The ancient Segugio was developed by crossing a variety of old Mediterranean coursing hounds and mastiffs in Italy, where it remained virtually unchanged for centuries. Its beautiful appearance and love of humans made it a popular companion pet in the Renaissance years, but the breed never lost any of its tenacity and superb hunting instincts it was famous for. Highly valued for its excellent nose and stamina, the Segugio Italiano remains a successful hunting dog in its homeland and is slowly gaining acceptance in other countries, most notably England. Although the smooth-coated variety is more popular, the wire-haired Segugios are equally common and attractive.
Regardless of type, the coat comes in a range of red, fawn and wheaten shades, as well as the black-n-tan colouring. The average height is around 22 inches.