12-14 years-and most will be healthy in their senior years
Average of 8 puppies
Sporting, Gun Dog
CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, ANKC, NKC, APRI, ACR
White, White with Orange markings, Orange/Orange Roan with or without orange markings, White with Brown markings, Brown Roan, with or without Brown markings.
23.5-27.5 inches (60-70 cm)
75-86 pounds (34-49 kg.)
22.5-25.5 inches (59-65 cm)
64-75 pounds (29-34 kg.)
The Spinone Italiano likes to be outside, but it's not necessary to keep this breed healthy. Occasional walks or runs are good for this breed, but it is well suited to nearly any environment that it lives in, from an apartment dwelling to an open backyard. However, this is not a dog that will enjoy being outdoors for long periods by themselves as they love affection-both giving and receiving.
So long as the Spinone Italiano is going to be able to go outside on occasion, this will be the perfect living conditions for them. But there is no need for you to live on a farm or have a lot of open land in order to make this dog happy.
The Spinone Italiano is a distinctive looking dog with almost human-like features, according to some. With a strong bone structure and muscled appearance, this dog breed is suited to nearly any kind of terrain. The wiry short coat gives this dog a tough covering that is close fitting to the skin. However, on the rest of the body-ears, head, muzzle, head and legs and feet are covered with shorter hair. For the eyebrows, the hair is longer and more rigid, while the muzzle and cheeks have a softer feel-giving the face almost a mustached or bearded look.
It is also important to note that the Spinone Italiano does not have an undercoat, and while some owners like to allow the coat to grow longer, it is often undesirable to the breed's nature.
The tail of this dog breed is about half its length (or 5.5 inches to 8 inches from the base) and short haired. The longer head structure and a very pronounced eye socket structure further enhances a human-esque look, while the expression of understanding is what causes most owners to feel that the eyes are more human than dog like.
The Spinone Italiano should only have one coat that can be described as tough and wiry. The close fitting fur is about 1 1/2 inches to 2 1/2 inches long over the body, but the muzzle, ears, head, and parts of the legs can be shorter. Again, the eyebrows are longer and have stiffer hair pieces, but the rest of the face is soft.
Thought to have originated in Italy (as you can tell from the name), the Spinone Italiano is considered an ancient breed of Gun Dog that may have originated in Celtic Ireland.
There are some sources that believe the Spinone Italiano is a descendant of the Spanish Pointer, but others are convinced that the Russian Setter is the ancestor. The actual origin is not known.
Almost becoming extinct during WWII, the Spinone Italiano began to be used as a hunting dog and then rebounded into a healthier number and continues to do so today as a popular hunting dog.
The Spinone Italiano is typically an easy going dog breed that is lovable and calm. Very caring towards children, the Spinone Italiano is often s treasured part of the family. Affectionate even towards those the dog doesn't know, this particular dog breed doesn't have any major concerns with aggression or too much territorialness. Of course, knowing this, the Spinone Italiano is not generally a good choice for a guard dog or protector breed.
The intelligence of the Spinone Italiano is something that needs to be addressed during the training of this dog. And while this breed will learn quickly, they are often better motivated by a reward system more than other techniques.
That said, the Spinone Italiano does like to showcase their talents for you, so once they know that you will respond favorably, they are more than happy to follow your commands. They like to show boat at times, appearing to be regal as they point out their hunting finds, for example. If you can find out what makes them happy and allows them to show off their intelligence, you will have a dog that's more than happy to oblige.
Though the Spinone Italiano does have energy, it is not as neurotic or energetic as some hunting dogs or other domesticated breeds. Moving at a relaxed trot is more this breed's style. However, many owners find that the Spinone Italiano is an excellent running or jogging partner as they can keep up the pace. What's more is that this dog is not one that will run off when you are running together, choosing instead to move at a more relaxed pace.
Another thing to note-the Spinone Italiano can be a bit of a slobberer, so remember that before bringing this breed home if that's a concern. You will want to make sure that you are keeping things that you want untouched out of this dog's mouth as well as the general vicinity-as well as keeping guests away from the dog if this makes them uncomfortable.
The calm persona of this particular breed can be disquieting to some, as they are much more willing to go at their own pace than to resort to someone else's. If you are an active person that likes a lot of interaction between you and your dog, this might not be the best choice for you. The Spinone Italiano is more of a deliberate dog than one that will take kindly to working at someone else's pace.
