- Good for novice dog owners
- Good with children
- Good with other animals
- Large size
- Medium-high exercise needs
- Medium shedding
- Low guard dog abilities
- Medium ease of training
The Spinone Italiano or Italian Spinone in North America is an extremely old breed whose ancestors can be traced back to 500 BC. The exact origins of the breed are unknown, but it is believed they were developed in the Piedmont region of Italy. They were originally developed to be all-purpose hunting dogs, and are one of the oldest hunting dogs in existence. They were used to hunt, point and retrieve fallen game, and excels at working in dense bramble and water. The breed is not commonly seen, but is found throughout most of the world, just in small numbers.
Italian Spinones are enthusiastic, cheerful, good-natured dogs. They are intelligent dogs that are moderately easy to train. They can be a little stubborn and independent, but are usually not extremely dominant. Training should be consistent and firm, but never harsh; positive reward focused techniques work best. They can be a bit exuberant and when ill exercised can be troublemakers, but are usually never aggressive; they are a fine choice for novice dog owners. Some Italian Spinones are a little timid, so early socialization with different people, sounds and situations is important to help them develop into a calm confident adults.
Spinones are very sociable dogs. They enjoy the company of children and are an excellent choice for active families. They get along wonderfully with almost everyone they meet; they like strangers, other dogs, livestock, cats and small pets. They only animals Italian Spinones are not trustworthy with are birds.
Italian Spinones are very active dogs. They love to run, play, fetch, swim and have lots of fun. They are not dogs that will be happy with a sedentary life style and are only appropriate for active people. When ill exercised, they can be destructive and trouble making. Italian Spinones need at least a couple of hours of exercise each day to keep them fit and happy. They are great dogs for outdoor enthusiasts, as they love to go jogging, hiking, camping, fishing and boating. They are also excellent dogs for those who would like to participate in some of the organized dog sports and trials. Spinones usually enjoy obedience and agility trials, conformation shows, tracking and hunting trials, cartage and hauling, and flyball. In addition, they make fantastic search and rescue dogs and therapy dogs.
The Italian Spinone is not as intense as many of the other hunting dogs. They can do well in the city with a dedicated owner. However, they are better suited to living in a house than in an apartment as they do enjoy having a backyard. Most are friendly with strangers and are far too sweet natured to be considered a good guard dog. Italian Spinones are fun loving clowns that want to be with their family and involved in everything going on. They enjoy time outside, but need human companionship and should not be solely relegated to the backyard or to a kennel. They are enthusiastic diggers and expert jumpers that can jump all but the highest fences with ease.
Appearance and Grooming:
The Italian Spinone is a large sized breed that measures 22-27 inches at their withers and weighs 60-85 pounds when full grown. Their coats are medium-length, and wiry and stiff. It is weather resistant to protect them during all types of weather. They are available in white and orange, solid white, orange roan, white with brown or brown roan. Their ears hang down, and they have a wiry moustache, beard and eyebrows. They are average shedders that require grooming once or twice a week to keep them neat and clean. Where legal, their tails are usually docked. Due to their droopy lips and beard they tend to slobber.
The Italian Spinone is a hardy breed prone to minimal health issues. Owners should watch for hip dysplasia, eye problems, bloat and cerebellar ataxia. Perspective owners are best to buy from a breeder who offers puppies from parents that are OFA registered and checks the puppies for cerebellar ataxia. To help prevent bloat, it is recommended that dogs be fed several small meals daily instead of one large, and that water and exercise be with held an hour before and after eating. Their average life span is around 12 years.