Spinone Italiano

Type: Gun Dog

Height: Males: 23.5 - 27.5 inches, Females: 22.5 -25.5 inches.

Weight: Males: 71 - 82 lbs., Females: 62 - 71 lbs.

Life Span: 12 - 14 years.

Litter Size: 4 - 10 puppies.

Country of Origin: Italy

Activity: Medium

Watch-dog: High

Guard-dog: Low

Description: The Spinone Italianos are a very talented hunting dog breed. Their tracking abilities are keen and their "soft" mouth retrieves game unspoiled. The Spinones also have a terrific personality and are gentle dogs who are devoted and very willing to please. Considered more of a hound than a pointer, they are not known to be barkers, whiny or bossy. The Spinone Italiano is a large, muscular dog that is sturdy and strong. They have long drop ears and a full beard, with a medium length coat on the rest of the body and longer fur on the face. They can come in colors of solid white, white and orange, orange roan with or without orange markings, white with brown markings, the list goes on. They have a varied appearance, but the same stance and hard working abilities. The Spinone Italiano is impressively handsome and resembles an old grandfather with wisdom. The breed's tail is docked to about half its length. Spinone Italianos are a wonderful choice for the family looking for a playful yet hard working pet or hunting partner.

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Other Names: Italian Spinone, Spinone

Colors: All white, white and orange, orange roan with or without orange markings, white with brown markings, brown roan with or without brown markings.

Coat: Wiry, rough and close-fitted. The fur is medium length all over the body and longer on the face, giving them a beard and eyebrows. They have a protective coat that can withstand rainy or wet weather.

Temperament: Spinone Italianos are responsive, loyal, and gentle. They can be very playful and enthusiastic. They have a very calm and gentle personality, making them an ideal choice. The Spinone can be stubborn if it wants to, and is wary of strangers. They don't like new situations much, making them not very adaptable. Despite this, the Spinone Italiano is a very hard worker, enjoying his work and expressing it with vocals. They are not overly barky, however. The Spinone Italiano is a well-mannered dog, lowering its head around its master.

With Children: Yes, they are trustworthy with children.

With Pets: Yes, they are good with other pets and love to play with other dogs.

Special Skills: Field sports dog and family pet.

Care and Training: Grooming of the Spinone Italianos should consist of a good thorough brushing done weekly. Clean ears weekly, wipe eyes daily. The beard may attract food and should be wiped when it does. The beard can be slobbery or wet quite often. Daily exercise is required which should include long walks on-leash and a good run off-leash. They love to swim and would make a great partner to run alongside a bicycle. Spinone Italianos may be stubborn at times, but they are gentle and affectionate and want to please.

Learning Rate: Medium. Obedience - Low. Problem Solving - Medium.

Special Needs: Attention, exercise, training and socialization.

Living Environment: A house with a fenced yard is essential to the Spinone Italianos as they are known to follow their nose if they pick up a scent. They can live outdoors, but would prefer to live indoors with their family. An owner of a Spinone should desire a gentle but active breed. The best owner for this breed would be an active family living in a rural or suburban environment.

Health Issues: Hip dysplasia, cerebellar ataxia, hormone imbalance, pyometra, eye problems, malocclusion of the teeth, and visceral leishmaniasis.

History: An ancient gun dog, they are first mentioned to have existed over 2,000 years ago in Italy. Speculation is that they were crossed with the Griffon or possibly the German Pointer. It is thought to descend from possibly the Segugio or Korthal Griffon. By the 1200s, the form of Italiano we have today was in existence in Piedmont and Lombardy. They are thought to be one of the old-type pointers. The Spinone Italiano was used to hunt over all types of terrain. They were valued for their stamina and great endurance, and a warm personality. The Spinone is thought to have crossed with a white mastiff, and is though to have received its wire hair from coarse-haired setters from Italy. The history of the breed is unsure, and there are several theories of its beginnings. Still being used to hunt in Piedmont, Italy, this breed is respected not only for its good hunting abilities but its handsome look. Mainly known in Italy, the popularity of the Spinone is increasing worldwide.

First Registered by the AKC: 2000

AKC Group: Sporting Dogs

Class: Sporting

Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 9), KC (GB), UKC