Volpino Italiano


A small Volpino Italiano
Volpino Italiano Quick Summary
Also Known AsItalian Spitz
Height (at withers)11in (28cm)
Weight9-12lbs (4-5.5kg)
Hair Colour(s)Varies
Lifespan14-16 years
Energy LevelMedium
Litter size
Barking TendencyMedium
Exercise requirementsMedium
Ease of trainingHigh
Suitability for kidsHigh
Animal compatabilityHigh
Aggression levelsLow
Distress if leftHigh

The Volpino Italiano is a small dog similar in appearance to a Pomeranian (although the two are unrelated). The body is compact and squarely built with well sprung ribs and a feathered tail curled over the back. The fox-like head is wedge shaped with a straight muzzle and deep set eyes. The coat is thick and fluffy, giving the appearance of a larger dog, and tends to be white, red or champagne in colour.


Volpino Italianos are energetic little dogs with lively and bouncy dispositions. Friendly and playful, they are loyal dogs with even temperaments that tend to bond very closely with their families, and so they make good for family dogs and companions. They are relatively easy to train but can be strong willed too, but are suitable for both experienced and novice owners. Due to their small size they are perhaps suited to older children that will be more consdirate and gentle. Volpino Italianos are territorial but will get along with other pets when socialised correctly, and as they crave attention they do not like to be left alone for long periods of time. And despite their small size, their protective and brave natures mean they make good watchdogs that will bark at any threats to the home, and they will take on larger dogs if necessary.

History & Skills

Volpino Italianos originate from Italy, and are descendants of Spitz-type dogs that existed over five thousand years ago. After breaking away this breed became very popular in Italy, a favourite amongst farmers and lords alike and is even thought to have been the dog of Michelangelo. These brave dogs were also prized for their guarding abilities, and despite being too small to defend against larger dogs, they would bark to alert the bigger breeds that were normally kept for guarding the homestead or any flock. Travelling merchants would also tie them to their carts to alert them if thieves were trying to rob their wares. Volpino Italianos became very close to extinction in the mid sixties, and only five dogs were known to still exist at that time. Despite this, it would be another twenty years before measures were taken to recover the breed using existing dogs from local farms. These days the breed is still in existance, albeit in small numbers.

Breed Specific Ailments

Volpino Italianos tend to live between 14-16 years. This is a relatively rare and healthy breed, but some of the health problems that have been reported inlcude heart problems and cataracts. They also have a tendancy to take on larger dogs when necessary, and may not always come off the best as a result.


Volpino Italianos are medium shedders and so may not be suited to those suffering with allergies. Their grooming requirements are moderate and the long, bushy coat will need brushing and bathing on a weekly basis.

Exercise & Environment

Volpino Italianos tend to live indoors and can be suitable for homes that are on the smaller side. They are active breed that will require daily exercise such as a walk, but can often get most of their exercise indoors from play.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

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