(Spinone Italiano, singular, pronounced spee-no-ne. Spinoni Italiani, plural, pronounced spee-no-nee)
A spinone is an Italian gundog. It is named after a thorn bush that grows in Italy, the pino. The tough dog was able to hunt for game amongst the bushes. Fans claim the spinone is the oldest hunting breed. They have strength and stamina to cover long distances in pursuit of prey. Although spinoni have existed for hundreds of years, they nearly died out because hunting is not so popular nowadays. But in the 1950's a band of hunters developed the breed and kept it going.
Spinoni breeders in South Africa
The rough coat must be hand-stripped, not clipped. The hair is long and stiff. On the face, the hair forms eyebrows, a beard, and a mustache. The coat keeps the dog protected from the elements, so they can sleep outdoors in a kennel, or in the house. A high dog-proof fence is required in case the dog goes hunting for adventure. They have webbed feet and like water. They can retrieve from water.
Spinonis are amiable, quiet, non-aggressive dogs. They get on with people, and are not kept as watch dogs. Puppies should be given the chance to meet lots of people, so that they do not become shy and timid.
A breed which may have influenced the development of the spinone, is the German wire haired pointer. There may be many breeds involved. The gentle nature & appearance is reminiscent of the Irish wolfhound.
Colour: white, orange, orange roan, brown roan and many combinations of two of those colours.
Height at shoulder: Dogs: 60–70 cm (23.5–27.5 in), Bitches: 59–65 cm (22.5–25.5 in) Spinoni have a square appearance: the length of the body = the height at shoulder, roughly.
Weight: Dogs: 34–39 kg (75–86 lb) Bitches: 29–34 kg (64–75 lb).