Complete Guide To The Spinone Italiano: Personality, Exercise, Feeding and More

While this dog has a particular Old World look, with its endearing beard and bushy eyebrows, this dog is quickly growing in popularity due to its affectionate nature and relatively low exercise needs. The Spinone Italian may be challenging to train but is perfect for families of all sizes. Once almost driven to extinction, the Spinone Italiano is quickly becoming a popular dog throughout the United States.

How Big Does A Spinone Italiano Get?

Male23″ – 27″ at the shoulder75 – 86 lbs
Female22″ – 25″ at the shoulder61-80 lbs

What Do Spinone Italiano Dogs Look Like?

Its wooly, tufted coat defines the Spinone Italiano. The dog has a specific Old World look with wavy fur that is shaggy. They have thick eyebrows and a long beard that makes this dog look like he has quite a bit of facial hair.

A Spinone Italiano can come in three colors, including orange and white, solid white, or brown and white. This dog is powerful and strong yet built for long-hauls rather than short sprints.  

What Is The Personality Of A Spinone Italiano?

This dog makes a perfect family dog and can be quite affectionate and loving. They like to please people at their core but can be a bit stubborn in the process. The dog is extremely smart, and will sometimes look to barter with training rather than submit entirely.

It is essential to have strong, steady, and consistent training techniques with this dog. Although the dog is stubborn, it is also very sensitive and will not respond well to harsh training methods. Positive reinforcement with short sessions is best.  

Because this dog is attached to humans, it thrives on human attention. This dog will not do well if left alone for long hours, often turning to destructive or nuisance behaviors. The dog must have a home with a large yard and is not well suited for apartment life.  

How Much Grooming Does A Spinone Italiano Need?

Despite its curly, fluffy fur, this dog has relatively low grooming requirements. Instead of traditional grooming and brushing, the wiry fur must be “hand-stripped.” This process involves pulling out the dead hair by hand. Compared to other dogs with similar coat lengths, the fur mats and tangles more easily.

Keep the hair clean and brushed, and maintain about 2.5 inches in length. Like other dogs, keep the Spinone’s ears cleaned about once a week to prevent painful ear infections. The nails should be kept short if not naturally worn short by walking over rough surfaces.  

How Much Exercise Does A Spinone Italiano Need?

Compared to other dogs that are used for sport and hunting, the Spinone Italiano is a relatively low-energy breed. This breed is happy to go for a long hike or walk and is better suited for endurance activities than vigorous sprints. Always keep your dog on a leash or in a protected, fenced area.

The Spinone Italiano tends to chase after small animals and can quickly get away from you. This dog should never be left alone as an outside dog but instead likes to have your companionship in adventurous outdoor activities.

This dog is brilliant and does well at canine activities and competitions. The dog performs incredibly well at pointing, flushing, and retrieving. The Spinone Italiano does great at hunting-related jobs and has many instinctive behaviors that make it an exceptional hunter.  

What Kind of Dog Food Is Good For A Spinone Italiano?

Best Puppy Food For Spinone Italiano Dogs:

Best Adult Food For Spinone Italiano Dogs:

If you have an adult Spinone Italiano that is so active that is also has a tough time keeping weight on, consider keeping them on puppy food and even supplementing their diet with puppy canned food as well (stick with the brand you’re already using for the dry food as this will hopefully limit stomach upset).

Please don’t listen to the folks at the pet store trying to convince you to buy a grain-free diet for your dog. There’s zero science behind that and vets are actually seeing diseases now related to feeding grain-free foods.

How Long Does A Spinone Italiano Live?

10-11 years based on information from the AKC

What Health Problems Can Spinone Italiano Dogs Have?

As the “Italian Pointer,” I would consider this breed of dog to have similar issues facing other hunting dogs its size. The most common health issues seen in this breed include:

  • Lacerations/Trauma
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • ACL Tears
  • Arthritis
  • Heart Disease
  • Heartworm Disease
  • Corneal Ulcers

This list doesn’t at all mean that the breed is unhealthy. Rather, this list is more reflecting of an active working dog in a rugged environment.

Where Can I Find Out More About The Spinone Italiano?

Spinone Club of America

AKC Breed Page

Where Can I Find a Spinone Italiano?

Breeder List From The Spinone Club of America

AKC Puppy Marketplace

While this is a rare breed of dog in the United States, finding this dog at a rescue specializing in the breed may still be possible. Both Angels Among Us Pet Rescue and the Spinone Rescue of America will regularly have dogs in need of a forever home. Not only will you be able to get the breed of your dreams, but you can help a dog in need of a home.  

Fun Facts About the Spinone Italiano

Although in the United States we refer to this dog as a Spinone Italiano, the dog goes by many names throughout the world. It is also called the Spinone, Italian Griffon, Italian Coarseharied Pointer, Italian Spinone, and the Italian Wire-Haired Pointer.  

This dog is very friendly and actively welcomes pets into its immediate family. This dog is great with families that have kids ages six and older.  

  • The Spinone Italiano is believed to have originated from the Piedmont area of Italy. It is thought to be one of the oldest hunting dogs still bred and used today.  
  • The word “spinone” means “thorn,” which primarily refers to this dog’s ability to move through thick thorn bushes without catching or becoming snagged. The dog’s wiry fur helps to repel thorns and sticks.  
  • This dog was nearly extinct following World War II. Before the war, many breeders tried to make their dogs look less regional and worked to disperse the dogs throughout the countryside. Unfortunately, breeding records were lost, dogs didn’t survive, and after the war was over, the Spinone Italiano was almost extinct.