Italian Spinone

Italian Spinone Breed description: Character & Co


The Italian rough coated pointing dog at a glance

The Italian Pointing Dog, Spinone Italiano, is a breed of dog from Italy recognized by the FCI - Fédération Cynologique Internationale. It belongs to the pointing dogs (FCI Group 7, Section 1.3, Standard No. 165). Due to its distinct sense of smell, the Italian Pointing Dog is an excellent hunting and tracking dog. Due to its good-natured nature, it is also a loyal companion and family dog.

Origin and history of the Italian rough-haired Pointing Dog

The Italian Spinone is one of the oldest hunting dogs in Europe, its roots lie in the fifth century before Christ. At that time, Italian Pointing Dogs hunted mainly feathered game, due to their optimally developed sense of smell. Their long endurance and robust build made it possible for the Italian Pointing Dogs to cooperate for hours in net hunting or in falconry. The ancestors of the Spinone Italiano as we know it today were large, rough-coated dogs that hunted side by side with humans as early as the Middle Ages. Even today, paintings and frescoes by Italian artists can be found depicting this breed of dog.

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Alternate Name Italian Roughhaired Pointing Dog
Origin Italy
Life expectancy 12 - 14 years
Care requirements low-maintenance
Activity level average to high
FCI group Continental Pointing Dogs
AKC group Sporting Group
KC group Gundog Group

Nature and character of the Italian rough-haired pointing dog

The Spinone Italiano is considered a playful, eager to learn and tireless hunting dog. It is as stubborn as it is highly sensitive, which requires a loving nature and a lot of patience in its training and everyday handling. The Italian Spinone should always be spoken to in a soft voice. On the one hand, the Spinone Italiano is very teachable, on the other hand, it is known for not forgetting negative situations. Therefore, in its upbringing, a simple "no" is enough to put it in its place. The Italian rough-coated Pointing Dog is a loyal and leader-oriented hunting companion who wants to form a close bond with his handler. Since the Spinone Italiano is an easy-going and playful dog, it is also suitable for handling children. In everyday life, it should not be forgotten that the Spinone is a hunting dog that needs at least three hours of intensive attention every day. It loves to do chores, needs plenty of exercise and is always happy to work as a team with its owner. Dog sports are also suitable for this dog breed.

The Spinone Italiano is alert, but is not considered a very good watchdog, as he is rather friendly and trusting towards strangers.


The European population of the Spinone Italiano declined sharply after the Second World War. At that time, other pointing breeds, such as the Setter and the Pointer, gained popularity in Italy and Europe in general. Even today, the Italian Roughhaired Pointing Dog is a relatively rare dog breed, but it has a stable breeding population.

Known diseases of the Italian Roughhair Dog

The dog may suffer from the following diseases:

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The Spinone Italiano is mainly used for searching, pointing and retrieving game and feathered game. Also in the search for persons, the mantrailing, the Italian hunting dog with its well-developed nose cooperates more and more often.

The Italian rough-haired pointing dog is a weatherproof and fast trotter that is also considered a good swimmer. It can be used in any terrain due to its muscular build. The Italian Roughhaired Pointing Dog always goes about its work with perseverance and is not too shy to do any work. Due to its robustness and its tread strength, its areas of application are very versatile. In swampy landscape he moves just as skillfully as in the dense thorn bushes. Icy wind or high temperatures play no role for it in the hunt.

The Italian rough-haired Pointing Dog is available in the following colour varieties:

  • white
  • white-orange
  • white-brown

The colour combinations can be spotted or speckled. Its coat is rough, about 5 cm long, hard, dense and without undercoat. A male is on average between 60 - 70 cm tall and can weigh about 40 kilos. The height at withers of the females is between 58 - 65 cm with a weight of about 28-30 kg. The Spinone Italiano has a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years. The rough-haired pointing dog owes its typical serious expression to its chin beard and pronounced eyebrows.

Fur length medium
Fur rough-haired
Ear shape Triangle
Tail lang
Anatomy rugged, sporty
Size ♀ 55 - 60 cm
Weight ♀ 29 - 35 kg
Size ♂ 60 - 70 cm
Weight ♂ 34 - 39 kg
Suitable For -


  • Hip dysplasia (HD)

    Hip dysplasia (HD) is a genetic condition in dogs where the hip joint is not shaped properly. This leads to pain, stiffness and restricted movement.

  • Elbow dysplasia (ED)

    Elbow joint dysplasia is a chronic disease complex of the elbow joint of fast growing dog breeds.

  • Epilepsy

    Definition: Dog has epilepsy if, for example, at least two epileptic seizures occur more than 24 hours apart.

  • Ataxia

    Ataxia (from Greek ἀταξία ataxia 'disorder' 'irregularity') is a generic term in medicine for various disorders of movement coordination. Ataxia can occur even when there is no paralysis (paresis), that is, when there is normal muscle strength.

  • ear canal inflammation

    Chronic inflammation of the ear canal can occur in some breeds. Common in dogs that like to swim.

Other large dogs

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