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Cane Di Fonni

Cane Di Fonni

Fonni dogs are an Italian breed of dog best known for their contributions during Italian war efforts. Intelligent and fierce, Fonni dogs originated on the Italian island of Sardinia, where they were originally used as hunting and herding dogs. While they are a very ancient breed, they were only officially recognized by the Italian Kennel Club (the ENCI) in 2013. They are an endangered breed, with fewer than 200 dogs currently living in Italy and even fewer in the rest of the world.

About this Breed

Fonni dogs are an Italian breed of dog best known for their contributions during Italian war efforts. Intelligent and fierce, Fonni dogs originated on the Italian island of Sardinia, where they were originally used as hunting and herding dogs. While they are a very ancient breed, they were only officially recognized by the Italian Kennel Club (the ENCI) in 2013. They are an endangered breed, with fewer than 200 dogs currently living in Italy and even fewer in the rest of the world.

Fonni dogs have the capacity for ferocity, along with a strong sense of smell and hearing, to render them excellent dogs of war. In fact, they were used in the Italian campaign in Libya in 1912 to counter rebel attacks on Italian camps. Fonni dogs were specially trained to find and unearth weapons hidden in the sand. Before leaving their native island of Sardinia to assist in the Libyan campaign, they were subjected to very special training: They were purposefully mistreated by individuals dressed in Arabic military uniform, while soldiers dressed in the Italian military garb would reward them and treat them well. This strange conditioning would induce the Fonni dogs to dislike and attack anyone wearing the Arabic style uniforms that they would later encounter in Libya.

Fonni dogs are well known for their intensity and loyalty to their masters. They are an unusual choice of pet for a family living outside of Italy who doesn’t need a working dog; they are best suited for rural families that can provide them with a job to do out of doors. They are not well suited to apartment living, both temperamentally and because of their extensive exercise needs.

Fonni dogs do very well with children within their family, and they can also get along with other dogs; however, they should not necessarily be trusted with strange dogs or children unless they have been trained and socialized from puppyhood to be accepting of strangers.

The real challenge of Fonni dogs is actually locating one. Because they are endangered and exceptionally rare, a trip to Sardinia might be necessary in order to find one. Even then, the rarity of the breed makes them very difficult to obtain and even harder to get out of Sardinia—a region which goes to great lengths to protect the integrity of the Fonni dogs by keeping them on their native island.

Height

Male: 22-24in

Female: 20-22in

Weight

Male: 62-70lb

Female: 60-68lb

Fun Fact

Even though Fonni dogs are herding dogs, they look very much like terriers and even have the little mustached face. The fact that they look so little like other Italian and European livestock dogs could be because that they are very genetically distinct—they were created on a relatively isolated island.

Favorite Names

For Males

For Females

  1. Lupo Mannaro of Sardinia at CMC

Common Locations

  1. Sardinia, Italy
  2. Illinois, United States

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