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Spinone Italiano: The Ultimate Guide to the Italian Dog Breed

August 24, 2023

Welcome to the ultimate guide to the Spinone Italiano, one of Italy's most beloved dog breeds. This versatile breed has become increasingly popular in the United States in recent years due to their friendly nature and loyalty. As you delve into this guide, you'll learn about the Spinone Italiano's history, personality, characteristics, and how to care for them.

Spinone Italiano in a field

Key Takeaways

  • The Spinone Italiano is a versatile and popular breed in the United States.
  • Throughout this guide, you'll learn about the Spinone Italiano's historical background, personality, care requirements, and much more.
  • Whether you're considering bringing home a Spinone Italiano puppy or are simply interested in learning more about this wonderful breed, this guide has everything you need to know.

History of the Spinone Italiano

The Spinone Italiano has a rich history that dates back to ancient times. While its exact origins are unclear, it is believed that the Spinone descended from various Italian hunting breeds. These dogs were prized for their versatility, and were used to hunt a variety of game, including birds, rabbits, and even wild boar.

The breed's popularity continued to grow throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance periods, and by the 1800s, the Spinone had become a favorite among Italian nobility. However, the breed's numbers declined significantly after World War II, and it was only through the efforts of dedicated breeders that the Spinone Italiano was saved from extinction.

Preserved Characteristics

Despite its long and varied history, the Spinone Italiano has managed to preserve many of its original characteristics. For example, the breed's distinctive coat is still essential for protection against harsh terrain and inclement weather, while its friendly and loyal temperament makes it an excellent companion for families and individuals alike.

Today, the Spinone Italiano is recognized as one of Italy's most beloved dog breeds, and has gained a loyal following among dog enthusiasts around the world.

Personality of the Spinone Italiano

The Spinone Italiano is a friendly and affectionate breed known for their loyalty and intelligence. They thrive on human interaction and enjoy spending time with their families. Spinone Italianos are known for their calm and patient temperament, making them excellent companions for families with children and other pets. They are eager to please and respond well to positive reinforcement training methods.

While they are gentle by nature, they are also brave and protective when needed. They make excellent watch dogs and will bark to alert their owners of any potential danger. However, they are not aggressive and are typically welcoming to strangers.

Characteristics of the Spinone Italiano

Spinone Italianos are medium to large dogs with a distinctive appearance. They have a sturdy and muscular build, standing around 22 to 27 inches at the shoulder and weighing 61 to 85 pounds. Their head is square and broad, with a prominent nose and large, expressive eyes. They have long, droopy ears and a thick, shaggy coat that comes in colors such as white, orange roan, and brown roan.

Their coat is water-resistant and requires regular grooming to maintain its texture and appearance. Owners should brush their Spinone Italianos at least once a week to prevent matting and tangling. Bathing should be done only when necessary, as too much washing can strip the coat of its natural oils.

Spinone Italianos are known for their distinctive "top-knot" of hair on their head, which is longer than the rest of the coat and gives them a unique appearance. They are also known for their "human-like" expression and gentle, calm demeanor.

Physical Characteristics

The following table provides a summary of the physical characteristics of the Spinone Italiano:

Height at Shoulder22 to 27 inches
Weight61 to 85 pounds
CoatShaggy and water-resistant, coming in colors such as white, orange roan, and brown roan
EarsLong and droopy

Overall, Spinone Italianos are unique and beloved breed that make wonderful pets for families and individuals alike.

Care and Grooming for the Spinone Italiano

The Spinone Italiano is a low-maintenance breed when it comes to grooming, but regular care is still necessary to keep them healthy and comfortable. Here are some tips on how to care for and groom your Spinone Italiano.

Exercise and Diet

Spinone Italianos are active dogs that require regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. A daily walk or jog, coupled with plenty of playtime, should suffice for most Spinone Italianos. Ensure they get a balanced diet suitable for their age, size, and activity level, and consult with a veterinarian if necessary.

Grooming Routine

The Spinone Italiano's coat is thick, wiry, and water-resistant. They do not shed excessively, but their coat does require regular care to prevent matting or tangling. Brush their coat once or twice a week using a slicker brush or grooming glove. Bathe them as needed, but not too frequently to avoid drying out their skin. Trim their nails and clean their ears regularly to prevent infections.

