Photo courtesy of Francesco Ferrante
The Vucciriscu is a molosser type dog therefore it is related to the mastiffs and bully breeds. Their face is similar to that of a Boxers where their head is less defined compared to other molosser breeds. Their snout is medium length and their ears flop down on either sides of their head. They have droopy lips that tend to drool, long, thin front legs and more muscular back legs. They may be a variety of colors although they are usually brindle or red, some with white markings while others are solid in color. Some other Vucciriscu are blue, black and tan, or all black although these other color dogs are considered to be mixed, not pure. Their tail is quite thin and is either cut short when they are born or they are medium length when not cut. Some are also known for having wide chests although their chests seem to be smaller than other molosser breeds.
This dog is known to be dog aggressive and wary of people, especially of strangers. They need to be socialized a lot as a puppy in order for them to be used to their surroundings. While they are known to look active and muscular, they are actually quite lazy and only use their strength when necessary.
Height: About 24 inches (61 kg)
Like all large dogs, it is important to look for health issues such as hip dysplasia, joint problems, arthritis, Wobbler syndrome, Dilated cardiomyopathy, cherry eye, and bloat. Take your dog to the vet for regular check ups.
Since this dog is on the larger side, they probably would not do as well if they are in an apartment. These dogs would prefer living in a house with more room to wander. While they tend to be on the lazier side, these dogs wouldn’t need a huge backyard although a daily walk is necessary.
The Vucciriscu tends to be quite lazy so a daily walk along with letting them play would be sufficient.
Based on related breeds, the Vucciriscu will probably live around 8–12 years.
Comparing this dog to related breeds, the Vucciriscu would probably have around 5–10 puppies.
This dog has a short coat which means it does not require regular grooming. Bathe and brush this breed only when necessary.
The Vucciriscu is a molosser type dog and related and similar to the Calabrian Bucciriscu and the Cane Corso. The Vucciriscu however is smaller and appears to have less pronounced facial features. The Molosser dogs are an ancient and one of the oldest dog breed types that still exist today. To understand the history, we must go back to the original ancestor molosser dog, the Molossus.
The Molossus originated in ancient Greece in Epirus which was located where Macedonia, Greece, Albania, and Montenegro are today. There were a mix of tribes of both Illyrian and Greeks and no one is sure what nationality the Molosi tribe of Epirus was, which is where the Molossus dog is from. Because of their war dogs, the Molossi tribe was known to be the most powerful people in the region. It is unclear where these dogs were before the Molossi tribe made them their own although some say they derived from the Persian tribe in the 5th Century AD during an invasion between the Balkans and the Greek which the Molossi joined to help. Others say that the Molossus dog was bred from local dogs in the area.
The Molossus dog became extremely popular throughout the world during the Hellenic period. In 411 B.C., about 80 years after the Greco-Roman war, a play referenced a Molossian Dog. A while later in 347 B.C., Aristotle recognized the Molossus breed as a type of dog rather than its own singular breed. He described two different dogs, one that was suggested to be a guardian dog for livestock, and another that was a coursing dog. This information may describe why the descriptions of the Molossus dog can be either vague or different from one another.
The Molossus was originally only owned by the Molossi people although overtime they spread through the region and across the land.
The Molossus traveled with the Roman army and the breed spread the wherever they went although they became the most popular in Italy. It is in Italy where you are most likely to find the Vucciriscu today. The Molossus were talented in many areas and were bred for a large amount of tasks although the Vucciriscu is traditionally used as a guard dog, usually for butcher shops or livestock. Not much is known about the Vucciriscu because it is a rare breed and can only be found in small villages or rural areas in Sicily, Italy.
A drawing of the Vucciriscu dog breed.
A drawing of the Vucciriscu dog breed.