Spinone Italiani are not the delicious Italian dessert that accompanies your post-dinner espresso. (That's spumoni.) They're muscular, powerful Italian pointers, built for endurance rather than speed. These dogs were some of the earliest to be bred to point. Their name probably comes from “pino,” a thorn bush that grows in Italy; Spinone Italiani have tough skins and can flush game from these bushes. This breed is also known for their unusual yellow-brown eyes.
Originally from — you guessed it — Italy, this medium-sized and medium-energy breed can grow to between 62-82 pounds and lives an average of 10-12 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Sporting group.
AKC Recognized: Y
Breed's Original Pastime: Retrieving, Hunting
Breed Group: Sporting
Average Lifespan: 10-12 years
Bark Factor: Moderate
AKC RANKING 119
FAMILY gundog, pointer
AREA OF ORIGIN Italy
DATE OF ORIGIN 1200s
ORIGINAL FUNCTION pointing and retrieving
TODAY'S FUNCTION pointing and retrieving
AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE Height: 23.5-27.5 Weight: 71-82
AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE Height: 22.5-25.5 Weight: 62-71
OTHER NAME Italian Spinone
Energy level Medium energy
Exercise needs Medium
Playfullness Moderately playful
Affection level Very affectionate
Friendliness toward other dogs Friendly
Friendliness toward other pets Very friendly
Friendliness toward strangers Very friendly
Ease of training Moderately easy to train
Watchdog ability High
Protection ability Not very protective
Grooming needs Low maintenance
Cold tolerance Medium tolerance
Heat tolerance Medium tolerance
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS A SPINONE ITALIANO'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
Patient, docile, and sociable, Spinoni Italiani are real characters. They're very affectionate and can be playful, but they'll do better playing with supervised kids and other dogs. This is a charming, eccentric breed who will be most comfortable with school-age children or older.
WHAT IS SPINONE ITALIANO BEHAVIOR LIKE?
This is not a particularly active breed. While they'll appreciate the sights and smells of a daily walk, they won't drag you to the dog park for hours every day. Spinoni Italiani are content with a shortish jog or an extended romp in the backyard. They like to dig and jump, so be sure your fence is sturdy and high.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A SPINONE ITALIANO?
Spinoni Italiani are a biddable breed that respond well to training. They can have a touch of stubbornness about them and can be slow to housetrain. Early, consistent socialization and lessons are the key to making your Spinone Italiano a model canine citizen. It'll also help her get past her natural timidity and discourage destructive behaviors.
This breed excels in flyball, agility, obedience, and rally.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO SPINONE ITALIANI SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
Spinoni Italiani are seasonal shedders who require occasional grooming. Plan to brush yours once a week. If you want to keep that “ruff-and-ready” natural look, this dog will also need periodic hand-stripping. You might want to wipe down their drippy beards after they've had a drink, too.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO SPINONE ITALIANI HAVE?
As a breed, Spinoni Italiani are generally healthy. Some are susceptible to eye disease or elbow or hip dysplasia.
Breed history has moved while this section is under construction. Please check out the first tab for fun facts about this breed's history. You can also read on to learn about this breed's ideal family situation.
ARE SPINONE ITALIANI GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?
The American Kennel Club doesn't list Spinone Italiani among its breeds recommended for allergy sufferers.
You can reduce your furry friend's impact on your allergies with frequent baths and brushings to reduce loose hairs and aggravating proteins in your pet's dander. Use a damp cloth to wipe off your dog after you've been playing outside. Smaller dogs have less surface area, and so produce comparatively less dander than larger breeds — definitely something to keep in mind with a dog as large as a Spinone Italiano! Remember that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and any breed can aggravate allergies.
WHAT IS A SPINONE ITALIANO'S BEST DAY?
Find your Spinone Italiano a large, traffic-free area to romp in — think a big field or national park — and just let her romp around. You won't believe how much joy this dog derives from sniffing and tromping through the bush. She also often enjoys camping and hiking.
SHOULD I ADOPT A SPINONE ITALIANO?
Speedy and spunky, these pups aren't to everyone's taste. You'll definitely need patience to train them — particularly during potty training! And if your Spinone feels she's not getting enough of your attention (or enough time to run and romp), your shoes or furniture might suffer. Their distinctive looks and canine character will definitely keep you on the go. But these dogs aren't particular about the weather and are equally comfortable in warm and cool climates. They can be a bit cautious — though they'd prefer sensible, thank you very much — but this breed is a sporting dog at heart. Give her attention and room to run, and the Spinone Italiano will sweeten your every day.
Have you decided that a Spinone Italiano is the perfect dog for you? Why not be your new best friend's hero and adopt a rescue! Be sure to check out our article on what to expect when you're adopting a dog or cat.