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Spinone Italiano


Spinone Italiano Facts

  • Group
  • Sporting
  • Affiliations
  • Height
  • 22" - 27"
  • Weight
  • 65-90 lbs.
  • Lifespan
  • 14 years | Add yours

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  • Exercise Requirement
  • High - This breed requires vigorous daily activity
  • Training Requirement
  • Average Training Time
  • Grooming Requirement
  • Difficult
  • Colors
    • White
    • White / Orange
    • White / Chestnut
  • Breed Characteristics
    • Adapted to city living
    • Good with children
    • Hunting heritage
    • Ok outdoors
    • Should sleep indoors

True Cost Of Ownership

Alternate Names

Italian Griffon ,Spinone, Italian spinone, spinoni Italiani (plural) .


The Spinone Italiano originated in the Piedmont region of Italy.

Date Of Origin

This breed developed in the middle ages. There is very little to suggest exactly when it was originally created.


The spinone Italiano is descended from an ancient hunting dog in the Piedmont region of Italy. Although the breed is considered to be one of the oldest griffon types, it is actually an old-type pointer. The spinone is valued for its great stamina and ability to work any terrain.
Some people familiar with the history of the breed claim that the Spinone descended from the now-extinct Spanish Pointer, whilst others claim that it was the ancient Russian Setter that is responsible for the breed we know today. An even more popular theory is that Greek traders brought coarse-haired setters to Italy during the height of the Roman empire, where the dogs were then crossed with various others and the modern Spinone eventually emerged.

The French claim that the Spinone has descended from crosses of several French pointing breeds, whilst the Italians believe the Spinone is the ancestor of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, the German Wirehaired Pointer, and the Pudelpointer. Any one of these claims could be true; perhaps several of them are correct.

During the Second World War, the Spinone became close to extinct. Both the war and the fact that Italian hunters had begun using other breeds (such as setters, pointers, and spaniels) in the hunt, whereas before it was primarily the Spinone. Many breeders had to resort to crossing the Spinone with other wire-haired breeds, such as the Boulet, Wirehaired Pointing Griffon and German Wirehaired Pointer.

The breed was not officially known as "Spinone" until the early nineteenth century. Before then, some areas knew the breed as the "Spinoso". The breed was named after an Italian thorn bush, the pino, which was a favorite hiding place for small game because for larger animals it was practically impenetrable. Only thick-skinned, coarse-haired animals could fight through the branches unharmed to locate the game. The Spinone was the breed most capable of doing so, and therefore the name was formed.


This is a large, muscular, and sturdy dog. It has a large head and square muzzle with yellow brown eyes, a large nose that ranges from flesh to brown and triangular, long drop ears. The chest is deep and broad. The harsh coat is medium length on the body but longer on the face, forming a beard, mustache, and eyebrows. It may be solid white, white and orange, orange roan with or without markings, white with brown markings, or brown roan, with or without brown markings. The tail is docked and carried horizontally or down.


The spinone Italiano is enthusiastic and playful with a gentle, calm demeanor. It can be obstinate and is often wary of strangers and in new situations. It is hardworking and tends to be vocal. It is said that no one has ever been bitten by a spinone.


Popular with both commoners and nobility in the 1700's, it was used for all types of hunting until the French revolution. After a long decline it returned to vogue at the end of the nineteenth century, and its popularity is still high. Due to its robustness and ability to work in water for long periods of time without becoming ill, it makes the perfect modern day hunter. After hunting season has ended this breed also makes an excellent companion dog, since it is tranquil, clean and polite.

Health Concerns

Cerebellar ataxia, eye problems, hip dysplasia, malocclusion of the teeth, visceral leishmaniasis.

Additional Information

This dog requires an active family in a rural or suburban environment.

Show Sources & Contributors +


The Howell Book Of Dogs

Publisher: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Author: Liz Palika

Dog Bible

Publisher: BowTie Press, 2005

Website: http://www.bowtiepress.com/bowtie/

Authors: Kristin Meuh-Roe, Jarelle S. Stein

Simon & Schusters Guide to Dogs

Publisher: Simon & Schuster inc, 1980

Website: http://www.simonandschuster.com

Author: Elizabeth Meriwether Schuler

The New Encyclopedia of the Dog

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2000

Website: http://www.dk.com

Author: Bruce Fogle


Publisher: WikiMedia Foundation, On Going

Website: http://en.wikipedia.org/

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