Spinone Italiano: Dog Breed Info, Size, Height

Country of origin: Italy
Shoulder height: 58 – 70 cm
Weight: 28 – 37 kg
Age: 12 – 14 years
Colour: white, orange, or brown spotted or streaked
Use: hunting dog, companion dog

The Spinone Italiano is a large, wire-haired Italian Pointer with a calm, gentle, and even-tempered personality. It is suitable for hunting in any terrain and is also a loving, uncomplicated family companion dog when used to capacity.

Origin and history

The ancestors of today’s Spinone Italiano were large, wire-haired dogs that were used as hunting dogs in Italy as early as the Middle Ages. The breed is believed to have originated in Piedmont, Italy, and is one of the oldest pointing dog breeds. Paintings and frescoes by famous Italian masters depicting this type of dog bear witness to the early existence of these hunting dogs. With the Second World War and the spread of other popular pointing dog breeds in Italy (such as pointers or setters), the breed’s population declined sharply. Even today, the Spinone Italiano is a relatively rare dog breed, but the breeding population is stable.


The Spinone Italiano is a large dog with a strong build and well-developed muscles. The body is built roughly square and is suitable for the dog’s preferred gait – the fast trot. The fur is rough, about 5 cm long, hard and dense. It has no undercoat. The pronounced eyebrows, the goatee, and the round, amber eyes give the Spinone the typical serious expression.

The ears of the Spinone are set low, long and drooping. The tail is thick and carried horizontally or hanging down. The coat color can be either solid white, white with orange spots (or stitches), or white with brown spots (or stitches). The care of the fur is uncomplicated.


The Spinone has a very affable nature, is easy to handle and patient, and is suitable for hunting in any terrain. It is persistent to tireless and willingly goes into the thorny undergrowth or throws itself into the cold water. Its areas of application as a hunting dog are searching, pointing, and retrieving games. It proceeds slowly, but highly concentrated and meticulously. The quote “If the English Pointer is the Porsche of pointing dogs, then the Spinone Italiano is the Jeep”, describes its hunting style very aptly. Due to its excellent sense of smell and its goal-oriented, persistent search work, Spinone is also used to search for traces of missing people ( mantrailing ).

The robust wire-haired dog is alert and will report anything strange or suspicious, but is not an outspoken watchdog. It is considered to be very socially compatible, is friendly to strangers, and gets along well with other dogs. The Spinone is considered to be very sensitive and forms a close bond with its humans. Its upbringing requires a lot of empathy and loving consistency. A Spinone will not forgive unnecessary harshness or rough treatment.

The passionate hunter likes to work and needs a job that does justice to their qualities and skills. In the case of non-hunting leadership, it needs a corresponding alternative job, only then is it also a very pleasant and loving family companion dog. Because of its good-natured nature and its willingness to learn, a Spinone can also be trained to be a guide dog or assistance dog for the disabled.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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