Italian Spitz

Volpino Italiano, Florence Spitz, Cane de Quirinale

Despite his recalcitrant bark, the Italian Spitz deserves a good place in the cynological world. His tendency to warn can be disturbing for some people, but can also be very useful for a single person or those living in a rather isolated area and needing to be warned when an intrusion occurs. This natural antidepressant is an ideal companion for everyone. Children, elderly, families, singles, etc., all without exception can benefit from his great joy of life and his endearing nature. Even if he is not as widespread as his counterpart, the German Spitz, he is nevertheless a superb specimen to discover.

Height 25 to 30 cm
Weight 4 to 5 kg
Life expectancy 14 to 15 years
Home country Italy

Quick Overview of the Italian Spitz


  • Strong character
  • Lively and cheerful
  • Joyful and affectionate
  • Kind and friendly


  • Pretty silhouette
  • Compact but harmonious
  • Pleasant overall appearance
  • Small, short, pricked ears


  • Very robust
  • Enjoys excellent health
  • Rarely ill
  • No particular pathology

Temperament of the Italian Spitz

Endowed with a strong character, lively, cheerful, affectionate, kind and friendly with everyone, the Italian Spitz is a dog with a playful character, who loves to entertain the crowds.

In spite of his well-tempered character, a good education, as well as socialization, are generally very easily achievable.

Even if he excels at guarding, he is exclusively used these days as a companion dog.

He is kind and gentle with all members of his family, and he is only happy when he's close to them. He loves children.

In fact, he's their greatest joy with his mischievous character and playful temperament.

He's a great player, and loves to play pranks. Children love him because he is always ready to play with them.

The Italian Spitz is a natural antidote for depression, and a joy for all owners.

He can easily make older people happy, making their everyday life enjoyable thanks to his constant good humour.

Breed Appearance

Italian spitz

The Italian Spitz is small, compact but very harmonious.

The general appearance of this superb little dog shows an intrepid character that is always ready for action. His overall appearance is very pleasing to the eye.


Between 27 and 30 cm (10.63 to 11.81 inches) for the male
Between 25 and 28 cm (9.84 to 11.02 inches) for the female


Between 5 and 5 kg (11.02 to 11.02 pounds) for the male
Between 4 and 5 kg (8.82 to 11.02 pounds) for the female


The Italian Spitz is usually white, red or champagne color.

The champagne color is accepted by the breed standard, but is not preferred by enthusiasts.


His very long hair is stiff and bushy. Longer hair covers the neck and the whole trunk. However, it is shorter on the feet and forehand.


His head has a somewhat ovoid skull, and a rather accentuated stop.

His eyes are ochre in color, well rounded and normal size. His small, short and erect ears are triangular.

His nose is all black. His tail is nicely carried curled up permanently on the back.

According to the FCI breeds nomenclature, this breed belongs to group 5, section 4 and is #195

Tips About this breed

As he also makes an excellent alarm dog, he serves as security device for people living alone.

He's very vigilant and barks at the slightest suspicious intrusion. He can sometimes be a problem for those who like peace and quiet, as his constant barking can become irritating.

This particular characteristic is a two-edged sword; it makes some people happy, as it can sometimes irritate others.

Whether his bark disturbs or suits his owner, the Italian Spitz remains an excellent guardian, very brave, that will stop at nothing to warn and protect his own.

He is an intuitive and smart antidepressant. He's easy to train, but the teacher must take into account his strong character.

Family hierarchy must be instilled early in his upbringing.

Once the hierarchy is well instilled in this little dog, his qualities will reveal themselves in all their splendor.

As he is already suspicious of strangers, his socialization should not exacerbate this natural distrust.

He can live anywhere, and can cope with all family situations, as well as all daily outings and walks.

If he lives in an urban area, he can sometimes disturb the neighbours with his thunderous bark at the slightest intrusion.

Otherwise, he can live anywhere without any problems.

Health of the Italian Spitz

Despite his small size, he is a very robust dog that enjoys excellent health.

Rarely ill, the Italian Spitz is not affected by any particular pathology, congenital tare or genetic disease.

The breed has an excellent longevity.


Even if his coat is pale with long hair, occasional brushing is usually enough to keep it clean and healthy.

However, no further maintenance is required.

History of this breed

A descendant of the European Spitz that already existed in the Bronze Age in central European region, his origins go back to the same ancestors as the German Spitz.

The Italian Spitz is not a descendant of the German Spitz, as popular belief often dictates; he is rather a collateral descendant.

The Volpino Italiano owes his original name to his great resemblance to the fox, volpino meaning fox in Italian.

At one time when the breed's popularity was at its peak, even the very famous Michelangelo owned an Italian Spitz' specimen.

In the 18th century, he was the tireless companion of carters in Lazio and Tuscany, thanks to his talent for guarding.

At the time when he accompanied the carters, he was always ready to signal, with his thunderous voice, the presence of all foreigners met on his way.

Bred in Italy since the beginning of time, this beautiful Spitz was widespread in Italy and adored for a long time, both in the homes of the people and in palaces of the Italian aristocracy.

Later, the German Spitz quietly usurped the place of the Italian Spitz, bringing him to the brink of total extinction.

Saved by a few enthusiasts, the breed is no longer threatened today, but he has not yet caught up with his counterpart in terms of popularity.

This very pretty dog, despite his size, was first used for guard duty, having a great ability to bark at the slightest sign of intrusion, thus avoiding the presence of malicious people.

His abilities as guardian and alarm dog were appreciated but he later became very popular as a life companion.

His many abilities and great qualities as companion made him a favorite of many European families for a long time.

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