Italian Spinone Breed Information and Buying advice

Italian Spinone

Are You Looking to Buy or Adopt a Italian Spinone?

Quick Italian Spinone Facts

Average Size of Adult
Large (4/5)
Puppy Puppy Puppy Puppy Puppy
Grooming Requirement
Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
High (3/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Average Life Span
10-12 years (4/8)
Exercise Requirements
High (3/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
High (3/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Low (1/3)
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Child friendly
Yes (1/2)
High (3/3)
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Breed Group
Gundog (1/8)
No (2/2)

Why the Italian Spinone breed is great

The Italian Spinone, also known as the Italian Coarse Haired Pointer, is a breed that catches everyone’s heart. Large and study, athletic and agile, there is little that this breed can’t do. Docile and patient, they are sweet tempered and adore feeling like part of the family. Some highlights:
  1. A factor that makes them so enticing for working dogs is that they do not tire. They adore the outdoors and heavy exercise, being well-regarded in agility and obedience competitions.
  2. They are very even-tempered and dependable for everyone of all ages, working well with families that have small children.
  3. They are friendly with strangers and other dogs, making extremely good companions for social families.

Things to consider when looking at Italian Spinone for Sale

Although this breed is considered to be extremely reliable, they can be difficult to control due to their high energy and vigorous exercise requirements. When they get bored, they are often destructive, always needing mental and physical stimulation. Some downsides to the Italian Spinone:
  1. Italian Spinoni are distracted extremely easily, often ignoring commands and calls when they begin to seem interested in other things.
  2. They are also known to have what is called ‘Shaggy Dog Syndrome’, where debris clings to their coat, water socks in and ends up messing up their owner’s house drastically.
  3. They are also a rare breed, and therefore there are almost always waiting lists for litters

History of Italian Spinoni

The Italian Spinone is a very old breed, known for their versatility, intelligent, incredible sense of smell and their ability to retrieve on land and in the water. The name ‘Spinone’ refers to the Italian word ‘Pino’, the thorny undergrowth found in Italy. They were and still are an all-weather, all-purpose dog, first bred to work with humans on the hills of the Alps. Their durability remains today, working as companions with people for all fields of activity.  


How big is the Italian Spinone?

The males of this breed usually grow to stand about 60-70cm at the shoulder, whilst the females grow to be about58-65cm at the shoulder.  

How heavy is a Italian Spinone?

Due to their larger size, male Spinoni grow to be a heavier 34-39kg, whilst the females remain smaller at about 29-34kg.  

What Colour is the Italian Spinone?

This versatile breed also happens to have a coat that can come in many different colours. They have a medium-length rough coat that can come in white, white orange, orange roan – a mixture or white and coloured hairs together – white and brown and brown roan.  


Do Italian Spinoni make good guard dogs?

The Italian Spinone is not a loud breed, preferring not to bark unnecessarily. However, when there are sudden and unfamiliar sights or sounds, they don’t hesitate to alert their owners of this appearance. Due to their size they do seem somewhat menacing, so when they do bark even on rare occasion it can scare unwanted people off well.  

Are Italian Spinoni easy to train?

This breed is extremely soft, stubborn and smart. It is possible to teach a Spinone the basics such as sit, lie down, come here, stay, but there shouldn’t be any surprise if they don’t obey a command every time that it is given. If the training is too difficult and regimented, not exciting and stimulating they can shut off and not listen to what they are being asked of, and therefor they are not being trained. Ensure that you keep training sessions fun, almost like a game, and for short periods of time followed with playing to keep them stimulated and focused on the task.  

Are Italian Spinoni good with children?

Spinones are very good with children, happy to play with them and are never aggressive in any way. Even though they are notoriously safe when playing with children, it is always a good idea to supervise any playing that is happening, especially involving young children, as any breed can be somewhat unpredictable, for example possibly knocking them over by accident.  

Are Italian Spinoni good with other pets?

This breed has a very high prey drive, so it is wise not to introduce a smaller animal into the family after some time of the Spinone not being used to its presence. Be sure to socialise your dog early enough as a puppy to be used to having other smaller animals and children around the house, not thinking of them as something to chase.  

