Italian Dog Breeds

Did you know there are fourteen recognized Italian dog breeds?

They are: Bolognese, Bracco Italiano, Cane Corso, Cirneco dell’Etna, Lagotto Romagnolo, Maltese, Mastino Napoletano, Pastore Bergamasco, Pastore Maremmano-Abruzzese, Piccolo Levriero Italiano, Segugio Italiano a Pelo Raso, Segugio Italiano a Pelo Forte, Spinone, Volpino Italiano.

Find out about their look, personality and dog breed characteristics.


Small dog of the Bichon family, since the Roman times it is considered a prized pet. The coat is long, curly and entirely white.

The Bolognese has a calm and serious temperament and shows a very strong attachment to its human family.

Bracco Italiano

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The Bracco is a large size hound fit for any kind of hunt. The long ears, abundant skin and big nose give him a serious and almost severe expression. The coat is fine and short. The color is white mixed with any shade of brown.

It's remarkable learning ability makes of the Bracco also a pleasant companion at home.

Cane Corso

This elegant mastiff was rescued from extinction and is enjoying new popularity thanks to its many abilities.

Because of its trainability and balanced temperament this breed can be guardian of herds and property, hunter or body guard.

Short coated, shows many gorgeous colors: from black to fawn, gray and brindle.

Photo courtesy of Sovrana Cane Corso Kennels

Italian Dog Breeds: Cirneco dell’Etna

A medium sized hound, popular in Sicily in the Etna area. Employed in the rabbit hunt, shows remarkable stamina, frugality and sturdiness.

Short coated, the Cirneco is typically fawn with or without white.

Lagotto Romagnolo

Lagotto Romagnolo, Domestic Dog, (Canidae), Lemgo, Nordrhein Westfalen, Germany
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Typical water dog, the curly coated lagotto, is the only breed specialized in the search of truffles.

The Lagotto is a medium sized dog of excellent temperament that can easily become a family pet thanks to its trainability.


Maltese with Hair Plaited
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This small dog of silky, white coat, became popular in all Mediterranean countries probably because it used to travel on ships, keeping at bay the rat population.

Thanks to the refined look and gorgeous long coat, the Maltese quickly assumed the role of pampered pet.

Italian Dog Breeds: Mastino Napoletano

An imposing mastiff, direct descendent of the Roman war dogs. Gentle and quiet with the family, the Mastino Napoletano’s only presence is an excellent trespassing deterrent.

Pastore Bergamasco

An active, docile, smart and efficient herding dog. Of medium size, it is characterized by a long coat that mats together in long strings, providing a good shelter from any kind of weather.

Pastore Maremmano-Abruzzese

Independent and fearless shepherd dog, dedicated to the defense of the herd from wolves.

These dogs belong to the family of the mighty white dogs of central Europe. The white abundant coat makes this dog indifferent to the bitter cold and clearly marks the shepherd from the predators.

Piccolo Levriero Italiano

A miniature greyhound, the Piccolo retains all the hunting instincts that make this little hound excel in coursing and rabbit hunting.

Segugio Italiano a Pelo Raso and Segugio Italiano a Pelo Forte

Smooth / Short-Haired Segugio Italiano Hound Portrait
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Two version of the same medium sized scent hound, one with a fine short coat, the other wire haired.

Unbeatable in following the prey, this is a very vocal dog and likes to work in team. It's temperament is sweet and playful.

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Unsurpassed hunting dog of large size, always in tune with his master. It’s an excellent swimmer and retriever. The Spinone also makes a great companion because it knows how to be very sweet, affectionate and totally devoted to its human family.

Domestic Dogs, Volpino Italiano / Italian Spitz Family
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Volpino Italiano

Not one of the most famous Italian dog breeds, the volpino is a small, attractive dog of spitz type. Very attached to the family, alert and reactive, it makes an excellent alarm dog. The coat is white or red.

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