Italian Volpino Dog

Although it is often confused with the Pomeranian due to its remarkable similarity, the Italian Volpino is a different breed that has its own breed standard. It is one of the most popular in its native country, Italy, and no wonder! Like the Pomeranian, it belongs to the Spitz family, hence its great relationship. It is small in size and is characterized by having a lush and beautiful coat.

In this AnimalWised file we share all the characteristics of the Italian volpino , we talk about its character , basic care and possible health problems. Keep reading!

Origin of the Italian volpino

The origins of Italian volpino are very ancient. This breed originally from Italy descends from the European Spitz and that is why it has so many similarities with the German Spitz and the Pomeranian dog . In Italy, the volpino has been present for a long time, specifically since Roman times, and has always been known as the dog of the nobility. Over the years it continued to be popular in the Italian courts, so it continued to be the companion dog of the upper social classes . As a curious fact that, in turn, shows us its age and class, an Italian volpino appears in a painting from 1500 by Vittore Carpaccio, The Vision of Saint Augustine . The link of this breed with art, however, is not only this, since in fact the Italian volpino was the faithful little dog of Michelangelo Buonarroti.

The Italian volpino was famous throughout the Italian territory, both in the north, where it mainly guarded the animals that pulled the carts, and in the south, on farms, along with the cane corso . The breed was popular for a long time until the 1950s, after which it almost disappeared. It was in the 1970s that some white specimens were recovered and since then the Italian volpino has begun to spread again.

Characteristics of the Italian volpino

The Italian volpino is a small and compact dog , with a height at the withers of 27-30 cm in males and 25-28 cm in females. As for weight, according to the racial standard published by the International Cynological Federation (FCI), it must be proportional to height, so it is usually between 4 and 5 kg.

The head of the Italian volpino has a pyramidal shape and a well-defined stop. The black truffle stands out especially in the white variant and is clearly noticeable both from the front and in profile. The snout is pointed , although not excessively so, and shorter than the skull. His eyes are dark brown, wide open, with a lively look that lets all his energy shine through. The ears are triangular, small and erect, set high and pointing outwards. His muscular neck is always held high.

Another characteristic of the Italian volpino is its square structure , since its body is equally high as it is long. The tail is set high and should be worn curled over the back and, according to the standard, the closer to the neck the better. The body is more robust at the base and gradually becomes thinner, so that its extremities are thin, but muscular and well proportioned.

Colors of the Italian volpino

The coat is one of the most notable characteristics of the Italian volpino: it is thick and long . The coat is rough, but when you pet it as a whole it is very soft. The hair on the tail is very long, while on the ears it is shorter and thinner.

Regarding the colors of the Italian volpino, according to the standard only two solid colors are accepted: white and red . White should be pure or milky, champagne is tolerated but not desired. The red corresponds to deer red and may be lighter on the tail and limbs. Currently, the Italian volpino exists in other colors, such as black, but they are not accepted by the breed standard, so they would not be considered purebred. However, we must remember that the color of the coat should not be decisive when adopting a dog, much less its pedigree .

Character of the Italian volpino

The Italian volpino shows great attachment to its human family, especially its favorite person. It is a lively, jovial, happy and sociable dog , even with strangers. Some specimens may be more cautious around people they don’t know, but tend to seek the attention of anyone after having smelled them. He loves company, is affectionate and has an exuberant temperament . Without a doubt, he is the perfect companion for children because he loves to spend hours playing.

It is a dynamic, happy, playful and mischievous dog , but not hyperactive. If he is well educated, he knows when it is time to finish a game and rest. He is a docile but determined dog and, given his past as a guard dog, he tends to bark. As for the mischievous side of him, he can be somewhat destructive during his first months, nothing that cannot be solved with good education and the appropriate toys.

Finally, we can say that it is an intelligent, alert and sometimes territorial dog . To control this last trait, it will be essential to socialize him from a puppy with all the stimuli with which he will come into contact.

