Breed Family: Gun Dog
Country of Origin: Italy
Size: Medium, height 60-70cm, weight 34-39kg
Also Known as: Spinone, Italian Griffon, Italian Wire-haired Pointer, Italian Coarsehaired Pointer
Lifespan: Approximately 12+ years
Care Requirements: Medium
Exercise Requirements: Medium
General information and Appearance
The Spinone Italiano is a hardy breed accustomed to hunting in rough terrain. The dog’s entire body is built to withstand difficult circumstances from its coarse hair to its powerful build.
This is breed has square build, with its height being nearly equal to its length. The body is sound and solid. The legs are straight in the front and slanted in the back from the side angle, but powerfully muscular. Their necks and backs are strong and thick leading into a solid arch. The head is long with a square muzzle and soft, yellow-brown eyes. The paws are webbed, which helps their retain their excellent swimming abilities.
The coat of this dog is very thick and wiry. It is fairly short, and even shorter on the ears, head and feet. The hairs are very dense across the body and though there is no undercoat, the coat keeps the dog warm even in the coldest water. Common colours for this dog include white, white and orange, orange roan, white with brown, brown roan or chestnut. Less desired colours are black, tan or tri-colour. Most dogs have spotted markings on the heads, feet and on the body as well.
Spinone dogs are kind and loving. They are a good fit for families with children because of their loving nature, and also because of the enthusiasm. This breed displays little aggression. They are friendly even with strangers, and thus are not recommended as guard dogs. They do not do well as pack leaders, so establishing the owner as alpha is very important.
This breed is calm and docile, while also remaining enthusiastic and playful. These dogs enjoy living with their families and are not a good fit for an outdoor only dog. This dog wants to be inside, with the people as part of the family.
This dog is very intelligent and gentle, which makes them fairly easy to train. They are slow and steady in action, but they learn very quickly. They can be stubborn in learning, which further illustrates the need for a strong alpha. They are very gentle and thus the approach in training must be gentle. Aggressive behaviour will push this dog further from learning the task at hand.
There are a few health conditions that affect this breed, although they are not very common. Hip dysplasia, which most frequently plagues larger dogs, is seen in this breed. This dog can also have an abnormal gait stemming from Cerebellar Ataxia.
Bloat can also be a problem for this dog, although it is quite rare. Bloat is actually a very preventable problem. If the dog seems overexcited during meal times and seems to inhale its food, the dog should be fed smaller meals more frequently. This will reduce the dog’s tendency to gulp in air when eating and developing bloat.
Breeders pay very close attention to any inherited health problems. It is important to ask a breeder about the health history of the pups in order to learn a little more. Australian breeders are vigilant when it comes to keep disease out of bloodlines.
Grooming and Care
Due to the coarse hair of this dog, stripping is the most common grooming practice. Rather than cutting the hair, or the dog shedding, the groomer pulls out the hairs once they are dead. This does not hurt the dog and clears room for a fresh, new coat to grow in. Clipping the hair can soften the hair and the wiry texture will be lost. Additionally, this dog should only be bathed when necessary. Over grooming or bathing will ruin the texture of the dog’s coat.
Suitability as Pet In Australia
These dogs are wonderful family pets or hunting companions. They can be kept in smaller homes as long as they have exercise. Rather than being a fast and high-energy dog, this breed will enjoy long walks at a regular pace. Just because they are slower does not mean that they do not need exercise, however. A dog with too much energy is like to act out at home.
These dogs also make determined and loyal hunting companions. They should not live solitary lives, but would be happy to accompany a hunter. They are excellent retrievers as well as swimmers.
Spinone Italiano Organisations in Australia
No club information listed
Spinone Italiano Organisations in the UK
American Kennel Club – Breed Rescue
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