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Spinone Italiano

Quick facts

Spinone Italiano AKC Group: Sporting
Height: Male: 23 1/2 - 27 1/2 inches, Female: 22 1/2 - 25 1/2 inches
Weight: Male: 75 - 85 pounds, Female: 65 - 75 pounds
Colors: Solid white, white and orange, orange roan with/without orange markings, white with brown markings, and brown roan with/without brown markings
AKC recognized in: 2000

The Spinone Italiano is an ancient breed in Italy that is known to be the hunter's best companion dog. It can sense game from far away and can do the role of a setter, pointer, and retriever. It has been so with this breed for centuries already.

Its name was taken from the Italian word for thorn bush or pino which was a favorite hiding place of small game. It was the Spinone Italiano that was ideal to flush out these small animals in those thorn bushes because its coat is coarse-haired and it has thick skin.

However, its origins cannot be determined as many people advanced their theories on the breeding of what it is today. It is widely believed that the breed was developed in the Piedmont region of Italy. Some say that it descended from the now extinct Spanish Pointer and others say it came from the Russian Setter. The French would also like to take credit for it by theorizing that it came from several crosses of French breeds. During WWII, the Spinone almost became extinct because of heaving artillery bombings in Europe.

Although the Bracco Italiano is the most popular hunting dog today, the Spinone remains to prosper in number. Fanciers still breed the Spinone with other wire-haired breeds like the Boulet, German Wirehaired Pointer and the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon.


Spinone Italiano Summary
Affection four paws
Cold Tolerance three paws
Ease of Training four paws
Energy level four paws
Exercise Requirements four paws
Friendliness : Children five paws
Friendliness: Other Animals four paws
Friendliness: Other Pets four paws
Grooming Requirements two paws
Heat Tolerance three paws
Playfulness three paws
Protection Ability three paws
Watchdog Ability three paws

It is an intelligent dog that is always upbeat and energetic. But, it can adapt to any environment as it remains patient and on low profile. He knows what is a real kill or a fake. During practices, it would not retrieve a dummy bird as it can detect that it is not a true prey.

It is an excellent swimmer and is willing to dive down in a cold water to find the prey. Its coat protects it from the cold and it is water resistant. It would not be reluctant to make any move or attack unless its life is in danger or its owner/family is at risk. The Spinone gets along very well with any person and animal.

Although it is a hunting dog, it is not good to be a guard dog for it befriends anybody and will only bark at strange noises and not strangers. The Spinone is also not racy and does not run speedily at its prey. It would prefer to study the movements of its prey like whether the prey is already caught in tight situations or cannot escape. It is a patient hunter.

Though the Spinone can run across the wild in big areas and long distances, it can be satisfied with a small backyard to have its leisure time.

Health and Exercise

The Spinone Italiano has a life span of between 12 and 14 years.

While the Spinone Italiano is generally a healthy dog, they are susceptable to certain health problems. These problems include:

  • Hip Dysplasia - Where the thigh bone does not fit snugly into the hip joint. This can lead to severe lameness or arthritis. A dog diagnosed with hip dysplasia should never be bred, as this is an inherited condition.
  • Entropion.
  • Gastric Torsion, or Bloat.

Weekly brushings should keep the Spinone Italiano coat at its peak. Rather than cutting, it is recommended that the coat be stripped periodically (pulling dead hair out).

A fenced in yard is preferred, but regular exercise and a daily walk will suffice. This dog tends to move more slowly than others in the Sporting Group, so play in a small yard is plenty.

Visitor Comments

This is your chance to add your feedback. Do you have a Spinone Italiano in your family, or know one in someone elses? Do you have a story to tell related to that Spinone Italiano? Or maybe you have more questions that either or another of our visitors might be able to help you with? Feel free to add your comment or question below.

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