Coat Maintenance

The Spinone Italiano's coat does not require any trimming or shaping, but it does need occasional stripping. Stripping involves plucking dead hairs from the coat using your fingers or a stripping knife. It helps maintain the coat's texture, color, and water-resistance. Consider hiring a professional groomer familiar with the breed to perform this task.

Health Issues

Like all breeds, the Spinone Italiano is prone to certain health problems. Common issues include hip dysplasia, eye disorders, and ear infections. Regular vet check-ups and preventive care can help detect and manage any potential health issues early on.

By following a regular grooming routine and maintaining good overall health, your Spinone Italiano can live a long and happy life by your side.

Training the Spinone Italiano

The Spinone Italiano is a natural hunting dog, making them an excellent candidate for training. Their intelligence, eagerness to please, and loyalty make them receptive to training methods.

Early socialization and obedience training are crucial to ensure a well-behaved and happy Spinone Italiano. Positive reinforcement techniques such as rewards and praise can be effective in motivating these gentle giants.

It is important to note that the Spinone Italiano can be stubborn at times, so patience and consistency are key in training. They respond best to a firm, yet gentle approach.

Challenges in Training

One potential challenge in training these dogs is their strong hunting instinct. They may become easily distracted by wildlife or scents, so proper leash training and recall training should be a priority.

Another challenge can be their size and strength. Early leash training and socialization with other dogs can help prevent any potential issues with leash pulling or aggression towards other dogs.

Overall, with patience, consistency and commitment, the Spinone Italiano can be a well-trained and obedient companion.

Spinone Italiano running in the park

Health and Lifespan of the Spinone Italiano

The Spinone Italiano is generally a healthy breed with a lifespan of 10-12 years. However, like all breeds, they may be prone to certain health issues. It is important to be aware of these conditions and to take preventive measures to ensure the health and well-being of your Spinone Italiano.

Hip DysplasiaA condition where the hip joint does not develop properly, causing pain and discomfort. Recommended hip screenings include PennHIP and OFA.
BloatA serious condition where the stomach fills with gas and twists, cutting off blood supply. This is a life-threatening emergency and requires immediate veterinary attention.
Eye DiseasesProgressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Cataracts, and Entropion are some of the eye diseases that may affect the Spinone Italiano. Regular eye exams are recommended.
Ear InfectionsSpinone Italianos have long, droopy ears which may make them susceptible to ear infections. Regular ear cleaning and grooming are important preventative measures.

Before bringing home a Spinone Italiano puppy, it is recommended to inquire about health clearances from the breeder, including hip, eye, and other relevant screenings. Frequent check-ups with a veterinarian and regular exercise and nutrition are also essential for maintaining the overall health and lifespan of your Spinone Italiano.

Finding a Spinone Italiano Breeder

When looking for a Spinone Italiano breeder, it's important to find a reputable and responsible breeder who prioritizes the health and welfare of their dogs. Here are some tips to help you find the perfect breeder:

  • Research breeders online and read reviews from previous customers
  • Check with Spinone Italiano clubs or organizations for a list of recommended breeders
  • Visit breeders in person to see their facilities and assess the dogs' living conditions
  • Ask the breeder about health clearances and genetic testing for any potential health issues
  • Inquire about the breeder's experience and knowledge of the breed
  • Ask to see the puppy's parents and assess their temperament and behavior

Remember that a responsible breeder will also ask you questions about your lifestyle and expectations for the dog, and may even require a home visit to ensure a good match. Be prepared to answer these questions and provide references.

Bringing Home a Spinone Italiano Puppy

Bringing home a Spinone Italiano puppy can be an exciting and rewarding experience. However, it's important to make sure you're prepared for the responsibility of raising a dog. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Prepare a safe and comfortable living space for your new puppy.
  • Invest in essential supplies, such as food, water bowls, a leash, collar, and a crate.
  • Schedule an appointment with a veterinarian for a health check-up and vaccinations.

It's important to establish routines early on, such as meal times and potty breaks. Crate training can also be helpful for potty training and ensuring your puppy feels safe and secure. However, remember to never leave your puppy in the crate for extended periods of time.

Socialization is crucial for your Spinone Italiano puppy's development. Introduce them to new people, animals, and environments to help them become well-adjusted and confident.

Remember to be patient and consistent with your training and always use positive reinforcement techniques. With proper care and attention, your Spinone Italiano puppy will grow into a loving and loyal companion.

