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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 lake dwellings. 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 guarding 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 AND TEMPERAMENT - Very attached to his environment and his family, of a very distinct temperament, lively, gay and playful.

HEAD - Pyramid shape, length reaching almost 1/4 the height at the withers.

SKULL REGION - Longer 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 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 protuberance of the forehead, well developed, come down almost perpendicular onto the onset of the muzzle. Stop - Rather accentuated.

FACIAL REGION - 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 foreface 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 mucous of the labial commissure is not visible, so the lips are very short. The edges of the lips are black. Jaws - Apparently not very 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 normal size, denoting vigilance and vivaciousness. Roundish eye aperture, set in plans 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 almost half the length of the head.

NECK - Its length is almost 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. Top line - Dorsal line straight. Over the loins slightly convex. Withers - Slightly raised from dorsal line. Chest - Descending to level of elbows; ribs well sprung. Sternal region is long. Rump - Extends the line of the loin. Obliqueness from the hip to base of the tail is of 10 below the horizontal. Underline - From sternum to belly rising only slightly. The hollow of the flanks is slightly accentuated. Tail - Set in the prolongation of the rump, carried permanently curled over the back. Its length is a little less than the height at the withers.


  • FOREQUARTERS - Considered on the whole parallel to each other and, in relation to the median plane of the body, perfectly straight. Shoulders - Their length is equal to 1/4 of the height at the withers and their obliqueness below the horizontal is of 60. Upperarm - Longer than the shoulder and its obliqueness below the horizontal is of 60. Is approximately 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. Elbows - Parallel to the median plane of the body. Carpus and metacarpus - 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 on the whole and from behind, they must follow a perfectly vertical line from the point of the buttock to the ground. They are parallel to each other. Thigh - Its length is equal to 1/3 of the height at withers. Perfectly parallel to the median plane of the body. Leg - 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 join - Distance between the point of the hock and the ground is slightly more than 1/4 of the height at the withers. Metatarsal - Vertical and perfectly straight seen as much in profile as from behind. Hindfoot - Oval like the forefoot with all the same characteristics as this latter.

GAIT AND MOVEMENT - Must not be jumpy either at the trot or gallop. At all gaits, the strides are free.

SKIN - Well applied and taut, without looseness in any region.

COAT - Nature of the hair - Hair bushy, very long and exeptionally standing-off. Of harsh texture with straight stiff hairs; must never be falling; must be upstanding even when there is not a lot of coat. The body gives the impression of being wrapped up in a muffle, 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. Colour of coat - a) all-white b) all-red c) champagne, colour accepted but not desirable. Pale orange shades on the ears are tolerated, but in any case constitute an imperfection.

SIZE AND WEIGHT - Size at the withers - 27 to 30 cm. for males 25 to 28 cm. for females.

FAULTS - Any departure from the foregoing points constitutes a fault which when judging must be penalized according to its seriousness and extension.

  • ELIMINATING FAULTS - Colour of nose other than black; wall eye; convex topline of the muzzle; tail tucked in between hindlegs; size over, by 3 cm, the limits indicated by the standard.

  • DISQUALIFYING FAULTS - Overshot mouth; divergence of cranial-facial axes; total depigmentation of nose or eyelid rims; ears completely drooping; lack of tail wheter congenital or acquired; all colours other than white, red or not desirable champagne; red markings on white background, white or black markings on red background.

NOTE - males should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.