The Best Italian Dog Breeds That Make Great ESAs

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image of various italian dog breeds

When you think of Italy, you’re probably picturing stunning art, delicious food, and sunny skies. But how likely are you to think of Italian dog breeds? These adorable puppies deserve a spot on the list of amazing things the country has to offer. Not only are they cute, but they also make amazing emotional support animals. They’ll stick to their owner’s side and shower them with love and affection. Che bello!

First Things First: What is an Emotional Support Animal?

An emotional support animal (ESA) helps their owner cope with an emotional or mental health disorder. Their presence is soothing to people with these kinds of disabilities. They’re always by their side ready to give them cuddles and shower them with affection.

Thanks to emotional support animals, millions of people can live more normal day-to-day lives. It’s no coincidence that animal-assisted therapy is backed by studies showing that it works wonders!

From Sheepdog Breeds to Bird Dog Breeds: Any Dog Can Be an ESA!

An emotional support animal doesn’t have to be a specific breed. As long as they bond meaningfully with their owner, they pass the test to become an ESA.

This means that you could get a very active hound to go on adventures with you. Or that you could snuggle up with a small, furry puppy on the couch after a long workday.

Regardless of breed or size, we’re sure you will find your dream canine companion soon!

Coming Up: Our Top 10 Italian Dog Breeds

If you’re on the lookout for a great companion, look no further than these Italian dog breeds. All these pups are loving, caring, and a perfect addition to any family.

Love Small White Dog Breeds? Try the Bolognese!

Does your heart melt when you see a cute, small pooch? Meet the Bolognese dog, an affectionate and playful ball of joy. They have Ancient Rome as their place of origin and haven’t gotten any less cute in a millennium!

This small dog breed grows to be up to 12 inches in height and lives for up to 14 years. Their main health problem is progressive retinal atrophy, but other than that they live very full lives.

small white dog breeds bolognese dog lying down

The Cirneco of Etna Is a Match for Red Dog Breeds Lovers

No, the Cirneco of Etna isn’t a Greyhound (although they look similar), but it’s also a hunting dog. They’re headstrong and have a will of their own. Don’t let their stubborn nature put you off, though. These dogs are brave, loyal, and fearless, too.

There’s nothing these medium-sized pups love more than exercise. Well, that and being goofy around their owners, too!

red dog breeds cirneco of etna standing on grass

Roman War Dogs: The Neapolitan Mastiff

The Neapolitan Mastiff is one of our favorite Italian dog breeds. They have a brilliant temperament and are not intimidating as some may think! They rarely bark, unless provoked or under stress.

Their lifespan is between eight and ten years. And for such an active and energetic breed, that’s a lot of years full of having fun and playing around!

italian dogs and roman war dogs three neopolitan mastiffs on rocks

Lagotto Romagnolo aka Italian Water Dog

A Lagotto Romagnolo puppy is one of the most active and playful dogs we know. Despite their small-to-medium size, they act like the kings of the world (and of the lakes!).

This is a water dog, meaning they’re passionate about catching prey and splashing around in the water. And the best part? They’re known for not shedding, perfect for families with allergies.

lagotto romagnolo dog standing on grass

Looking for Brown, Black and White Dog Breeds? The Cane Corso!

The Cane Corso is perhaps one of the burliest Italian dog breeds out there. Their muscles are toned, which explains why they’ve been used for hunting and fighting. But don’t let this strong outer core fool you, they’re adorable companion dogs. Their heart belongs to their owners and they’ll always want to be by their side.

Because this is a large breed, it is no stranger to hip dysplasia. However, getting your pup from a reputable breeder will lower the chances of them having it.

brown black and white dog breeds cane corso standing in snow

Kings of the Fluffy White Dog Breeds: The Maremma Sheepdog

The Maremma Sheepdog makes a good companion for anyone fighting depression and anxiety. They’re protective of their loved ones and devoted to their owners. That makes sense when you think that these dogs protected sheep from wolves for centuries.

Their lifespan is between eleven to thirteen years. If you have a large backyard, this is the right breed for you.

sheepdog breeds big fluffy white dog standing in snow

The Fast and Fabulous Italian Greyhound

Probably the most popular of the Italian dog breeds is the Italian Greyhound. They’re also known as “Iggies” and are loved deeply by their owners. They were first bred as hunting dogs, but now they’re used to living indoors. That is as long as they get enough room to run and exercise!

italian greyhound with pink collar lying on bed

The Spinone Italiano

Italian Spinone dogs are an ancient large breed. They can weigh up to 90 pounds and reach up to 28 inches in height. That’s a big doggo!

Spinone Italiano puppies are easy-going, friendly, and love the company of humans and other animals. Their hair is characteristically prickly and they have an almost human look in their eyes. Unfortunately, like other large breeds, they tend to have hip dysplasia in their adult years.

beautiful spinone italiano dog lying down

Bracco Italiano

Yet another large breed, the Bracco Italiano (aka the Italian Pointer) makes an awesome companion animal. They’re one of the most docile Italian dog breeds and are the most popular dogs in Italy! As soon as you see their droopy eyes and ears, we’re sure you won’t be able to resist them.

types of hounds bracco italiano sitting near waterfall

Cream of the Italian Dogs Crop: The Bergamasco Shepherd Dog

The last of the Italian dog breeds on our list is the Bergamasco dog. They’re a working dog breed from the Italian Alps and bravely protected sheep from hungry wolves. Nowadays, you’ll find the Bergamasco puppy in many Italian homes, as they’re good family pets.

bergamasco shepherd dog with tongue out

Language Lesson: What Is Dog in Italian?

In Italian, there are two words for dog: “cagna” and “cane.” If you have a female Bolognese, you would call them “cagna.” If you have a male Italian Pointer, you’d call them “cane.”

Found Your Italian ESA? Time to Look at Italian Dog Names!

If you’re a fan of Italian dog breeds, why not give your pooch an Italian name? Here are some name suggestions and their English translation:

  • Bambino (child)
  • Amore (love)
  • Luna (moon)
  • Piccolo (little one)
  • Lupo (wolf)
  • Topolino (little mouse)

Next Step: Get Your ESA Letter!

If you have a mental health problem, you can get an emotional support animal. ESAs enjoy certain privileges that pets don’t. For example, you can live with an ESA in rented accommodation, even if it has a no-pets policy. They can also travel by plane with you at no additional fee.

Pretty awesome, right? To enjoy these benefits, you need to have an emotional support animal letter. Only a licensed mental health professional (LMHP) in your state can prescribe it to you. So forget about “ESA registrations” and “ESA certifications”—they’re scams!

Here’s How CertaPet Helps People Get Their ESA Letter

CertaPet connects people with mental and emotional disabilities with a licensed therapist. They’re the ones who will, potentially, issue an ESA letter, no complicated paperwork or hurdles in the way!

To make your life easier, CertaPet created a free 5-minute pre-screening for you to take. Submit your answers and you could have a cute ESA pooch by your side in no time.

Common Questions on Italian Dog Breeds

Are emotional support animals considered pets?

Are Italian dog breeds good for families?

What Italian dog breed is most active?

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