The Italian Spinone is a large gundog immensely popular in its native origins of Italy as an all-around gundog. It is an ancient dog that was first seen in the United Kingdom in the early 1980s at the Game Fair and later gained the admiration of breed enthusiasts where it is now very popular. The Italian Spinone is described as friendly, tame, loving and tolerant. It is a fearless and determined hunter, pointer and retriever. It is so flexible that it can work on any terrain including retrieving game downed on water. It is energetic and tough, equally tall as it is long, made of strong bones and well-developed muscles. The Italian Spinone has a kind and almost human-like expression and pendulous ears covered with dense hair mixed with longer hairs that are thick at the edges. The skin of the Italian Spinone is close fitting and leathery. It is covered by a coarse, dense and flat coat, usually 4-6 cm in length but lacking an undercoat. It is adorned by longer hairs above the eyes which form eyebrows, as well as on the face, forming moustache and beard. Dogs are typically 60-70 cm in height while bitches are between 58-65 cm in height. The ideal weight is between 34-39 kg and 29-34 kg for males and females respectively.
All dog breeds have different levels of intellect. Some dog breeds; working dogs in particular, are very independent thinkers and have been evolved to be very intelligent. Typically, a highly intelligent dog does well in obedience training and other activities. A highly intelligent dog can be very demanding and do require lots of physical and mental stimulation. If you’re looking for a relatively laid-back dog, that doesn’t require lots of mental and physical stimulation, then you must fully understand the level of intelligence of your dog breed of choice.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, you must fully understand their intellect levels and their specific levels of energy. To keep your dog well-balanced and happy, their needs must be met and maintained.
All dog breeds have different needs when it comes to the level of exercise they require. For the high energy dogs; which are your typical working dogs, they have a lot of energy and require lots of daily exercise along with plenty of mental stimulation. A highly energetic dog breed would suit an individual or family that is equally as active and loves the outdoors. There are also breeds that have relatively low exercise needs, such as toy dog breeds. Although they require daily exercise and mental stimulation, they’re just as happy chilling at home with their loved ones. This type of dog breed would suit an individual or family that prefers the peace and quiet and relaxation.
Before deciding on your chosen dog breed, Mypetzilla recommends that you research the exercise needs and whether you’re well equipped before committing to buying or adopting a particular dog breed.
There are several dog breeds that are known and potentially predisposed to developing health related conditions. Sensible breeding can help prevent the onset of health related conditions and this should always be taken into condition when researching your dog breed of choice. Before committing to a dog, you should speak to the breeder about any health related conditions that may affect the dog you’re looking to buy or adopt. You can also request to see any test results from genetic testing.
There are many dog breeds that tolerate children really well and are not affected by the constant noise and need for play-time. However, there are some dog breeds that don’t do very well with children and can become frustrated and snappy. That being said, all children should be shown how to handle and care for a dog in their home and should always be supervised when playing. As much as a dog can become annoyed and snappy with a younger child, the child can also become less tolerant and misbehaved towards the dog.
Mypetzilla recommends that you always supervise play-time between your children and dog. Children need to respect the boundaries and feeding time for the dog and likewise for the child. We also strongly advise that play-time doesn’t get out of control and too rough which can cause injury to both child and dog.
There are lots of dog breeds that are well suited to living in an apartment. It’s worthwhile noting that you need to check that you’re allowed dogs in your building before committing to bringing one home. If you do decide to own a dog and are living in an apartment, then you must make sure that they have plenty of room to roam around and frequent walks outside to prevent them from becoming bored and depressed.
Mypetzilla recommends that you check as to whether you’re allowed dogs in your apartment building and to fully ensure your apartment is dog proof before committing fully to bringing a dog home.
All dog breeds shed to some extent, some more than others. With this, all potential dog owners should be aware of this, as it will be a matter of putting up with some hair or lots of hair being left around the house. Depending on the dog breed, there are certain times during the year where some dog breeds shed the most and this is typically around spring and autumn. However, there are some dog breeds that shed all year round.
If you’re very house-proud, they you may want to choose a dog breed that sheds very little. Mypetzilla strongly recommends that you fully research your dog breed of choice and their shedding levels before committing.
All dog breeds require different levels of grooming. Some dog breeds are easier to maintain than others and only require a weekly brush to help keep their coat in good condition. There are some dog breeds that require regular trips to the grooming parlour and this can come at a huge cost. Either way, all dog breeds require their coat and nails to be maintained and cared for.
Mypetzilla strongly advices that potential owners research the grooming needs and associated costs with their desired dog breed before fully committing.
Barking is a necessity for your dog to communicate. However, it can also be a nuisance to yourself and fellow neighbours if it’s not kept under control. If you live in an apartment, then you’re better off choosing a dog breed that doesn’t bark as much. If you live further out and far from civilisation, then it’s worthwhile looking into a dog breed that does bark and will bark to alert you of any other company on your property.
Mypetzilla advices that you research the behaviours of your dog breed of choice and whether this would work for you and your family. It’s worth noting that dogs can be trained to bark less and this will take a lot of effort and training from the owner.
Majority dog breeds form very close relationships with their owners and as a result can become very stressed when left alone for a period of time. If a dog is suffering with separation anxiety then they’re very likely to become destructive around the home as a way of dealing with their anxieties. Dog breeds that do form strong bonds with their owners are better accustomed to a household where one member of the family remains home, whilst the others are out, this is to help avoid further anxieties and destructive behaviours.
