Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He has been working with dogs for more than 40 years.
There are almost 30 breeds of dog from Italy but few of them have ever become as popular as the dogs from Germany or from England. Some dogs that are considered Italian (the St. Bernard and the Maltese, for example) can also be considered to be from another country.
The five listed here are definitely Italian; they may not be the most popular dog breeds in the world, but they probably should be.
Cane Corso are sometimes seen in a fawn color.
One of the best dogs ever developed in Italy is the Cane Corso; these dogs have been around since Roman times. They are a great dog for personal protection, do well if used as a guard, and are also used as hunting dogs in some areas.
Although they are descendants of the Roman war dogs, Cane Corsos are now definitely companions. Some dogs are black, some fawn, and all are big (anywhere from 50–70 kilos, or about 110–150 pounds) and have a short face and broad chest.
Cane Corso have big dog health problems, like hip dysplasia and bloat. They are also prone to arthritis when they get older.
They usually live about 11 years. They do not bark much, but of course, they will when they notice anything strange.
Cane Corsos are really best as personal protection dogs and do best when allowed to stay close to their owner and guard him at all times. They should be well socialized, of course, and obedience trained early while still small enough to work with.
This amazing dog does not bark much and makes a great family guard dog. They are giant, often up to 70 kilos (about 150 pounds), but are mellow and will usually lie quietly in the yard and watch out for anything suspicious.
Since they have such floppy skin, Neapolitan Mastiffs (Neos) are prone to Cherry Eye and eyelid problems like ectropion. They are also prone to hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and, like a lot of big dogs, are susceptible to bloat.
Neos cannot handle heat and usually only live to about 7 or 8 years. If you are looking for a dog that will stay at home and guard his territory, the Neo is a good choice. If you are looking for an easy to handle breed that does not have many health problems, the Neo is not a good choice.
The Neo is one of the best Italian dog breeds, but they are not for everyone.
This rare dog is actually a shepherd from the Italian Alps, probably related to the Puli and Komondor, other ancient breeds. They are medium size, about 35 kilos (around 70 pounds) and are best known because of their unusual coat.
Bergamascos have three types of hair (fine, long, and wooly) and as the dog ages they bunch up and form long mats (or flocks, as the fanciers prefer to call them). The mats get longer as the dogs get older, and eventually reach the ground.
It is great camouflage when hanging out with the sheep, keeps the dogs warm when herding in the mountains, and of course Bergamascos do not shed much when they have developed the mats.
No data is available on inherited health conditions. Life expectancy is about 13 or 14 years.
Like all shepherds, these dogs are intelligent, good at agility, obedience trials, and of course at herding!
This dog from northern Italy is a lot like a Bichon Frisé. They are small (anywhere from 3–6 kilos, or about 6–15 pounds), white, cute, and cuddly.
They do not have an undercoat and the hair they do have falls in ringlets. They do not shed much, and like the Bichon Frisé need to be bathed and combed daily to prevent matting.
Unlike the Bichon Frisé, there are no health problems associated with the breed. That might be because they are very healthy, or it might be because there are fewer of them around. They usually live about 14 years.
It is hard to say if this dog is better than the Maltese, Havanese, or Bichon Frisé, but the Bolognese out there have a lot of traits of these three breeds. They are playful, easy to train, and may bark less than most small dogs.
Bolognese need to be walked daily, like all dogs, but do well in apartments. This is one of those Italian dog breeds that should be a lot more popular, but for some reason is not.
This small sighthound is one of the best dogs ever developed in Italy. Actually Greece and Turkey claim this dog too, and say that he was developed there more than 4000 years ago. Egypt also says the dogs are the same as those found mummified with the Pharaohs. It doesn’t matter much to the dogs. By the first century AD, though, Italian Greyhounds (IGs) were found in Rome, and they were a popular Italian dog by the middle ages.
These dogs only weigh about 4–8 kilos (around 8–18 pounds) and are built quite frail. They can still run like a Greyhound, though, and are able to run up to 40km/hr (about 25 mph)!
