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|Breed status||Not recognized as a standardized breed by any major kennel club.|
|Domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris)|
The Italian Shepherd, or Pastore Italiano, is a breed of dog. The existence of this breed can be traced back to 1975, when Piero Accettella, of the Little Ranch Kennels, in Cepagatti, in the province of Pescara, in Italy, noticed that, in the surrounding Italian regions of Abruzzo, Umbria, Tuscany, Marche and Northern Lazio, there existed mid-sized dogs with wolf-like features used as livestock herders and known locally as Cane Toccatore. Accettella acquired some of these dogs and crossbred them with Abruzzese Mastiffs, a breed of molosser, to increase their size. The result of this cross was a dog of great intelligence, wary of strangers and a tenacious guardian of property and livestock. The dogs have been found to be ideally suited to the role of guard dog and are easily trained for this task.
The Italian Shepherd is medium to large in size and is very agile and powerful. It has a very strong constitution, is mature when 4 years old and can live up to 17 years. They usually have one of several colors including fawn, black, and white or can be multi-colored. Their tends to be thick, relating to their use as an outside/herding dog. They are powerful and agile, but not aggressive unless guarding.
Male Italian Shepherds are 62–70 cm (24.5–27.5 in) tall, females 56–65 cm (22–25.5 in). An adult male Italian Shepherd usually weights between 35–45 kg (77–99 lb), a female 25–35 kg (55–77 lb).
- Italian Shepherd and video in Italian
- Italian Shepherd
- Breed description in Italian
- History of the Italian Shepherd breed in Italian
- Article on the Italian Shepherd breed in Italian
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