The Italian Spinone is hardy, affectionate and gentle-natured. Italian Spinones are docile, patient and love children. They have a good reputation as all-purpose gundogs and as family companions. Italian Spinones can have a mind of their own which can cause difficulties for training, but they do want to please their owner so long as too much isn't asked of them. The Italian Spinone gets on well with strangers, other dogs and household pets.
Occasional grooming with a coarse comb is sufficient. Italian Spinones should not be trimmed as it is strictly against breed standards. The excess hair between the pads should be trimmed and the ears passages need to be kept clean.
This breed needs plenty of exercise and is not suitable for a flat or apartment, as they need lots of space to roam and play. Italian Spinones love swimming and are all-round field sports dogs. A good way for them to burn energy is running alongside a cycle once they are fully grown.
Many centuries ago coarse-haired setters called Spinones arrived in Italy with Greek Traders. It is believed that this breed evolved in the area of Piedmont (north-west of Italy) and in countries around the Adriatic Sea. It has been suggested that the Italian Spinones evolved from crosses with the Griffon and lines originating from Russia. During the early 20th century this breed almost became extinct due to it's lack of popularity, however some enthusiastic breeders managed to revive this breed back to its former fame.
General Appearance: Rough, heavy-boned and hardy.
Color: White, white with orange markings, white flecked with flesh colored pigmentation with or without brown markings.
Coat: Rough, wiry, thick, slightly curled and 4-6cm (1.5-2.5 in) in length. The skin is thick and the eyebrows are bushy.
Tail: Commonly docked, tapering and carried horizontally or low.
Ears: Long, pendant, drooping with slightly rounded tips.
Body: The shoulders are muscular, strong and well laid back. The chest is open, wide and ample with well rounded ribs. The length of the body is equal to the height at the withers and the back is straight and slightly rising towards the loin. The belly is slightly raised and the croup is muscular, wide and sloping.
- Italian Spinone is pronounced as "spin-o- ny".
- In Italy the Italian Spinone is considered the most efficient gundog in the country.
- Italian Spinones have dew claws (fifth digit or toenail) on all four feet which give the appearance of the feet being even more massive.