The Spinone Italiano is an all-purpose hunting dog breed that has been around since the Middle Ages (1200s). More commonly referred to as just Spinone this dog breed has at one time or another gone by the name of: 1) Italian Coarse-haired Pointer; 2) Italian Griffon.
Origins of Spinone Italiano
The exact origins of this dog breed are uncertain. One theory contends that its ancestors were early French dogs such as the Barbet and the Griffon that were cross-bred to develop the Spinone Italiano.
Others postulate that the Spinone Italiano arose from Celtic wirehaired hounds, other theories yet hypothesize that this dog breed came about as a result of Greek canine imports via Greek Traders.
And last but not least (and entirely believable) there is the school of thought that says that the Spinone Italiano is a purely indigenous Italian dog descended from the ancient Italian hound—the Segugio Italiano—and that the Spinone so happens to be the founding father of all those other dog breeds it supposedly was developed from!
The Spinone Italiano in the Field
The Spinone Italiano is a big ultra-friendly dog. So accepting is this dog of people including strangers that one author was moved to quoting that “nobody has ever been bitten by a Spinone!” High praise indeed; that said this dog is very playful bordering on the rowdy and does unsurprisingly fantastically with kids.
Though it is slower than the english Pointer in the field it is still an excellent field dog outranking all other Italian gundogs in efficiency as a hunter. Due to its rugged, wiry coat and tough skin, the Spinone Italiano will venture into forbidding regions that other hunting dogs would never dare!
In fact this dog breed owes its name to the fact that it will venture into a particularly formidable thorny Italian bush called the pino that no other dog will! Be it field, swamp, forest or mountainous region the Spinone Italiano will venture forth without hesitation.
On account of its affable nature towards people, dog and other animals, the Spinone Italiano makes an excellent pet who will catch your dinner if and when the occasion arises.
Temperament of the Spinone Italiano
The Spinone Italiano is a gentle dog breed that desires nothing more than to please its owners. As mentioned before because of its playful nature and acceptance of all and sundry this dog gets on famously with kids and makes for an excellent home companion.
The Spinone Italiano is very affectionate and does not make for the best guard dog or protection hound (not surprising considering its ready acceptance of strangers).
Upkeep of the Spinone Italiano.
Like any other sporting dog breed the Spinone needs a fair amount of daily exercise if the dog is to remain in a happily balanced state. Exercise can be in the form of a long walk or a boisterous run off its leash. Thanks to its rugged covering this dog breed is perfectly suited to living outdoors in temperate and cool regions.
Coat care optimally requires weekly brushing and the occasional trim to remove excess fur insuch regions as the face and feet where it can quickly become somewhat extensive.
Health, Form & Function of the Spinone Italiano
The Spinone Italiano is a relatively long lived dog breed that has a life span that averages out between 12 – 14 years. This breed of hound is dogged (yes…pun intended) by only one major affliction which is CHD (canine hip dysplasia).
Thus obviously hip testing is recommended and to a lesser degree so is testing of the eyes because ectropion is a predominant minor health concern.
Article on Spinone Italiano by Kayye Nynne