The Spinone Italiano is an Italian breed, bred for hunting in the field. They were used for hunting, pointing and retrieving game, but have also been used as an assistance dog. It is an ancient breed and can be dated back to 500BC. During the Second World War, the numbers plummeted, but in the 1950's a concerted effort brought the breed back to decent numbers. It is more popular in it's native country of Italy, but also across Europe. They are also sometimes known as the Italian Griffon.
The Spinone is an intelligent dog and loves a job to do. They like to be around people and do well within a family and love playing with children. They are docile and calm within the home, but like to romp around outside and explore. With other dogs, cats and strangers, there is usually few problems, as they seem to like everyone. Proper socialisation from a young age will help this breed to become accepting of everyone they meet and prevent them becoming timid and shy. They are very loyal to those they know and friendly to those they don't. Rarely aggressive to other dogs or people, but can chase birds. They are clever and seem to pick things up quickly. They were bred to work and enjoy the challenge set by their masters. They do well in agility, tracking, obedience and as therapy dogs, due to their calm, loving nature. They respond best to calm, consistent training and can become nervous if they receive harsh words. They want to please you and enjoy figuring things out. Spinone Italianos like to be around people and don't do well if left for too long. They are best suited to someone who is home for most of the day or has an outside job, where the dog can be with them. Spinones need a fair amount of exercise, but aren't a breed that needs to run for miles. They simply trot along as their own pace and are quite happy if you jog with them. They like to carry things in their mouths, that could be a ball, toy or something they pick up en route. A decent walk every day should be enough to keep them happy, plus a game at home and some much needed cuddle time on the floor or sofa. They are very easy going at home and rarely bark unless there is a need to. They can be a bit slobbery, especially after eating and drinking.
Their coat needs brushing once or twice a week to keep it neat, plus stripping to get rid of dead hair. The face, beard and feet need stripping/trimming more often to keep them tidy. A healthy breed, but Canine Hip Dysplasia and Gastric Torsion (Bloat) can sometimes be seen.
Spinone Italiano have a gentle and serious temperament. They love a good romp around the countryside and will be restless in the home without sufficient exercise. Generally a friend to all they meet the Spinone is an easy going character. It is still important to socialise them early and frequently in order to get a nice calm dog.
Health problems that may affect the Spinone Italiano include canine hip dysplasia (CHD), elbow dysplasia, bloat, ear problems, epilepsy, allergies and eyelid problems (entropion/ectropion).
- Status: Common
- Life Expectancy: 12 - 14 years
- Weight: 29 - 39 kg
- Height: 22- 27"
- Rare: No
- Coat: Medium
- Grooming Requirements: More than once per week
- Town or Country: Country
- Minimum Home Size: Large House
- Minimum Garden Size: Large Garden
- Breed Type: Gun Dog
- Size: Large
- Energy Level: Medium
- Exercise Required: Over 2 hours
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