We have a long and distinguished continental history. Our ancestry is made up of Italian hounds corssed with French Griffons, amongst others. In fact we date back as far as 500BC. We were bred principally for hunting in woodland and marshy country. For show purposes we only achieved championship status in Britain in 1994. However our popularity is increasing rapidly.
What do I look like?
Now I have to admit we look slightly comical. In fact we look middle aged even when we’re not – it’s probably the moustache and beard that does it. But let me tell you, the male Spinones are quite a hit with the ladies! We have amazing eyes, which are either yellow, orange or ochre, depending upon the colour of our coat. Physically, we’re a fine specimen. Long hind legs mean we stand proud. Our coat is thick and slightly wiry. Our ears are fairly long and pendulous and covered with thick hair. Our body is short, but with a deep chest.
What do I need from you?
We want to be taken seriously – we’re a proper gundog with a proud Mediterranean history. Give us a chance in the field to prove our uses. We’re easily trained, although if you give us a task that we see as pointless we might be stubborn. We are fairly sensitive and can be easily hurt when scolded so motivational training works best. Unlike our native Ferraris we don’t live life in the fast lane. We tend to move at a relaxed trot so don’t feel the need to go racing off. In fact we don’t need excessive walking and we don’t need a huge garden either. We’re just happy to be wanted!
What I will give in return
We’re quite a rare breed in many countries so we’ll earn you a lot of admiration, like a vintage sports car. We’re affectionate and loyal and great as part of a family. Our docile and patient (up to a point!) nature makes us perfect as a child’s pet. We’re even good with strangers – very rarely will you see an Italiano Spinone get worked up about anything. We may give one more thing – slobber. It’s that pesky beard that does it.
How big will I get?
We’ll probably not get above 27in (68cm) and 80lb (36kg) often less, particularly the ladies.
What's our health like?
Some bad news: Cerebellar ataxia (CA) is a deadly hereditary condition that is known to affect Spinone puppies. It is a recessive gene; therefore, both our sire and dam must have been carriers for any pup in a litter to have the condition. What’s more, no puppy with CA has lived past the age of 12 months to date. Fortunately, the Animal Health Trust (UK) has developed a test and carriers can now be identified with 95% certainty. You may need to look into this before purchasing one of our pups.
How long should I be around for?
Lifespan for an Italian Spinone dog is pretty varied – studies have shown anything from 9-14 years.
How big is our litter?
Italian Spinone dog litters vary from 4 to 10 puppies.
We’re currently recruiting breeders and adopters to go here. Could that be you?
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Disclaimer: the views expressed on this page and any comments below are only a guide to typical traits and views on the breed. Individual circumstance and traits will always vary so we can be in no way responsible for any of the information provided.