The Spinone Italiano is just about the gentlest hunting dog there is. It takes an altogether different temperament from other hunting dogs that are too lively, too energetic and too much to handle. Probably the most domesticated of all hunting dog breeds, the Spinone Italiano is still one of the most popular bird dogs in the world.
Here are other trivia regarding the Spinone Italiano.
The incredible coat of the Spinone Italiano not only waterproofs the dog's body while swimming, it also repels freezing temperature for a short period of time - even temperatures lower than 0°C.
Although reports claim that the lineage of the Spinone Italiano has existed since 500 B.C. the breed was only entered in the American Kennel Club or AKC Sporting Group on September 27, 2000.
One sign of a healthy Spinone Italiano is that it is supposed to slobber a lot. If your pet doesn't do this for one day, chances are your pet is severely dehydrated and may need medical attention.
In show dog competitions, a long and silky coat on the Spinone Italiano is a sign of excessive grooming and stands for disqualification due to its undesirability.
It is often said that large dog breeds like the Spinone Italiano can live up to 12 to 15 years. However, in a 2004 breed health survey conducted by the UK Kennel Club, they found that modern Spinone Italiano dogs have an average life span of only 8.7 years.
Dogs almost always have dewclaws (vestigial digits) on the inside of the front legs. Occasionally, these can be found on the inside of the hind legs. The Spinone Italiano sports dewclaws on all four feet. Apparently, these "extra" digits, and its webbed paws help make the Spinone Italiano an excellent swimmer.
Incredibly, this huge dog is easily affected when it comes to punishment. The Spinone Italiano is known to be emotionally sensitive and some trainers prefer motivation training on the dogs, rather than respect or obedience training. A depressed Spinone Italiano seems listless or outright stubborn, refusing to stand and heed any commands at all.
In Italian, the term pino means prickly thorn bush, and thorn bushes are the favorite hiding places of small game. Larger animals find these impenetrable. The Spinone Italiano however, is rather thick skinned and coarse-haired; its "beard" and "moustache" protects it from the thorns as it sniffs out the prey. This is how the dog was finally named: from Pino to Spinoso, and finally to Spinone.
The Spinone Italiano is very placid, yes - but that does not mean that it is not athletic. Aside from being able to keep up with other dogs on a hunting expedition, the Spinone Italiano is also a very high jumper and can clear low fences easily. Some Spinone Italiano dogs won't jump though, rather they would dig and tunnel. In which case, your pet may not be suitable to play in your flower garden.
Ancient writings that go back as far as 500 B.C. make references to a hunting dog that befits the description of a Spinone Italiano. Greek historian Senofonte had one such description in his teachings. In the 15th century paintings of Andrea Mantegna, Tiziano and Tiepolo, Spinone Italiano dogs of heavier built were also showcased. In 1683, Italian philosopher Selincourt detailed a thesis on the dog breed in his book, Le Parfait Chasseur.