhibited, shown to us, mere mortals. Sacred remains disturbed moved from the tomb to the museum. He imagined his eternity by this way?

Sandglass already poured a lot of centuries. But all the same crazy wind sirocco like restless ghost of the past, is worn over the Mediterranean. This wind once stole favourite dogs of Pharaoh, and carried it with the storm of red sand to Sicily.

Dogs liked the life on the island. Fearless rabbits and any other game. Unfortunately, Cirneco dell'Etna didn't not catch on the island plump dwarf elephants (Palaeloxodon falconeri). These elephants were only 90 cm tall and is an example of the phenomenon of island dwarfism. History is silent about why the elephant decided to go extinct before the arrival of Cirnechi ... But it was clear to us :-)

Probably Cirneco dell'Etna also imbued with the idea of island dwarfism in its evolution. And have therefore grown much smaller than their relatives - Pharaoh Hound and Podenco Ibicenco (Ibizan Hound).

Cirneco have been an eyewitness to a lot during these ancient times. Time has turned pharaohs into mummies, theaters into ruins, destroyed the empire, sunk into the deep straits of Messina monsters Scylla and Charybdis, and forgotten inhabitants of fiery Etna: Cyclops Polyphemus, the god Hephaestus and philosopher Empedocles ....

Only that wind of wandering, this old vagabond with a flute, whispers to my Sicilian Dog about eternity and carefully updates the gilding on her fell ...... They have something to talk about and so many things to remember ... The dog breathed air, and led the nose on wind. She recognized him! I look at her turned wild eyes and see in them slightly opened wind blowing door to the past ....

Our mystical creatures, sometimes have cubs with the same mystical eyes :-) Learn our plans for future litters on the page Cirneco dell'Etna puppies

Portofolio of the Cirneco dell'Etna breed

cirneco dell'etna temperament and information Names


Color and coat

Temperament and character

Health and life span

Tolerance to other dogs and animals


Difficult to pronounce? Cirneco dell'Etna has others names: Sicilian Dog, Sicilian Hound, Sicilian Greyhound, Sicilian Rabbit Hound and Sicilian Rabbit Dog.


Cirneco is a friendly, intelligent medium sized dog (17 to 20 inches, 46-52 cm). They look noble and elegant. People who meet our cirneco admire its beautiful ears and unusual appearance. They often tell it looks as a small Pharaoh Hound! In fact these breeds have a lot in common, such as color, coat and general appearance. Though the Cirneco dell'Etna is smaller in size and a cirneco is a square-format dog, while a Pharaoh Hound is longer in body. It is also remarkable that a cirneco's ears are set higher than a Pharaoh Hound's.

Color and coat

The hair is short (about 3 cm), without undercoat. It reminds horse's coat to the touch. In my experience, the best grooming for these dogs gives the same principle as grooming a horse. That is, 3 brushes for dry cleaning - 1) rubber to remove dead hair and dandruff, 2) medium brush with bristles - to remove what the rubber brush combed out, 3) a soft polishing brush to give a gloss of fur (suede wipes, or natural sheepfurbrush).
Although, cirneco fur always looks neatly and does not require frequent care.
By the way, shedding of cirneco occurs unnoticed. That does not disturb the cleanliness of the house.
And another very important point: Cirneco dell'Etna do not have a specific dog smell!

Color: fawn, more or less intense, isabella, sable, etc.
Fawn with more or less extensive white (whiteblaze on the head, white mark on the chest, white feet, white tip on tail, white belly).

Temperament and character

Tender dogs, friendly to people and other dogs. kind with children.
Playful, funny, cheerful, curious and alert. They keep this behavior until old age.
Intelligent. They require delicacy and respect in training. Therefore, only training with positive motivation is suitable for them.
Cirnechi are hunters by nature, although the influence of their hunting instinct normally does not interfere with obedience, because these dogs are human-oriented. Unlike, for example, the Basenji, Podenco Ibicenco and Pharaoh Hound.