Mypetzilla recommends that all potential owners research their dog breed of choice on their bonding abilities and how well-adjusted they are to being left alone at home. It’s also worth noting that you should never leave your dog for longer than 4 hours alone at home.
There are certain dogs breeds that have very high intellect and therefore easier to train than other dog breeds. There is also a downside to this; as fast as they learn the new trick or command, they can easily pick up bad habits just as quick. Other dog breeds that don’t rank as high on the intellect scale require patience and plenty of reward treats from their owners during training.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, Mypetzilla advices you to fully research your dog breed of choice and their level of training needs.
All dog breeds have different energy levels. The working dog breed has one of the highest energy levels in comparison to the low-energy dog’s breeds such as the Toy dog breed group. To keep a dog truly happy, healthy and well-balanced, their energy levels must be met.
High-energy dog breeds need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. High energy dog breeds would suit an active family or person. Dog breeds that are considered as low-energy, love to spend the majority of their time relaxing and sleeping in their favourite, comfy spot. A low-energy dog breed would suit an individual that equally loves the quiet life and relaxing lifestyle. Of course, low-energy dogs still need their daily walks and mental stimulation, just not as much as a high-energy dog breed.
Mypetzilla recommends that potential owner research fully on the type of dog breed that would suit their existing lifestyle and to also take into consideration the dog breeds energy levels and exercise requirements.
Before you decide on what dog breed would be suitable for you and your family, you must consider whether they’re a friendly dog breed and if you already have other pets within the household. For homes that already have dogs and other domestic pets, then it’s wise to choose a dog breed that has a friendly personality and temperament.
There are some dog breeds that mix well with other dog breeds and there are others that don’t suit one another and this could potentially cause issues later on down the line.
Another important point to consider is whether the dog breed of choice is friendly towards people and children.
Mypetzilla recommends to research fully on the right dog breed for your family and to also consider their temperament and characteristics.
The Italian Spinone is an ancient breed and is believed to be one of the oldest gundogs in existence. It was believed to have been developed in the Piedmont region of Italy but some speculate that the breed might have originated in other countries of Europe or that it might have its origins from Russia or Celtic Ireland. Some believe that the Spinone is a descendant of the Coarsehaired Segugio which is well known all over the Piedmont region. Historians and breed experts claim that the Italian Spinone is a progeny of the now extinct Spanish Pointer or even the Russian Setter. A more popular theory states that traders from Greece brought coarse-haired setters to Italy where the dogs were eventually crossed with other breeds to form what is today the Italian Spinone. It is also widely believed that the Spinone descended from crosses of several French pointers and is the ancestor of the Korthals Griffon among other pointers. Like other breeds in Europe, the Italian Spinone suffered greatly during the Second World War and came close to extinction. It was brought to the UK in 1981 when four Spinone were imported by Mrs. Mary Moore (Odivane) and are considered to be the foundation stock of the breed in the country. Today, it is still one of the popular hunting dogs in Italy even though it is already overtaken in popularity by the Bracco Italiano.
This breed is often described by owners as a docile dog, highly sociable, affectionate and patient. In the field, the breed has a characteristic fast trotting gait that enables the dog to systematically hunt a large area. It is a fearless hunter, a flexible working dog with a thick skin and coarse coat, it can hunt in any types of terrain, land or water, woods or marshland. The Italian Spinone has a gentle nature and is a great companion, both on the field and inside the home. It is has a very distinguished and remarkably sweet and almost human expression and an almost human-like demeanour. It thrives on human companionship and may suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time. It has a strong craving for food and has been known to help himself sometimes.
Training should start as early as possible, preferably during the first few weeks as a puppy. Basic training such as wearing a collar, walking on the lead, coming when called, simple sit or down are necessary and can easily be taught to the Irish Spinone. Training should be done with a soft yet firm voice to gain the dog’s attention and respect particularly during the first few months up to a year and a half of age. Harsh training like shouting and screaming will yield no good results.
The harsh shaggy coat of the Italian Spinone requires weekly brushing to remove loose or dead hair. Stripping by hand a few times per year is necessary to maintain the coat’s good texture. Hand-stripping can be done by a professional dog groomer or at home if the owner can allot enough time to do so. The beard, moustache, and eyebrows should be wiped clean with a moist cloth or baby wipe to keep the face neat and remove food bits. Bathing is on an as-needed basis. Ears should be checked and cleaned regularly to prevent infection, irritation or wax build-up.
The average life expectancy of the Italian Spinone is 8.7 years, according to a 2004 health survey by the Kennel Club (UK). Large breeds such as the Italian Spinone should not be given high protein diet to prevent growth too quickly which can damage bone joints. It has the tendency to gain weight as it matures, so regular exercise is a must. Among the known medical issues that affect the breed are hip dysplasia, cerebellar ataxia which is a deadly hereditary disease known to affect the Spinone, hypothyroidism, and liver shunt among others.
The Italian Spinone is a working dog that is very much at home in the countryside where it enjoys running all day. Having a great stamina to work all day, this breed must be given an hour or two of daily exercises if it is going to live in the city or in an urban area. It will be happy working all day, as it will be snoozing inside the house by the couch. However, an Italian Spinone puppy should not be exercised like an adult to prevent bone injuries. The best physical activity for a puppy is free running in the garden for several months, gradually increasing the pace or intensity as it grows older.
The Italian Spinone is a sweet, loyal, friendly and gentle breed that holds a special affinity with children. In general, it also gets along well with other animals, especially other canines but there are some Italian Spinone with higher prey drives than the others and may not get along well with cats.