Volpino Italiano

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Volpino Italiano
Szpic miniaturowy Volpino MWPR Katowice 2008 (cropped).JPG
Other names
  • Volpino
  • Cane del Quirinale
  • Cane di Firenze
Height Male 27–30 cm[1]
Female 25–28 cm[1]
Coat long
Colour solid white or red
Kennel club standards
Ente Nazionale della Cinofilia Italiana standard
FCI standard
Dog (domestic dog)

The Volpino Italiano[a] or Volpino is an Italian breed of dog of Spitz type.[2] It is closely related to the Pomeranian[3]:234[4] and to the German Spitz.[5]


Small Spitz-type dogs resembling the modern Volpino have been identified in a number of paintings, of which the earliest may be St. Augustine in His Study by Vittore Carpaccio, painted in the Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni in Venice in 1502.[6] The Florentine sculptor Michelangelo supposedly had such a dog.[6]

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries this type of dog was common in Tuscany, where it was known as the Cane di Firenze and was used as a guard dog by carters and shepherds, and in Lazio, where it was called the Cane del Quirinale.[3]:234

Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom went to Florence in 1888, and bought several dogs of Pomeranian or Spitz type.[7]

The first standard for the Volpino Italiano was drawn up by the Kennel Club Italiano in 1913, and the dogs were shown with some success. By the 1960s the breed had virtually disappeared, and was close to extinction. A few examples were identified in 1968, and registrations recommenced in 1972.[5]

In the period from 2010 to 2018, new registrations averaged about 160 per year.[5]


The Volpino is a small dog, standing no more than about 30 cm at the withers. It is roughly square in outline, the body length more or less equal to the height.[1] The coat is long and stands away from the body. It is normally either solid white or solid deep red, but a solid champagne colour is also tolerated; any other coloration is regarded as a defect.[1]

The Volpino is one of many breeds affected by hereditary primary lens luxation, an eye disease which may cause pain or blindness.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Italian pronunciation: [volˈpiːno itaˈljaːno], plural Volpini; literally, "Italian foxy [dog]"


  1. ^ a b c d Volpino Italiano (in Italian). Ente Nazionale della Cinofilia Italiana. Accessed July 2020.
  2. ^ FCI breeds nomenclature: Volpino Italiano (195). Fédération Cynologique Internationale. Accessed July 2020.
  3. ^ a b Margherita Neri, Serena Tonelli, Eraldo Tonelli (2005). Cani (in Italian). Firenze; Milano: Giunti. ISBN 9788809039131.
  4. ^ Volpino (in Italian). Enciclopedie on line. Roma: Istituto dell'Enciclopedia Italiana. Accessed July 2020.
  5. ^ a b c Volpino Italiano (in Italian). Ente Nazionale della Cinofilia Italiana. Accessed July 2020.
  6. ^ a b FCI-Standard N° 195: Volpino Italiano (Italian Volpino). Fédération Cynologique Internationale. Accessed July 2020.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 September 2016. Retrieved 29 November 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ David Gould, Louise Pettitt, Bryan McLaughlin, Nigel Holmes, Oliver Forman, Anne Thomas, Saija Ahonen, Hannes Lohi, Caroline O'Leary, David Sargan, Cathryn Mellersh (2011). ADAMTS17 Mutation Associated with Primary Lens Luxation Is Widespread among Breeds. Veterinary Ophthalmology 14 (6): 378–384. doi:10.1111/j.1463-5224.2011.00892.x. (subscription required).