An old Italian breed representing the older, heavier type legalist. Spinone Italiano is an excellent helper of the hunter and a gentle family dog that will pull out even the laziest household members for a walk.
The Italian wire-haired pointer is a very calm and composed dog. The word “benevolent” is particularly suited to him, but he would be mistaken who would have taken him for a lazy creature. Sometimes he is overwhelmed by a fool and gives vent to energy in crazy games. You can make use of it, because Spinone is intelligent, smart and can quickly learn even complex tasks.
As a companion of a hunter, Spinone works slowly, methodically and in close contact with the guide (usually he is 30-100 m away), he also always draws attention to him – he puts out the game for the hunter, not for himself. In his work, he is not effective, but effective. It has an excellent sense of smell and works well in various weather and terrain conditions.
He takes the stand-up collar only when he is sure of the bird’s presence. He moves with a fast, rhythmic trot, only at moments turning into a gallop. When he smells the smell of birds, his tail begins to move slightly – as the concentration of the smell increases faster and the dog slower. When it is sure about the location of the bird, it stops, including its tail.
He can also follow wounded animals on both hot and cold tracks. During tracking, he is tense and focused, but at the same time calm and careful. Great retrieves from the water and the convenience of swimming are its characteristic large paws.
Spinone Italiano. Training and education
In training each dog, consistency is important, but in the case of this breed, it is extremely important, because spinons can absolutely exploit human weaknesses. That is why basic obedience should be instilled in them from puppyhood. And because they are sensitive dogs, they require a subtle approach and positive motivation.
Social, pointers who like contact with people are strongly associated with the family. Extremely gentle towards both people and other dogs, they are also patient and gentle in dealing with children. Sometimes it is even the Spinone that you have to defend against too many kids using this feature. Spinone is not at all suitable as a watchman, although his posture may arouse respect.
Who is this race for?
Generally, a Spinone is a trouble-free dog at home, provided it runs out. Otherwise, Italian fantasy awakens in it … That is why representatives of this breed are suitable for people who have time for long walks and are able to provide them with the right dose of movement.
They are great companions during jogging, because they do not try to pull forward gallop, but steadily trot – this is their most natural movement. They can be trained for obedience, tracking and in many other areas. They also work well in dogotherapy.
They are not suitable for garden lovers (they love earthworks!) Or for owners of small animals, such as rabbits or birds – due to strong hunting instincts.
Spinone Italiano. Advantages and disadvantages
needs a lot of traffic
has a strong hunting instinct
very devoted to his family
easy to lay
patient with children
gentle to people and other dogs
They are generally healthy and resistant quadrupeds, although like all breeds with dangling ears they are exposed to their infection (control is necessary especially after swimming).
As large dogs, they also have a higher-than-average risk of hip and elbow dysplasia. Responsible breeders test their animals in this respect. The deep chest makes them also at risk of enlargement and twisting of the stomach.
The most genetic disease associated with the race is cerebellar ataxia – a severe neurological condition that is observed at the age of puppy. Most dogs with this condition are put to sleep at the age of 10-11 months. Sick animals survive a year at most. Fortunately, a carrier test is available to avoid breeding sick dogs.
It should be adapted to the individual predispositions of the dog, including the level of activity – e.g. hunting dogs should receive more energetic food than homemade pets.
Hard, sharp Spinone hair does not tangle, however, it requires trimming and brushing. The frequency of trimming a dog depends on the quality of the individual’s coat and the owner’s preferences. Italians do not trim their dogs. However, it is worth doing it, because then the pointer does not molt.
More attention should be paid to the care of the beard, because spinone is quite salivating. Add to this the love of digging, it can result in a bad smell.
Spinone Italiano. History
Spinone italiano is an old Italian breed whose roots date back to at least the fifth century BC There are various theories about its origin. It is not known which of them is real.
Some believe that this dog came from the now defunct Spanish pointer. Others claim that his ancestor is a Russian pointer. Still, others think that he is a descendant of Celtic dogs. According to another theory, merchants from the Adriatic brought rough-haired dogs to Italy during the heyday of the Roman Empire and they became the ancestors of spinone.
Spinone was formed in Piedmont (a region in northwestern Italy). Many similar dogs are found especially in the Alba district there. The very name “spinone” was not widely used until the early nineteenth century. In some areas, the breed was called Spinoso (Italian prickly, prickly), which eventually evolved into spinone (noun meaning something thorny, prickly).
This name probably refers to the type of coat, although some say that it has to do with the thickets in which the dogs hunted (Italian spiny bush).
Today, Italians claim that spinone is the ancestor of other rough-haired continental pointers, such as the korthals griffon (French breed), German wire-haired pointer or pudelpointer. In turn, the French maintain that spinone is a descendant of various French breeds of legends.
Both sides are right in a way: spinone, the oldest of modern dogs in the type of griffon, can really be the ancestor of the mentioned breeds, but on the other hand it would not survive without them until the mid-twentieth century.
Already before the war, Italian hunters began to experiment, hunting with British breeds: setters, pointers and spaniels. Native dogs became less popular, fewer litters were born. The war destroyed this already small population.
In 1949, prof. Adriano Ceresoli went on a trip around Italy to find out her condition. It turned out that many breeders on their own began to cross the few survivor spinone with other rough-haired pointers.
Currently, spinone is the most popular of the hunting breeds in Italy. Apart from Italy, spinone is very popular in Great Britain and the United States.
Italian wire-haired pointer (spinone italiano) – group VII FCI, section 1.3, reference number 165
Character: extremely gentle towards people (also strangers), sociable, patient, calm, although he also likes crazy games; gentle to other dogs, but can hunt smaller animals; durable and resistant hunter’s helper, an excellent retriever
Size: dogs 60-70 cm, bitches 58-65 cm
Weight: dogs 32-37 kg, bitches 28-30 kg
Coat: rough, stiff, hard, dense, close-fitting, without undercoat; on the body it is 4-6 cm long, on the head, ears, front of legs and paws is slightly shorter; creates thick eyebrows, mustache and beard
Color: pure white, white with orange patches, white with brown patches, roan-orange, roan-brown, roan (sifting of white and colored hair or fine spots on a white background)
Lifespan: 12-14 years
Vulnerability to training: quite high; he learns quickly but has his own ideas
Activity: moderate; calm at home, but needs movement and activity
Immunity: very resistant, only tends to ear infections; there are cerebellar ataxia, dysplasia, and enlargement and torsion of the stomach
During World War II, Italian guerrillas used spinone to track German patrols, giving them the shoe polish used by soldiers for drying. The Germans preferred a specific type, thanks to which dogs could distinguish the marks of German and Italian troops.
The excellent sense of spinone combined with the ability to relatively quietly tearing through the bushes turned out to be very valuable. Dogs usually worked on mountain slopes and in wooded areas, looking for soldiers in dugouts.