意大利狐犬

The Italian Volpino is a Spitz-type dog that closely resembles the Pomeranian, although not related to it. Its name „Volpino“ means „little fox“ and probably refers to its fox-like head and mussle. As a very rare breed outside its homeland Italy, the Volpino Italiano’s history stretches back to ancient Rome and Greece. Its direct ancestor is believed to have been the European Spitz. After breaking away from that line of Spitz-type dogs, the Italian Volpino became extremely popular in Italy from the Reniassance onwards. It was kept by aristocrats and ordinary folk alike. Famers used it mainly as a guard dog, with its main purpose to alarm bigger dogs of intruders. Some writings suggest that even the great artist Michelangelo owned a Volpino Italiano. It gained popularity as a favoured companion of rich ladies, which lasted for centuries. Outside of Italy it remained relatively unknown. However, for unexplained or unknown reasons, the breed was nearly extinct in the 20th century. In 1965 only five of these once popular dogs were left living on Italian farms. Thanks to the efforts of some breeders, who in the early 1980s started extensive projects to save it, the Volpino Italiano survived and was finally recognised internationally in 2006. Today it is still very rare even in its homeland Italy. Only a few hundred of these dogs are living in other European countries like Britain, Finland, Norway and Sweden als well as the United States.

Appearance

As a little Spitz-type dog, the Italian Volpino's most distinctive feature is its long, dense and straight coat, that appears in a bright white colour. A solid red is also common, tones of cream and champagne as well as light orange ears are tolerated, but generally not desired. The fur standing off the body makes the Italian Volpino look like it has been wrapped in a big muff. It is of a square and compact build. With a shoulder height of up to thirty centimeters it can weigh up to five kilos, the females being slightly smaller than the males.

Personality

As a very playful, active and lively little companion the Italian Volpino is an ideal family dog that is devoted to its...

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