Fonni Dog

Originating on the island of Sardinia in the Mediterranean Sea, the Fonni Dog, also known as the Sardinian Sheepdog and Fonnese Dog, is a medium to large-sized hunter and herder that is quite rare and ancient. They played a significant role during Italian war efforts and were used to help sniff out buried weapons, track prey, guard property, and act as watchdogs. Many regard Fonni Dogs as a “landrace” breed, meaning they came to be without any formal registry and minimal human intervention. So little is known about that breed that a study was recently conducted to learn more about their history. We now know that these ancient dogs travelled the same migratory path as their human counterparts and that their ancestors were related to sighthounds and large mastiff-type breeds from around the Middle East and Hungary. We also know that their genetic signature remains distinctly unique to this day. In fact, the breed is so highly regarded and their gene pool so protected, that they are often handed down from father to son, or as a gift to a brother or other close relative. As a result, it is incredibly difficult to find a Fonni Dog let alone remove one from the island of Sardinia.