The new dog on the block this year at Westminster is the bracco Italiano — a pointer that will make its debut in the sporting group against a formidable field of spaniels, retrievers and setters.
“Their most notable features are a sculpted head with divergent facial planes, long ears and a fast, extended trot,” Westminster said in its introduction of the new breed.
“The bracco Italiano is a very dignified dog,” said a description provided by the Bracco Italiano Club of America. “The breed is powerful and muscular, but not lumbering. His expression is intelligent and kind. He lives up to his noble Italian heritage in being very regal in both appearance and behavior.”
How will the judge choose among the bracco Italianos, all of which frankly look to the untrained eye like very good dogs? According to the American Kennel Club, the ideal bracco is “smooth coated, with lean limbs, well-developed muscles, well-defined lines and a markedly sculpted head with very obvious chiseling under the eyes.”
Its head should also be “angular and narrow at the level of the zygomatic arches,” so keep that in mind when you cast your eye over the contenders.
Away from the show ring, “the bracco is very much a people-loving dog,” the club said, but it can also be stubborn.
Be aware that if you decide to adopt one of these “very regal” fellows, the dog should get two hours of exercise a day.
Moreover, the club said, “Being a breed with large lips they are prone to drool a lot.”