The dogs of the Volpiano breed are descendants of the European Spitz, who have inhabited Central Europe since the Bronze Age. Fossilized bones of these animals were found during excavations of pile dwellings. They have common ancestors with the German Spitz. Development of both breeds clearly progressed parallel in time. It was selected in the 17th century and originally belonged to Italian noble ladies. The name comes from the Italian “volpe” - fox.
The Volpino Italiano has long been grown in the Mediterranean in palaces of nobility, and in houses of ordinary people. It was highly appreciated because it was always alert and ready to protect the property of its owner. As with many other breeds, the World War II implemented changes in breeding. Soon after the war, this sympathetic dog was almost extinct. Thanks to Mr. Enrico Franchescetti the breed was saved. In the 70's, as president of the Club of Maltese and Volpino, it alerts the global specialists. Several connoisseurs undertake a task of rescuing the dog. The breed was recognized by the FCI.
The Volpino Italiano belongs to a family of Spitz. Its body is small and square, covered with fuzzy and rough to a touch fur. Coloration occurs in white, red, black or yellow brown. Representatives of the breed’s height is about 30 cm and their weight - 4-5 kg. Head is wedge-shaped with dark, expressive eyes and erect ears. Tail is carried curled over the back.
Character and behavior
The Volpino Italiano is cheerful, friendly, intelligent and playful dog that loves a company of its family. It has very well developed protective instincts and begins to bark whenever it feels something suspicious.
Training and education
In general, this dog is easy to train, but can be stubborn. With positive methods of training, praise and kind approach, you can achieve much in education of this small dog. If well trained, the Volpino could be a good watchdog, as well as a retriever and gun dog.
Average life expectancy is about 16 years. Some representatives are prone to eye problems and heart malfunctions. One of the biggest threats for this breed is a terrible mutation of eyes known as Primary Lens Luxation. This is a very painful issue, which occurs when eye cords are weakening. After some time they even break, causing lens to move inside an eyes of the dog. Due to a fact that surgery which would remove lens is incredibly expensive, most dogs with this problem are euthanized.
Grooming and care
The breed can be grown in an apartment, but needs daily walks and games. The Volpino Italiano should be socialized and educated from an early age. Its coat needs combing every day.
Children and other pets
The Volpino gets along well with kids, but you should teach your children to be careful when playing with a puppy. These dogs are not aggressive and can live peacefully with other animals.
In the XVIII century, it was constant and tireless companion of the Tuscan and Latin merchants. The Volpino Italiano was a favorite dog of Michelangelo.
In Italy, all Spitz are commonly called "Volpino." The Spitz dwarf is called "Volpino di Pomerania", unlike the German Spitz - "Spitz Tedeschi." It's debatable whether Volpino comes from the Italian word "Lupo" (Wolf), or rather of "Volpe" (Fox), as this type of dog looks more like a fox.
The Italian Volpinos are still a very rare breed with only 2000 specimen world wide. Most puppies for sale can be found in Italy, but there are some breeders in the UK, USA and Scandinavia.