This name means little fox and gives you a good idea of what the dog looks like. It is often referred to as an Italian Spitz.
The breed’s origins are not known, but it is believed to be a descendant of the European Spitz which dates back to the Bronze Age. It was a favourite of the Italian royals and aristocracy particularly around the areas of Florence and Rome. It was often used to accompany its
owners in their carriages as its alert demeanour meant it would warn of any imminent danger. The Italian artist and sculptor Michelangelo owned a volpino.
After the Second World War its popularity declined. Although an attempt to revive the breed was made in the 1980s, there are now believed to
be only around 2000 left in the world. It is not that well known outside Italy.
It is a small breed with long hair, a ruff of hair around its neck a curly tail with long hair, a cute fox like face with erect ears. It comes in three recognised colours – white, ‘rosso’ – ginger (quite rare), or champagne. It has lovely big, dark liquid eyes you could fall in love with.
male 27 – 30cm at the shoulder (10 – 12 inches)
female: 25 – 28cm at the shoulder ( 9 – 11 inches)
4 – 5 kilos (9 – 11 lbs).
The Volpino has a friendly temperament and is easily trained. It’s also good with children and used to be thought of as a ‘lady’s dog’.
It is playful and affectionate and can has quite high energy for a small dog. It gets very attached to its famiy and can bark quite a lot if intruders are seen or anyone it isn’t used to.
Since coming to Italy we have had two Volpino crosses. The first was Truffles, the red and white dog who we found abandoned and the second, Whisky, who we took in after we heard a local farmer didn’t want him anymore.
Whisky was two years old when we heard he was looking for a home and I remember going to pick him up with Alan and wondering if he would miss his owners. He sat on my knee on the way home and never looked back or showed the slightest concern that he was leaving. He was a lovely, highly intelligent little dog with a wonderful personality and it broke our hearts when he died eight years later.
If you love your Volpino then tell the world. Have a look at some of these cool gifts and products featuring this rare little dog.