Italian Volpino

FCI standard Nº 195

Origin
Italy
Translation
Mrs. Peggy Davis, Mr. Antonio Crepaldi (ATAVI), Mrs. Renée Sporre-Willes
Last update : Ente Nazionale della Cinofilia Italiana
Official language (EN)
Group
Group 5 Spitz and primitive type
Section
Section 4 European Spitz
Working
Without working trial
Acceptance on a definitive basis by the FCI
Saturday 25 February 1956
Publication of the official valid standard
Friday 08 September 2023
Last update
Thursday 21 September 2023
En français, cette race se dit
Volpino italien
Diese Norm ist in deutscher Sprache sichtbar
Italienischer Volpino
En español, esta raza se dice
Volpino italiano
In het Nederlands, wordt dit ras gezegd
Italiaanse Volpino

Usage

Guard and companion dog.

Brief historical summary

The Volpino is one of the descendants of the European Spitz that 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. Work by Vittore Carpaccio from 1502 shows a Volpino in the Venetian painting, The vision of St Austin. Volpino was the dog of Michelangelo, and in the 18th century, the tireless companion of the carters of Tuscany and Latium, always ready to noisily announce any strangers met on the roads. The standard was written in 1913 and the breed was fairly popular during the first part of the 20th century but then it disappeared. Some white specimens appeared again in 1968 and the Volpino were registered again in 1972. Even the earlier well-known red colour is seen again.

General appearance

Small sized dog of Spitz type, compact, harmonious, with a long stand-off coat.

Important proportions

Length of body from the point of shoulder to the point of buttock is equal to the height at the withers.
Length of muzzle is 4/10 of the total length of the head.
Depth of chest is slightly less than half the height at the withers.

Behaviour / temperament

Very attached to his environment and his family, with exuberant temperament, lively, happy and playful.

Head

Cranial region

Head
Pyramid shape, length reaching almost 4/10ths of the height at the withers.
Skull
Longer than the muzzle and slightly egg-shaped; viewed either in longitudinal or transversal direction. The bizygomatic width exceeds half the length of the head. The medio-frontal furrow is only slightly marked; occipital protuberance is slightly marked. The superior axes of the skull and muzzle are slightly convergent. 
Stop
Well defined.

Facial region

Nose
Large, black, with well-opened nostrils. Seen in profile, set in the same line as the topline of the muzzle and does not protrude beyond the front line of the lips.
Muzzle
Inferior in length to that of the skull with lateral surfaces convergent is pointed but not exaggeratedly. The nasal bridge is straight. Seen in profile, the lower edge of the muzzle is determined by the lower jaw.
Lips
Lips, although somewhat thick, are tightly close fitting and the rims of the upper lips are stretched in a straight line. The labial commissure is not visible. Lip-rims are black.
Jaws and teeth
Jaws strong, normally developed white teeth, regular and complete set of teeth. Scissor bite, pincer bite is tolerated.
Cheeks
Normally developed, not protruding.
Eyes
Well opened and of a normal size, expression denoting vigilance and vivaciousness. Roundish but eyeball not prominent, set in sub-frontal position: eyelids close-fitting to the eyeball. Colour of the iris is dark brown; the rims of the lids are black.
Ears
Triangular shape, pricked, with a rigid cartilage and the inner surface of the lobe showing forward. High set and close together. The length of the ears measures to about half the length of the head.

Neck

Length is about equal to that of the head. Neck always carried upright. Well muscled. Skin closely fitting.

Body

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, slightly convex over the loins.
Withers
Slightly raised from dorsal line, harmoniously set into neck.
Back
Straight, strong musculature, longer than loin.
Loin
Short, broad, well muscled and slightly arched.
Croup
Extends the line of the loin and is longer than broad. Obliqueness from the hip to base of the tail is of 10° below the horizontal. Well muscled.
Chest
Descending to level of elbows; ribs well sprung. Sternal region is long but breastbone not to protrude point of shoulder.
Underline and belly
From sternum to belly rising only slightly. The hollow of the flanks is slightly accentuated.

