Spinone Italiano

Spinone Italiano

Group: Sporting Group

Origin: Italy

– Males: 23 to 27 inches
– Females: 22 to 25 inches

Weight: Approx. 60 to 85 lbs.
The weight is in direct proportion to size and structure of dog.

Also Known As: Italian Pointer; Italian Griffon

Spinone Italiano
Ch. QuietWood Tiramisu
Photo credit: QuietWood Mastiffs & Spinoni Italiani

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Breed Profile

The Spinone Italiano is an all-purpose hunting dog developed in the Piedmonte district of Northwest Italy. Although not common in North America, the Spinone is an ancient Italian breed who has excelled as a pointer and retriever for centuries. Today, he is still a popular hunting dog in many countries and his gentle manners make him an excellent family companion as well.

The Spinone is a muscular and powerful dog with great stamina. He is very sociable, brave and loyal with a great capacity for learning and a strong desire to please. Although serious when at work in the field, the Spinone enjoys having a good time and can be quite clownish and entertaining. He has a great love for children and gets along well with other animals.

Being a very versatile sporting breed, the Spinone enjoys participating in various sports and activities, including: competitive obedience, tracking, agility, hunting, retrieving, carting, flyball, and backpacking. In addition, his gentle disposition make him an ideal candidate to work as a Therapy or Assistance Dog and he is also seen working in search and rescue.

His coat is weather resistant, wiry, stiff and dense. This coat, along with his thick skin, protect him on all types of terrain and in all types of weather. His colouring is either solid white; white and orange; orange roan with or without orange markings; white with brown markings; or brown roan with or without brown markings. He has a very distinctive head with hanging ears and his eyes and lips are framed by eyebrows, a mustache and tufted beard.

Health Issues

The Spinone Italiano is known to be a very healthy breed with an average life expectancy of about 12 years or more. Like all breeds of dogs, however, the Spinone is not completely free from certain health disorders. The following are some of the health issues which have been found in the breed:

  • Hip Dysplasia — According to the Spinone Club of America, there is little data available for the Spinone breed. However, Hip Dysplasia does exist within the breed as in many large breed dogs. Therefore, clearance should be obtained for all breeding stock.
  • Cerebellar Ataxia — This is a genetic disease which has been identified in the Spinone Italiano breed. Additional information is available from the Italian Spinone Club of Great Britain.
  • Eye Problems
  • Bloat or Gastric Torsion (Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV) — This condition is caused by a twisting of the stomach and thus trapping the stomach contents and gases resulting in a rapid swelling of the abdomen accompanied by pain and eventual death if untreated. It is a true emergency, requiring immediate veterinary action. The condition is most often seen in large and deep chested breeds. For more information on what you can do in the case of a Bloat emergency, see First Aid for Bloat in the Health & Nutrition section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website.

If you are considering the adoption of a Spinone Italiano puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy’s parents have all health clearances. This should include hip x-rays to exclude Hip Dysplasia and eyes should also be tested. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the main General Information page.)

Additional Health Resources:

Grooming Information

  • Grooming — This section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.


Training Resources

  • Training — For training information, see this growing section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.


Additional Information

  • Clubs, Sports & Activities — For information on the many sports and activities you can get involved in with your dog.
  • Working Dogs — The Working Dogs section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website provides information and listings of organizations that are involved in various dog jobs, such as Guide Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Police Dogs, Protection Dogs, and much more.

*NOTE 1: CHIC – The Canine Health Information Center “is a database of consolidated health screening results from multiple sources. Co-sponsored by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Health Foundation, CHIC works with parent clubs to identify health screening protocols appropriate for individual breeds. Dogs tested in accordance with the parent club established requirements, that have their results registered and made available in the public domain are issued CHIC numbers.” To learn more, visit: www.caninehealthinfo.org

*NOTE 2: The Fédération Cynologique International (FCI) is the World Canine Organization, which includes 91 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 344 breeds, with each being the “property” of a specific country. The “owner” countries write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.

Breed Listing

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