Italian Spinone

Other names: Spinone Italiano

Italian Spinone

Docile and gentle, this hunting and pointing breed of dog has ancestry dating back many years. The Spinone Italiano makes both a great dog to exercise with and also a fantastic family pet. His name is taken from the type of coat he has, the “spino”, wiry and thorn-repellent hair.  A sturdy, dependable dog with an amazing zest for life. Likewise, very easy-going and adaptable. He can be out hunting one day, then loves spending the next day hiking with his family.

Key facts about the Italian Spinone

Life expectancy :





Temperament :

Playful Intelligent Hunter

Size :

Origins and history

In European countries, various regions developed and bred pointing and hunting canines depending on the type of game and of course, the terrain of the country. Because of this, the Spinone Italiano was first developed some 300 years ago, as an Italian Pointer dog. Initially, it was bred in the north west of Italy, in the Piedmont region. The parent dogs used to develop the breed are thought to have been a French Griffon and a white Mastiff, to produce a perfect hunting and pointing offspring.

FCI breed nomenclature

FCI Group

Group 7 - Pointing Dogs


Section 1 : Continental Pointing Dogs

Physical characteristics of the Italian Spinone

Adult size

Female : Between 23 and 26 in

Male : Between 24 and 28 in


Female : Between 62 and 66 lb

Male : Between 71 and 82 lb

Coat colour

Type of coat

Eye colour



With the appearance of a square, muscular body, this Italian Spinone breed is very powerful and strong. Sporting a long head and either dark brown or amber eyes, depending on the colour of his coat. Triangle-shaped ears that hang down and a tail that swishes from side to side when he is at work.

These dogs are very endearing with their “human-like” expressive face. You would sometimes think that he is smiling at you.

Good to know

Like many dogs with a shaggy, unkempt coat, the Spinone Italiano dog can be quite messy.  After an energetic hike he will probably have mud, grass and other matter clinging to his rough coat. He won’t mind if he leaves this debris deposited through your house when he returns home. Similarly, he tends to drool or slobber and when eating his food, this often clings to his facial hair. He only needs to cuddle up to you after feeding and you will be covered in food debris and saliva. He also sheds his coat, so all in all, he’s not a very fastidious house guest.


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    The Italian Spinone is a very laid-back, placid dog who is fun to be around. Of course, like many other breeds, he loves nothing more than stretching out on the sofa to relax.

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    As a very social dog, who loves nothing more than a run around the field, he is also fond of group activities. His natural responses include retrieving and he will happily keep bringing you balls and other small objects that you throw for him. Even though he’s a very patient and docile breed, he is also quite robust. They soon learn how to get their own way however, so training with a firm hand is needed.

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    When a Spinone Italiano is a pup, he can be full of energy, high-spirited and somewhat rowdy. However, all this changes when he matures into a dignified, quiet dog who prefers to be seen and not heard.

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    This dog is certainly very intelligent and loves to be kept busy. Although he is sometimes easily distracted and has a slightly stubborn streak too, he is a quick learner. You will discover that he is eager to please his new master.

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    As this is a hunting-dog breed, of course they have a natural instinct to hunt, point and then retrieve game and small animals.

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    Fearful / wary of strangers

    This is an even-tempered breed of dog who is very playful, loving and patient, especially with their family. When meeting any new people, they may be quite hesitant at first, but will soon warm to them after a short while.

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    The Spinone Italiano is a good-natured pet who aims to please his owner. He can often be rather stubborn and as a hunting dog breed, he will be easily distracted by sounds, scents and sights.

    As teenage dogs, males often go through a difficult stage which means they can be quite distracted and naughty if left alone. Females tend to have more hormonal temperaments, especially when they come into heat.

    Behaviour of the Italian Spinone

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      Tolerates solitude

      A Spinone Italiano needs sufficient daily exercise and mental stimulation to prevent separation anxieties. They much prefer if they have company at home during the day, rather than being left alone for several hours. A bored or stressed dog can sometimes be very destructive around the home.

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      Easy to train / obedience

      Certainly a dog that is eager to please his master. He responds well to consistent, fair training, especially when these routines have begun at an early age. These charming dogs pick up new things very quickly, although this also means that they collect bad habits quite easily too!

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      In some cases, a Spinone Italiano pup might like to hear the sound of his own voice, however, in most cases, these dogs only bark when strangers are around. Ultra-sensitive too, this breed doesn’t like to be spoke to in a raised voice.

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