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Italian Spinone

Group: Gundogs (Group 3)
Club: Victorian Gundog Club Inc (Group 3)
Contact: Ms Sally Haynes
Phone: 0412 629 262

Brief History

The Italian Spinone is an ancient, Italian breed, believed to date back to 500 BC. Bred for hunting, pointing, and retrieving game in the field, they have a great nose, with stamina to work all day and have also been used as assistance dogs. The name Spinone refers to “spino”, the thorny undergrowth found in Italy’s Piedmont region. During the Second World War, the numbers plummeted, but in the 1950's a concerted effort brought the breed back to decent numbers. It is more popular in its native country of Italy, but also across Europe. They are sometimes known as the Italian Griffon.

Average Life Span

When considering a dog, please realise that you are taking it on for its lifetime.

The average life span is 12 to 14 years.


Italian Spinoni have a gentle and serious temperament. They are faithful, intelligent, patient and affectionate, as well as fearless, untiring and very hardy, adaptable to any terrain including water.

General Breed Description

They are a solidly built dog, with strong bone and well-muscled. They have a kind and serious expression and a tough, thick, slightly wiry coat, with softer hair covering the cheeks and upper lips forming a moustache and beard. They have deep yellow to ochre coloured eyes, depending on the colour of their coat. As well as being an excellent hunter, the Spinone can compete successfully in various dog sports such as Obedience, Tracking and Conformation dog shows.

In colour they may be white, white and orange, orange roan, white and brown or brown roan.

Coat and Care Requirements

The Italian Spinone coat needs brushing once or twice a week to keep it neat, plus stripping the hair out to get rid of dead hair. The face, beard and feet need stripping/trimming more often to keep them tidy. Ears should be cleaned regularly.


Height: Males 59 to 69cms (23.5 to 27.5ins), Females 58 to 64cms (23 to 25.5ins).

Weight: Males 34 to 39kgs, Females 29 to 34kgs.


All breeds have individual health issues. When speaking to breeders it is recommended you enquire about the breed’s health and what health testing the breeder does. The Italian Spinone is generally a healthy breed, however health conditions do occur occasionally. These may include Hip Dysplasia (HD) and Elbow Dysplasia, Entropion/Ectropion (eyelid problems) and Bloat.


The Italian Spinone is easy going, docile, and affectionate towards both people and dogs. It is well known for being loving and gentle, due in part to his extremely patient nature. He is loyal to those he knows and still friendly to those he does not. This breed does not like to be left alone for long periods; he enjoys the company of his owner and likes to be part of the family. Whilst Spinoni require regular exercise, they are content to move at a slow, steady pace and will not race off ahead. Training is essential for this intelligent dog, as he is independent and can be stubborn.

In Conclusion

Now you know a little more about this breed. If you have decided this is the dog for you and wish to investigate further, please contact the Breed Club or Dogs Victoria. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog events where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the breed and its needs. With any breed of dog, it is important to research and determine suitability for your lifestyle before committing to a puppy which will be a part of your family for many years to come.

Whilst many breeds are recommended for families, it is imperative that when children are with dogs they are supervised at all times. Basic obedience training is a vital part of dog ownership.

Dogs Victoria is about the responsible ownership of all dogs and in particular the preservation of pure breeds.

Link to ANKC Breed Standard:


Registered Breeders

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