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Fonnese dog, or Fonnese shepherd: it is a native Sardinian breed spread from time immemorial throughout Sardinia but officially recognized only in 2013. In its island they call it "Fonnesu antigu dogs" but we will call him Fonnese dog, at the most shepherd.
It is a guard and herd dog, its name derives from the town of Fonni but is widespread throughout the Region and, since it is officially a breed, the Fonnese dog he is part of group 2. Just to get an idea his little cousins are Pinscher is Schnauzer, molossi and Swiss mountain dogs as well as mountain dogs.
Fonnese dog: physical appearance
The Fonnese dog looks like a typical shepherd, with a keeper's physique: dry and toned. It has a medium build and a strong bone, is 55 to 65 cm tall and weighs an average of 30 to 40 kg, all covered with goat hair, between 5 and 10 cm, slightly shorter on the bridge of the nose and on the limbs. The coat color of the Fonnese dog it can vary from dark brown to amber, indeed, it can be black, brown, gray in various shades, roan, brindle and off-white. All colors accepted even with lighter shades and also with small white spots on the limbs and chest.
The look of the Fonnese shepherd he is often defined as simian: his is certainly a particular, penetrating, not friendly expression, also due to the position of the eyes and their amber color. It certainly doesn't encourage a sociable approach to strangers and, seeing its origins, we will understand why.
The forelimbs of the Fonnese dog they are rather robust, the hindquarters must also be well angulated and all the nails must be strong and with a black color, like the nose, fleshy and broad, whatever the color of the hair. The pace of the Fonnese dog it must be loose and agile, the tail follows the body and has a wide base and then gradually becomes tapered at the end.
Fonnese dog: character
The Fonnese dog, also calling itself Fonnese shepherd, it is clear that he is a working dog and it is easy to understand what his working dog is. He is never acrimonious with the animals he takes care of, he stands out as an excellent guardian against possible predators also for his strong instinct for guarding and the obvious intuitive abilities he displays.
It is a bit primitive, as a way of doing, the Fonnese dog, but one cannot fail to recognize his intelligence, fidelity and dignity. It is a rather aggressive dog and needs to do physical activity, to let off steam, it is used to living in solitude so it is usually wary of strangers but tends to be obedient and very affectionate with the owner. It elects one and only one.
Fonnese dog: origins
Born in the town of Fonni, the Fonnese dog there it is also called "ane ‘and bagniu”(Chain or guard dog) and it happened that the females of this newly recognized breed were killed in order not to allow others to own it. The Fonnese shepherd it is the result of ancient and repeated selections between veltri and mastiff dogs, more likely it is said that it is the cross between dogs, perhaps hounds, used in 231 BC. by the Roman consul Marco Pomponio Matone to counter the continuous incursions of the rebel mastrucati (Zonata VIII, 19 P.I. 401) and the local dog, perhaps a greyhound. Maybe… maybe… but the result is now certain and officially recognized: the Fonnese shepherd.
Equipped with ferocity, excellent sense of smell and very fine hearing, the Fonnese dog it immediately deserved the fame of a war dog and it was, especially in 1911-1912: it was in the Royal Army during the Libyan War. The stories about their training that have reached our years are suggestive. The puppies of Fonnese dog they had to grow without human contact, were kept in holes in the ground covered with branches and fed with sheep's milk. Thus they associated the smells of the animal that fed them with the concept of mother to be defended at all costs, thus it was obtained that only one Fonnese dog well trained, he became able to watch over and lead an entire flock.
The Fonnese dog actually has much more remote origins, we speak of Phoenicians, a people in which it already acted as a "conductor" or "herdsman" dog: in close contact with man, he gathered the scattered sheep, led them to pasture and brought them back to the sheepfold for milking. He also frequented the Carthaginians in the past, and it is rumored that at the time of the Romans, the Fonnese shepherd was already present.
Fonnese dog: price
In the name of Fonnese dog in Sassari the Fonnese Dog Amateurs Association was created, for official recognition by the FCI, now obtained. Other still valid objectives are the genetic improvement of populations, the study, enhancement, increase and use of the breed of Fonnese dog, supported by research and verification activities and technical support to the Central Technical Commission provided for by the Specification of the Herd Book.
The race of the Fonnese dog it is gaining ground and fame also thanks to numerous breeders who, heartened by the official recognition, are working hard to spread the breed. And make it nice despite the look, as seen, a bit dark and threatening. The farms they are more common in Sardinia, as expected. Regarding the prices, a puppy is around 400-600 euros, but the logic of requesting pedigrees and certificates always applies. For the Fonnese shepherd all the more reason, newcomer to the FCI, we must be even more severe and suspicious. A bit like the same Fonnese dog does with strangers.
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For the photos in this article we thank the Associazione Amatori del Cane Fonnese.
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