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Home > Dogs > Dog Breeds > Spinone Italiano Dog Breed Guide: Info, Pictures, Care & More!

Spinone Italiano Dog Breed Guide: Info, Pictures, Care & More!

three spinone italiano dogs

The Spinone Italiano is an Italian hunting dog that is well suited to working in all climates. It also makes a great companion and gets along well with people and children.

Breed Overview


24-28 inches


76-86 pounds


12-14 years


Brown, orange, white

Suitable for:

Hunting swimming, companion


Friendly, loyal, patient, affectionate

If you are thinking about getting one of these pets for your home but would like to learn more about them first, keep reading while we look at their temperament, intelligence, grooming requirements, health issues, and more to help you make an informed purchase.

Spinone Italiano Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.


Spinone Italiano Puppies

two spinone italiano puppies
Image By: Ricantimages, Shutterstock

You can expect to pay a lot for a Spinone Italiano if you’re buying one from a breeder.  The breeder will likely run several tests to ensure the lineage is good so there is less risk of genetically transmitted diseases like hip dysplasia, which can increase the cost. Since the Spinone Italiano is purebred, the breeder will likely require you to get the dog spayed or neutered and may even have it completed before you pick up the dog unless you purchase breeding rights, which will increase the cost.

When you bring home a Spinone Italiano, be ready to have a loyal and playful dog by your side. They are known for their affectionate and patient nature. Keep in mind that they do have a stubborn side to their personality, so training might not be a piece of cake. Make sure to use a lot of positive reinforcement and have lots of patience with your pup to have successful training sessions.

Italian Spinone dog on hill
Image By: Luminoisty, Shutterstock

Temperament & Intelligence of the Spinone Italiano

The Spinone Italiano is a patient and docile dog that is a pleasure to have around the home. It has expressive eyes and shaggy eyebrows that will be a big hit with everyone it meets. It’s a muscular dog with plenty of endurance and a dense shaggy coat that you can find in many colors. It’s quite friendly but can be stubborn at times.

These dogs are quite intelligent and are capable of performing complex tasks and learning several tricks, but their stubborn personality can get in the way at times.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

The Spinone Italiano is a fantastic pet for families. It’s extremely gentle and loves to spend days lounging around playing with the children, who are sure to love its shaggy coat. It enjoys clowning around, receiving plenty of attention, and it’s even friendly toward most strangers it meets, so it might not make a great watchdog.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

The Spinone Italiano gets along well with other dogs and is even friendly when encountering other dogs on walks. However, they have a strong prey drive and will likely chase after smaller animals like cats. Plenty of early socialization might help them get along, but it will be a challenge.


Things to Know When Owning a Spinone Italiano:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Your Spinone Italiano is a moderately active dog that will require high-quality food, so it doesn’t put on weight. Higher quality foods will also help your pet feel full longer, so it doesn’t come looking for food before its time. We recommend looking for a brand that lists real meat like chicken, turkey, or beef as the first ingredient and avoiding foods that put corn products or meat byproducts first. Other high-quality ingredients we recommend you look for include omega fatty acids, prebiotics, and probiotics. These important ingredients can help improve your pet’s health in several ways and help maintain a balanced digestive system.

Exercise 🐕

Your Spinone Italiano likes to spend plenty of time lounging around, but it is always happy to go on the hunt, and we recommend coaxing it into at least 20 – 30 minutes of exercise per day, even more, if you are trying to train it. These dogs are muscular hunters, so they will likely enjoy chasing after a ball or playing a game of tug of war. The Spinone Italiano is also an excellent swimmer, and it’s one of the best ways to keep your dog in shape.

Training 🎾

The Spinone Italiano is extremely smart, but it also has a strong will and can be quite stubborn, which makes it harder to train than it should be. We recommend setting aside a few minutes each day for training to get your dog into a routine, so it arrives knowing what to expect. Holding these sessions immediately after playing games is an excellent idea because the dog is tired and more open to listening to you than when it wants to hunt. Use positive reinforcement in the form of praise, treats, and pets, and your pet is more likely to look forward to your training sessions, and they will be more effective. Start with simple commands like sit and gradually increase the difficulty. Patience and consistency are your keys to success.

Grooming ✂️

You can trim your Spinone Italiano or have it professionally groomed to neaten its appearance, but most people prefer the shaggy appearance of this breed. However, you will need to brush it frequently to remove any knots and tangles that might form, leading to discomfort and an even messier appearance. Brushing will also help keep the fur off your furniture and floor, especially during shedding seasons of fall and spring.

