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Italian Spinone Dog Breed… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

You don’t need to be a dog lover to fall in love with an Italian Spinone immediately; after all, just one look at his adorable eyes and cute furry muzzle will make even the most stoic individual want to bend down and hug him! Then, when you combine these excellent looks with the fact that these guys are actual clowns who are a joy to be around, it’s easy to see why so many folks today are huge fans of this breed.


Will an Italian Spinone be right for you? That’s the real question and one that we hope to help you answer for yourself in the following article, where we’re going to discuss what it might be like to own one of these incredible creatures.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Italian Spinone Breed Fast Facts

Country of Origin: Italy

Original Purpose:  Pointing and retrieving

Height: 22.5 to 27.5 inches at the shoulder

Weight: 61 to 85 pounds

Dog Breed Classification:  Sporting Group

Life Span: 10 to 12 years

Origin of the Spinone Italiano

Like most dog breeds that have been around for a while, there is often a lot of confusion about their origins. And in the case of the Spinoni Italiano, this is precisely what we find. So, is the Spinoni Italian from the same lineage as the other “Setter Dogs”? Or is he a descendant of an ancient dog called Segugio, which existed in Italy during the Middle Ages? Or is he perhaps the result of crossing the Griffon dog with Russian dog breeds that were around several hundred years ago? We’re not sure, so we’ll let you be the one to decide.

What is known…

The breed didn’t become well known until about 300 years ago when his popularity as a top-notch hunting dog was finally appreciated and embraced throughout Italy’s Piedmont region, thus the name Spinoni Italiano! In addition to being excellent hunting dogs able to point, set, and retrieve, these dogs proved that they were pretty adept at tracking down German patrols during World War II, further distinguishing themselves as a quality dog breed.


Post World War II, like many other domesticated dog breeds on the European continent, their numbers were significantly depleted, so much so that the breed almost went utterly extinct! The good news is that during the early 1950s, breeders recognized a problem and took active measures to cross-breed the remaining Italian Spinoni dogs left to save the breed. While it may have taken a while, ultimately, they were successful, so much so that nearly 30 years later, the breed was finally able to “break out” and become famous worldwide,  leading to it becoming “officially” recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2000.

Physical Characteristics

The Spinone Italiano is a large dog large enough to reach a height of 27.5 inches. But more than just being large, he is also stoutly built with a large, muscular, and squarish body. And while this may sound intimidating at first, be assured that with his big, floppy ears, unique wiry coat, and “goofy” expression, few, if any, will be nervous around this guy. Especially with his quite “stylish” bushy mustache, beard, and thick eyebrows, which try their best to hide their eyes, but fortunately, they fail miserably, which is why one of the first things you’ll notice about this dog is his eyes, which immediately gives him away as a “softie.”

Comparison Dog Breeds

The Spinone Italiano Dog may be compared to other dog breeds such as the Bull Terrier, Entlebucher Mountain Dog, Flat-Coated Retriever, Bracco Italiano, Short Wirehaired Pointer, Portuguese Podengo, Cocker Spaniel, Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, Fox Terrier, Lagotto Romagnolo, Basset Griffon Vendeen, Shepherd Dog, and Water Spaniel.

Temperament and Personality

The Italian Spinone is a calm, relaxed dog with a laid-back personality. And if you haven’t guessed so far, these guys are very amiable dogs that will be happy to make friends with just about anyone. These guys also tend to wag their tails always and always look happy and satisfied. He is certainly not one of those dogs that whine all the time. He is not the moody type. We should also point out that he is a quick learner and is easy to train. He learns new tricks fast. But since he is so intelligent, he is quick to learn bad habits, so if you decide to adopt an Italiano Spinone puppy or rescue dog, you’ll want to be sure and start their obedience training right away.

Training which should…

Include mental stimulation, as he is an active dog with a sharp mind. He needs always to be occupied with something interesting; otherwise, he gets bored and could resort to destructive behavior.

He is a very loyal dog…

The Italian Spinone is one of the most loyal breeds out there. He is intelligent and responds to your signals even if you don’t say anything loud. He knows instinctively what you want him to do. He is loyal to a fault, making him very good with kids, and he is protective of them. Kids love him as well. However, we believe these guys are better suited to a house with children aged six and above because he is such a large dog. He certainly makes for a perfect playmate for your child.

Potential Health Concerns

The Spinone Italiano has a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years. He is a reasonably healthy breed, but there are certain conditions to which he is very vulnerable. The Spinoni Italiani are susceptible to health problems such as:

And while any of these conditions may not be life-threatening, they can become quite expensive, particularly if they become recurring issues. This is why we here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.

Now, will a pet insurance policy be suitable for everyone?

No, probably not. But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?

For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.

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