Some of them are prone to epilepsy, luxating patella (trick knee), retinal atrophy (PRA), and some other inherited diseases. They are also prone to dental disease and need their teeth brushed every day.
The average lifespan of an IG is about 13. IGs can compete in agility, coursing, or just hang around a quiet house and provide companionship. They are not good in a house with small kids because they are so fragile and likely to be injured, so their “ideal” family would be an elderly couple.
There are a lot more than I am able to post here. The breeds listed here are probably not going to be found at your local animal shelter, but you should take a few minutes to check the shelter out and see which dogs are available. Sometimes a dog will be dropped off when an owner has to move-you might even find a Cane Corso or Italian Greyhound that no longer has a home. You can also look on Petfinder.com and see if any of the Italian dogs you are looking for are available in nearby cities.
Check out the dogs at a dog show and talk to the breeders about when dogs will be available.
Just do not buy from a pet shop or internet puppy wholesaler. You will probably be supporting a puppy mill and will end up with a dog that is difficult to housetrain.
More About Dogs . .
- Best Names For A Cane Corso
Are you searching for a great name for your new Cane Corso puppy? Check out this list!
- How to Prevent Aggression in your Cane Corso
The Cane Corso is not harder to handle than some other breeds; it is just that a dog that weighs over 100pounds must be especially easy to handle or things get out of control quickly. Learn what you need to do to prevent aggression with this great br
- Cane Corso Dog Breed : A Great Dog For A Life Of Sol...
The Cane Corso is a large dog used for guarding, hunting, and personal protection. If you are thinking about choosing one, pictures, a video, and a description will help you decide.
5 best dog breeds if you already have pets, according to the Kennel Club
Do you own small animals, cats or a different breed of dog?
Adopting a dog when you already have pets can be a tricky undertaking, especially if you own small animals, cats or a different breed of dog. You'll want your new pet to settle in and feel comfortable, without changing the status quo too much for your existing animals.
The Kennel Club is often asked which breeds are best for families who already have pets. They recommend dogs known for their affectionate and docile temperaments.
There are some factors you should keep in mind when introducing any dog to a new home with existing pets. They include how well trained the dog is, whether it's used to being around other animals, and the dog's age.
Here, five popular dog breeds that are known to be gentle, patient and versatile, according to the Kennel Club.
"A friendly, kind and confident breed," say the Kennel Club.
2. Cocker Spaniel
"The Cocker Spaniel is gentle and affectionate – earning the epithet 'the merry Cocker' for its ever wagging tail denoting a happy temperament! Usually very outgoing and friendly," the Kennel Club say.
3. St Bernard
"A gentle giant! They are known to be steady dogs, intelligent and trustworthy," say the Kennel Club.
4. English Springer Spaniel
"Tend to be versatile and happy dogs, and friendly to others, if a little excitable," the Kennel Club say.
"Exceptionally gentle, patient and docile with others," say the Kennel Club.
Once you've decided on a breed, you can find the perfect name for your new pet here.
Like this article? Sign up to our newsletter to get more articles like this delivered straight to your inbox.
Countdown: The 5 Best Rescue Dog Breeds
Man’s best friend! Throughout human history dogs have continually proven to be steadfast, loyal companions as well as useful for tasks such as home protection, rescue operations, herding farm animals such as sheep and cows, battle, and of course hunting. Human beings noted this usefulness early on in history and began to selectively breed dogs for specific traits.
Over the millennia this breeding created a truly amazing number of species of dogs. We now have dogs that range in size from the tiny pug to the giant Irish Wolfhound. We have species of dogs with a wide variety of appearances and abilities.
This selective breeding has led to dogs being bred for a variety of tasks. One of the most important of those tasks is rescue. Dogs are inherently loyal and most are quite protective of their masters. Even small breeds can be quite fierce when they feel their territory is being encroached upon.
