Cirneco dell’Etna Club of America



The goal of the Club is to educate the public about the history, importance, qualities, training and care of the breed, encourage and promote quality in the breeding and performance of purebred

Cirneco dell’Etna with strict adherence to the breed standard while striving to bring their natural qualities to perfection and to rescue and otherwise ensure humane treatment for the breed throughout the continental United States.

club Background

Cirneco dell’Etna Club of America (CdECA) had its beginning in Houston, TX on June 15, 1997.  Lucia Prieto and Kay Durr, in a day long meeting, determined the requirements necessary to form an effective national parent club and began work on its establishment. That same day work began on the organzation's Constitution and Bylaws using the Pharaoh Hound Club of America as a guide. Joan Ayers-Cohen and Janis Butler, the only other known Cirneco owners, were contacted and acquiesced to join the organization and serve on the first Board.  Since October 2004 CdECA has operated as a nonprofit corporation with acceptance of our Articles of Incorporation and issuance of the Certificate of Incorporation on February 11, 2005.

As President, Janis Butler, arranged for the first Specialty under the auspices of IABCA in Hodgenville, KY. This first National Specialty included 12 of the 20 registered Cirnechi known to be in the USA at that time. This Specialty was also the occasion for CdECA’s first General Meeting with 9 members present.

One of the items on the agenda at that first General Meeting was the studbook. Kay Durr took on the project and began the official CdECA registry in June of 1998. A Federacion Internacionale Cynologique pedigree was required to obtain inclusion and be assigned a CdECA registry number. The registry presently contains over 200 pedigreed Cirnechi.

Since June 1998, the Annual Specialty and General Meeting has been held consistently with 2010 marking the thirteenth such event. In 2000 it was voted that the Annual Specialty would be based in Cat Spring, TX, the region with the greatest concentration of Cirnechi, with a goal of a Spring “traveling” Specialty when the breed numbers would justify it.

With the exception of the 1998 and 2010 Specialties, CdECA’s Conformation Ring judges have been FCI judges, Cirneco specialists, from Italy. Seminars have been held in conjunction with the Specialties and we have been fortunate in having several American Kennel Club (AKC) conformation judges attend and learn about the breed from these experienced FCI judges. The 2009 Specialty brought over 50 attendees remarkable for their enthusiasm.

Until relatively recently there was only one breeder producing a litter once a year and the numbers were increasing slowly. Given this rate of expansion of the breed in the USA, CdECA directed its focus to activities that would educate and strengthen the organization in preparation for fulfilling AKC requirements. This took CdECA to ASFA. Petition was made of the organization for admission into the Miscellaneous Class and such was granted effective December 1999. Although the numbers required to reach provisional status were met and petition for same was made in 2003, it was denied by ASFA due to their restructuring of the “Miscellaneous” to “Limited” class that same year. CdECA began the process anew and was moved from Limited to Provisional status in 2007. At ASFA’s Annual Convention of Delegates in March 2009 the Cirneco dell’Etna was unanimously voted into its own breed class. This was quickly followed by Affiliate Club status for CdECA as the breed Parent Club effective June 2009.

2009 ended with the number of individual members having surpassed a hundred and 2010 began with two CdECA officers’ attendance at the AAWC AKC Lure Coursing Judges’ Seminar in preparation for our eligibility in AKC Performance events in July. 

With thresholds met, CdECA’s original and primary goal of AKC recognition and inclusion was finally able to proceed with full impetus throughout 2010.  National participation in Meet the Breed Events,

B Sanctioned Matches, Performance events and the Parent Club Conference enabled CdECA to acquire the AKC skills to fulfill the official Parent Club function.  CdECA was officially designated as the National Parent Club for the Cirneco dell’Etna in America by AKC in February 2011.  

The Cirneco dell’Etna moved into full breed recognition within the Hound Group on January 1, 2015.