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Breed Profile

Italian Spinone

WEIGHT: 64 to 86 lbs
HEIGHT: 23 to 28 inches
COLOR(S): White, white with orange, orange roan, orange roan with orange patches, brown roan, brown roan with brown patches, White with Brown.
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Although not common in the U.S., this breed has a long history of service to man. The breed is known as Italy's all-purpose hunting dog. Some say it is a cross between White Mastiff , French Griffons and the coarse-haired Italian Setters, bred with the dogs that were left by Greek traders and others from the Adriatic coast. However this is not proven and the dog's rather uncertain heritage centers around Europe and its gun dogs of long ago. Whether he was the basis for bringing forth other gun breeds, or whether they simply sprang from common stock is not known.


The Spinone has great strength and stamina, suited for hunting in all climates and on all terrains. Extremely intelligent, happy, upbeat and enthusiastic, the Spinone Italiano is a pleasant, easy-going breed. He is easily satisfied when treated as a lower ranking member of his human pack family. Although serious when at work in the field, he definitely has a clownish side that is often quite entertaining. Never bossy or whiny, unless he does not see humans as pack leader. this gentle soul loves children, those he knows, and those he does not. Children must be taught how to display leadership skills.


This breed requires just a small amount of stripping - pulling dead hair as opposed to cutting, to neaten the coat. Other than that, just a weekly brushing will suffice. Bathe as necessary. Some say this breed grooms himself like a cat.


Little data has been accumulated for the Spinone breed in general. Hip dysplasia does exist, as in other comparably sized dogs. Sometimes bloating does occur, though not a huge problem. Some are prone to an inherited disease, which manifests itself as a Cerebellar Ataxia, or abnormal gait originating from a problem in a part of the brain. For more information, go to the Spinone Club of America.


Their activity level is low to medium indoors and medium to high outdoors. A good breed to jog with, the Spinone Italiano is not a "racy" type dog, moving more slowly and methodically than many other gun dog breeds. As such, he can do well with a small yard combined with daily walks and play.


The Spinone can be timid if not properly socialized. They respond well to motivational training. The coat protects them from the water and freezing temperatures of the swamp, casually going into cold, deep water. They an excellent swimmer and a model retriever.

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