Segugio Italiano

Those scenthounds are very popular in Southern Italy and are bred in large numbers for hunting. Many end up on the streets or in animal shelters if they don't do their job properly. The sensitive dogs are very affectionate and human-oriented indoors, but in outdoor terrain extremly independent and concentrated on their nose. A challenge.

What you should know

Outdoor behaviour 

Segugio Italianos love to follow trails and run with their nose on the ground. No matter if it's a deer's trail or another dog's trail, a rotten tree or a whole in ground - a Segugio focusses on it with a lot of passion. As soon as a hare, a deer or even a squirrel starts to move, Bella's hunting instinct is awakened. Then it's really hard to calm her down again. Without a leash she would follow any game animal without hesitation and with great perseverance. At this moment she is not recallable and I am not sure whether it's possible to train off this habit. To give her the opportunity to run and sniff anyway, we take Bella out with a Flexi leash. We also use a 15 meter long field leash. Segugios are racing machines that can compete with the most wild game. When I release Bella in a fenced area, she usually first turns a few laps at top speed. 

Indoor behaviour

Segugios are usually bred as pack dogs and used to living together in groups. This means they get along very well with most other dogs and attach quickly to a person or to a family when there are no other conspecifics. Bella is from an animal shelter on Sardinia that's why she was afraid of being abandoned in the beginning. She's very focused on me because she spends most of her time with me, but she can be very ignoring and stubborn aswell. Segugios are basically very quiet in the house and rarely bark. They spent an astonishing lot of time sleeping on their favourite spot. However, Segugios can be territorial and bark at strangers when they enter the house. But the dogs are basically friendly and free of aggression. If they feel uncomfortable or overtaxed in a situation, they usually try go away.

Who does the breed fit?

If you are looking for a dog that keeps you being very active every day a Segugio Italiano would fit perfectly to you. Extensive walks, jogging rounds or bicycle tours make this breed happy. I take Bella out for two hours minimum every day. Whenever there is time we do some man trailing with her in the forest. Indoors we let her seek treaties and toys. She really enjoys that. Although our dog was claimed to be "useless for hunting" by the responsible animal welfare organisation, Bella has a very strong hunting instinct. This might probably depend on the environment, too. The less game, the less hunting instinct. But you should be aware of the fact that you may have to keep a Segugio on a leash in open terrain. 

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