Can I leave a Italian Spinone Alone?

Although this breed doesn’t notoriously suffer from separation anxiety, it is wise not to leave your dog alone for long periods of time without mental and physical stimulation. Without enough excitement provided by others, a Spinone can easily turn towards destructive behaviours, such as chewing or digging when bored. If you are leaving your Spinone alone, be sure to leave them with a toy such a Kong filled with treat, which helps to activate their minds and distract them from feeling lonely or bored.  

Do Italian Spinoni like water?

The Spinone adores water, being a very good swimmer and enjoying retrieving game in bodies of water through instinct. Always keep an eye on your dog when it goes into water to check there isn’t a current that could pull them away or if there is anywhere for them to get out again.  


How long do Italian Spinoni live?

The Spinone often lives to about 10-13 years.  

How much exercise does an Italian Spinone need?

Although they don’t need as much exercise as some other sporting breeds, the Spinone require a high level of physical stimulation to match their inherited stamina. It is recommended that dogs of this breed get about 1-2 hours or more of exercise per day, including walks, runs and playing in the garden.  

What are Italian Spinoni Common health issues?

The Spinone can experience bloating, which fits in with this breed’s sensitivity. However, it is extremely important to note that Spinoni will notice when their owners are worried or tense, and therefore begin to worry themselves, which can increase the bloating or stop them from eating. It is recommended that they get some relaxation time after they eat to prevent immediate bloating. Otherwise, this breed can also suffer from joint issues such as Hip and Elbow Dysplasia, and also requires Opthalmologist Evaluation of the eye due to their proneness to eye diseases.  


How much space do I need for an Italian Spinone?

Due to the large size of this breed, it is recommended that they have enough room that they feel comfortable. However, they are at their happiest when they feel like they are part of the family, so cuddling up in a small space on the sofa does not bother them. They are also not outside dogs and should not sleep in a kennel during the night, living inside all the time.  

How much grooming do Italian Spinoni need?

This thick-coated hunting dog should be kept in their ‘natural state’, according to standard outlines, but a relative level of grooming is still required. They chould be hand-stripped, not using scissors, to remove the dead hair that is seen when they shed whilst also mainting coat length of 1.5 and 2.5 inches.  

Average costs

How much does it cost to keep a Italian Spinone?

As a rough guide in pricing: Cost to buy: roughly £1,000 - £2,000 for a well-bred Italian Spinone puppy Other costs (Vet, Food etc): £30 - £70 per month  

Specific Buying Guide

You can read our general buying guide here (/advice-on-buying-a-puppy/), with the most important thing being going to view your Italian Spinone Puppy, seeing it with its mother, and checking the quality of the breeder. More specifically, here is some Italian Spinone puppy buying advice:
  1. The male Spinone can go through what is called a ‘difficult teenage stage’, which is where they are known to be crazy and destructive if they are left alone. Although they will regularly test their owner’s patience at this stage in their lives, it is important to remember that they will grow out of it and with the correct training, they can become the perfect family companion.
  2. Female Spinone can also be hormonal, having seasons every 6-9 months starting at 12 months old. You should be wary of your Spinone at this point as they attract males and have the ability to become pregnant. Many owners choose to keep their dog on a lead over this time to ensure the dog is safe and controlled.
  3. Traditionally, this breed’s tail was always docked. However, a law was passed in 2007 stating that docking tails was now illegal, with the exception of some working breeds. If one wishes to dock tails, it must be agreed with by all owners and an authorised vet, having a purpose such as work and not simply wanting it for appearance.
  4. The Spinone are a very popular breed, being used for all types of activities. Therefore, they may be subject to scams online. Scams can be spotted through the puppy’s listing prices, which will be a lot lower than usual prices. This intices some potential buyers, but care must be taken. It is advised that you must always go to see the puppy before you give the breeder any money, including a deposit. This helps to ensure that the puppy is real and gives you a chance to see whether the breeder is legal.

Other reading, Adopting Italian Spinone Puppies and Rescue Organisations