Originally the breed was used to drive birds into nets but as hunting methods changed and with the development of guns the Bracco’s working style has adapted. In 1937 the Working or ‘Pastrone’ Standard was drawn up, this standard describes beautifully the physical and mental working style of the Bracco. It describes the gait used predominantly during the hunt as ‘a trot, long and brisk’, ‘a lively movement which covers the ground well’. It also describes how ‘the hunt is extremely diligent and enjoyed by the dog with it’s tail carried horizontally or slightly lower, constantly moving rhythmically from side to side’ and ‘the neck should be a little extended in order to hold the head high, nose angled acutely from the horizontal. This description could also transfer to the show ring, the Bracco movement is powerful and ground covering, the head should naturally be held above the topline.
For the Bracco scent is of prime importance and hunting is a complex mental action, the thought process easily read in his expression, this being typical of a trotting breed. During the hunt the Bracco quarters at 100 metres or more and adjusts his casts to reflect the conditions. The Pastrone Standard again describes beautifully the Bracco on point ‘The overall deportment of the dog is noble, imposing, alert but calm, erect but slightly forward balanced. This again paints a picture that can be transferred to the show ring; the Bracco should have a calm but noble bearing.
The Bracco is a tenacious tracker being exceptionally good at finding runners, his calm reflective nature is ideal for working in all types of terrain and conditions. As with other continental breeds he should, whilst working, maintain complete contact with his handler. Listed below are some useful links.