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Italian Wolf

By Marekiaro | plant&animalife | 16 May 2020

Italian wolf is the name used to indicate an alleged hybrid wolf obtained from the cross between a male German Shepherd dog and a wolf mare from northern Lazio,although a genetic study, based on 142,840 genomic SNPs, denies such an origin.
Contrary to what usually occurred in cases of dog-wolf hybridism, the excellent response of the specimens belonging to the domestication from the first litters, prompted the Government of the Italian Republic to invest in the selection of this dog breed making it a useful dog for the State Forestry Corps.

The breed is not recognized by the International Cynological Federation. The selection and breeding of the Italian Wolf are managed by an ad hoc institution, the A.A.A.L.I. (Association of Italian Wolf Breeders). The marketing of specimens of the breed and any breeding outside of this institution are prohibited.







Resistant and strong dog, the Italian Wolf is bred as a utility dog. Particularly appreciated as a dog for rescue on the surface, on rubble, mountain rescue, it is also used for anti-poaching services and search for injured or missing animals. It is also occasionally used for other tasks of social interest: sport and pet therapy.










Zorro was born from the coupling between a wild she-wolf from Upper Lazio and a German shepherd. It gives rise to a rigorous selection on large numbers.



drafting of the breed standard, with the collaboration of Italian and foreign dog technicians, including the International Judge E.N.C.I. Enrico Adinolfi.



the E.N.C.I. notes with interest the report of its experts, evaluates the experiment and assigns three professors to report annually. In addition, it informs the International Cynological Federation, specifying that the testing is followed by E.N.C.I. same.



Ariberto Segala, ethologist and dog journalist, linked to the E.N.C.I. environment, announces the recognition by the E.N.C.I as next as the twelfth Italian dog breed. The Province of Turin publishes, in a limited number of copies, the Dossier del Lupo, signed by a Committee of Scientists, Professors and Technicians. For the first time, the wish for a protection legislation that prevents any speculative intent is expressed in a formal way.





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on 23/4: meeting in Rome, upon convocation by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, including dr. Messi (President of the Association for the Original Selection of Italian Wolves) and dr. Monaco (Executive Vice President of E.N.C.I.) In which the unavailability of E.N.C.I. is noted to accept non-marketability. The Ministry is oriented towards an autonomous solution.



on 25/6: decree of the President of the Republic that legally recognizes the Association of Original Selection of Italian Wolves.



30/3: Ministerial Decree M.A.F. which establishes the Official Registry of the Italian Wolf and entrusts its management, with the related functional controls, to the original selection association of Italian Wolves. The principle of non-marketing of the subjects that can only be entrusted on the basis of the specific regulation that is approved and made official and that of the reproduction ban outside the official selection is accepted.

11/21: decree of the President of the Republic according to which the Association of Original Selection of Italian Wolves becomes the Body for the Protection of the Italian Wolf (E.T.L.I.).



3/4 the Piedmont Region with regional law, adheres to the Body for the protection of the Italian Wolf ETLI, with an annual contribution of £ 50 million. The E.T.L.I. establishes its own S.C.A.U.P. division (Comparative Institute of Public Utility Training) and appoints the first n. 11 Instructors including n. 3 Rangers. The State Forestry Corps will increasingly extend the use of the Italian Wolf in its dog units, for rescue and institutional duties, including the search for injured wild animals and anti-poaching actions.




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Origin, classification and history
Origin: Italy.
F.C.I classification: RACE NOT RECOGNIZED

The history of the Italian Wolf begins in 1966, from a puppy born from the cross between a German shepherd and a wild she-wolf from the Apennines of Upper Lazio. The specimen, which was called Zorro, is to be considered the progenitor of the Italian Wolf breed. Subsequently, through a strict genetic programming, the intermediate characteristics were fixed permanently and were transmitted, in thirty years, in a homogeneous and constant way.
In the case of a breed like this, born from important genetic contributions by the wolf, it is essential that, in addition to the morphological identity, there is balance in the psychic characteristics obtained and above all that there is compatibility with man.
The Italian Wolf, a protected breed whose marketing and reproduction are prohibited outside the Protection Body, is bred - non-profit - by the Protection Body Italian Wolf (ETLI - President Mario Messi) and is entrusted free of charge to bodies, associations and people who undertake to use it only for civil protection purposes or in any case in the public interest.
The State Forestry Corps mainly uses this dog, although some foresters still use the German Shepherd. The Italian Wolf when he accompanies the forest patrol is always safe and reliable. He has a very strong aptitude for avalanche rescue tasks, under the rubble and in particular for finding people and even missing animals. There are just over 500 existing specimens.

General aspect
The Italian Wolf breed dog appears robust, resistant to fatigue and shows remarkable sensory acuity: qualities that, together with the external appearance, bring it closer to the wolf.

Overflowing with liveliness, with a proud and independent character, he obeys out of conviction, never out of servility. He is very affectionate with the people he lives with, to whom he becomes fond of exclusively; he is wary of strangers and has a strong sense of ownership and defense of the people entrusted to him.
Its strength and grip power are extraordinary. The characteristics of originality, homogeneity, constancy and balance also on the genetic, morphological and psychic level, make it an exemplary case in the history of the breeds and in the relationship between man and the environment.

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