Italian volpine care

Despite what it may seem, the Italian volpino is one of the easiest dogs to care for. Of course, its coat requires special attention, so it is important to take this into account before deciding to adopt it. To avoid knots and the accumulation of dirt, it will be necessary to brush it every day , especially during the shedding season. If this is not possible, at least two weekly brushings would be necessary, as well as taking him to the dog groomer when he needed to trim his hair a little or undo knots. It is not recommended to shave it. In this article we explain How to brush a dog’s hair .

As for the rest of the care for the Italian volpino, we highlight:

  • Exercise : This is an active and lively dog ​​that loves to play, so it is necessary to provide him with daily doses of exercise, adapted to his characteristics. Therefore, it is not enough to walk him, he needs to run, play and exercise.
  • Environmental enrichment : since he is very intelligent, at home we must also provide him with adequate physical and mental stimulation. This is achieved through games and toys, for example, intelligence toys, balls that you can pick up, etc.
  • Food : like all dogs, they need quality food adapted to their weight and age. Regardless of the type of diet you choose (feed, homemade or mixed diet), it is important that the raw materials are of quality to avoid health problems. Likewise, you should control the quantities to prevent overweight and obesity, something to which they are prone if they do not practice physical activity. In this article we talk about What Dogs Eat .
  • Hygiene : in addition to carrying out the aforementioned recommendations on hair care, it is advisable to clean the ears and eyes when necessary. The presence of legañas is especially common.

Education of the Italian volpino

As we have mentioned, the Italian volpino tends to bark because it is always alert. This is one of the aspects that most worries those who intend to adopt a specimen of this breed or mixed breed and live in a flat or apartment, since it could be a nuisance to the neighbors. However, if properly educated, this aspect can be reduced and controlled, but it is important to know that it cannot be eliminated because it is part of the vigilance nature of this dog . Therefore, if he barks it is not because he wants to disturb, it is because he has sensed something and wants to alert you. To help you, don’t miss this article: ” What to do if my dog ​​barks a lot? “.

In general, the Italian volpino is an easy dog ​​to train thanks to its great intelligence. Of course, as is the case with all dogs, methods based on positive reinforcement must be used and punishments and scolding must be avoided because they do not offer optimal results and disturb the animal’s well-being. It is especially advisable to practice canine sports such as Agility with your Volpino so that he can release all his energy in a positive way, strengthen the bond and have a great time together.

Finally, given that it is a territorial breed, despite being naturally sociable, it is important to carry out a good socialization process from the moment it arrives at home , precisely to control certain behaviors associated with territorial character. In this way, it is not enough to introduce him to other dogs, it is important that he interacts with other people, animals, environments, noises, etc. For more details, we recommend these articles:

  • How to train a puppy?
  • How to train a dog?
  • How to socialize a puppy?

Italian Volpino Health

The Italian volpino is a robust and resistant dog that usually enjoys excellent health. However, it is not exempt from suffering certain problems associated with breeding. Thus, the most common breed problems are the following:

  • Lens dislocation : it is the most common problem in this breed, but it can be prevented or diagnosed early by carrying out correct preventive medicine.
  • Glaucoma .
  • Overweight : Italian Volpinos tend to gain weight easily, so it is good to pay attention to their diet and exercise, as we have mentioned.

In addition, it is important to follow the vaccination and deworming schedule stipulated by the veterinarian, as well as consider sterilization to avoid the development of diseases related to the reproductive system and unwanted litters.

Life expectancy of the Italian volpino

The Italian volpino is a long-lived dog that can live up to 15 years , although specimens that have reached 18-20 years are common . If you take good care of your volpino, respecting the frequency of phytosanitary treatments and routine visits to the veterinarian, you will be able to have a faithful friend by your side for a long time.

Where to adopt an Italian volpino?

Outside of its native country it is difficult to find an Italian volpino for adoption. However, it is not impossible, so we recommend that you contact the animal shelters and associations near your place of residence to ask if they have a specimen of this breed to be adopted. Likewise, do not rule out the option of adopting a mixed breed dog that comes from this breed and, therefore, has several of its characteristics. Keep in mind that the most important thing is not aesthetics, but that your lifestyle adapts to the dog’s needs.

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