Medical Problems are rare since the Volpino's are a long lived breed. DNA testing for PLL has been done in America and Canada all Volpino puppies born in America and Canada in 2011 are Clear/Normal that belonging to the North American Volpino Club and breed. There are others who have bred even though they are Affected or Carriers, so be sure the parents or grand-parents or great-great grand-parents are tested with the offa.org I prefer having parents tested just so there are no question about it. Yes all of ours are PLL Clear.
You know the old saying survival of the fittest, the last of the 5 in the Italian ENCI record book of Volpino’s were hearty, strong & healthy.
Volpino's have no evident health problems, other than keeping their teeth clean so they don't develop heart disease, just like in humans.
Raw beef bones and meat is excellent for keeping dogs teeth clean, they can digest raw bones but not cooked.
Think of it this way... Coyotes, fox, wolves live in the wild and eat raw.
Dogs used to eat raw until humans made money by making food for dogs only 100+ years ago or so when they started.
Dogs dig holes in the ground cover the bones up then go back and chew on them again. Their system is not like
humans, they can handle that kind of thing, we cannot. Processed dog food has led many dogs to die, from mold
and other bacteria's, allergies from corn, wheat, rice and grain. The grains coyotes, fox and wolves eat are from the stomachs of chickens and wild animals, they don't eat grain in the fields. So basically it's common sense.
Colors are, White. Red and Black found in Italy, White & Red are registered with the ENCI in Italy and FCI.
Black Volpino's are very rare but can be seen in the countrysides of Italy., there is a resurgence gathering reds and black, breeding them and they are beginning to show red and black. Reds are now in their 3rd & 4th generation.
Exercise normal, they can be kept indoor or outdoor. They love to run and play outdoors so if you can, let them do that at least once a day. They can run fast as a cat.
Socialize them with other animals and people so they stay friendly. Don't go crazy happy to see it when you come home or the Volpino will think he cannot live without you in its site. Just act like it is normal coming & going or the Volpino will become morbidly attached.
You must be the Alpha not the other way around.
Lots of Toys for them to play with and until they are about 3, secure in their own space when you are gone. Or like any animal it will find your best treasure to chew up including electrical wires.
Feed them a good dry food that has no by products or grains, I suggest feeding food made in America. That is a must for any dog as the by products cause allergies.
Get your self a nice grooming brush with pin needles that the tip are rounded and brush them once a week or so, or when they jump up onto your lap
Bathe once every 2 months IF needed as they really don't get dirty or more if they are outside a lot, brush them and the dirt just falls off. To much bathing can lead to skin dryness and problems
Trim their nail as needed, once a month or so starting very young so they get used to it.
This is the hardest if you start when young, by rubbing their gums with dog tooth paste they like the taste and they like the feel but at first they are think, what on earth are you doing to me. To prevent heart disease this is a must to keep clean.
You can smell the inside of the ear, if it smells then there are ear mites, your vet has some great medicing he squirts down the ear and it takes care of it. You can keep some on hand if you want to do it yourself but for us, we never had to do this.
Overall Volpino's are very easy care, no groomer is needed unless you just don't have the time, no need for trimming fur aside from the anal area and pads of feet, the rest is suppose to be long and fluffy, that is what the Volpino's are known for, their long muff around their necks.
They must be expressed or they can get infected and then they could need surgery.
Your groomer will do it each time or Vet or you should learn to do it yourself.
This is a good video showing you how to do it, this one is GRAPHIC and easy to understand.
Nothing is full proof unless fur around eyes are cleaned daily, use tissue, rub fur, not to get into eye.
Some Volpino's eyes stain more than others, it depends how the eyes are shaped.
Italian Standard requires the eye to be very round.
Science has shone us that the rounder the eye is, tears leaks off onto the fur
A slightly slanted eye will not do that.