Let's talk Italian Rough-Haired Segugios

Tracking scents in their native Italy for at least two millennia, the Italian Rough-Haired Segugio is one of two types of Italian Segugio long prized for their hardiness and tenacity on just about any terrain. Somewhat more reserved than their short-haired cousins, the Italian Rough-Haired Segugio is a docile, responsive scent hound that smoothly transitions from their traditional hunting vocation to that of family companion. Gentle with children once trained and affectionate with their human families, the Italian Rough-Haired Segugio can be an excellent pet for those who enjoy frequent outdoor activities with an enthusiastic companion.

Official name: Italian Rough-Haired Segugio

Other names: Italian Coarse Haired Segugio, Segugio Italiano a Pelo Forte, Segit

Origins: Italy

Black and white portrait of an Italian Coarsehaired Hound
 Drooling tendencies   Warm weather?  Medium
 Shedding level  Very low Suited to apartment living?   Medium
 Physical activity needs Moderate (1-3 hours per day) Kid-friendly?
 Compatibility with other pets  High Can stay alone?  Very low

We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behaviour. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Inline Image 15
Illustration of an Italian Coarsehaired Hound
52 - 60 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
20 - 28 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight
50 - 58 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
18 - 26 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight


 Baby age  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age  2 months to 1 year
 Adult age  1 to 7 years
 Mature age  7 to 10 years
 Senior age  From 10 years+


Get to know the Italian Rough-Haired Segugio

All you need to know about the breed

Lean, fast, and built to follow scents over long distances, the Italian Rough-Haired Segugio is as sensitive and adaptable as they are energetic and hard-working. And while they bear a strong resemblance to the short-haired cousins in shape and athletic ability, their wiry, longer coat and general demeanour are clearly different. Less exuberant than their sleek-coated cousins, the Italian Rough-Haired Segugio enjoys a relaxing, low-key environment when they aren’t in full action. And though they tend to be independent they still want to have you, or another dog, nearby as much as possible.

Wary though not aggressive, they will howl when a stranger approaches, but quickly warm to people, meaning the position of guard dog isn’t in the cards.

But back to that howl. The Italian Rough-Haired Segugio has a very musical voice that they will use in any number of scenarios, particularly when they’re bored. If not kept sufficiently occupied, the Italian Rough-Haired Segugio can launch into their own canine opera - audience or not. Apartment dwellers should take these dogs out for multiple walks every day to keep everybody happy - just remember the lead, since these dogs are scent first, consequences later.

Laid back at home, on the job when out and about, the Italian Rough-Haired Segugio combines all of the qualities that make an excellent canine friend to anyone eager to enjoy them.


2 facts about Italian Rough-Haired Segugios

1. Time has told

While their exact origins are untraceable, the Italian Rough-Haired Segugio have appeared throughout history, often in the form of art. Dogs bearing their likeness appear in famous statues like Diane the Huntress in the Naples Museum, and Diana with Bow and Arrow, in the Vatican Museum. In fact, the Segugio is even featured in a painting from the 17th century Borso d’Este Castle.

2. Scent ahoy!

It’s no secret that the Italian Rough-Haired Segugio is a scent hound gifted with strong hindquarters enabling them to dash off in search of whatever their nose knows. Perhaps lesser-known fact: when these dogs spring into action, they use their tail as… a rudder. That’s right, this athletic breed simply raises their tail to be level with their topline, and then swings it back and forth – even rotating it - to steer!


History of the breed

Though clearly an ancient breed, the exact details of the Italian Rough-Haired Segugio’s exact origins remain hidden by the mists of history. It is widely thought that the breed descended from the hounds of Ancient Egypt, who eventually made their way to what is now modern-day Italy. These hounds were likely crossed with native dogs like the Roman Molossus, giving rise to breeds including the Italian Rough-Haired Segugio.

Originally developed by farmers to hunt game, these dogs soon earned a reputation as sturdy, hard-working companions, hitting peak popularity during the Renaissance. However, as years passed and boar populations in the Italian countryside dwindled, they and other hound breeds fell out of favour. However, thanks to the efforts of houndsmen and the breed’s own resilience, they evaded obscurity.

In 1933, an Italian Hound won the European Cup, rekindling a passion for dogs like the Italian Rough-Haired Segugio. Since then, they have enjoyed ever-increasing popularity and now make up one of the largest dog populations in Italy.

Black and white portrait of an Italian Coarsehaired Hound


From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Italian Rough-Haired Segugios

1. Head

Long, narrow head, black nose, dark, oval eyes and triangular hanging ears.

2. Body

Deep-chested and muscular body with well-sprung ribs.

3. Tail

Thin, tapering high-set tail carried in a high curve.


Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Italian Rough-Haired Segugio


Caring for your Italian Rough-Haired Segugio

Grooming, training and exercise tips

The Italian Rough-Haired Segugio’s wiry coat can be maintained with a solid brushing one to two times per week and eventually a hand-stripping several times a year to remove dead hairs and encourage healthy growth. Remember to trim their nails on an as-needed basis and establish a regular dental care routine (daily is optimal).
A good one-hour walk as well as a couple of hours spent roaming in an enclosed space will keep the Italian Rough-Haired Segugio’s exercise needs well met. Dog sports training for agility, obedience, and rally can also be excellent ways for these dogs to stay in tip-top shape. Though intelligent and generally keen to please, the Italian Rough-Haired Segugio can prove stubborn at times. This breed will respond best to firm and consistent, but kind training and early socialisation to ensure best canine behaviour.


All about Italian Rough-Haired Segugios

A natural pack animal, the Rough-Haired Italian Segugio will generally get along well with other dogs – particularly when raised alongside them from an early age. Cats, on the other hand, not so much. It’s a prey drive thing.

While among the top ten preferred breeds in their native country, the Italian Rough-Haired Segugio is rarely seen outside of Italy.



1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/