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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Breeds > Spinone Italiano

Spinone Italiano

Origin: Italy

AKC Group: Sporting

Height: 22 inches (Male)

Weight: 62 pounds (Male)

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Male height: 
22 inches
Male weight: 
62 pounds
Hard, dense and shaggy, with no undercoat.
All white; white and orange; white with chestnut markings; orange roan with or without orange markings; and brown roan.

Purely Italian in origin, the Spinone Italiano is an ancient all-purpose gundog. During the Middle Ages, he was depicted in a number of paintings and frescoes. In a 1631 book called Le Parfait Chasseur (The Perfect Hunter), a man named Selincourt mentions a "griffon" of the Piedmont region of Italy - this may have been the Spinone Italiano.

Although the Spinone as we know him was already an established type by the 16th century, at the beginning of the 20th century the breed had greatly deteriorated, with haphazard crossbreeding having muddied the bloodline. Fortunately, in 1950, several Italian breeders worked together to restore the Spinone to his former glory and ensure the preservation of this national treasure.

This charming gentleman is calm, affectionate and easygoing, although he can be timid if he is not socialized as a puppy. When socialized, he is friendly toward strangers, if sometimes cautious. He quickly bonds with his family. He is loyal and faithful, but he will never forget a betrayal. As an adult he is docile but still playful. He is courageous but not aggressive. The Spinone is happiest when treated as a member of the family.
At home: 
The Spinone Italiano can adapt to just about any living situation. He is quite calm indoors but active and energetic outdoors. He needs to be with his family and does not like to be left alone for long periods. He must have a high, secure fence (at least 6 feet [2 m]) because he can be quite a jumper. He also likes to dig and may "tunnel out" if left to his own devices for too long in the backyard.
The Spinone Italiano is a large, active dog, but rather than being a sprinter, he tends to be a bit more methodical. A daily walk or jog, some free time outdoors in a fenced-in area, plus a play session or two should take care of his exercise needs.
The athletic Spinone is a hearty eater whose weight should be monitored. He needs the energy that food gives him, but of course he must be kept in shape. A high-quality, age-appropriate diet is best. Feeding twice a day as an adult is recommended.
The Spinone Italiano is intelligent and a fast learner. However, he is not always a good performer; he will do what you tell him to if he sees a reason for it. Given his sensitivity, gentle training early on is ideal.
The Spinone Italiano is loving and patient with children. He gets along well with other animals, especially other dogs.
The average life span of the Spinone is 12 or more years. Breed health concerns may include cerebellar ataxia (CA); eye problems; and hip dysplasia.
Fun fact: 

The preferred shade of brown coat for the Spinone Italiano is called "Capuchin Friar's Frock."

Grooming blurb: 
This breed requires no more than a weekly brushing with a grooming rake to strip out the dead hair.
Copyright by T.F.H. Publications, Inc. This document has been published with the intent to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter within. While every reasonable precaution has been taken in preparation of this document, the author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any errors, omissions, or adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information contained herein. The techniques and suggestions are used at the reader's discretion.