Besides brushing the coat, we also recommend manually brushing your dog’s teeth with pet-safe toothpaste as often as possible to help slow the progression of dental disease. You will also need to trim the nails if you hear them clicking on the floor, and you will need to clean and dry the floppy ears frequently to prevent infection.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Minor Conditions:
  • Cerebellar Ataxia

Cerebellar Ataxia is when your dog’s brain receives damage. It can occur as the result of tumor growth and genetics, which is how it can affect some Spinone Italiano. Symptoms include clumsiness, swaying, and loss of balance. The dog may also begin to swing its head and eyes rapidly and will have difficulty walking. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for Cerebellar Ataxia.

  • Bloat

Bloat is a possibly life-threatening condition that causes the dog’s stomach to fill with air, putting pressure on the organs and cutting off circulation. The stomach can also twist on itself, trapping blood inside and damaging the stomach lining. Symptoms include a swollen stomach, restlessness, uncontrollable salivation, pacing, panting, rapid heartbeat, trouble standing, and trying to vomit. Bloat claims the lives of many dogs each year in the United States, so it’s important to contact the vet immediately if you notice any of the symptoms mentioned.

  • Dental Disease

Dental disease affects all dog breeds in the United States, and some experts suggest that more than 80% have some form of it right now. Unfortunately, there is not much we can do to prevent it, but we can help slow the progression by manually brushing your pet’s teeth with a pet-safe toothpaste as frequently as possible. Starting while it’s still a puppy and staying consistent can help your dog get into a routine. Another thing you can do is feed your pet dry dog food instead of wet, which will help scrape away plaque and tartar as your dog chews.

Serious Conditions:
  • Otitis Externa

Otitis Externa is one of the most common ear infections in dogs, and you see it a lot in breeds with floppy ears like the Spinone Italiano. Symptoms include shaking the head, a red and inflamed ear, and a yellow or black discharge that can be thick and crusty, often accompanied by a bad odor. Ear mites are often the cause of these infections, which can go undetected longer in a dog with floppy ears. Luckily medication can clear it up, but frequent occurrences can get expensive.

  • Ectropion

Ecrtopian is a common condition that affects the eyes of your pet. It causes the eyeball to dry out, which can result in a painful and inflamed condition. It can result in corneal scarring and can impair vision. It’s common in many dog breeds, including the Cocker Spaniel, Chow Chow, Mastiff, Basset Hound, and the Spinone Italiano. Initial symptoms include a sagging or rolling out of the lower eyelid. A discharge may also occur, and the eye may be red and inflamed. Eye Drops and ointments can help prevent the eye from drying out, and your dog may also require surgery.

  • Obesity

Obesity is a major problem for dogs all across the United States, and some experts report that more than 40% of dogs older than five are overweight. Obesity can lead to numerous health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and kidney disease, and it can greatly shorten the life expectancy of your pet. Obesity is entirely preventable by following proper portion guidelines and making sure you set enough time to play with your dog each day.

Male vs Female

The male Spinone Italiano stands a little taller than the female and weighs a bit more, but it is quite close, and only an owner will likely notice the difference. The males tend to be a bit messier, drool more, and be more affectionate. It’s often in your face looking for kisses and can be quite playful. The females are a little more reserved, often sitting close by, happy with a pat on the head. However, there is little difference other than that. Both love children and tend to be stubborn but make great pets.


3 Little-Known Facts About the Spinone Italiano

1. They are believed to have interesting origins

Breeders believe the Spinone Italiano was originally a cross between the Irish Setter and dogs brought by Greek traders, the White Mastiff, and French Griffons.

2. Great for hunting

Hunters hold the Spinone Italiano in high regard due to its sensitive nose and ultrasoft mouth.

3. They have more than 1 name

Spinone Italiano is also known as the Italian Coaresehaired Pointer.



The Spinone Italiano is a fantastic pet that you can use for hunting or as a companion. It gets along well with children and loves clowning around. It also gets along with other dog breeds and even strangers, so you might need to look elsewhere for a security system, it might be hard to pair these animals with cats, but they live long, require little maintenance, and are extremely intelligent with unique personalities.

Featured Image Credit: AnetaZabranska, Shutterstock

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