ITALIAN VOLPINO (Volpino Italiano)


FCI-Standard N° 195 / 09. 06. 1999 / GB


TRANSLATION : Mrs. Peggy Davis.

ORIGIN : Italy.


UTILIZATION : Guard and companion dog.

CLASSIFICATION F.C.I. :            Group     5          Spitz and primitive type.
                                             Section 4     European Spitz.
                                             Without working trial.


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BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY : He is one of the descendants of the European Spitz which already existed in the central region of our continent since the Bronze Age and of which skeleton fossils have been discovered around the foundation piles of the dwellings on stilts.  So the Volpino goes back to the same ancestors as the German Spitz of which he is not a descendant, but a relative.  He has been bred in Italy since immemorial times and has been idolized in the palaces of the noblemen as well as in the hovels of the common people, where he was especially appreciated because of his instinct of guard and vigilance.  He was the dog of Michelangelo, and, in the 18th century, the tireless companion of the carters of Tuscany and Latium, always ready to announce noisily any strange persons met on the roads.

GENERAL APPEARANCE : Small size Spitz, very compact, harmonious, with a long stand-off coat.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS : Built into a square, length of head reaches nearly the 4/10th of that of the body.

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT : Very attached to his environment and his family, of a very distinct temperament, lively, gay and playful.

HEAD : Pyramid shape, length reaching almost the 4/10ths of the height at the withers.

Skull : Long than the muzzle (6,5 : 5), its bizygomatic width is more than half the length of the head (7, 3 : 11,5); is slightly ovoid (egg-shaped) as much in longitudinal as in transversal direction; medio-frontal furrow very slightly marked; occipital protuberance slightly marked.  The superior axes of the skull and muzzle are slightly convergent.  The bony protuberances of the forehead, well developed, come down almost perpendicular onto the onset of the muzzle.
Stop : Rather accentuated.

Nose : Wet, cool, with well opened nostrils.  Seen in profile, set in the same line as the topline of the foreface and does not protrude beyond the front line of the lips - Its colour is always black, as well in subjects with white coats as in those with red coats.
Muzzle : Of inferior length to that of the skull with lateral surfaces convergent, is pointed.  The nasal bridge is straight.  Seen in profile, the lower edge of the muzzle is determined by the lower jaw.
Lips : From the front, the upper lips, by their lower edge, draw a straight line.  The labial commissure is not visible, so the lips are very short.  The edges of the lips are black.
Jaws/Teeth : Jaws apparently not strong, normally developed and meeting perfectly level on front.  The branches of the lower jaw are straight.  Teeth white, regular in alignment, complete and perfectly developed.  Scissor bite, pincer bite tolerated.
Eyes : Well opened and of a normal size, denoting vigilance and vivaciousness.  Roundish eye aperture, set in planes forming a very open angle towards the rear; eyelids fitting perfectly the shape of the eyeball.  Colour of the iris is dark ochre, the rims of the lids are black.
Ears : Short, triangular shape, pricked, with a rigid cartilage and the inner surface of the lobe showing forward.  High set, close together.  The length of the ears reaches about half the length of the head.

NECK : Its length is about equal to that of the head.  Always carried upright.  Skin closely fitting.

BODY : Square built, its length measured from the point of the shoulder to that of the buttock is equal to the height at the withers.
Topline : Dorsal line straight, over the loins slightly convex.
Withers : Slightly raised from dorsal line.
Croup : Extends the line of the loin.  Obliqueness from the hip to base of the tail is of 10° below the horizontal.
Chest : Descending to level of elbows; ribs well sprung.  Sternal region is long.
Underline : From sternum to belly rising only slightly.  The hollow of the flanks is slightly accentuated.
TAIL : Set in the prolongation of the croup, carried permanently curled over the back.  Its length is a little less than the height at the withers.


FOREQUARTERS : Considered altogether, set perfectly vertical to each other and parallel in relation to the median plane of the body.
Shoulders : The length of the shoulder blade is equal to 1/4 of the height at the withers and its obliqueness below the horizontal is of 60°.
Upper arm : Longer than the shoulder blade and its obliqueness below the horizontal is of 65°.  Is approximately parallel to the median plane of the body.
Elbows : Parallel to the median plane of the body.
Forearm : Continuing the vertical line, finely boned.  Its length, from ground to elbow, is slightly more than half the height at the withers.
Pastern joint and pastern : Seen from the front, they continue the vertical line of the forearm.  Seen in profile, the pasterns are sloping.
Forefoot : Oval shaped with closely-knit toes.  The pads and the nails are black.

