|Segugio italiano a pelo forte|
|Other names||Italian Rough-haired Segugio|
|Dog (domestic dog)|
|Segugio italiano a pelo raso|
|Other names||Italian Short-haired Segugio|
|Dog (domestic dog)|
The Segugio Italiano[a] is either of two Italian breeds of dog of scent hound type, the wire-haired Segugio Italiano a Pelo Forte or the short-haired Segugio Italiano a Pelo Raso.: 531 Apart from the coat type, they are closely similar,: 531 and in some sources may be treated as a single breed; the Fédération Cynologique Internationale and the Ente Nazionale della Cinofilia Italiana treat them as separate. They are also genetically close to the other two Italian scent hound breeds, the Segugio Maremmano and the Segugio dell'Appennino.: 536 They are traditionally used for hunting hare, but may also be used in boar hunts.: 242
In 2009 registrations in the national stud-book were 1740 of the wire-haired breed and 4500 of the short-haired.
The origins of the breed are unknown but are believed to be ancient. In some Ancient Roman statues, including two in the Vatican Museums in Rome and one in the National Archaeological Museum in Naples, Diana the Huntress is portrayed accompanied by a hunting dog which is thought to show some similarity to the modern Segugio Italiano.
Two closely similar skeletons of dogs of greyhound or scent hound type from a seventh-century Lombard necropolis at Povegliano in the province of Verona were described in 1995; they show some morphological similarity to the modern Segugio, except that they are taller, with a height at the withers estimated at 64 cm.: 62 
Dogs of this type were much used during the Italian Renaissance in elaborate hunts with a large number of hunt servants and hunt followers mounted on horseback.
Dogs similar to the modern Segugio, both smooth-haired and rough-haired, were shown in Milan in 1886, but there was at this time no clear distinction of breed.: 378 In 1920 a breed club, the Società Italiana Amatori del Segugio e del Cane da Tana, was formed in Lodi, and a breed standard was drawn up; it was dissolved in 1939, shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War, after restrictive legislation was passed by the Fascist government. By the end of the war the breed was at risk of disappearing.: 378
A new breed society was formed in 1947, with the name Società Italiana Pro Segugio; in that year, the total number registered in the two national stud-books (LOI and LIR) was 69. The breed standard was revised by the cynologist Giuseppe Solaro. In 1948 there were 120 new registrations.: 378
The rough-haired breed was fully accepted by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale in 1956,: 440  and the smooth-haired breed in 1993.: 440  In 2015, registrations in the national stud-book were 3647 of the short-haired breed, and 1106 of the rough-haired.
It has been exported to a number of countries.
There are two breeds of Segugio Italiano, the wire-haired Segugio Italiano a Pelo Forte and the short-haired Segugio Italiano a Pelo Raso.: 531 Apart from the coat type, they are closely similar,: 531 and in some sources may be treated as a single breed, although the Fédération Cynologique Internationale and the Ente Nazionale della Cinofilia Italiana treat them as separate. Genetic comparisons have found the two to be almost indistinguishable, and also to be genetically close to the other two Italian scent hound breeds, the Segugio Maremmano and the Segugio dell'Appennino.: 536
The coat of the smooth-haired breed is uniformly short, while that of the rough-haired breed is coarse and rough, though no more than 5 centimetres (2 in) long; this may have made it more suitable for hunting in cooler mountainous areas. Two coat colours are recognised: any shade of fawn-coloured, varying from deep fox-red to very pale; and black-and-tan. Some white markings to the face and chest are tolerated.
It is of medium size. When seen from the side, the body is approximately square in shape – the body length is the same as the height at the withers. Wire-haired dogs stand 52–60 cm and weigh 20–28 kg, bitches are about 2 cm shorter and weigh on average 2 kg less. The short-haired breed is approximately 2 cm smaller, with weights in the same range.
It shares certain physical characteristics with both scent hounds and sight hounds. It has long legs, tucked-up loins and a roached (slightly convex) back more typical of a sight hound. The head has many scent hound features including low-set pendulous ears although it has a long, tapering muzzle with thin lips that are not pendulous. The tail is long and tapered, and is typically carried high when hunting enabling them to be spotted easily when hunting.
Traditionally kept as pack hounds, the Segugio Italiano is very stubborn; once on a scent trail they display a single-minded dedication to following it, much like the Bloodhound, although unlike the latter the Segugio Italiano also captures and kills game.
The Segugio Italiano was traditionally kept for the purposes of hunting. It is renowned for its keen scenting ability and its considerable stamina when hunting, staying in the field for up to 12 hours without a break; like most scent hounds it bays loudly when pursuing game. Its traditional quarry is hare, but it may also be used to hunt boar; it hunts well alone, in small groups, or in packs,: 242 with the hunters remaining stationary and the hounds driving game towards them to be shot.
In addition to its traditional role as a scent hound, the Segugio Italiano has increasingly been kept as a companion dog.