Spinone Italiano is a versatile hunting dog characterized by immense strength and stamina and good sense of smell. The breed can be used for hunting in all types of weather conditions and on all terrains. It is quite popular in Italy and European countries but relatively less common in USA.
Exact information regarding the dog’s history is not known except for the fact that the dog has been used as an outstanding pointer and retriever since centuries. Though the breed was developed in Italy but there are various claims regarding its origin.
Some believe that these dogs descended from Spanish Pointers, some claim that they originally descended from ancient Russian Setters, or Griffin, or coarse haired Italian Setters and so on.
Another popular belief is that during the Roman Empire, Greek traders brought coarse haired Setters to Italy where they were crosses with the ones from Adriatic coast. Certain other names for Spinone Italiano dog breed are Italian Griffon, Italian Spinone, Italian Wire-haired Pointer, Italian Pointer etc.
These powerful, muscular and robust dogs are large in size. They tend to have a gentle and intelligent expression. The large, expressive eyes are set well apart and generally yellowish brown in color.
They are neither protruding nor deep. Eye color tends to be darker in dogs with darker hair coat. The long, low set ears are triangular in shape with slightly rounded tips. There is a full beard and longer fur on the face as compared to the rest of the body.
Color: These dogs are available in colors like white, white and orange, white with brown markings, orange roan (with or without orange markings), brown roan (with or without brown markings) etc.
Height: The average height of these dogs is 23 to 27 inches. Bitches are a bit shorter, that is 22 to 25 inches.
Weight: The ideal weight for Spinone Italiano dog breed ranges between 61 to 85 pounds.
Like other large sized dogs, Spinone Italianos are also prone to Hip Dysplasia. They are also susceptible to Cerebellar Ataxia, Visceral Leishmaniasis, Pyometra, Ectropion, Bloating, hormonal imbalance etc.
Life Expectancy: The average life span of these dogs is 12 to 14 years.
Litter Size: 4 to 10 puppies
The dense and stiff short to medium length hair coat of a Spinone Italiano needs weekly brushing. The single hair coat lacks an under coat and needs occasional hand stripping. These dogs are usually clean and need not be bathed too frequently. Other Spinone Italiano grooming activities include trimming the toenails, checking and cleaning the eyes and ears and wiping the beard because it can be slobbery.
Spinone Italiano temperament is calm, easy going, affectionate, faithful, sociable, enthusiastic, courageous and intelligent. These sensitive dogs are quick to learn and do not require harsh training methods for training. Early socialization is also necessary so as to avoid timidity and other behavioral problems.
These docile dogs are excellent with kids and get along well with other pets in the house. They tend to be patient and friendly with strangers. These entertaining dogs are always willing to please their owners and make excellent companion dogs. They usually do not bark unnecessary but may howl to exhibit separation anxiety when left alone for a long time.
These active dogs require moderate amount of exercise on a regular basis. They tend to be more active outdoors and make good jogging companions. These hard working dogs enjoy activities like daily walks, interactive play sessions, swimming etc.
Spinone Italiano dogs are considered suitable for apartment living, especially when provided with at least a small sized yard. Make proper arrangements for fencing and do not test your beloved dog’s capability to escape.