Italians breeds

Italian breeds of dogs

Origin, classification and brief historical summary

Origin: Italy.
Classification F.C.I. N. 196: Group 9 - Companion and Toy Dogs; Section 1 Bichons and related breeds; without working trial.

It has a very old origin. In fact it dates back to the Roman times, as it is depicted on earthenware vases of that time. It was considered a very precious dog, particularly during the eleventh century.
Belonging to the Bichon its origins come from those small white dogs that Aristote called “Melitensi” and that were largely spread in the Mediterranean regions due to sea trade and the continuous moving of merchant ships from one country to another. During the Renaissance within the nobles it was custom to give such small dogs as a present: it is proved that even Katherine II of Russia used to have one of these dogs. Nowadays they are not so popular abroad, as they are mainly bred in Italy.

General appearance

A small-sized dog, mesomorphic with a short compact body which fits in a square. What makes this breed so particular is the long white reared hair.

Behaviour and temperament

This is the typical companion dog, he establishes a strict relationship with his master and his family in terms of real need for his life. He is very lively and clever, highly skilled at learning things, so that he can be easily trained. Untiring playmate, he is extremely loving; surely he is one of the most suitable breeds to have him as a family companion.

Bolognese Bolognese (photo

Bolognese Bolognese (photo


- males from 27 to 30 cm
- females from 25 to 28 cm
Weight: from 2,5 to 4 kg

Of medium length, reaches 1/3 of the height of the withers. Its width, measured at the level of the zygomatic arch is the same as its length.

Cranial region:
The skull of slightly ovoid (egg-shaped) shape in the sagital direction and rather flat in its upper part, has rather convex sides; the protuberances of the frontal bones are well developed - The longitudinal axes of the skull and muzzle are parallel: the frontal furrow is slightly accentuated and the occipital protuberance slightly marked. The lenqth of the skull is slightly more than that of the muzzle.
Stop: rather accentuated.

Facial region:
- Nose: on the same line as the topline of the muzzle; seen in profile, its foreface is on the vertical, is large and must be black.
Muzzle: its length is equal to 2/5 of the lenght of the head; the topline of the muzzle is straight and the sides of the muzzle are parallel, so that the forepart of the muzzle is determined by the lower jaw.
Jaws: normally developed, with top and bottom aches perfectly adapted.
Teeth: white, evenly aligned, with strong and complete dentition. Articulation of lncisors as scissor bite; pincer bite tolerated.
Eyes: set on an almost frontal plan: well opened, of superior to normal in size. Eyelid opening is round; the eyeball must not be prominent; the white of the eye is not visible. The rims of the eyelids must be black, and the iris of a dark ochre colour.
Ears: high set, they are long and hanging, but rather rigid at their base, so that the upper part of the external ear is detached from the skull, giving thus the impression of the head being larger than it really is.

Without dewlap; its length is equal to the length of the head.

The dog being of a square construction, the length of the body, measured from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttock bone is equal to that of the height at the withers.
Top profile: the straight profile of the back, and that of the loin, slightly convex, merge harmoniously in the line of the croup.
Withers: not very prominent from the top line.
Chest: ample, let down to level of elbows, with well sprung ribs, the height reaching almost half of the height at the withers.
Brisket: point of sternum not very obvious.
Croup: very slightly sloping; is very wide.
Under line: following the profile of the sternum, then rises slightly towards the belly.
Tail: set in the line of the croup, carried curved over the back.

Considered on the whole, they are perfectly straight and parallel in relation to the median plane of the body.
Shoulders: the length of the shoulder blades is equal to 1/4 of the withers; in relation to the horizontal, they are slanting and are near the vertical in relation to the median plane of the body. They are well free In their movements.
Upper-arm: well joined to the body, of an almost equal length to that of the shoulder, but less slanting.
Elbows: they are on a parallel plane to the median plane of the body.
Forearm: its length is equal to that of the upper arm: follows a perfect vertical direction.
Pastern joint and pastern: seen from the front, they continue the vertical line of the forearm - Seen in profile, the pastern is a little bit slanting.
Forefeet: oval shaped, with well cushioned dark pads and very hard black nails.

Considered on the whole and viewed from the back, they must follow a perfectly vertical line from the point of the buttock bone to the ground - they are parallel to each other.
Upper thighs: their length is equal to 1/3 of the height of the withers. They are slanting from top to bottom and back to front and are perfectly parallel to the median plane of the body.
Lower thighs: is longer than the upper thigh.
Hock: the tibia-tarsal angle is not very closed.
Hocks: the distance from the point of the hock to the ground is slightly less than a third of the height of the withers.
Hindfeet: same characteristics as the front feet, but less oval.

Skin: well taut and welded to the body all over, the visible mucous membranes and the third eyelids strictly pigmented black.

Type of hair: long all over the body, from head to tail, from the top line to the feet, shorter on the muzzle, rather fluffy, thus not lying flat, but in flocks, never forms fringes.
Colour: pure white, without any patches nor any shades of white.

Faults: any departure from the foregoing points constitutes a fault which when judging must be penalized according to its seriousness and extension; the same goes for squinting (strabismus).

by Vinattieri Federico - Ente Nazionale della Cinofilia Italiana

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