Tail

Set in the prolongation of the croup, high set and carried permanently curled over the back and reaching as near to the neck as possible. Its length is a little less than half the height at the withers. Tail is strong at the base and narrowing towards the tip; it is covered with abundant long coat.

Limbs

Forequarters

Generality
Legs set perfectly vertical to each other and parallel in relation to the median plane of the body. Height at the elbows is slightly more than half the height at the withers.
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°. Well developed muscles. The scapulo-humeral angle is 125°.
Upper arm
Longer than the shoulder blade and its obliqueness below the horizontal is of 65°.
Elbows
Parallel to the median plane of the body. The humero-radial angle is 155°.
Forearm
Longer than the upper arm, fine but strong bone, dry musculature.
Carpal
Strong, almost as broad as the forearm.
Pastern
Almost as wide as the forearm: slightly sloping.
Forefeet
Oval shaped with closely-knit and arched toes. Strong pads with black pigmentation, nails preferably black.

Hindquarters

Generality
Seen from behind, hind legs must follow a perfectly vertical line from the point of the buttock to the ground. They are parallel to each other.
Upper thigh
The length is equal to 1/3 of the height at the withers. Broad with well-developed muscles. Obliqueness of 60° below the horizontal; coxo-femoral angle of 90°.
Lower thigh
Length is a little less than that of the thigh. Of a light, but strong bone structure and its obliqueness below the horizontal is of 55°–60°. Well muscled.
Stifle
Parallel to the median plane of the body; femoro-tibia angle of 115°–120°.
Metatarsus
Vertical and perfectly straight seen as much in profile as from behind. Sufficiently broad. Length from point of hock to ground slightly more than 25% of the height at the withers.
Hock
Strong but not broad. The tibio-tarsal angle is 145°–150°.
Hind feet
Oval shaped with closely-knit and arched toes. Strong pads with black pigmentation, nails preferably black.

Gait and movement

Normal trot, must not be hopping. Characteristic gallop is that of a stayer rather than a sprinter. Gait with normal steps, not striding out.

Skin

Taut, well adhered without looseness in any part.

Coat

Hair
Dense, very long and exceptionally straight and standing-off. Of harsh texture with straight stiff guard hairs; must never be falling flat but 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, but not like a mane. The skull is covered with semi-long hairs that hide the base of the ears. Hair is short on the muzzle. On the ears, the hair is very fine and smooth. The tail is covered with very long hair. On the backside of the hindquarters, the coat forms trousers.
Colour
Self-colour white, red or black. Any other colour is tolerated/accepted. The white colour should be clear white with a depth like milk. The red colour is of an intense deer-red. In solid red and black a little white on feet is tolerated. In red a mask and a slight darkish overlay on the collar and shoulders can be present (sable fawn). Nose and eyelids should be fully pigmented.

Size and weight

Height at withers
Males: 27–30 cm. Females: 25–28 cm.

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 and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and its ability to perform its traditional work.
• Faults listed should be in degree of seriousness.

General faults

 Skull too long or too narrow.
 Muzzle too long.
 Nose with light pigment.
 Reversed scissor bite.
 Light eyes.
 Ears that is too small.
 Coarse and heavy in build.
 Body slightly long, not square.
 Coat that lacks volume.
 Mane instead of coat collar.
 Guard-coat falling flat.
 Size, 2 cm over the limits indicated in the standard.

Serious faults

 Apple-head.
 Prominent eyeballs, oval eye shape.
 Shallow stop.
 Pinched muzzle.
 Missing two or more teeth (except PM1 and M3).
 Undershot bite.
 Rectangular in body.
 Tail tucked in between hindlegs.
 Absence of undercoat.
 Woolly guard coat.

Disqualifying faults

 Aggressive or overly shy dogs.
 Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities.
 Untypical.
 Convex nose bridge.
 Overshot bite.
 Total depigmentation of nose or eye rims.
 Wall eye.
 Ears completely drooping.
 Lack of tail or very short tail whether congenital or acquired.

NB :

• Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
• The above mentioned faults when occurring to a highly marked degree or frequently are disqualifying.
• Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
• Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation should be used for breeding.

Bibliography

http://www.fci.be/

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