AFFABLE, CALM, GENTLE
History & Origin
These dogs originated in Italy centuries ago and developed into one of the country’s favorite breed of dogs. While there are many different Italian dog breeds, the Spinone Italiano is one of the most popular.
Bred as excellent gun dogs, the Spinone Italiano is hardy, intelligent and has a great sense of humor. Although still used as hunting dogs in some parts of the world, they have become companion dogs in recent times.
Also called the Spin or Italian Pointer, these puppies can trace their lineage back to the time of the Romans. Some say Eastern Europeans brought the dogs into the Roman Empire. They were then crossbred with other breeds.
The devastation of World War 1 nearly saw the destruction of the breed. Fortunately, a few dedicated breeders saw to it that the dogs survived. Today, there are healthy numbers of Spinone Italiano puppies around the world.
The dogs are no longer considered rare. Even though it can be expensive to find one, many say they are worth every penny. This is because of their loyalty to their owners and their value as family pets.
The AKC officially recognized the breed in 2000.
PERSONALITY AND CHARACTER
The Spinone Italiano has an even temperament. It is a sweet-tempered dog, clever as well as funny. It has also been described as being somewhat clownish – liking to fool around and play.
They are not domineering or bossy and have no problem taking orders from people. Gentle and friendly, these puppies just want to be part of a family.
Even though it has a history as a gun dog, there is no strong prey drive. So you don’t have to worry about your pup chasing after cats or other animals. In fact, they get on well with other dogs and animals.
Spinone Italiano dogs are great with kids too. They love to play and can spend many hours in the garden with the children. In addition, dog owners say the dogs are patient and sweet towards smaller members of the family.
They make good pets for elderly dog owners as well. The only thing that they don’t like – is to be left alone. These dogs want to be in your life and they want to be by your side. Nothing makes them happier than being included in your life.
The Spinone Italiano is not aggressive and interacts easily with others. It is not particularly suited for guard work. Even though it is protective of the family, it will not spend hours guarding the yard.
NUTRITION AND FEEDING
Taking care of your Spinone Italiano puppy is not hard work at all.
Puppies are like babies. They need to eat proper food to ensure that they grow up big and strong. You would not feed your baby take-aways all day, would you? In the same manner, you need to ensure that your pup is given decent food from the world go.
When your little guy is only a few weeks old, he will want to eat every few hours. Be sure to give small amounts of food at a time. This food will be burned up as energy very quickly. Before you know it, your puppy will be hungry again.
If you don’t give your dog a quality food, its bones and organs won’t develop properly. It could also lead to a sick and weak puppy.
Proper Puppy food
Anyone doing a bit of research online will see many conflicting theories about dog food. Some say the commercial products bought in stores are perfectly fine. Pet food manufacturers go to quite some length to convince consumers their food is the best.
You may choose to go this route. If you do, ensure there is always fresh water for your pup, preferably nearby. Dry dog food can cause your dog to be gassy.
This is why more and more dog owners believe in cooking their dog’s food themselves. There are those who give their dogs raw food and others cook their dog’s food. Both sides have advantages and disadvantages.
Whichever way you go, look closely at your doggie’s skin and poop. This will show you if your dog’s food is agreeing with him. If his poo is very runny, the food may not be good for him. If your pup has rashes or eczema, he could be having a reaction to his feed.
You could consider slowly changing his food, adding the new food to the old food. Don’t change it suddenly or his tummy could become very upset.
When your Spinone Italiano is little, his tummy is also very small. This means he cannot eat big meals at a time. He can only manage about a handful of food. This is why you should feed your pup three to four times a day when he is still small.
As your doggie grows up, you will begin to feed him less and less. By the time your puppy is six months old, you may start to feed him twice a day. Until your dog is one years old, he is considered a puppy.
You could begin teaching him to sit down before getting his food. Tell him to sit and gently push down his bum. Then put down his food. He will soon begin sitting by himself.
Feeding time is an important bonding time for you and your dog. Make a point of feeding your puppy at the same time each day. This helps your puppy establish a routine. They like to know how they fit into the world.
COAT AND GROOMING
Size and Coat
The Spinone Italiano is a large dog breed. The male can be 60-70cm tall and the female can be 59-65cm.
The dogs have a dense, wiry coat that can be white, brownish or orange-colored. The hair on the legs is usually longer.
It is necessary to brush the coat every couple of days to keep it in a good condition. The hair should not be too soft or too long.
