Blog #31 – Italo Terrier

It has been a while since I updated the website and carried on with my blogs but as we all know life has a habit of getting in the way sometimes. This small break has allowed me to go over some old information and photos that I had on an old laptop. As I was scrolling through, I found the first picture I ever posted of the Italo Terrier, when it was still in its infancy and was still a work in progress by a local hunter in Italy.

I have to be honest and say that It was another modern creation that I had completely forgotten about and had not heard much about for a few years. I am always eager to help people in their endeavours who think outside the box and try to create a new working breed. I think that some people are far too quick to criticise and dismiss someones attempts at creating their own type/breed that matches their expectations, requirements and the type of work they do.

I agree that we have plenty of breeds that are more than capable of carrying out most functions but no breed is perfect and has all of the necessary qualities to work in every terrain and in different weather conditions. I think that a lot of people forget that the reason we have so many different breeds today is because people required a slightly different type of the same dog depending on where they lived, the work they did and the local climate.

Therefore, I decided to contact the creator in order to do a blog on the breed and bring some much needed attention to Italy’s first terrier breed.

The kennel dedicated to creating this new working Terrier breed is Grana Kennel who also did some very interesting crosses several years ago with Pit Bulls and Hanover Hounds which I posted at the time. They were the perfect combination of nose, stamina, grit and power and were very useful in the field.

The Italo Terrier was created in Italy in 2011 by Mr Fabio Dominijani to be a medium sized dog to hunt wild boars. The breed was created from crosses between working Fox Terriers from German and French lines and the relatively unknown Segugio Maremmano (Maremma Hound) from the Tuscany region in Italy. The Maremma Hound is a very old local scent hound that has been used by hunters in the region to hunt wild boar and hare for many years.

The Italo was created to be a pack hunter to track, locate and be silent on a cold track and bark on a hot track. They will push the boar towards the hunters who will be ready and waiting with their guns to dispatch the game. The height of the breed is between 45-54cm and they weigh between 15-18kgs. The Italo Terrier has specifically been bred to have the C189G mutation in exon 1 of the T-box transcription factor T gene so all dogs are born with no tail or with a bobtail.

In 2016 a new line was created that will be incorporated into the original Italo Terrier line. This new line has 12.5% of working Bull Blood and will add more grit and power to the breed whilst still maintaining the breeds ability to work in packs, it’s speed and agility to be able to manoeuvre through thick shrub. The breed is mainly white with traditional Fox Terrier markings of brindle, brown or black.

The breed has been worked since the very first crosses were done and over the years all new breedings have been tested and worked in the field. I look forward to seeing in which the direction the project goes and how the breed develops in the next 5-10 years and wish the breed and it’s creator every success.

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