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
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 10ƒ 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 60ƒ. Upperarm - Longer than
the shoulder and its obliqueness below the horizontal is of 60ƒ.
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
55ƒ to 60ƒ. 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.