Spinone Italiano

Spinone Italiano Temperament
Spinone Italiano book
Image of a Spinone Italiano dog

The Spinone Italiano, or Italian Pointer, is a versatile gundog developed in northwestern Italy’s Piedmonte region and renowned for its ability to pursue a thick brush game. Depictions of Spinone-type dogs date back to around 500 B.C. The breed’s name evolved from Bracco Spinosa, or “prickly pointer,” which refers to the dog’s harsh coat texture or the thorny brush in which the dog hunted. The Societa Braccofila wrote the first breed standard in 1897. The breed was imported to America by Dr. Nicola Gigante in 1931 and entered the AKC Miscellaneous Class, where it remained for forty-five years, in 1955.

italian spinone puppy running in the yard and having fun

The Spinone Italiano dogs are a large, rugged, houndy-looking breed with a strong, straight back and a slight arch over the loin. The chest is deep; the legs are straight, durable, and long; and the feet are round and well arched. The docked tail is carried level with the back or slightly higher. The Spinone has a large, long head with a square muzzle and strong jaws. The large, high-set, dropped hound ears hang close to the cheeks. The eyes are framed by bushy eyebrows, giving the Spinone a soft, sweet, intelligent expression.

Breed Facts

Energy levelWatchdog ability
Exercise requirementsProtection ability
PlayfulnessGrooming requirements
Affection levelCold tolerance
Friendliness toward dogsHeat tolerance
Friendliness toward other petsFriendliness toward strangers
Ease of training

Activity level: The Spinone is a versatile dog with the stamina to hunt all day. Spinoni must have sufficient daily exercise. Do not exercise them off the lead, and some will jump fences.

  • POPULARITY: Uncommon
  • FAMILY: Gundog, Pointer
  • DATE OF ORIGIN: 1200s
  • ORIGINAL FUNCTION: Pointing and retrieving
  • TODAY’S FUNCTION: Pointing and retrieving
  • OTHER NAME: Italian Spinone, Italian Griffon

Spinone Italiano Temperament

Spinone Italiano temperament

The Spinone is friendly and good-natured; they are a loyal friend and a playful, entertaining companion. Spinoni’s have a strong hunting instinct and can be somewhat independent. They possess an uncanny ability to learn quickly, and they respond well to positive training and will not tolerate harsh treatment or excessive reprimands. Spinone Dogs typically get along well with other dogs. They may be standoffish with strangers. Socialization should start as a puppy and be ongoing.

The Spinone Italiano dog is devoted, gentle, and very willing to please. They’re affectionate and get along well with other pets and children. Also, they’re calmer and more relaxed than other pointer breeds.


italian spinone dog on a hunt carrying a game fowl in its mouth

Weekly brushing and minimal trim will neaten the coat around the tail, legs, and feet. Use a steel comb on the facial furnishings. Do not over-bathe a Spinone, or its skin will become too dry.

  • Color: Solid white; white and orange; orange roan, with or without orange colorations; white with brown designs; brown roan with or without brown markings
  • Coat: The single layer of this breed’s coat is stiff and dense. It reaches about 1-1/2—2-1/2 inches long on the body, with a shorter coat on the head, ears, muzzle, front of legs, and feet.


  • MINOR CONCERNS: ectropion, gastric torsion, otitis externa, cerebellar ataxia
  • OCCASIONALLY SEEN: elbow dysplasia, allergies
  • SUGGESTED TESTS: hips, (eye), (ataxia), elbow
  • LIFE SPAN: 12—14 years
  • WEIGHT: male:71—82 pounds; female: 62—71 pounds
  • HEIGHT: male: 23—27 inches; female: 22—25 inches

Spinone Italiano Breeders and Sale Advice

The club’s website includes listings of breeders and litters; the club states that the breeders are reliable and are members in good standings.

  • Parent club: Spinone Club of America (www.spinoneclubofamerica.com)
  • Regional clubs: Click on “Regional Clubs” on the parent club’s home page.
  • Spinone Italiano Rescue: You can find the Spinone Rescue of America on the parent club’s website under “Rescue.”

Spinone Italiano Price

The Spinone Italiano resides within the classification of a rare dog breed. Therefore, purchasing one is not going to be cheap. Spinone puppies can cost you about $780 to $1200. However, you can choose the adoption route. Spinone Italiano adoption is a lot less expensive than buying puppies from a breeder. The cost to adopt will run you about $300, which usually covers the cost of caring for the dog before its eventual adoption.

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