HINDQUARTERS : Seen altogether from GO BACK TO LIST, they must follow a perfectly vertical line from the point of the buttock to the ground.  They are parallel to each other.
Upper thigh : Its length is equal to 1/3 of the height at withers.  Perfectly parallel to the median plane of the body.
Lower thigh : Its length is a little less than that of the thigh.  Of a light bone structure and its obliqueness below the horizontal is of 55° to 60°.
Hock joint : Distance between the point of the hock and the ground is slightly more than 1/4 of the height at the withers.
Hock : Vertical and perfectly straight seen as much in profile as from GO BACK TO LIST.
Hind foot : Oval like the forefoot with all the same characteristics as this latter.

GAIT / MOVEMENT  : Must not be jumpy either at the trot or gallop.  At all gaits, the strides are large.

SKIN : Well adhering and taut, without looseness in any part.


HAIR : Dense, very long and exceptionally straight and standing-off.  Of harsh texture with straight stiff hairs; must never be falling; must be upstanding even when there is not of a lot of coat.  The body gives the impression of being wrapped up in a muff, particularly on the neck where the coat forms an abundant collar.  The skull is covered with semi-long hairs which hide the base of the ears.  Hairs are short on the muzzle.  On the ears, the hair is very fine and smooth.  The tail is covered with very long hair.  On the edges of the hindquarters, the coat forms fringes.


  • Self-white.
  • Self-red.
  • Champagne colour accepted but not desirable.

Pale orange shades on the ears are tolerated, but in any case constitute an imperfection.

Height at withers : 27 to 30 cm for males.
                            25 to 28 cm for females.

FAULTS : Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.


  • Colour of nose other than black.
  • Convex topline of the muzzle.
  • Wall eye.
  • Tail tucked in between hindlegs.
  • Size over, by 3 cm, the limits indicated by the standard.


  • Aggresive or overly shy.
  • Divergence of cranial-facial axes.
  • Overshot mouth.
  • Total depigmentation of nose or eyelids rims.
  • Ears completely drooping.
  • Lack of tail or very short tail  whether congenital or acquired.
  • All colours other than white, red or the not desirable champagne colour.
  • Red markings on white basic colour, white or black markings on red basic colour.

Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified

N.B. : Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

Automatic translate from

The Italians appreciate the devout things refined in the life   the wine, the work, the fashion and the Volpino. A dog from guard and an optimal companion, the active, intelligent Volpino and much loyal one, I must to   family and adapted to the domestic life. This dog has maintained the classic Spitz characteristics: always alert orecchie from vixen, one tail   goffered and a long cape folto and. During the rinascimento this small and intelligent dog have decorated the courts of the nobilt and have held company also to Michelangelo. And much rare one is in allestero Italy that, even if the United States this race a lot appreciated.

Origins : The Volpino comes down   from the European Spitz, that it has inhabited Italy during let of the bronze. This dog was a lot appreciated from the monarchs and nobilt Italian and the a lot often the artists of the rinascimento year dedicated their burlaps to this small dog white man.  

The Guardiani Small

Numbers : After II the world war, the interest for this last the 5 gone race decreasing and nel1965 lENCI has recorded soggetti.Dopo such date the race disappeared from the annotation until that ENCI not launch a plan of recovery for breeds the historical Italians. The volpini that they survived on the poderi and in the rural centers of the country they have been selects in order to make to you to live again the race. However, the dogs remain extremely rare.

CHARACTER : Giocherellone, energetic and territorial.


official standard e.n.c.i.

General aspect of the dog

Spitz of formed small, much harvest, harmonic, covered from raised and long hair.

Important proportions

Square construction, the long head nearly the 4/10 of the length of the log.

Behavior and character

A lot attacked to the house and the familiar ones, pronounced temperament much, lively one, allegro, joyful.


To pyramid shape, its total length nearly of 4/10 of the Height.

Cranial region

The Guardiani Small

Of advanced length to that one of snout (6,5: 5), its advanced bizigomatica width to met of the total length of head (7,3: 11,5), of somewhat ovoidale shape, it is in sagittale sense that cross-sectional; sutura metopica least emphasized, little marked apophysis occipita them. The direction of the aces skull makes them is leggermente convergent. Stop - rather emphasized. The frontal breasts very develop to you fall nearly perpendicularly on the root of the nasal cane.

Region makes them


Humid, fresh with narici very opened. Approval of profile on the same line of the nasal cane, regarding the front vertical line of the labbra not sporgente. Its always black pigmentazione, a lot in the black capes that in those red ones.


Of inferior length to that one of the skull with lateral faces between of convergent they, appuntito. The rectilinear nasal cane. Approval of profile, the formed inferior margin from the jaw.


