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The Volpino - Little Fox - Dog Breed, Excellent Watch
The Volpino, also known as the Volpino Italiano or Italian
Spitz, is a typical dog of the Spitz breeds. What this means
is that it is a lively and active dog, with a natural
wariness of strangers and protective instincts for its
masters and their property.
Volpinos are small dogs (Volpino means "Little Fox" in
Italian), weighing in at eight to twelve pounds (three and a
half to five and a half kilograms) and standing ten to
twelve inches (twenty-five to thirty-one centimeters) at the
shoulder. Its coat is medium-length and straight and may be
white, red or champagne in color.
The full tail curls up over the dog's back and the ears are
small and erect. At first glance the breed looks similar to
the more well known Pomeranian, but the Volpino is a much
The breed traces its dog history back to the ancient European
Spitz dogs. Anthropologists have found remains in peat bogs
of dogs that resemble Volpinos dating back as much as five
thousand years ago.
For many generations Volpinos were known only in Italy,
where they were favorites of artists and nobles as well as
popular companions and watch dogs for shepherds and farmers.
Today the breed is extremely rare, even in its native land,
but it has begun a comeback of sorts in recent decades.
A Volpino takes its self-appointed guard job seriously. They
were bred to bark an alert to the resident Mastiffs on the
Estates, although their attractive appearance and
intelligence soon won them a place in the laps of the
Volpinos, like other Spitz breeds, can be independent,
stubborn and strong-tempered. They are often strongly
aggressive to other dogs and this also will need to be
managed with training.
Volpinos make excellent watch dogs, but the dog will need to
be well socialized and trained to recognize sounds and
people who are not a threat, and when to bark, to avoid
With its family the Volpino is affectionate, devoted, and
fun. It is a high energy breed that loves nothing more than
to romp and play with its family members and then lie down
with them on the couch.
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