Spinone Italiano as a Family Pet

The Spinone Italiano is a wonderful breed to consider for families seeking a loyal and gentle companion. Their friendly and patient nature makes them excellent with children, and they tend to get along well with other animals.

It's important to note that as a hunting breed, the Spinone Italiano has a high prey drive and may be prone to chasing small animals. However, with proper socialization and training, they can learn to coexist peacefully with other pets in the household.

The Spinone Italiano's calm demeanor also makes them a great choice for families living in smaller spaces, such as apartments. Although they are an active breed, they are not known to be high-energy or hyperactive, and are content with moderate exercise and lots of love and attention.

Overall, the Spinone Italiano's temperament and versatility as a family pet make them a great choice for households seeking a loyal and loving companion.

Spinone Italiano: A Versatile Companion

The Spinone Italiano is a truly versatile dog breed, excelling in many different roles. Originally bred as a hunting dog in Italy, the Spinone has a natural talent for tracking and retrieving game. However, their gentle and affectionate nature makes them an excellent family pet, and their intelligence and eagerness to please make them adaptable to various types of training and tasks.

In addition to hunting, the Spinone Italiano also excels in other sports and activities. They have been known to compete in agility, obedience, and other performance events. They are also used as therapy dogs, providing comfort and companionship to those in need. Their adaptable nature and willingness to please make them well-suited to a variety of roles and environments.

Spinone Italiano in Pop Culture

The Spinone Italiano has made appearances in several movies, TV shows, and advertisements over the years. This gentle giant has been featured in popular media thanks to its unique appearance and lovable personality.

One of the most famous Spinone Italianos in pop culture is Enzo, the dog from the novel and subsequent film adaptation of "The Art of Racing in the Rain." Enzo, portrayed by multiple dogs on set, quickly became a fan favorite for his loyal and compassionate nature.

"In Mongolia, when a dog dies, he is buried high in the hills so people cannot walk on his grave. The dog's master whispers into the dog's ear his wishes that the dog will return as a man in his next life. Then his tail is cut off and put beneath his head, and a piece of meat or fat is placed in his mouth to sustain his soul on its journey; before he is reincarnated, the dog's soul is freed to travel the land, to run across the high desert plains for as long as it would like." - Enzo, "The Art of Racing in the Rain"

The Spinone Italiano has also been featured in several advertisements, including a popular campaign for the car company, Subaru. In the commercials, a family of Spinone Italianos drive around in a Subaru, showcasing the car's spacious and pet-friendly design.

Overall, the Spinone Italiano's charming demeanor and unique appearance have made it a favorite among dog lovers and pop culture enthusiasts.

Spinone Italiano Related Products

If you're a proud owner of a Spinone Italiano, you'll want to make sure they have all the necessary products to keep them healthy and happy. Fortunately, there are many products available specifically designed for this breed.

Dog Supplies

When it comes to dog supplies, there are many options available for the Spinone Italiano. From basic necessities like food and water bowls to specialized toys and training tools, you can find all you need to provide your Spinone with a comfortable and content life.

Grooming Tools

With their unique coat, Spinone Italianos require special grooming tools to keep them in top condition. Look for brushes specifically designed for their wiry, thick coat, and consider investing in special shampoos and conditioners to keep their coat healthy and shiny.


From collars and leashes to dog beds and blankets, there are many accessories available that can enhance your Spinone Italiano's life. Consider purchasing a comfortable bed for your dog to rest after a long day of playing, or a durable leash for walks together.

When selecting products for your Spinone Italiano, it's important to do your research and choose high-quality items that are safe and durable. Talk to other Spinone owners and consult with your veterinarian for recommendations on the best products for your furry friend.

Spinone Italiano Community and Organizations

Are you a Spinone Italiano enthusiast looking to connect with other owners and lovers of the breed? Fortunately, there are numerous community and organization resources available to you.

Several breed clubs and associations exist around the world, providing a space for Spinone Italiano owners to come together for events, training, and socialization opportunities. In the United States, notable clubs include the Spinone Club of America and the American Kennel Club's Spinone Italiano Parent Club.

If you're interested in rescuing a Spinone Italiano or providing support to the breed, there are also several rescue organizations dedicated to helping these dogs in need. Look into the Spinone Rescue Network or the Spinone Italiano Club of Canada Rescue for more information.

