Breed Organization United Kennel Club Website:
http://www.ukcdogs.com Native Country Italy Other Names Volpino Italiano, Florentine Spitz Life Expectancy No Information Axailable Litter Size No Information Axailable Breed Group FCI - Spitz
Breed Appearance Although bearing a strong resemblance to the
Pomeranian, the breed is much older and thus has a different
background. The northern dogs found their way south very early in
the history of domesticated dogs. The Italian word for wolf is lupo,
and the Keeshond is called both Lupino and Volpino in Italian. Volpe
is Italian for fox, hence volpino means little fox in Italian.
Despite his long history, the Volpino is unknown outside of Italy
and is now quite rare even in his homeland.
Breed Description Head: Pyramid shape. Egg-shaped, round
skull. Marked stop. Straight nose bridge. Pointed muzzle. Black
lips. Ears: Short and triangular. Held erect. Eyes: Average size, wide open. Dark ochre color. Black rims. Body: Square construction. Chest extends to the elbow. Ribs
well sprung. Belly very slightly tucked up. Tail: Always carried curled over the back. Covered with very
long hair. Hair: Bushy, very long and stand-off. Harsh texture.
Medium-long on the skull. Short on the muzzle. Feathering on the
backs of the legs. Coat: Solid white, solid red (rare). Champagne is permissible. Size: Dog: 27 to 30 cm.Bitch: 25 to 28 cm. Weight: Approx. 5 kg.
History The Volpino italiano is descended from European
spitz that developed in central Italy during the Bronze Age. This
ancient breed is esteemed for its natural guard dog instinct. The
Volpino italiano looks similar to the German Spitz and the
Pomeranian Loulou. The Volpino was loved by palace lords;
Michealangelo himself even kept a Volpino. Cart drivers in Tuscany
and Latium also favored this fluffy companion. Despite its small
size, this dog was originally kept as a guard dog. Its job was to
alert the large mastiffs to an intruder. However, due to their
lovely temperament and intelligence they also became popular as
pets. For unknown reasons the breed's popularity dropped and in 1965
the last dogs were registered. In 1984 an attempt was made to revive
the breed. The dogs still living as guard dogs on farms became the
new breeding stock. Volpinos remain rare with about 2000 dogs world
wide. Most are in Italy but some people are now breeding them in
Scandinavia, the UK and the USA.
The AKC FSS declined
recognition of the Volpino during the Summer of 2006 due to concern
over its similarity to the American Eskimo Dog. As of July 1, 2006,
the UKC recognized the Volpino with the same breed standard as the
Behavior This lively, cheerful, playful dog has a strong
personality. The Volpino is affectionate and a good playmate for
children. Wary of strangers, this dog does not hesitate to bark,
making him a reliable guard dog. Firm training is required.
Health The basic well being and health of the Volpino
Italiano breed is far better than with most dogs. At this point in
time, the greatest threat facing this race is the genetic mutation
of the eye lens called Primary Lens Luxation (PLL).
Advice The Volpino italiano adapts easily to life as a
house dog. Regular brushing is required. This breed should not be
bathed too often.