The Volpino Italiano has a small, square-built frame covered in a rough but fluffy coat that comes in white, black, red and tan colors. It has a slightly rounded, wedge-shaped head with a straight muzzle and pointy ears—looking a little like a fox. Their dark, deeply set eyes have an alert and friendly expression, and their feathered tails curl over the back.
The Volpino Italiano has, for nearly a thousand years, kept company with a wide range of people—from princes to farmers, from merchants to artists. So, this dog is perfectly at ease guarding animals on a farm or relaxing on the couch. While lively, friendly and fun, it can be slightly protective. If the Volpino Italiano senses something suspicious, it will definitely deliver the barks.
Though protective, the Volpino is not especially clingy with family members. Intelligent, busy and curious, it has a lovable sense of independence. But it truly craves your attention and affection. Start the training and socialization early, and your Volpino will provide years of upbeat companionship.
The Volpino Italiano can live as long as 16 years with relatively few health problems; however, some can develop heart problems and cataracts. Grooming the Volpino is easy, but it does need consistent attention. Brush its thick coat regularly to prevent over-shedding, keep its teeth clean and bathe it every few months.
The Volpino Italiano, which originated in Italy several centuries ago, descended from ancient European Spitz dogs. Beloved by common people and royalty alike, the Volpino Italiano was often used as a watchdog on Tuscan farms. Its job was to alert the bigger dogs if wolves or poachers were approaching. The Volpino Italiano also plays a major role in art history: It is said that Michelangelo’s Volpino kept him company while he painted the Sistine Chapel ceiling.