Squarely built, the muscular Italian Spinone is solid and robust. Adult male dogs stand at 60-70cm and weigh 34-39kg, and adult females are 58-65cm tall and weigh 29-34kg. Their medium-length, rough coat comes in white, white and orange, orange roan (a fine mixture of coloured hairs and white hairs), white and brown, and brown roan.
No one is sure of the Italian Spinone dog breed's exact origins, but paintings from the Renaissance period depict Italian wire-haired pointers not dissimilar to today's breed. Sometimes called the Spinone Italiano or the Italian Griffon, he has long been used as a versatile gundog in his homeland, and is a popular HPR (hunt, point, retrieve) breed, as enthusiastic in water, wading through marshes, as he is on land.
A gentle, tolerant, sociable dog, the Italian Spinone is a fun companion and enjoys human companionship – be it playing in the garden, to lying contentedly at your feet at the end of a long walk. An active home, where he can get plenty of regular exercise outdoors, is essential.
The Italian Spinone is generally a healthy, robust breed. As with many large breeds, they can suffer from hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems). Hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important.
At least two hours' daily exercise is needed for this dog. He has great stamina and will enjoy all kinds of exercise – from HPR work, to swimming or retrieving toys (on water or land).
Large breed dogs, as well as having large appetites, benefit from a different balance of nutrients including minerals and vitamins compared to smaller-breed dogs. The Italian Spinone is prone to bloating and stomach problems; smaller, more frequent meals can help minimise this risk.
The thick, coarse coat is 4-6cm in length, and he has bushy eyebrows and a moustache/beard, which collects dribble and food and will need regular wiping. The coat should be brushed a couple of times a week, and stripped if necessary (where the dead is plucked out).