For online resources, there are several forums and social media groups dedicated to the Spinone Italiano. These can be great places to connect with other owners, ask questions, and share experiences. Check out the Spinone Italiano Lovers Facebook group or the SpinoneWorld forum for more information.

Regardless of your interest or involvement with the Spinone Italiano, there is no shortage of community and organization resources available to you. Consider reaching out and connecting with other enthusiasts to share your love for this incredible breed.


The Spinone Italiano is a versatile dog breed that makes an excellent companion for families and individuals alike. With its friendly and affectionate personality, the Spinone Italiano is sure to capture the hearts of anyone who crosses its path.

Throughout this guide, we've covered everything from the breed's history and physical characteristics to its care and training requirements. We've also highlighted the numerous benefits of owning a Spinone Italiano and provided tips on finding a reputable breeder and bringing home a new puppy.

Consider the Spinone Italiano as Your Next Family Pet

With its loyal and patient temperament, the Spinone Italiano is an ideal choice for families with children or other pets. Its adaptability makes it suitable for a range of living situations, from small apartments to large homes with plenty of outdoor space.

Experience the Versatility of the Spinone Italiano

Not only is the Spinone Italiano a wonderful companion, but it also excels in a range of tasks and activities. From hunting to agility sports, this breed has a natural talent for various tasks, making it a versatile and valuable addition to any household.

Overall, the Spinone Italiano is a beloved breed with a rich history and many wonderful qualities. If you're looking for a furry friend that offers affection, loyalty, and versatility, the Spinone Italiano may be the perfect dog for you.


Q: What is the history of the Spinone Italiano?

A: The Spinone Italiano has a rich history that dates back to ancient times. Originally bred in Italy for hunting purposes, they were developed to be versatile hunting dogs.

Q: What is the personality of the Spinone Italiano?

A: Spinone Italianos are known for their friendly and affectionate nature. They are intelligent and loyal, making them great family pets. They get along well with children and other animals.

Q: What are the characteristics of the Spinone Italiano?

A: Spinone Italianos are medium-sized dogs with a distinctive appearance. They have a dense, wiry coat that comes in various colors. They are known for their unique facial expression and droopy ears.

Q: How do I care for and groom a Spinone Italiano?

A: Spinone Italianos require regular exercise, a balanced diet, and routine grooming. Their coat needs to be brushed regularly to prevent matting. They are generally a healthy breed, but regular vet check-ups are important.

Q: Is the Spinone Italiano easy to train?

A: Yes, Spinone Italianos are highly trainable. They have a strong hunting instinct and excel in obedience training. Early socialization and positive reinforcement techniques are key to their successful training.

Q: What is the average lifespan of a Spinone Italiano?

A: Spinone Italianos have an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years. With proper care and a healthy lifestyle, they can live long and fulfilling lives.

Q: How do I find a reputable Spinone Italiano breeder?

A: It is important to do thorough research and visit breeders in person. Look for breeders who prioritize the health and well-being of their dogs. Breed clubs and organizations can also provide recommendations.

Q: What should I consider when bringing home a Spinone Italiano puppy?

A: Puppy preparation, crate training, and socialization are important when bringing home a Spinone Italiano puppy. Establishing routines and providing a safe and loving environment are key to their development.

Q: Is the Spinone Italiano suitable as a family pet?

A: Yes, Spinone Italianos make excellent family pets. They are gentle and patient, making them great companions for children and other pets. They thrive in a loving and nurturing household.

Q: How versatile is the Spinone Italiano?

A: The Spinone Italiano is a highly versatile breed. They excel in hunting tasks but also make great companions for various activities. They are adaptable and can participate in sports or work alongside their owners.

Q: Are there any famous Spinone Italianos in popular culture?

A: Yes, there have been Spinone Italianos featured in movies, TV shows, and advertisements. Their unique appearance and lovable nature have made them popular in the media.

Q: Are there any Spinone Italiano-related products available?

A: Yes, there are various dog supplies, grooming tools, and accessories available for Spinone Italiano owners. It is important to choose reputable brands that cater to the specific needs of the breed.

Q: Are there any Spinone Italiano communities or organizations?

A: Yes, there are clubs, rescue groups, and forums dedicated to Spinone Italiano enthusiasts. Connecting with other owners can provide valuable support and information. Reputable breed associations or organizations can also be helpful resources.

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