About the breed
Volpino italiano (FCI # 195) is also called Italian spitz and Florentine spitz and originates as the name says from Italy, where many believe it all originated in the Bronze Age.
Origin and age
Volpino Italiano, which actually means small Italian fox, undoubtedly has the same origin as the German spitz and must therefore be considered very old in type, but it is white in color and as a breed it has hardly emerged before the German spitz. The white color may be the result of crossbreeds with Japanese Spitz, which it also resembles and which many claim is part of the origin.
Michelangelo himself is said to have had such a (or a very similar) dog, so we know that it must have existed as a type and in appearance already in the 15th century. This dog was also very popular with the nobility of Tuscany and Lazio in the 18th century. During World War II, however, it was virtually wiped out, and only a handful of dedicated breeders from the breed's homeland saved it from extinction. Today's dogs must therefore be said to have been recreated through crossbreeding.
Exactly when the breed came to Norway is not known, but about 15-20 dogs are registered annually in the country. No red dogs have been born in Norway to this point.
Appearance, anatomy and physics
Volpino italiano is a bit rectangular in shape, which clearly points to a relationship with a Japanese spitz. The head is typically wedge-shaped and the snout pointed. The forehead has a clear stop and the snout and lips are black. The ears are triangular, relatively small, pointed and standing. The back is straight and the belly line is slightly drawn up.
The coat is similar to German spitz, but should be off-white or solid red (which is very rare). Champagne-colored fur is also allowed, but not as desirable. It should have a "lion's mane" around its neck. Male dogs are approx. 27-30 cm in shoulder height and usually weighs about 5 kg (11 lbs), while the females are approx. two cm lower and slightly lighter.
Mood and mannerisms
For the right ones, this dog can be an excellent family dog. It is normally trusting, lively, happy and playful, and the breed is known to have a great personality. It is often very suspicious of strangers, but usually not aggressive. however, one must expect it to scold when strangers come to visit. As a dog, it needs a firm hand and early, but patient training. It can get a little jealous, but normally not to the same degree as German spitz. However, it should not be spoiled. It loves exercise and often endurance, but it also needs other tasks to thrive to the maximum. Some forms of dog sports suit it well.
Area of use
Volpino italiano may look refined and small, but it is a very skilled working dog. Traditionally, it was used to herd and guard sheep in the Italian mountains, and some claim that this often happened in collaboration with the maremma. To this day, it is an excellent watchdog that willingly warns when foreign elements approach its domain. In addition, it is a very handy family dog and a rather exciting and rare show dog.