17 Most Popular Italian Dog Breeds – Recognize Them All?

Dogs are an important part of Italian culture. In fact, one of the most popular and well-known breeds of dogs, the Italian Greyhound, is named after the country.

Italians are known for their love of food, and their dogs are no exception. Many Italians view their dogs as members of the family, and they take great care in feeding them the best possible diet.

There are a number of different dog breeds that originated in Italy, including the popular Cane Corso and the less well-known Neapolitan Mastiff. Italian Greyhounds are one of the most popular breeds in Italy, and they are known for their sleek coats and slender build.

17. Spinone Italiano

Image from Pet Plate

This is a versatile dog breed that has played a major role in Italy’s history from its use as a companion pet by elite historical figures to its presence on World War II frontlines. Its popularity has been maintained as it stands today as one of the most popular dogs in Italy.

In addition to their adaptability, this popularity is largely due to their personalities. These breeds are calm, friendly, and affectionate which is a perfect combination for family pets.

16. Italian Greyhound

Image from Fuzzy

The Italian Greyhound is the smallest sighthound breed. However, it is just as athletic as its larger companions. In fact, its small size gives it an advantage in terms of agility allowing smoother maneuvering when hunting smaller prey.

As with most sighthound dogs, this breed is kept today mainly as a sports dog or as a companion with its adaptability allowing it to settle easily into both roles.

15. Dogo Sardo

Image from Instagram:@jackalsoldcountryblood

This dog is a molosser type of pooch best known for its large, intimidating form and its equally intimidating personality to boot. This combination makes it ideal for things like protecting livestock as well as personal protection. It is also popular in underground dogfighting scenes for its ferocious attack capabilities and its fearlessness.

Despite being native to Italy, this dog is quite rare in its home country when compared to other countries in Europe where the breed is exported for work and fighting.

14. Pastore della Lessinia e del Lagorai

Image from Instagram:@lis.allegretti

This is quite a rare dog and has slowly waned in popularity and numbers in Italy and around the world. It is so rare and has been subjected to so much mixed breeding that it is currently not recognized as a standard dog breed by any kennel club anywhere in the world.

All this aside, this is a beautiful dog with its unique lupine aesthetic. It is also a very lovable dog with its playful but docile nature.

13. St. Bernard

Image from Bissell

Most people immediately associate St. Bernard with its Swiss origins mainly due to its wide use in the Swiss Alps for rescues, guarding, and pulling sleds.

However, it is just as much native to Italy as it is to Switzerland having been developed and widely used in both European countries. This breed is known for its large build and gentle nature which makes it perfect for companionship in addition to its outdoor work applications.

12. Segugio Maremmano

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This is also known as the Maremmano Scenthound after its region of origin in Italy and its main purpose. It is easily one of the most popular native Italian dog breeds and is adored mainly for its incredible loyalty.

This makes them awesome guard dogs as they are also wary of strangers. However, they can easily be socialized and trained for keeping as companion pets. In this case, regular exercise should be a part of their care to keep them happy.

11. Bracco

Image from Pawstruck

The Bracco dog breed is one of the most stubborn dogs you will encounter in Italy. This stems from their natural hunting dog instincts that will have them stubbornly focused on anything but what you want them to pay attention to.

However, with a little patience, you will have a lot to look forward to including their affectionate nature and their love for playing with their human best friends.

10. Maremmano-Abruzzese Sheepdog

Image from Instagram:@pastore_maremmano_

This dog is named after the regions in Italy where it hails from. These are Abruzzo and Maremma which are both rural settlements known for their sheep rearing culture.

This sheepdog served mainly as a herding guide but also protected the sheep from both human and animal dangers where necessary.

They are generally very alert, even-tempered, and dominating breeds. They definitely require a lot of patience and firmness when kept as companion pets.

9. Cirneco dell’Etna

Image from Instagram:@cirneco.dog

With its lean build, high speeds, and incredible sense of smell, it is not so hard to see how the Cirneco dell’Etna became such a popular hunting dog in Italy. These pups are particularly popular for hunting small and fast animals like hares as their speed and agility allow them to comfortably keep up.

These dogs are also very awesome as companion pets especially for homes with children especially when introduced as young puppies.