Those superioi seen of forehead, determine to their inferior margin one straight line. The not visible labiale connessura, perci the labbra is much court. The labiali margins are pigment you of black.


The Guardiani Small

Of not sturdy appearance, they are of normal and combaciano development perfectly in their front margin. The mandibolari branches are rectilinear.


White men, regularly align complete for development and number to you. Closing of I recorded to scissor, tolerated that one to you to tenaglia.


Very opened and of normal largeness; they denote attention and vivacit. With rotondeggiante palpebral rhyme, they are in frontal position sub and the very adherent palpebral margins to the eyeball. II color of iride the ocher cargo, the pigmentazione of the palpebral margins black.


Court, of triangular shape, erected, has cartilagene rigid and the directed inner face in ahead. They are inserted high, and drawn near between of they. The length of the ear approximately met of the total length of the head.


Its length to the incirca equal to that total of the head. II its always erected portamento. The very adherent skin.


Square construction, the length, measured from the tip of the shoulder to that one of the buttock, par to the Height.

Advanced line

II rectilinear, legermente convex dorsal profile to that one to the lombi.


Elevated leggermente on the dorsal line.


It comes down until to the level of the elbows, the coasts are very you try.


Long sternale region


It follows the line of lombi - the I' inclination from the hip to the insertion of the tail, 10 on the horizontal.

Inferior line

II inferior profile from the sternale line to that one of the ventre rimonta little. The socket of the flanks little emphasized.


Inserted on the line of the rump, constantly rolled up capacity on the back. The length little less of the Height.


Front limbs

Approvals in together: perfectly in perpendicularly, they are parallels between of they and regarding the median plan of the log.


They have one equal length to 1/4 of the Height and regarding the line of the horizon one inclination of 60.


E' devout along of the shoulder and has an inclination on the horizon of 65. E' nearly parallel to the median plan of the log.


It follows a vertical line and it has small skeleton. Its length to the leggermente advanced elbow e' to the meta' of the Height.


They are parallels to the median plan of the body.

Carpo and metacarpo

Approvals of forehead, follow the vertical line of the forearm. Side approvals, the metacarpi are flessi.


They are of shape oval, with united fingers. It uses of the plantari bearings and digita them, nonch the nails are pigmented of black.

Posterior limbs

Approvals in the entirety watch give to you GO BACK TO LIST must follow from the tip of the buttock towards earth, one perfectly vertical line. They are between of they parallels.


Its equal length to 1/3 delI' height to the garrrese; regarding the median plan of the log perfectly parallel.


Its somewhat inferior length to querla of the thigh. E' of light skeleton and has an inclination on the horizon from 55 to 60.


The distance between the tip of the tibio-tarsica articulation and the plant of the leggermente advanced foot to 25% of the Height.


It must be found on the vertical one, in perfect perpendicularly seen as well as profile like give GO BACK TO LIST.

. Piede

Oval like front I' and with all the characteristics of this.

sailing point

It does not have to hop some to the trot to the gallop. In every type of sailing point, its wide movement.


Stiff supporter and, deprives of lassit in every region.



The Guardiani Small

The Folto, longest and exceptionally straight, has vitrea webbing. It never does not have to be falling and to maintain itself raised, also in the case in which it is not a lot folto. The log d the impression to be wrapped like from a muff, in particular on the neck where the hair forms a wide collar. II skull covered from semilong hair, that it hides the base of the orecchie, the snout from short hair. The ear covered from hair a lot fine and shaved.The tail guarnita from hair a lot along. On the posterior margins of the limbs, the hair forms frange.


a)bianco unicolore; b)rosso unicolore; c)colore champagne, admitted, but not wished. They are tolerated on the orecchie, shadings orange-pale, that they constitute however defect.


From 27 to 30 cm. in the males; and from 25 to 28 in the females.


Every shunting line from the description of the characteristics of ciascuna region constitutes a defect, than sar penalized from the judges to second of its gravit and its spread.

Eliminatori defects from the judgment

Tartufo of various color from the black one; eye gazzuolo; convex nasal cane, hanging tail between the limbs posteriori/altezza of beyond 3 cm. regarding the previewed limits.

Defects from disqualification

Enognatismo, divergence of the aces skull-facciali; depigmentation total of the tartufo or the palpebral margins; totally hanging ear; anurismo or brachiurismo much congenital that artificial; whichever various color from the white man and the red one; red spots on deep white man, spots black white women or on red bottom; monorchidismo; criptorchidismo, deficient development of one or all and the two testicoli; one or all and the two testicoli not very reductions in the scroto.