Volpino Italiano

Not Recognized by AKC

Three Volpino Italiano dogs, two black and one white, sitting in front of a white background

Height at Shoulders

9.5-12 in

Weight

9-14 lbs

Life Expectancy

14-16 yrs

History

The Volpino Italiano originated in Italy and descended from the ancient European Spitz, although exactly when is unclear. Spitz-type dogs have been around in Europe since at least 4000 BCE. Specimen of spitz-type dogs have been found preserved in peat moss from this time. The Volpino Italiano was popular amongst Italian nobles but also with common folk, as the dogs were effective guard animals. Michelangelo owned a Volpino Italiano and would often paint them in his paintings during the 16th century. In fact, there is a Volpino depicted in the Sistine Chapel. The breed gets its name from "vulpes", meaning "fox", as the dogs have a fox-like appearance. The Volpino Italiano is rare worldwide, with only approximately 6,000 dogs existing in the world. The breed is extremely rare in the United States and is not recognized with the American Kennel Club.

Breed Characteristics

While not all Volpini Italiano will display the exact characteristics typical of the breed, most share a personality and temperament can be generalized by the characteristic rankings below. 

Intelligence

Affection Towards Family

Friendliness Towards Strangers

Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

Exercise Needs

★★★☆☆

★★★★☆

★★★☆☆

★★★☆☆

★★★☆☆

Energy Level

Sensitivity

Noise Level

Prey Drive

Shedding

★☆☆

★★★★☆

★☆

★☆☆

★☆

Intelligence

★★★


Affection Towards Family

★★★★


Friendliness Towards Strangers

★★★


Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

★★★☆☆


Exercise Needs

★★★


Energy Level

★☆☆


Sensitivity

★★★★☆


Noise Level

★☆


Prey Drive

★☆☆


Shedding

★☆

Common Traits

Lively, playful, and affectionate

Big-time barkers that are alert and wary of strangers, making them good watchdogs

Known to get along well with other pets and children

Can be stubborn but generally are easy to train, especially if motivated by food