Other names: Volpino, Italian Spitz, Volpino Italiano, Spitz de Florence, Chien du Quirinal, Cane de Guirinale
Wamiz's Top Breed
The Volpino is a small dog, very cheerful and lively, always on the lookout. Very affectionate towards family members and children, they are a companion dog that also make very good guardians: very vigilant, they bark a great deal. In return, they are extremely friendly and have a great “sense of humour”: they enjoy playing and joking around. This Italian breed is rather rare, not widespread around the world.
Key facts about the Italian Volpino
Origins and history
This dog’s very ancient origins are the same as those of the German Spitz. For centuries, the Volpino has been widespread throughout Italy, particularly in Tuscany (where it was called the Volpino of Florence), both in large aristocratic families and among the people. Recently, the German Spitz “stole” their place and the Volpino almost disappeared. It was saved only thanks to the passion of certain breeders. Today, the Volpino is no longer endangered, but is far from being as well-known as they deserve.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 5 - Spitz and primitive types
Section 4 : European Spitz
Physical characteristics of the Italian Volpino
Female : Between 10 and 11 in
Male : Between 11 and 12 in
Female : Between 9 and 11 lb
Male : Between 9 and 11 lb
The coat is always one colour and can be white, red or champagne.
Type of coat
The hair is long.
The hair is dense, rough to the touch and sits well on the body. Thick and standing on end, the coat should never be flattened.
The eyes are dark brown (ochre).
The Volpino is a small, mesomorphic dog, whose torso is square-shaped. The skull is egg-shaped, the stop quite marked, with a straight nose. The eyes are round and of a normal size. The ears have a triangular shape: they are rather short, pricked up and set high on the head and very close together. The torso is the same length as the dog’s height at the withers (ridge between the shoulder blades). The legs are well-aligned and have a fine structure. The tail is in line with the hindquarters and permanently curled.
Good to know
The Volpino is one of the rarest breeds in the world and deserves greater recognition in our country. The fact that they bark a lot can indeed annoy some, but on the contrary, they are very useful dogs for those who live in an isolated area and who need to be warned when anyone approaches their home.
Although not a lover of cuddles, this little Italian Spitz is very close to their loved ones, to whom they can show their affection, mainly for attracting attention.
This fox-like dog is described as exuberant, lively, jovial and playful. They like to have fun, joke around and spend time with their humans.
Overflowing with energy and vitality, this dog doesn’t know how to stay still and needs to constantly demonstrate their joie de vivre.
Volpino means “little fox” in Italian, and these dogs not only share their name simply because of their great resemblance. Indeed, this dog also shares the temperament, slyness and mischievousness of a fox. They know how to trick you into getting what they want, in this respect, they are a very clever breed.
Although quite rustic, the Italian Spitz has no predatory instinct, they are used solely as a companion dog and sometimes as a guard dog.
Fearful / wary of strangers
This dog does not just trust anyone, they are very suspicious and stay on guard around strangers. They also bark in order to warn off their enemies.
Spitz dogs are usually independent. This breed is no exception, they know how to fend for themselves and do not need constant attention. Nevertheless, they enjoy acting like a clown, so all eyes are on them.
Behaviour of the Italian Volpino
The Italian Volpino can be left alone and live calmly without their owner’s presence. It’s not possible, however, to leave them locked in an apartment, or even a garden, for a whole day without any social interaction.
Easy to train / obedience
Little dog, big character! The Italian Spitz needs an early and firm education to learn to successfully channel all their energy. As cunning as a fox, as soon as they arrive at their new home, they must learn where the boundaries are and not to be allowed to cross them.
Although they are small, if they are not well-trained and socialised, they can be a real daily nightmare.
Smart, from the moment they adapt to a keen attitude (firm, consistent, positive), this little, fox-like dog enjoys learning. They were formerly used in circuses, demonstrating their ability to learn and listen.
This dog will bark furiously at any suspicious noise. It’s precisely this characteristic that has limited the popularity of this dog because this almost-constant barking becomes highly irritating and makes this dog unsuitable to those who prefer tranquillity.