Top Ten Italian Dog Breeds
When you hear the word ‘Italy,’ what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Is it fashion, art, pizza, or pasta?
That’s understandable for a country with a rich heritage and its contributions to the modern world. Undoubtedly, Italy is a paradise for history lovers. The culture, cuisine, and lifestyle are unmatched.
But did you know Italy has produced some of the finest dog breeds in the world? Although not that big, Italy takes pride in its beautiful and interesting dog breeds.
If you are planning to buy a four-legged partner, we have haven picked for you the top ten amazing dog breeds from Italy. Let’s begin!
#1- Neapolitan Mastiff Dog
A powerful body with a highly wrinkly face, the Neapolitan Mastiff tops our list of top ten Italian dog breeds. It has strong muscles and is very agile. The wrinkles drop down from the face to the neck. Initially used for bear and bull-baiting, Neapolitan Mastiffs are excellent guard dogs. Their sturdy jaws are enough to protect the house from intruders. They are loyal and have great temperaments but not the same as the ancestor Mastiffs. They require daily exercise to stay healthy, fit and get rid of the extra energy they accumulate throughout the day.
The favorite pet of royal women, Italian Maltese, is a small-sized dog that needs regular brushing due to the long, white hair on the body. The silky blanket distinguishes the furry toy from the rest. Although produced in Malta, the Maltese Bichon is now officially considered to be an Italian breed. They love to play with dog toys and have fun with family members. Not to mention, they require special attention from the owners. For example, they love to go for evening walks.
#3- Cane Corso Dog
Cane Corso, also known as Italian Mastiff, is a popular and highly recognized canine, is another medium to a large-sized gift from Italy to the rest of the world. People use it for both protection and as a companion. Cane Corsos have muscular bodies with a well-organized and balanced personality. Initially used for catching boar or other hunting games, these are athletic animals. So they are a perfect pet for active dog owners. They are agile and need frequent outdoor sessions to maintain good health.
#4- Bracco Dog
Primarily produced for hunting in northern Italy, Bracco Italiano is renowned as Italian Pointer. Bracco’s history reveals Italian Aristocrats used them for hunting dogs and birds. An interesting fact about these dogs, they are sand resistant. They make a perfect choice for training; they are humble and act as great companion dogs. In the 20th century, this breed came on the verge of extinction. Thanks to the home breeders who save the endangered breed. If you are looking for a friendly, obedient Fido, Bracco Italiano is a perfect animal.
#5- Italian Greyhound Dog
Another Italian breed that dates back two thousand years, the little Italian whippet or Italian Greyhound, is a small-sized dog (at least the smallest of all sighthounds). An adult Italian greyhound usually weighs around 2.5 – 4 kg and stretches to a height of 30 cm only.
As they grow, their body gains muscles that allow them to hunt vermin, mice, and rats. These days, they are kept as family pets, and owners love the speed they attain while running.
#6- Bolognese Dog
Mostly kept by the Italian royal authorities, Bolognese Bichon or Bolognese dog comes from the Bichon family. The woolly covering and protruding eyes on a small body tempt many people to adopt these dogs. The furry pups are lovely creatures. Not as famous as other Italian breeds, Bolognese dogs are usually kept as family pets by Italy. Their history originates from the 17th century, but the exact time is still unknown.
If you want a unique four-legged pet, then Bergamasco should be your choice. Bergamasco shepherd has a rusty, corded coat that intrigues many pet owners. It originated from the Alpine area of Italy and was originally used as a herding dog. Besides rough fur, their cute facial expressions and big eyes also gain the attention of people. They are always willing to work and are easily trainable. Moreover, Italian Bergamascos are smart, talented, and gentle with the owners. The friendly behavior and rustic appearance have made it popular among European pet parents.
#8- Lagotto Romagnolo
The historical dog breed of Italy cannot be complete without Lagotto Romagnolo (Romagnolo from Romana Italy.) These are water dogs have woolly fur and curly coat, just like any other water retriever. In the past, they were used for hunting dogs, but they also help to detect truffles. They are hard workers with great senses and stay active all the time. It has a rich history and is considered the parent of all water retrievers of all time.
#8- Maremma Sheepdog
Abruzzese Sheepdog being the second name for Maremma Italian dog, this breed developed centuries ago in central Italy. It owns a majestic appearance with a dominant personality. Maremma sheepdogs were used as livestock guardians by farmers and protect the animals from wild animals. It has a lot of white fur on its body. Even today, it is commonly used as a livestock caretaker dog by old farmers. If you want to keep them as outside dogs, they will be happy as not many people prefer Maremmas as indoor pups.
#10- Volpina Italiano
Last but not least, the Italian Volpina has a short but well-developed body. Its ancestors dive deep into 400 BC. Although small in size, royal and rich women kept this dog breed as a guard dog. In recent times, researchers found a massive decrease in its population. However, they are still popular among enthusiast owners who prefer a playful pup. In addition, they serve as great companion dogs.
We have listed the ten most popular and interesting dog breeds in Italy. Some are ideal for families with kids, while others are bred for guarding purposes. Have you ever owned a pup from our top ten Italian dog breed list? Or which pet would you love to take home if you get a chance? Let us know in the comments below 🙂