Spinone Italiano Breed Guide

The Spinone Italiano is a large dog breed with thick skin and a wiry, dense coat. The coat comes in solid white; orange roan, sometimes with orange markings; white and orange; brown roan, sometimes with brown markings; and white with brown markings. The coat is weatherproof. These dogs have large round eyes, triangular ears, and bulbous noses. The Spinone Italiano measures about 22 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs 61 to 85 pounds.

Sociable, docile, and always in need of affection, the Spinone Italiano is a loving breed that enjoys cuddling and hanging out with family.

An energetic and highly active breed, the Spinone Italiano love to roam and romp outside. These are family dogs and they require a good amount of attention and affection. The breed is easy to groom, but it's not unusual for a quick drink to result in a wet beard and a puddle of water on the floor. These devoted, loving, and gentle dogs are a great choice for families with children and other pets.

Spinoni Italiani is the plural of Spinone Italiano. Some people call these dogs Italian Pointers, Italian Spinones, or Italian Spinoni. This has led to some confusion about the proper name of these dogs in the United States.

Sociable, docile, and always in need of affection, the Spinone Italiano is a loving breed that enjoys cuddling and hanging out with family. These dogs do not like being left alone for long periods, and they may become lonely and depressed if ignored. They love children and get along well with other pets. Due to their size and need for activity, these dogs do better in a house with a yard than in a city apartment.

These dogs are natural born hunters, which may not be a good thing if allowed to roam the neighborhood; small animals and unfamiliar cats may be in danger around these canines. Providing the breed with plenty of exercise in the form of free play, long walks, swimming, and hikes will allow these dogs to use pent up energy and ensure they remain physically and mentally healthy.

Although the Spinone is generally a good fit for most people, anyone with distaste for mess or sloppy dog beards may want to reconsider purchasing or adopting one of these dogs. The breed is known for dipping its beard into water and food bowls, and this can cause big messes in a small amount of time.

The Spinone Italiano is not known to suffer from a great number of health conditions, but this is no guarantee that any individual dog will be free of genetic illness or other problems. Adopting or purchasing a Spinone puppy from a reputable source is the best way to ensure a healthy puppy.

Some health problems known to affect this breed include congenital hip dysplasia, ear infections, hypothyroidism, elbow dysplasia, and cerebral ataxia, which causes a loss of coordination. Gastric torsion and the eye conditions entropion and ectropion are other problems common to the breed.

With routine veterinary care, up-to-date vaccinations, a well-balanced diet, and daily exercise, the Spinone Italiano typically lives a full and active life of 10 to 12 years.

The Spinone Italiano is a naturally stubborn dog breed that is known for resisting training that seems unnecessary or boring. In order to be successful, training sessions must be kept short, interesting, and positive. The good news is that these dogs learn quickly and respond very well to positive reinforcement techniques, such as play, praise, and food rewards.

The Spinone is sensitive and may shut down if harshly criticized or treated unfairly. It takes a lot of patience and a good sense of humor to work with these dogs, especially during housetraining. The breed will eventually get the hang of going potty outside, no matter how slow the process seems to go.

A bored, lonely, or neglected Spinone Italiano will become noisy and destructive in a heartbeat. If these dogs cannot have human companionship most of the time, a canine companion is a good substitute. Most negative behaviors in this breed stem from loneliness or boredom.

Grooming the Spinone Italiano is relatively simple. These dogs need brushing once or twice each week to remove loose hair and distribute skin oils throughout the coat. Occasional hand stripping is useful for neatening the feet and face. This can be done by hand or with a stripping knife, and inexperienced owners may want to take the Spinone to a professional groomer.

The breed's harsh coat only needs shampooing if it becomes soiled with something sticky or harmful. If the beard becomes dirtied at mealtime, a quick wipe with a damp cloth is usually sufficient to clean it. These dogs should always be rinsed thoroughly after washing to prevent skin irritation caused by soap residue on the skin and coat.

The Spinone Italiano's nails need clipping every week or two to prevent painful snags and breaks, and the teeth should be brushed daily to improve dental and oral health and keep periodontal disease and bad breath at bay. Weekly ear checks and cleanings are also an important part of grooming these dogs; redness, odor, discharge, and other signs of infection should be reported to a veterinarian right away.

The Spinone Italiano is an all-purpose hunting dog that originated in Italy and dates back to the Renaissance or even earlier. The breed may have developed by crossing coarse-haired Italian Setters with dogs left by Greek traders. Crosses with French Griffons and White Mastiffs may also have contributed to the breed's development.

These dogs were not known for their speed, but they were prized for their ability to hunt and retrieve. They worked primarily as pointing dogs. Later, during World War II, these dogs excelled at tracking German patrols. By the end of the war, however, the breed's numbers had been decimated and the Spinone Italiano was in danger of extinction.

During the 1950s, an effort to restore the breed began. Today, the Spinone Italiano is a popular hunter, companion animal, and working dog.

The American Kennel Club officially recognized the Spinone Italiano in 2000.