Health and life span

This breed is very ancient. It developed in the difficult conditions of the island (Sicily is not a paradise ... There is a lot of snow and it is very cold in the mountains in the Etna zone in winter and very hot and dry insummer!). Therefore, the breed passed the maximum natural selection, excluded the disease from the genetics, fixing only healthy genes and resistence.
That is why Cirneco dell'Etna do not have specific diseases characteristic of the breed.
Ofcourse, like any living creature, this dog can have some kind of individual health problems. But often this is due to the conditions of detention, no healthy food, excessive pampering of the dog ... That is problems of modern "civilization".

Cirneco dell'Etna's life span. They live up to 15-17 years. And as I already noted above, they keep their happiness and cheerfulness until the rest of their life.

Tolerance to other dogs and animals

Cirnechi are friendly to dogs of other breeds. They easily get used to share the house with a cat or other pets. We have examples of friendships of our cirnechi living with rabbits, ferrets, even birds. Though I would not trust a cirneco 100%, they have somewhat hunting instinct, I would controll their friendship with these animals :-) Examples and more about the tolerance of cirneco to other animals on the page 6 FAQ about Cirneco dell'Etna
Many other interesting information is gathered in the section About the breed

Our kennel Cyrenensis

cirneco dell'etna breeder I owned my first Cirneco dell'Etna 13 years ago. Since then I could not stop to love the breed, I founded my kennel and the fate and love for the breed grew ever since.
Our kennel Cyrenensis is located in Belgium, near the coast, over viewing the White Cliffs of Dover. Our dogs grew up in Sicily, homeland of the breed, at the foot of volcano Etna. We have strong connections with its many centuries of experience and Sicily inspires me!

Our dogs and puppies are raised within our family. They spend a lot of time outside bathing in the sun, playing in fresh air and have plenty of space to develop their quick movements and diverse personalities near the sea. Puppies get an incredibly healthy start, the best kick-off for their healthy and long life!
Within our kennel we focus on development and socialization of our pups, stimulating them and empowering their talents.
We are experienced in organizing shipment of puppies to any place in the world, our cirneco dell'etna puppies touched land with their paws in Colombia, Brazil, Russia, Estonia, UK, America, Ireland, Poland, Finland, Sweden...
Read more information in the page Our kennel

Our site is continuously updated with new information or insights about the breed, articles about the characteristics, temperament, the care for and needs of this extraordinary breed. I share my experiences and the challenges that I faced during raising them and owning these sicilian dogs as a pet. Further you will find detailed descriptions of observations during pregnancy of these dogs with valuable recommendations.

During the journey of my life amongst this breed I studied different ways of nutrition and through the years I have found the best solution, I share all of this precious information on the site.


Cirneco dell'Etna breeder kennel

Cirneco news

We have newborn puppies!
Cirneco dell'etna puppies were born on20 December 2021!

more information on the page
cirneco dell'etna puppies

cirneco dell etna puppies

Review about our puppy

our cirneco dell'Etna puppy in USA
It has been four weeks since we brought Cyrenensis Cesare home and we could not be happier. We call him Bronte. He is excellent on the leash, and has made many friends in the dog parks near our apartment. He is healthy, loving and energetic, and we are so pleased that we found Diana and her puppies.

We had previously owned a Pharaoh Hound, so had some experience with sight hounds, and wanted something similar but smaller. The Cirneco dell’Etna was the perfect choice. Intelligent, friendly and absolutely fascinating to look at. They are truly a remarkable and beautiful breed.
Diana met us for coffee, and then we went to spend time with the puppies, and their mother (and grandmother!). It was really a great experience, and we felt extremely fortunate to physically select our puppy from the 5 that were still available. It was not easy, as they were all so wonderful!

We spent the next two days exploring the area, which is very scenic, and visiting with the puppies. Diana answered all our questions, and helped us to decide which puppy would be the best fit for us.
Diana is the most dedicated and professional breeder I have ever met. She is super passionate about Cirnechi, and she is doing the breed and its admirers a great service with her work. We hope to get another Cirneco , and look forward to visiting Diana and her amazing Cirnechi again soon!

Robert Peaslee, USA, Owner of Cirneco dell'Etna puppy Cyrenensis Cesare (Bronte)

Videos of our Cirneco dell'Etna dogs and puppies

© Cyrenensis