The Spinone Italiano or Italian Spinone is an ancient Italian dog breed that can be traced back to approximately 500 BC! It was originally bred as a versatile gun dog, and its traditionally been used for hunting, pointing and retrieving game. The Spinone is well known for being a very friendly, alert and loyal dog.
The Spinone is a strong-boned, solidly built, muscular dog that is suited to almost any kind of terrain. Brown and white Spinone can sometime be confused with a German Wirehaired Pointer, however their long head and pronounced occipital are unique to the breed. The Spinone are well known for having an intelligent expression with human-like eyes and their tails are customarily docked a half length. Spinone have disproportionate, puppy-like webbed paws which make them very powerful swimmers.
Their coat is tough (slightly wiry) and close fitting on the body, however their ears, muzzle, head and parts of the legs and feet are covered with shorter hair. Longer but softer hair covers their cheeks and muzzle creating a profuse moustache and beard.
Their are several colour variants of the Spinone... solid white, white with orange, orange roan with (or without) markings, white with brown and brown roan with (or without) brown markings. The pigment of skin, lips, nose and pads on their feet should be a fleshy red-orange on the white dogs and slightly darker on the brown and orange dogs. The white and orange coloration is unique amongst the wire-haired gun dogs.
This breed of dog is very affectionate, easy going, docile and generally gets along very well with both people and other dogs. They are very loyal, loving and great with children.... they have a patient nature and is not known for any aggression.
The Spinone has been called the perfect dog to run or jpg with, because typically it moves at a relaxed trot and will not run off in front from you They are an active breed but their not a racy dog like most other hunting breeds. They can be more than happy in a small yard or garden as long at they get regular walks and exercise.
Careful breeding has thankfully helped to reduce the number of health issues that Spinone suffer but like all purebred dogs they do have health problems. Cerebellar ataxia is a deadly hereditary condition that is known to affect Spinone puppies, both sire and dam must have been carriers for any pup in a litter to have this condition. No puppy with CA has lived past the age of 12 months to date. Most puppies that have been diagnosed with the condition are euthanised at 10–11 months. However, the AHT (UK) has developed a test for this condition. Carriers can now be identified to a 95% certainty.
The Spinone can suffer hip dysplasia, like most large breeds. If caught before 16 weeks hip dysplasia can often be surgically corrected.
Other known health conditions and issues are bloat, cancer, skin conditions and ear infections. Quistel has been supplying Spinone owners with our 'Ear Cleaners' for many years now... so its a breed that we know can suffer with ear problems and infections, and thankfully our ear cleaner helps!
Useful Links -
Spinone Health & First Aid http://spinonehealth.weebly.com/new-puppy-health-care.html
Italian Spinone Club of Great Britain http://www.italianspinone.co.uk
The Southern Italian Spinone Society - http://www.southern-spinone.co.uk/