The Dog called “Cane lupino del gigante” also known as “Shepherd dog of the Reggiano Appennine” or “Luvin Dog” it’s an italian dog breed resembling to a wolf not officially recognised by the italian Kennel Club (FCI) and in danger of extinction because of crossbreeding and lack of use of Shepherd dog.
Lupino del gigante, a wolf-looking dog
This wolf-like dog breed is very ancient: shepherds in the center of Italy says that this dog always existed, but the origins are uncertain. There are three different version of this dog’s history: the first says that the Lupino del Gigante it’s a descendant of wolves. Ancient shepherds were able in some way to tame some wolf and then use it against other wolves to protect flocks. The second tale about this dog says that it was a wolf-dog hybrid originated from the ancient “transumanza” a habit of italian shepherds that used to bring flocks and cattles on the mountains in summer and near the sea in winter, to have them always protected by extreme weather and fed with fresh grass.
Someone says that in these movements it was common that wolves and dogs met and sometime mated. The third story talk about an ancient wolf-like dog that was living in the area of the River Secchia in past centuries.
Luvin dog characteristics
There were just a few of them and they were hard to catch but they were very similar to the actual Lupino del Gigante but bigger. Some shepherd was able of catch, tame and raise some puppy and when they mate with other dogs they became stronger and more suited to work with humans but smaller than the wild ancestor, and they became the Luvin dog we know now, that weighs between 20 and 30 kg. The last wild wolf looking dogs were captured in the 70’s and from then the breed disappeared. The Lupino del Gigante or Cane Luvin is still strongly related with wolves and lot of them still howl like wolves.
Lupino del gigante breeders
In the past the cane lupino del Gigante was in lot of italian towns in the province of Reggio Emilia, in the “Maremme” and in the mountains of the Alto Appennino around Parma Province, and in the area of Neri-Massa Carrara. Nowdays is impossible find a luvin dog not “crossbreed” with some other dog. Some wild pure Lupino del Gigante was seen in the Abruzzo National Park and sometime they are confused with real wolves. Unfortunately the pure genetic makeup of this 100% italian dog breed is disappearing and there’s an association that is trying to recover it and make it recognizable as one of the most interesting canine breeds.