8. Volpino

Image from Instagram:@ari.volpino

At first glance, it is very hard to differentiate the Volpino from its relatives the Pomeranian and the German Spitz. It has the same small, fluffy appearance that makes the other two so popular around the world. However, the Volpino is noticeably larger and tends to have more of a narrower skull.

These canine companions are quite affectionate and playful and tend to form strong bonds with their families. However, they are very sensitive and easily traumatized by harsh treatment.

7. Bolognese Dog

Image from Instagram:@mr.brada

This dog was bred for companionship and this is a job that it does very well. They get along with everyone from children to strangers. They also get along with other pets both large and small. All these factors make it a perfect dog for a family with children and/or other pets.

While these dogs are generally intelligent, obedient, and loyal, they are not immune to stubborn tantrums especially when they are frustrated from a lack of enough playtime.

6. Segugio Italiano (Wire-Haired)

Image from Instagram:@simbailsegugio

This is in a lot of ways similar to the short-haired variety in terms of build and general personality.

However, the wire-haired coat makes it different not only in terms of aesthetics but also in terms of care needs. Regular brushing is required in order to keep the wiry fur from tangling and becoming a shaggy mess.

The personality is also subtly different with the wire-haired variety being a more active and outdoorsy variation that requires a lot of exercises.

5. Lagotto Romagnolo

Image from YuMove

This is a fantastic beginner breed mainly for its high intelligence and naturally obedient nature. You do not have to struggle too much to train them or keep them in line. The best part is that there are a lot of cuddles and fun playtimes to look forward to with this incredibly affectionate pooch.

The water dog from Italy is also quite popular around the world where it is kept both for retrieval of waterfowl as well as a companion pet.

4. Neapolitan Mastiff

Image from Bully Beds

To say that the Neapolitan Mastiff is a unique-looking dog would be a gross understatement. They are similar in appearance to the Cane Corso with their large build, skull shape, and facial features.

However, these dogs stand out mainly with their thick, saggy skin folds around the face that give them their adorable old-man aesthetic.

Despite their intimidating aesthetic, they are rarely aggressive towards human beings but may need early socialization to stop them from being aloof.

3. Bergamasco Shepherd

Image from Instagram:@ester_pastorebergamasco

This dog’s coat is its key standout feature. It features long, coarse fur that forms thick mats that give it its shaggy appearance. This is the kind of aesthetic that either grows on you or never does. Whatever the case, there is no denying the convenience of the coat’s non-shedding nature.

They are popular today mainly as herding dogs and are very rarely kept as full-time indoor pets mainly due to their restlessness when they do not get enough exercise.

2. Italian Segugio Short Haired

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The short-haired Segugio breed from Italy is one of the most talented hunting dogs from the country and region of Europe in general. These dogs are known for their excellent hunting skills with the perfect combination of sight and scent tracking. They are also quite resilient and perfect for long chases.

As house pets, these dogs thrive mainly due to their high intelligence, calm temperament, and their ability to adapt to different settings and scenarios.

1. Cane Corso

Image from Bully Beds

The Cane Corso is one of the most popular guard dog breeds for both domestic and law enforcement use. They are generally very even-tempered although distrusting of strangers. However, they will mostly only attack when given the command to do so or if you pose an obvious threat to their masters.

These dogs are rarely kept as companion breeds and should only be used like this by experienced dog owners and in homes without children or other pets.



What Does Spinone Mean In Italian? 

Spinone is the Italian name of a popular dog breed kept mainly for hunting purposes. This dog is very similar to the Griffon dog family and it is sometimes theorized that Spinone is the Italian term for griffon. However, there are no formal records that recognize this as a standard translation.

How Long Does An Italian Spinone Live? 

The life expectancy of an Italian Spinone is around 10-12 years. However, some may live up to 15 years old with good care. health problems that can affect the lifespan of an Italian Spinone include hip dysplasia, bloat, and eye problems.

How Many Lagotto Romagnolo Are In The US?

There are about 500 Lagotto Romagnolo dogs in the United States. This is quite an impressive number given how relatively rare these dogs are especially outside of their native home country of Italy. They are mainly kept as companion pets and are favored for their high intellect, friendly nature, and devotion to their human friends.

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Pete Decker