Volpino Italiano

Fast Facts

Country of Origin:Italy
AKC Group:Rare
UKC Group:Northern Breed
Life Span:14 to 16 years
Color:White, red or an off-white cream color called champagne.
Coat:Long and bushy.
Grooming:Brush weekly.
Size:Small Dog Breed
Height:Males 10 to 12 inches; females, 10 to 11 inches.
Weight:10 pounds or less.

Many Italians appreciate the finer things in life: wine, opera, fashion ... the Volpino Italiano. A watchdog and companion, the Volpino is active, intelligent and intensely loyal, devoted to its family and home. And it has retained the classic good looks of its Spitz ancestors: alert foxy ears, an intently curled tail and a luxurious thick coat.

During the Italian Renaissance this clever little dog decorated the laps of royalty and kept company with Michelangelo, according to its breed club. But to see one today, you may have to hop a plane to Italy. These dogs are rare outside their homeland.

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Volpino Italiano

Sarah Christie

 

Many Italians appreciate the finer things in life -- wine, opera, fashion ... the Italian Volpino. A watchdog and companion, the Italian Volpino is active, intelligent and intensely loyal, devoted to its family and home. And it has retained the classic good looks of its Spitz ancestors-alert foxy ears, an intently curled tail and a luxurious thick coat.

During the Italian Renaissance this clever little dog breed decorated the laps of royalty and kept company with Michelangelo, according to its breed club. But to see an Italian Volpino today, you may have to hop a plane to Italy. These dogs are rare outside their homeland.

"The Italian Volpino is an affectionate, happy and lively companion dog,’’ says Enrico Fransceschetti of the Italian Volpino Association in  Ravenna, Italy.

The Italian Volpino descended from the European Spitz, which inhabited Italy during the Bronze Age (3500 to 1000 B.C.). Nobility and commoners treasured this dog breed and Renaissance artists often depicted small, furry white dogs as companions to shopkeepers.

After World War II, interest in organized Italian Volpino breeding declined and the Ente Nazionale Della Cinofilia Italiana (Italy's kennel club) registered the last five dogs in 1965. The breed disappeared from record until ENCI launched a recovery project for historic Italian dog breeds. Italian Volpino surviving on farms and in rural country homes were selected to revive the breed. However, Italian Volpinos remain extremely rare.

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