Spinone Italiano

"Buon amico"

Photo of Spinone Italiano


Probably griffon-type breeds, blended with gundogs and who-knows-what-else, produced the Spinone Italiano, the plural of which is Spinoni Italiani. These dogs were bred as close-range hunters. Strong and sturdy, with protective coats and a superior sense of smell, the breed enjoyed the admiration of Italian sportsmen.


Spinoni Italiani are easygoing and social with all – animals as well as family. They find children great entertainment and vice versa, as the breed can be clown-like. These dogs are totally useless as guard dogs, although their size and bark can be a deterrent. They're quite content to lounge around the house, but do need exercise to keep them happy and prevent couch-spud spread. Companionable and mellow, five or more might snooze together on the same bed. Spinoni Italiani are sometimes reserved with strangers. It's best to introduce them to new experiences with patience, as they may be hesitant.


The Spinone Italiano's white background color often has chestnut or orange markings, or roaning. The wiry coat is of medium length. Ears are hanging, and the tail, when docked, is about half the length as it is when left natural. The whiskery face and bristly eyebrows give the dog a grandfatherly appearance. Kids can't help but want to hug them, which action is greeted with a happy wag and a sloppy kiss.


Definite people-dogs, Spinoni Italiani are eager to please. Although their instincts and superb nose adapt them easily to performance events, they often find tedious routines boring and need a loving owner to guide them into compliance. Although methodical and sometimes nerve-wrackingly slow in obedience, when the need arises to find a bird in thick underbrush, they can be amazingly fast.

Grooming & Care

The Spinone Italiano's main coat care requirement is simple brushing. Owners who exhibit or who want to show off the breed's spiffy coat should learn the art of hand stripping to satisfy minimal needs. Cleaning those big, droopy ears is a necessity to avoid odor and/or infections.

Health Concerns

The breed, as with other large dogs, has some incidence of hip dysplasia. Bloat can occur. Be sure to talk to the dog's breeder about symptoms and preventative care.

Famous Spinone Italiano

The 15th century Andrea Mantenga painting "Camera degli Sposi" has a Spinone Italiano.

Ideal Owner
Activity Level 3
Schedule 5
Home 44
Children 10
Experience 52
Quick Facts
Grooming 110
Exercise 61
Challenges Care must be taken off-leash as this dog will follow his nose if he catches a scent.
Height 22 to 28 inches
Weight 70 to 90 pounds
Life 13 to 14 years
Home Alone 83
With Kids 21
With Strangers 102
Availability 95

This client information sheet is based on material written by: LifeLearn

© Copyright 2014 LifeLearn Inc. Used and/or modified with permission under license.