The Spinone Italiano’s coat is weather resistant and tough and can take a fair amount of dirt.
It is wise to invest in a couple of brushes for your dog. Brush him daily or at least every couple of days. This will keep him clean and tidy.
You will also have to have the old hair removed by a process called stripping. This is usually done at a doggie parlor. Professional dog groomers know how to remove the dead hair with special instruments.
Stripping is not painful and really ensures that your dog’s coat looks the way it should. You don’t need to wash your dog too much, about once a month.
Other grooming matters included clipping your dog’s nails and checking the ears for infection.
Don’t forget brushing your dog’s teeth. Many dog owners don’t realize the importance of looking after their dog’s teeth. But in later years, dogs can develop painful – and costly dental conditions. Many of these can be prevented by proper oral care.
EXERCISE AND TRAINING
Exercise, Energy, and Activities
Your Spinone Italiano is a dog with a lot of energy. That is to say, it likes vigorous, daily exercise. You may find a walk around the block is not enough to tire this dog out. If you are a runner, this dog will be the perfect running mate.
This is the kind of dog who will definitely let you know if he needs more exercise. If he starts digging up your garden, chewing on carpets, for instance. Or maybe there will be a lot of barking. As in, a lot.
Then you know it is time to do more with your dog. Some people find it helpful to break their pet’s exercise into two sessions. One in the morning and then again in the late afternoon. Alternatively, take your dog with you when you do chores.
You could chuck a ball at him or make him run up and down the stairs.
Your Spinone Italiano is a smart fella who wants to learn. You can teach him many tricks and get him to do all sorts of training. Start off with obedience training and then introduce him to more advanced courses.
This kind of dog can do agility as well as other kinds of training. They are lovely therapy dogs too, bringing love and smiles where ever they go.
Because of their quick wits and eagerness to please, you can do almost any activity with them. They are not stubborn or difficult to teach, either. So if you like a pet you can train to do tricks with, this dog might be right for you.
It will also make a wonderful companion for hikers who like to go for long walks. These dogs enjoy outdoor activities and have great endurance.
There is no doubt that your pup needs a bed. While many dogs are happy on a carpet or some old towels, a bed is your dog’s den.
This is where he will go to rest and feel comfortable. If he is tired or wants a nap, he will often go to his bed. It is a good idea to get him a nice basket or a big floppy pillow.
Don’t worry if your puppy spends a lot of time sleeping. In the beginning, this can be how he spends most of his days! As he grows older, though, the naptimes will become less.
As an adult dog, you will find him still spending a lot of time with his eyes shut! This is normal! When they are awake, they tend to be hyper aware, burning lots of calories and being super energized.
After an especially long walk, you may see your pup throwing himself down where ever and sleeping. That is because the walk was not only physically exhausting. All of his senses were used while he was out. Listening, smelling, touching with his paws etc.
Life is exciting for your puppy!
Your Spinone Italiano has a lifespan of 12-14 years.
This is a healthy breed but there are some medical red flags. One of these is a condition called Cerebellar Ataxia or CA. This hereditary condition can affect some puppies. Before you buy your dog, ask your breeder if any of the dogs have had this condition.
Fortunately, a test has been developed to screen for this condition.
Another concern is hip dysplasia. Like many of the larger breeds, the Spinone Italiano can suffer from abnormal hip development. This can lead to arthritis and it is very painful for the dogs.
While it can be treated, it is costly to do so. Medications and alternative therapies also provide relief.
Can I keep my dog healthy?
There is so much that you, as the new dog owner, can do to keep your dog in top shape. Few people realize how vital it is that they take care of their dogs.
Much of your dog’s happiness and healthiness depends on the kind of food he eats and his exercise levels. Don’t underestimate the importance of providing your dog with love and affection.
Dogs are pack animals and they want to be surrounded by their family. Dogs that are neglected or abandoned become sicker more easily. They are more vulnerable to all kinds of infections.
But a dog that is looked after properly has a wagging tail and a big smile. His coat is shiny and soft and his eyes sparkle. It is easy to see if a dog is happy or not. That is why is it such a big decision – whether or not to get a dog.
Because if you don’t really have the time to take care of him, you may end up neglecting him.
To Sum Up
The Spinone Italiano is a wonderful dog that has brought lots of joy to many homes across the world.
It is a good family pet and also responds well to households without children. It is very affectionate and if encouraged, will entertain you for many years to come.
Now that you are aware, off you go, find your own Spinone Italiano! There are puppies for all!
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