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  • Temperament: Loyal, Energetic, Loving
  • Height: 10.5-12 inches
  • Weight: 10-16 pounds (males), 8-12 pounds (females)
  • Life Expectancy: 10-16 years
  • Group: Foundation Stock Service

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

Breed Standard
Volpino Italiano standing in profile in the grass.
Volpino Italiano looking up at the viewer outdoors.
Volpino Italiano laying down in the grass.

About the Volpino Italiano

Volpini have existed since ancient times and almost became extinct when Italy lost interest in the breed. American Eskimo Dog breeders bred the Volpino Italiano to their Eskies in an effort to create the toy-sized American Eskimo. In the 1960s, Italian breeders took new interest to prevent the extinction of their breed and, as a result, the Volpino Italiano experienced a resurgence and remains a viable breed.

Club Contact: Terralea Collins

National Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country.
Volpino Italiano puppies together in the grass.

Find a Puppy: Volpino Italiano

AKC Marketplace | PuppyFinder

AKC Marketplace is the only site to exclusively list 100% AKC puppies from AKC-Registered litters and the breeders who have cared for and raised these puppies are required to follow rules and regulations established by the AKC.



The Volpino Italiano should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to becoming overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.


The Volpino Italiano’s fluffy, white, double coat — a short, dense undercoat below the longer outer coat — is surprisingly easy to keep clean. A thorough brushing two or three times a week will remove dead hairs before they can be shed, as well as help to prevent matting. It is OK to bathe a Volpino occasionally, but doing so more than once every few months can make his skin dry and irritated. As with all breeds, the Volpino’s nails should be trimmed regularly.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Occasional Bath/Brush




An active dog with lots of energy, the Volpino is also quick and curious, requiring lots of exercise and mental challenges. A Volpino who is left alone or who doesn’t get enough exercise can quickly become destructive. A securely fenced yard and an assortment of toys will help provide good exercise and stimulation to keep a Volpino out of trouble. They shouldn’t just be left out in the yard by themselves all day, however. Despite their warm coat, the Volpino is an indoor dog. They form strong bonds with their people and are happiest interacting with them.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity


Volpini will do anything for a treat and will stay focused for 10 to 15 minutes. Training early is always good, but even the older dogs learn new tricks.


May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
Easy Training




Volpini born in America have parents tested for PLL CLEAR (Primary Lens Luxation) through Dogs are not tested in Italy. Keep anal glands expelled.

Volpino Italiano running in the grass.
Vittore Carpaccio painting detail of a small white dog.
Volpino Italiano standing outdoors.
Volpino Italiano puppies outdoors.
Volpino Italiano running outdoors.
Volpini together indoors.


The Volpino Italiano goes back to the same ancestors as the German Spitz, of which he is not a descendant, but a relative. They have been bred in Italy since time immemorial and have been idolized in the palaces of noblemen as well as in the hovels of the common people, where they were especially appreciated for their vigilance and instinct to guard. They were depicted by Italian master painters such as Michelangelo in the 1400-1500s, Andrea Landini in the 1800s, Andrea Verrocchio in the 1400s, Vittore Carpaccio in the 1500s, and H. Enrico Coleman Roma. In the 18th century, Volpini were the tireless companions of the carters of Tuscany and Latium and were always ready to announce noisily any strange persons met on the roads.

Did You Know?

The Volpino Italiano was added to the Foundation Stock Service program February 2021.
Volpino means "little fox" in Italian.
The Volpino is also called the Cane de Quairinale

The Breed Standard

Colors & Markings


Description Standard Colors Registration Code
Red Check Mark For Standard Color 140
White Check Mark For Standard Color 199