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Italian Spinone

Italian Spinone
Photos with thanks to Spinhoneybee

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Group Gundogs (KC)

Origin / History The Italian Spinone, also called the Spinone Italiano, is believed to be among the oldest gun dog breeds. However, its exact origins are disputed: although conventional wisdom says it came from Italy’s Piedmont region, there is also evidence suggesting French, Spanish, Irish, Greek, and Russian ancestry. Some believe it came from an ancient breed called the Segugio Italiano, while others claim it was descended from Alpine hounds such as the Barbet and the Griffon.

The Spinone neared extinction in the mid-20th century, both as a result of the Second World War and the rise of other hunting breeds. After the war, a group of breeders set out to revive the Spinone by crossing it with the Boulet, Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, German Wirehaired Pointer, and other similar breeds. Today, the Spinone is popular in Europe and the Americas as an able hunting dog and family companion.

Appearance The Spinone has a large, square-built body that exudes remarkable strength and sturdiness. Its tough, wiry coat lies close to its body, giving it a slightly rugged look. The hair is usually shorter at the head, ears, muzzle, and part of the legs. Its head is long and graceful, and its ears hang close to the sides. It has very expressive eyes; they have been described as “human-like” by many owners.

Colours The coat may be white, either solid or with brown or orange markings, and brown or orange roan with markings a darker shade than the base colour.

Temperament The Spinone is a cheerful, enthusiastic dog, easy to please and equally eager to return the favor. They get along with everyone in the family, but are particularly affectionate with children. They can be clownish at times, not because they are seeking attention but because they’re naturally clumsy. Spinones seldom whine or display attitude problems, unless they are constantly ignored. They’re a very patient breed, but when provoked can be quite aggressive.

Height and Weight Males stand 23 ½ to 27 1.2 inches at the withers; females range from 22 ½ to 25 ½ inches.

Common Health Problems Some lines have been found to carry cerebellar ataxia, a brain disorder that causes an abnormal gait. Like most dogs of its size, Spinones are prone to hip dysplasia. Bloating or gastric torsion can also occur because of its deep chest. Owners should feed them smaller meals to prevent gas buildup. Breeders usually issue health certificates to new owners to ensure the dog’s genetic health.

Living Conditions These dogs love the outdoors and will do best with an average-sized yard. They can, however, get used to apartment life if they are taken out often and have enough space indoors to play. Although perfectly calm inside the house, Spinones become very energetic when outdoors. Yards should be well-fenced—a Spinone can either jump very high or dig a tunnel to get out of the yard. Spinones should sleep indoors, as they have no undercoats to protect them from cold.

Exercise Requirements The Spinone is very energetic and needs lots of exercise to stay in shape. Walking or running at least once a day will keep this dog happy. They prefer slow, leisurely walks as opposed to brisk and vigorous exercise. Owners should let them run free in a safe area once in a while, so they can satisfy their hunting instincts.

Training Requirements Spinones can be hard to train; they’re reluctant to follow commands if there’s no practical reason to do so. With their slow, sure movements, they are best trained to work and guard rather than groomed for the show ring. Training should start at an early age and continue for the first two years or so.

Life Expectancy The Spinone lives an average of 12 years; healthy lines live much longer.

Grooming This is a fairly low-maintenance breed, requiring only a quick brushing every week. Some dogs are said to self-groom similar to cats. During shedding season, the hairs should be gently pulled out instead of cut.

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More Italian Spinone Information: Check out our Italian Spinone Clubs and links to more informative websites dedicated to the breed.

Submit your Italian Spinone pictures Send us any pics of your Italian Spinone, let us know there name and age and any other details. We'll add to this page. Contact us

Italian Spinone Pics
Italian Spinone Sleeping under the Table
Pup sleeping under the table
Italian Spinone Puppy
Young Italian Spinone puppy sitting in front of fire.
Photos with thanks to Spinhoneybee



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