An orange roan Spinone Italiano.
Italian Wire-haired Pointer
Italian Coarsehaired Pointer
|Country of origin
|Classification and breed standards
||Group 7 Section 1 #165
||Group 3 (Gundogs)
||Gun Dog Breeds
|Not recognized by any major kennel club
|This breed of dog is
The Spinone Italiano is an
Its original purpose was as a hunting dog, which the breed is still a master of
today. The Spinone is a loyal, friendly and alert dog with a close lying, tough,
wiry coat that is hard to the touch. It is an ancient breed that can be traced
back to approximately
It is often used for hunting, pointing, and retrieving game (HPR), but the
intelligent and strong Spinone can be used for practically anything ranging from
companion pet to
seeing eye dog for the blind. The name of the breed is pronounced
spin-own-ay (singular) and spin-own-ee for plural.
The Spinone has a square build (the length of the body is approximately equal to
the height at the
withers). It is a solidly built dog with a strong, well-muscled body and
limbs that are suited to almost any kind of terrain. The Spinone can sometimes
be confused with a
German Wirehaired Pointer by someone not familiar with the breeds. He has an
expression that shows intelligence and understanding and is often described as
having human-like eyes. The tail of the Spinone is customarily
half its length (approx 5.5 to 8 inches or 140 to 200 mm from the base of the
tail), and it sports
all four feet, giving its hind legs an overly large appearance.
The coat is tough, slightly wiry, and close fitting. The preferred length is
1½–2½ inches (4–6 cm) on the body; however, the ears, head, muzzle, and parts of
the legs and feet are covered with shorter hair. Eyebrows have longer and
stiffer hair; longer but softer hair covers cheeks and muzzle, creating a
moustache and beard.
The Spinone should not have an undercoat. A long, soft or silky coat is
undesired and is a sign of excessive grooming.
Acceptable variants (UK and US) are solid white, white with orange markings,
orange roan with or
without orange markings, white with brown markings, and brown roan with or
without brown markings. Pigment of skin, nose, lips, and the pads on their feet
should be a fleshy red-orange in white dogs, slightly darker in orange and brown
Height and weight
- Dogs: 60–70 cm (23.5–27.5 in)
- Bitches: 59–65 cm (22.5–25.5 in)
Weight should be in the correct proportion to size and structure:
- Dogs: 34–39 kg (75–86 lb);
- Bitches: 29–34 kg (64–75 lb).
The Spinone is easy going, docile, and affectionate towards both people and
dogs. It is well known for being loving and gentle with children. Its extremely
patient nature also helps with this, but children should be taught not to take
advantage of this trait. It is loyal to those it knows and still friendly to
those it doesn't. The breed is not known for any aggression and is therefore not
a wise choice for somebody looking for an aggressive
although it will protect its family when under direct threat.
Centuries of working with man as a hunting companion has created a loyal,
intelligent dog that is easily trained, although some can be stubborn about
performing a learned task if they see no point in it. Because they are
sensitive, motivational training works best for this breed, as this gentle
creature's feelings can easily be hurt when handled incorrectly.
The Spinone can be a very active breed, but it is not a racy dog like most
other hunting breeds. The Spinone has a slow, relaxed trot that is
characteristic of the breed. It has often been called the perfect dog to jog
with, because it will not run off in front and leave its human companion
struggling to keep up as it prefers the slower pace itself. It can be more than
happy in a small yard and does not necessarily need acres of land. The small
garden combined with regular walks would suit a Spinone well.
Like all purebred dogs, it has its share of health problems, but careful
breeding is helping the situation cease.
Spinone can live up to and sometimes beyond 12 years and generally keep their
health through the senior years.
Known medical issues
ataxia: Cerebellar ataxia (CA) is a deadly hereditary condition that is
known to affect Spinone puppies. It is a recessive gene; therefore, both
sire and dam must have been carriers for any pup in a litter to have this
condition. Unfortunately, no puppy with CA has lived past the age of 12
months to date. Most puppies that have been diagnosed with the condition are
euthanised at 10–11 months.
Hip dysplasia: Like most large breeds, the Spinone can suffer hip
dysplasia. This is when the hip bones become abnormal and make it difficult
and painful to do any exercise. Dogs diagnosed with severe hip dysplasia can
have their ball and socket joint replaced surgically with an artificial
As the Spinone is a very ancient breed (it is believed to be one of the
in existence), it is not known exactly what the origins of the breed are; there
are many different theories. Some of these claim that the Spinone could have
originated in Italy, France, Spain, Russia, Greece, or Celtic Ireland.
Some people familiar with the history of the breed claim that the Spinone
descended from the now-extinct
Spanish Pointer, whilst others claim that it was the ancient
Russian Setter that is responsible for the breed we know today. An even more
popular theory is that Greek traders brought coarse-haired
Italy during the height of the Roman empire, where the dogs were then crossed
with various others and the modern Spinone eventually emerged.
The French claim that the Spinone has descended from crosses of several
French pointing breeds, whilst the Italians believe the Spinone is the ancestor
Wireheaired Pointing Griffon, the
German Wirehaired Pointer, and the
Pudelpointer. Any one of these claims could be true; perhaps several of them
During the Second World War, the Spinone became close to extinct. Both the
war and the fact that Italian hunters had begun using other breeds (such as
spaniels) in the hunt, whereas before it was almost primarily the Spinone.
Many breeders had to resort to crossing the Spinone with other wire-haired
breeds, such as the
Boulet, Wirehaired Pointing Griffon and German Wirehair.
The breed was not officially known as "Spinone" until the early nineteenth
century. Before then, some areas knew the breed as the "Spinoso". The breed was
named after an Italian thorn bush, the pino, which was a favorite hiding
place for small game because for larger animals it was practically impenetrable.
Only thick-skinned, coarse-haired animals could fight through the branches
unharmed to locate the game. The Spinone was the breed most capable of doing so,
and therefore the name was formed.
[[|Larkin, Dr. Peter and Stockman, Mike, ]], () ( 2003). "" [
The ultimate encyclopedia of dogs, dog breeds & dog care], , , , : Hermes
[[|Hall, Derek, ]], () ( 2005). "" [
The ultimate guide to dog breeds], , , , : Regency
[[|Fry, Carolyn, ]], () ( 1999). "" [
The Italian Spinone], , , , : Kingdom
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