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Adopt a Spinone Italiano

Spinone Italiano Dog Breed

Picture: Yann Arthus-Bertrand/Corbis


gundog, pointer

Area of origin:


Original function:

pointing and retrieving

Average size of male:

Ht: 23.5-27.5, Wt: 71-82

Average size of female:

Ht: 22.5-25.5, Wt: 62-71

Other names:

Italian Spinone

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    Friendliness towards dogs

  • Friendliness towards other pets

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    Friendliness towards strangers

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    Ease of training

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    Watchdog ability

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    Protection ability

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    Cold tolerance

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    Heat tolerance

Spinone Italiano Dogs Available on Petfinder Right Now

See more adoptable Spinone Italiano dogs available on Petfinder

Spinone Italiano Dog Temperament

This is a devoted and gentle dog, very willing to please. She is affectionate and gets along well with other dogs and pets and children. She is also courageous. The spinone is calmer and easier going than most pointing breeds.

Spinone Italiano Dog Care

Like all sporting dogs, the spinone needs daily exercise. This can take the form of a long walk or good run off leash. She is a family dog and prefers to share time with her people. Coat care consists of weekly brushing, plus occasional hand-stripping to neaten the face and feet.

Spinone Italiano Dog Health

Major concerns: CHD
Minor concerns: ectropion, gastric torsion, otitis externa
Occasionally seen: cerebral ataxis
Suggested tests: hip, (eye)
Life span: 12-14 years

Interested in the history of the Spinone Italiano dog breed?

The spinone is one of the earliest breeds developed as a pointing dog, with evidence of wirehaired pointing dogs dating as far back as 500 B.C. Dogs resembling the spinone can be found in artwork of 15th- and 16-century Italy. Still, her exact origin remains a mystery, although some believe she arose from Celtic wirehaired stock, whereas others place her origins with Greek traders who brought her to Italy during the times of the Roman Empire. Unfortunately, few records remain of the breed's subsequent development, even though present-day spinoni trace back principally to Italy's Piedmont region. She proved herself adept at penetrating thorny cover and finding feathered or fur game. During World War II, the spinone further distinguished herself by tracking German patrols. The end of the war found the breed in trouble, however, because her numbers had been decimated and many of the remaining dogs crossed with other breeds. The spinone was in danger of being lost. In the 1950s, breeders began a concerted effort to reconstruct the spinone Italiano. Her hunting abilities are well worth the effort. This is a dog that can point, set and retrieve, aided by a good nose and good sense. She is noted for hunting at a fast trot in a diagonal pattern that keeps her fairly close to the hunter and is classified as a versatile hunting breed. She is now a popular dog in Italy and some other European countries, but she has been slower to attract attention in America. The spinone Italiano is also known as the Italian griffon. The word spinone is derived from pino, an Italian thorn bush through which these tough-skinned dogs could hunt in search of the small game often hiding within. The plural form is spinoni (spi-no-ni); the singular is spinone (spi-no-nay).

Copyright © 1998, 2005 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc. based on

Shelters with Spinone Italiano Dogs

Some animal welfare organizations with Spinone Italianos ready for adoption:

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