However, some breeds are more likely to function as search and rescue dogs. It is an innate part of the breed. In this article we will explore five of the best rescue dog breeds.
5. Golden Retrievers
Golden retrievers are consistently rated among the most intelligent, loyal, and trainable of dog breeds.
They are also very friendly and always one of the most breeds for families to adopt. Like all types of retrievers, they were bred to accompany hunters and retrieve animals once they were shot with an arrow or a bullet. That included retrieving water fowl so they are very capable swimmers who take easily to the water.
They are fast runners and pack a surprising amount of strength in their graceful frames. They have served as search and rescue dogs in a number of settings, including the aftermath of 9/11. Stories abound of golden retrievers who have placed themselves in danger and even died to protect humans. They will certainly always be highly prized as pets and as rescue dogs!
4. German Shepherds
They have the ability to learn simple tasks after five repetitions and obey commands given to them 95% of the time. Unfortunately, German shepherds got something of a bad reputation as vicious guard dogs because of their use by the Nazis during WWII. They were chosen by the Nazis for their intelligence and their German pedigree but the image of vicious guard dog couldn’t be more inaccurate.
Even before WWII they were the breed chosen for the first Swiss guide dog training in the 1920’s. They have become the second most popular breed in the United States. Their intelligence makes them highly attuned to the intentions of people and they are frequently selected by the military, police and other first responders to help with public safety.
Newfoundlands are fishing dogs!
In the 1700’s they were a fixture on English fishing vessels. They are bed to have heavy, double-layer coats the repel water, webbed paws, and a muscular tail that propels and steers them while in the water, similar to the rudder of a boat or the fins of a fish. They have a gentle and loyal disposition that, combined with their physical attributes make them excellent rescue dogs. They are highly sought after by the coast guards of countries like England, France and Italy. In fact, they have been known to make dramatic leaps from helicopters into the water in order to perform a rescue.
2. St. Bernard
There are few breeds more iconic as rescue dogs than the fabled St. Bernard.
These gentle giants have been known for rescuing avalanche victims and stranded skiers and hikers since the 1600’s when monks who dwelled in the Swiss Alps recognized their talent for sensing an impending avalanche. The image of a large, furry St. Bernard coming to the rescue with small barrel of brandy to warm the frozen traveler around its neck is a universal symbol for rescue.
They have been trained to use their uncanny sense of smell to locate people buried in snow and dig them up. They have then been known to lay on or beside the victim, using their fur and body heat to warm them. Their sense of smell also has proven handy when it comes to warning people about fires and performing daring rescues from flaming buildings.
A regal and sainted rescue breed!
Who is the one dog everyone most associates with rescuing people (especially little Timmy)?
Lassie, of course.
The elegant and dignified collie is an icon thanks to Lassie and there is good reason for that. Border collies are widely considered to be the most intelligent breed of dog. Intelligent, graceful and quick to react, collies are frequently used to protect and herd sheep and cattle. They are untiring and their loyalty ensures they will be diligent in their task. They are also so well known for rescuing people that collies have won the title of Dog Hero of the Year more than any other breed. What are you saying Lassie?
Collies make the best rescue dogs!
Enjoyed reading this post? Stop by and have a quick glance at some of our other dog product reviews!
13 Italian Dog Breeds That Are Pure Beauty
One of them is literally called the Bolognese.
We've known that dogs are man's best friend for a long time. They were first domesticated between 15,000 and 30,000 years ago, according to Science magazine, and ever since then humans have bred out their favorite characteristics to create types of dogs that best suit certain hunting sports or farming needs. Dog breeds have originated from all over the world, with many originating in Europe to help protect farmers' livestock, or just to serve as lap dogs to royalty. Italian dog breeds reflect that diversity. Some are built for hard work while others will want to lounge around the house with you for most of the day.
Still, each breed is unique, and it has different exercise and training requirements. Some of the dogs on this list are great family dogs, while others are better suited to singles or people who have a lot of experience with training dogs. Here are 13 diverse Italian dog breeds.