Forty years ago Zorro was born. No, not the movie hero but the puppy precursor of the dog breed Lupo Italiano (Italian Wolf).
The story began in 1966, when a hunter found on High Latium Appennini a puppy born from the crossing between a German Shepherd and a wild she-wolf. This puppy, named Zorro, was hand reared and given to Mario Messi, then a well-off banker and cinophile. Later on, having left his day job for full time breeding Dr. Messi, through a strict genetic programming, managed to establish the intermediate characteristics of this dog breed which are transmitted in a homogenous and constant way.
In the case of a breed like this, been born from significant genetic contributions from part of the wolf, it is fundamental that, beyond to the morphologic identity, there is equilibrium in the psychical characteristics obtained and above all that is compatible with the man.
In italy, the Lupo Italiano, is a protected breed of which the commercialization and the reproduction outside the control of the Agency for the protection of the Lupo Italiano (ETLI - President Mario Messi - picture below) are strictly prohibited, and it is raised - no profit - and entrusted free of charge to agencies, associations and people that are engaged to employ it uniquely for civil protection or in the public interest.
For the last 15 years the Italian State Forestry Corps have worked mainly with this dog, in Italy and abroad. The Lupo Italiano, when working with the forest patrol, is always competent and reliable.
Its attitude to tasks such as avalanche and earthquake resque is formidable and it is extremely well suited for searching people or other animals lost in the mountains and woods. This year the Lupo Italiano was chosen to serve in Turin 2006 Olympic Games.
General aspect: the Lupo Italiano dog breed appears sturdy, resistant to hard work and demonstrates remarkable sensory sharpness: qualities that, together its aspect, resembles the wild wolf.
Character: extremely lively, equipped with fierce and independent character, obeys for conviction, never for flattery. It's very affectionate to the people with whom it lives, and becomes attached in a exclusive way; it is mistrustful towards the strangers and it has a detached sense of the property and the defence of the people who are entrusted to it.
Web Resources: Ente per la Tutela del Lupo Italiano