New breed, bracco Italiano, added to American Kennel Club roster

The bracco Italiano, an ancient bird-hunting dog, is the latest addition to the American Kennel Club’s roster of recognized breeds.

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The bracco Italiano is the 200th breed to join the registry, and will be eligible to compete in the sporting group for many U.S. dog shows, including next year’s Westminster Kennel Club event, The Associated Press reported.

While the breed is new to the AKC registry, the bracco Italiano can be traced back thousands of years and is one of two native gundogs from Italy, the AKC said in a news release. AKC emphasized that a newly recognized breed does not mean the breed is new, saying, “Many breeds that gain full AKC recognition have existed for decades, and some are ancient.”

Requirements for AKC recognition are an active following and interest by breed owners in the U.S., and a sufficient population of dogs geographically distributed across the country.

The ideal bracco is described as “tough and adapted to all kinds of hunting, reliable, docile and intelligent,” as well as friendly, the AP reported.

“They’re very easy to live with and be around, and yet it’s like a light switch — when it’s time to jump in the back of the truck and go hunting, they’ve got a job, they just light up like a Christmas tree,” Lisa Moller, an owner and breeder of bracci Italiani, told the AP.

The AKC, founded in 1878, is the nation’s oldest dog registry, and has added more than 20 breeds in the last 10 years, the AP reported.