Spinone Italiano

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62-70 lbs
22-25"
Italy

The Spinone Italiano was formerly an all-purpose hunting dog, excelling in pointing, setting and retrieving. A canine with an excellent nose and scent ability, his harsh coat enabled him to perform  well in the field. Though the hunting instinct is still present, this breed makes a wonderful companion for an active family. Intelligent, athletic, and affectionate, the Spinone Italiano thrives on family connection and being a part of the household. Maintenance for this breed involves extra ear and teeth cleaning, along with moderate coat care. Exercise needs must be met; a combination of practical and patient care and training will bring out the best in this breed.

Purpose
pointing and retrieving
Date of Origin
ancient times
Ancestry
italian rough-haired dog

Spinone Italiano Health

Average Size
Height: 23-27 inches Weight: 70-84 lbs
Height: 22-25 inches Weight: 62-70 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Bloat
  • Ataxia
Minor Concerns
  • Otitis Externa
  • Ectropion
  • Cataracts
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
Occasional Tests
  • Eye
  • Hip
  • Blood Test
  • Thyroid Tests
  • X-Rays
  • Eye Examination

Spinone Italiano Breed History

The Spinone Italiano is an ancient dog with a long history of names and accounts.  Today, the name is derived from the Italian word for spine or thorn and refers to both the coarseness of the hair as well as this breed’s ability to penetrate thorny brush in search of its quarry.  Also well known as the Italian Griffon, records of the Spinone date back to 500 BC in the Italian region known today as Piedmont.  By the Renaissance in Italy, this breed was well known in Italy as an excellent hunter and is featured in many Renaissance artworks dating to the 14th and 15th centuries. The origins of the Spinone Italiano are unclear due to this dog’s long-standing breed history.  Some believe the progenitors of the breed were crosses between White Mastiffs, French Griffons, and Italian Setters bred with dogs left by Grecian traders.  Whatever the ancestral breed and like all Italian breeds, the Spinone comes from ancient stock. The Spinone enjoyed hundreds of years of popularity in Italy, but following World War II, the breed started to lose popularity as other hounds and gundogs were imported to Italy.  On the brink of extinction, a few breeders began work to restore the Spinone breed and re-establish its position as a greater hunting companion. Despite the ancient history of this breed, the Spinone Italiano was first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2000.  Not as popular in the United States, this great hunting companion is a popular choice in Italy, France, and Scandinavian countries today. 

Spinone Italiano Breed Appearance

The Spinone Italiano is a large, robust breed, well-muscled with strong bones.  Males are about 2 inches taller than females and body weight is in proportion to the size of the dog.  The head on a Spinone is long with a gentle, intelligent face.  The muzzle is square when viewed from the front with tight lips and a scissor or level bite.  The nose is large and spongy in appearance with large, open nostrils.  A Spinone's eyes are gentle and range in color from a brownish-yellow to dark brown and harmonize with the coat color.  The ears are carried low, below the eye level, are triangular-shaped and have little power to stand erect. The Spinone's forelegs are straight when viewed from the front and are muscular.  The front legs are long and end in large, round, compact feet with well-arched toes.  The hind legs have strong thighs with stifles that are not too angular and show excellent function for the all-terrain movements of this breed.  The hind legs are strong, lean, and perpendicular to the ground ending in slightly oval-shaped feet with well-arched toes.   The Spinone's tail is level with the back and held horizontal or down.

Eye Color Possibilities
Brown
Amber
Nose Color Possibilities
Brown
Isabella
Coat Color Possibilities
Pied
White
Fawn
Isabella
Brown
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Spinone Italiano Breed Maintenance

The Spinone Italiano should be left natural and with a medium length, coarse-haired coat, this means minimal brushing.  Occasional brushing and hand stripping to help unknot the coat are all that is required for this breed.  However, this breed does have a long beard, and it can get wet and smelly.  By giving the beard a little more attention, you can keep the coat looking natural and cut down on the smell.  The Spinone also has fast growing nails that should be clipped twice a month to prevent cracking and splitting.  Early and often grooming practices in puppy and juvenile stages of life will help acquaint the Spinone with this practice and make it easier for both owner and dog. Teeth cleaning is also suggested in the Spinone to cut down on bacterial overgrowth.  Additionally, since the Spinone's ears are particularly hairy and fall forward, this breed is more prone to ear infections.  Regular ear checks to remove dirt and debris, as well as ear cleaning with a veterinarian approved solution, will significantly help prevent ear infections. The Spinone is a large breed and not meant to be cooped up inside all day.  However, this breed has relatively low energy rates given its ability to rove for hours on the trail.  Twice daily walks are enough exercise to satisfy a full-grown Spinone.  If the Spinone gets enough exercise, this breed is capable of living in an apartment or urban dwelling since it is relatively low energy.  Additionally, the Spinone does remarkably well in all climates, hot or cold. 

Brushes for Spinone Italiano
Pin Brush
Deshedder
Nail Clipper

Spinone Italiano Temperament

The Spinone Italiano is a loyal and docile companion who is very affectionate with its family.  The Spinone is considered a highly child-friendly dog but just like with any other dog breed, children should never be left alone with a Spinone.  This breed is playful and loves the attention of its family.  Additionally, the Spinone is welcoming of a stranger so it doesn’t make for a good guard dog.  When it comes to other dogs, the Spinone has a sweet, playful attitude and loves the company of other dogs but smaller animals, like cats, rabbits, and gerbils may excite the hunter and tracker in this breed.  The Spinone can live in peace with cats but may play-stalk. Spinone Italianos are large dogs that require two daily walks to stay fit.  Their energy levels tend to be moderate and lower as they age.  However, they love long walks in nature and are considered excellent hiking dogs.  This is because the Spinone was bred to cover large distances in various terrains.  While outside, they are slow and methodical on the trail and will often keep their owners in sight or double-back to ensure everyone is safe and continuing on the trail. The Spinone is slightly stubborn when it comes to training but is very smart.  It is often said that you can’t make a Spinone do anything, but you can ask him.  A firm, consistent approach to training started while the Spinone is young is the best way to train him.  Due to his training needs, this breed is not recommended for novice dog owners or those who are unable to devote time to training.

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
5 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
45 minutes

Spinone Italiano Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
3 cups
Daily Cost
$2 - $2.3
Monthly Cost
$60 - $67.5

Spinone Italiano Height & Weight

6 Months
Height: 22 inches Weight: 57 lbs
Height: 21 inches Weight: 50 lbs
12 Months
Height: 24 inches Weight: 67 lbs
Height: 23 inches Weight: 55 lbs
18 Months
Height: 25 inches Weight: 77 lbs
Height: 23 inches Weight: 66 lbs

Top Spinone Italiano Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Spinone Italiano breeders of 2017.
Winterborn Spinone
Spirit Lake, Idaho
BZB Spinone
Darlington, Pennsylvania
Painted Desert Spinone
Winslow, Arizona
Grandbay Kennels
Traverse City, Michigan
Sweetbriar Kennel
Sewickley, Pennsylvania
Boe Dogs
Paso Robles, California
Spinfandel Spinoni
Petaluma, California
Cipresseto Kennel
Pelham, Tennessee
Dry Grass Spinoni
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Bela Spinoni
Carson City, Nevada

Spinone Italiano Owner Experiences