The Spinone Italiano was developed in Italy, but its historical origin is not well known. They were also known as Italian Griffon, Wire-haired Pointer, Coarse-haired Pointer and Spinone. Generally, their name refers to the fact that they have a kinky looking coat that uniquely distinguishes it from other breeds. It was used during hunting to perform various functions such as pointing, chasing and retrieving. They are a very old breed dating back centuries ago but at the start of the 19th century, a lot of variations were introduced due to a lot of cross breeding. They were also affected during the World War and this greatly reduced their population however some dog enthusiasts worked hard to maintain the originality of the breed.
At first glance, the Spinone has two striking features that are its wiry coat and is piercing eyes. It is large with a well-built form and sturdy appearance. It stands at 22 – 28 inches tall and weighs 60 – 85 pounds. It has a round head with a long muzzle. The muzzle is covered with long hair forming a mustache and has a tan colored nose at its tip. Its eyes are yellow and have bushy eyebrows. It has big drooping ears that extend from the side of its head to the neck. Customarily its tail is docked hence does not get to grow to its full length.
The Spinone has a calm and relaxed demeanor that makes it very easy to bond with. They easily accommodate children and other pets and are not aggressive in nature. They rarely bark or confront strangers unless they see their family is under threat. It is a hard working dog with lots of energy and resilience. They were built for hunting and can endure coarse terrain and long hours of trekking. They make the perfect outdoor sports companion as they will jog, run and even go hiking.
Spinone should not be locked up indoors as they are built for outdoor. They should be provided with sufficient exercise so as to maintain their physical and mental well-being. Though they are easy going in nature, they are not easy to train hence trainer should be patient and consistent when dealing with them. It is important to socialize Spinones well so that they can cope with different people and environment.
Like other dog breeds, Spinone is prone to various diseases that include hip dysplasia and gastric torsion. They have a general lifespan of 12 – 14 years.
Spinones should be fed on a high-quality, nutritious diet. The amount of food given depends on the age, weight and metabolic rate of the individual dog. Feed the dog twice a day rather than feeding it anytime to avoid it from becoming obese due to overfeeding.
Coat, Color, and Grooming
They have a dense, wiry coat that has a coarse texture. The various coat colors include a base white with orange, various shades of brown, tan or plain white. Brush the coat weekly to remove dead hair.
With family and other pets
It is a great companion dog that bonds with every family member. It is good with children but because of its large size may be too energetic for toddlers. It is very accommodating to other pets.