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The Cane Toccatore is a dog used as a shepherd, similarly to the Border Collie.
In 2018, a genetic study found that just prior to 1859 a broadly distributed European herding dog had given rise to the German Shepherd, the French Berger Picard, and the five Italian herding breeds: Bergamasco Shepherd, Cane Paratore, Lupino del Gigante, Pastore d'Oropa, and the it:Cane da pastore della Lessinia e del Lagorai.
The dog stands 50–55 cm at the withers, while weighing 20–25 kg. Its name derives from the fact that it will nip at the stock to make the animals move (Italian cane: "dog"; toccare: "to touch"). It is characterized by erect ears, a wolf-like head and a scissor bite. The coat has a thick underlayer and is usually gray, brown, black or leopard. The dog is extremely agile, fast, strong and possesses great stamina, being able to work long hours. It is also particularly intelligent. It is a territorial dog, with natural guarding instincts, but at the same time is a family dog. The breed is also called Cane Paratore in certain areas of Italy. The Pastore Italiano (Italian Shepherd) was developed from crosses between Cane Toccatore and Abruzzese Mastiff specimens.
- Talenti, Andrea; Dreger, Dayna L; Frattini, Stefano; Polli, Michele; Marelli, Stefano; Harris, Alexander C; Liotta, Luigi; Cocco, Raffaella; Hogan, Andrew N; Bigi, Daniele; Caniglia, Romolo; Parker, Heidi G; Pagnacco, Giulio; Ostrander, Elaine A; Crepaldi, Paola (2018). "Studies of modern Italian dog populations reveal multiple patterns for domestic breed evolution". Ecology and Evolution. doi:10.1002/ece3.3842.