Generally a healthy breed for a purebred, the Spinone Italiano does have some special medical conditions to be aware of:
Hip dysplasia-Because this breed is a larger breed, hip dysplasia is a concern. This condition occurs when the bones in the hip become damaged in some way, creating pain and problems with movement. Some owners choose to have these painful hips replaced via canine orthopedic surgery.
Cerebellar ataxia-Also known as CA, this hereditary condition is a deadly disorder that affects Spinone Italiano puppies. In order for the puppy to have this condition, the gene must be passed on from both the mother and the father, as it is a recessive gene. Most puppies with this disorder will not live more than a year and many are euthanized at 10 to 11 months of age.
With its short to medium length coat, the Spinone Italiano is not a difficult dog to care for in terms of grooming. Shedding little, you may find that a trip to a professional groomer is the easiest way to deal with your pet's coat, but regular brushing with a coarse brush will help to maintain the coat's health. The trip to the groomer is sometimes advised as the fur is coarser and can be hard for some owners to manage.
The excess hair between the pads of the feet will need to be trimmed on occasion, but dead or loose hairs can be easily plucked by hand. Overall, this is a dog breed that requires simply attention to the coat and maintenance rather than regular cuts or trims. If you keep this system up, you will also avoid getting hair in your living space, even though they are not prone to much shedding in the first place.
A weekly brushing is usually sufficient for this breed, as they tend to be more self-grooming, like a cat. If your dog has gotten into a messier area, they will need to be bathed, but this is a rare event and only needs to be done on occasion, like in the case of getting into a muddier area or one that has been inhabited by skunks.
You will want to check your dog's fur for any signs of bacteria infection or cuts if it's an active part of your life, but you should also be on the lookout for fleas and ticks that might nestle in after a jaunt outside. Spotting problems early on is always the best advice when it comes to skin or fur concerns. If something doesn't seem right, check with your vet.
You can often identify problems by the smell of your dog's fur. If they have a bad smell after a bath, it might be time to take the dog into the vet to see if something else is going on with their health. The vet will also check their ears and their nose to be sure that nothing is infected and in need of treatment.
Trimming their nails is also advised if they should get too long, but this can be easily done at home with a quality nail trimmer. But if your dog is walking or running on hard surfaces frequently, this shouldn't be a concern as they will wear down on their own.
An active breed, the Spinone Italiano is a dog that wants to roam around as often as it can. As a hunting dog, this is a dog breed that is perfectly suited to retrieving, pointing, and hunting, if trained to do so. But this dog is also able to provide the perfect companionship to those who need assistance with everyday tasks.
This dog breed is perfectly suited to a small yard and will enjoy regular walks as a way to get outside and stay active. Remember too that this is a dog breed that is perfectly content to go for runs or jogs with their owner, without being the one that runs off or causes the owner to have to struggle to catch up.
You may want to create a regular routine for this dog that will allow them to get outside and stay active for about an hour a day. This will help them release any pent up energy as well as help to keep them healthy.
While this is a dog that can stay at home when you are away from work, you will want to make sure it gets some regular activity or else it can become bored and restless.
This highly intelligent dog is able to pick up new things and tasks quite easily, though it's also the Spinone Italiano's intelligence that can hinder their training just as easily. If the Spinone Italiano doesn't feel that the task is necessary or useful, they may resist completing the task.
A reward system of training is the most recommended route, as the Spinone Italiano is a sensitive dog that can have its feelings hurt if handled in a brusque manner. Loyal and intelligent, this dog breed will enjoy learning new tasks. Remember that this dog breed needs to be told that they are doing well when they are doing well, and gently criticized when not- it will make a world of difference.
Very capable of learning complicated tasks, don't be surprised if this breed resists some similar tasks. Again, this is generally because the dog doesn't feel that there is a 'point' to what it is doing, so you may need to work harder during these kinds of tasks. For example, some Spinone Italianos are not willing to grab a fake bird during a training session for hunting, but will go after a real dead bird with little prodding.
You will want to find a reward for this dog that they will genuinely look forward to during their training. This might be something like chew toy or a food treat that will help motivate them during simple tasks. If you choose something that they do not enjoy, be prepared for them to dismiss it and you. This may take a few tries to find something that is going to motivate the dog, but once found, this will be an invaluable training tool.
If trained properly, this dog breed is perfectly suited for the hunter, someone who may be visually or physical disabled, as well as for someone that simply wants a companion. They will feel useful and helpful in these situations which allows them to show off their intelligence.