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Italian Spinone Dog Breed Profile

Italian Spinone

Other Names
Spinone Italiano, Spinone 
Dog Group Kennel Club
Breed Classification
The Italian Spinone is a member of the gundog group. They were originally used for retrieving game; today they are all purpose gundogs, (HPR - Hunt, Point, Retrieve,used in field trials, as gundogs and companions. They are also seen in the show ring.  
Cost of Ownership
Average Food Cost
£4-7.50 per week
Feeding Requirements
In general Spinoni are good eaters and can have a tendency to become overweight if their diet is not carefully monitored. As puppies the Spinone should have a nutritious diet to ensure the proper formation of the bones and joints.  
Other Expenses
The average price of a puppy is between £500-£700. Grooming is required and unless this can be done at home, will add to the monthly expense. 
> 15 years
The average lifespan is 9 to 12 years. 
Average Litter Size
Litters can be anywhere between 1 - 13 puppies but the average is 8. 
General Physical Description
The Spinone is a squarely built, active dog with a harsh, wiry coat. They have a distinctive moustache, beard and hairy eyebrows. They have a kind expression and can be quite independent. They should move freely with a relaxed gait.

Height Min Max
Bitch 59cm (23") 65cm (26")
Dog 60cm (24") 70cm (28")
Weight Min Max
Bitch 29kg (64lbs) 34kg (75lbs)
Dog 34kg (75lbs) 39kg (86lbs)
Size Category
Weight Height Range
Dogs should measure between 60-70cms at the withers and weigh between 34 - 39kgs. Bitches should ideally measure between 59-65cms at the withers and weigh between 29-34kgs. 
The Spinone appears to be a healthy breed that suffers from few health problems. The breed is on the KC Register for Hip Dysplasia and as such all dogs bred from should be Hip Scored. Cerebellar Ataxia is a recessive gene which is present in known lines and should be discussed with breeders of all litters when considering buying a puppy  
Common Ailments
Susceptibility To Illness
The Spinone is an old breed, that much is certain; however it is not exactly know how they came about. One theory states that they are descended from the Segugio Italiano, which was an ancient hound from the Middle Ages. Another theory claims that they are descended from the Barbet, Griffon and other types of hounds from the Alps. Traditionally a hunter, pointer and retriever, this fellow is full of character and is up there with the best of them when it comes to nabbing waterfowl in the marshes. There's a bit of French Pointer and Griffon hound in him somewhere, but Italy is his true home.  
The Spinone is not a difficult dog to train as long as there is consistency and firmness in the training. They are intelligent and eager to learn and to please. It should be remembered that this dog is sensitive and therefore training should be carried out in a gentle manner over a long period as it is a slow maturing breed. Harsh handling will destroy the breed's great spirit. < 
Show Characteristics
The head should be long and lean with a rooflike skull; being equal in length from the top of the skull to the stop as the length from the stop to the large nose tip. The jaws should be powerful with a complete scissor bite. The eyes should be large and reasonably round and can be deep yellow or ochre depending on the colour of the coat. Their ears should be set level with the corner of the eye, relatively long, hanging close to the head, triangular in shape and rounded at the tips and covered with short, thick hair that is longer at the ends. The neck should be strong, muscular and fairly short. The length of the body should be equal to the height at the withers. The chest should be broad and well let down. The topline is unusual in this dog; it slopes slightly from the withers and then back up towards the back end. The front legs should be straight and strong; the back legs should be strong and muscular. The front feet should be round and compact and the back feet are slightly oval in shape; both feet should have arched toes. Their movement should be free and relaxed. The tail should be carried horizontally or down and it is docked to half its length. The coat should be thick, wiry and close; the hair on the head, ears and muzzle should be short. The eyebrows should be obvious and be of longer, harsher hair. The hair on the cheeks and upper lips is also longer and forms a moustache and beard.  
Country Of Origin
Famous Examples
Records Held
Overall Exercise
60 - 80 minutes per day.
The Spinone is a country dog at heart, enjoying long walks in the countryside, although they are just as happy lying in front of a fire. They will adjust to town life as long as they are given plenty of exercise. They are a breed that should be kept active.  
Distress if Left Alone
Personal Protection
Guard Dog Suitability
Risk of Sheep Worrying
Tendency to Bark
Level of Aggression
Compatibility With Other Animals
Suitable For Children


General Character And Temperament
The Spinone is an intelligent, faithful and loving dog, which gets on very well with children, and enjoys being outdoors. They are ideally suited to the active country dwelling family and will happily be both family pet and working dog in one. They have the ability to show many faces, and will portray their moods with almost human like expressions. He has inherited the Italian theatricality of being a jovial rascal one minute and moodily independent the next. His individuality means it is important to put the right Spinone in the right environment. At his best he is faithful, quick to learn, amiable and loving. He can take a long time to tire out and will endeavour to come back wet, wherever you take him. 
Coat Length
Grooming Requirement
Requires Professional Groomer
The coat of the Spinone is harsh and wiry. It is longer on the muzzle, eyebrows, body and legs. Any dead or loose hairs can be removed by hand plucking. The excess hair between the pads of the feet needs to be trimmed.  
They can be solid white, white with orange markings, white with brown markings, white speckled with brown (brown roan)with or without large brown markings. 
Suffers From Allergies

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