The Spinone Italiano, or Italian Spinone, is a versatile hunting dog breed with a long and distinguished history. Its lineage dates back to over 2000 years, with roots tracing to the Italian peninsula. Some believe that these dogs descended from the Segugio Italiano, a traditional Italian hunting dog, crossed with various French and Spanish breeds. According to the AKC, the breed likely arose from crossing coarsehaired Italian Setters, White Mastiff, and perhaps French Griffons. The Spinone Italiano has been used as a pointing dog since the Renaissance, and its name possibly comes from ""spino,"" an Italian thorny bush where game hides, suggesting the breed's adeptness at retrieving from difficult terrain. Over time, the breed's popularity fluctuated, with numbers severely declining during World War II. However, dedicated breeders have helped to maintain and expand the breed.
The Spinone Italiano Dog breed can be susceptible to allergies, canine hip dysplasia, otitis externa, cerebellar ataxia, and gastric torsion. They may also suffer from eye problems, such as cataracts and entropion.
The Spinone Italiano is known for its gentle, patient, and friendly temperament. They are extremely loyal and form strong bonds with their family, making them excellent family pets. They are also good with children and other dogs. These dogs are intelligent and highly trainable but respond best to positive reinforcement methods. They are energetic and require regular exercise to keep them healthy and content. While they're keen hunters, they are also quite content to spend time at home with their family. They are typically not aggressive or overly shy, but they can be reserved with strangers.
Spinone Italianos have a unique trotting gait, often described as a "bounding trot," that helps them cover ground efficiently during long hunts.
They are natural swimmers, often enjoying water play and activities.
Spinone Italianos are often considered "griffon-type" dogs due to their rough, wiry coat and overall appearance.
This breed is known for its superior scenting nose and an ultrasoft mouth.