Spinone Italiano

  • Overview

    The Spinone Italiano is an affable, docile dog who was bred as a pointer in Italy. Spinone Italianos are unique dogs with complicated personalities. They are fiercely loyal and devoted to their owners. Their rugged coats have a slightly disheveled appearance that can be maintained through consistent brushing and bathing.

  • Personality

    Spinone Italianos are friendly, unpretentious dogs who are not overly confident. They tend to be reserved and occasionally question their instincts. Spinones are generally more relaxed than other retrieving dogs. They lack the sense of urgency that many other hunting dogs have. These gentle dogs become stressed easily when they are left alone or when they perceive that they have done something wrong. Spinones are incredibly loyal — they tend to bond specifically to one person or just to their families. Even though these are active, athletic dogs who will appreciate the chance to run and exercise, they are not particularly fast-moving. They are steady, patient and even-tempered dogs who will match the pace and activity level of their owners.

    Spinones enjoy swimming and love to play in the water. Spinones are sensitive, and they respond poorly when they feel they have been slighted or neglected. They respond best to experienced trainers who know how to deal with their personality quirks and occasional lack of confidence.

  • Coat Care

    The Spinone Italiano's coat gives him a rugged appearance. The coat's main purpose is to protect the Spinone Italiano while he hunts in all weather conditions and even in freezing cold water. His hair is rough and thick. It should be coarse and dry to the touch. The Spinone's coat is a single, basically non-shedding coat. The hair is generally up to 2.5 inches in length, but it is longer around the bushy eyebrows, beard and moustache and on the backs of the legs to give the Spinone extra protection from dangerous elements. The Spinone's shaggy coat and hairy facial features give him an easy-going, friendly appearance. The coat comes in light colors like white, orange, roar and brown, including colorful mixtures and patterns. This breed has a slightly more ruffled appearance, so his coat requires little more than consistent washing, brushing and occasional stripping.

Spinone Italiano
brushing icon


Because the breed's coat is naturally rough, washing it with a gentle dog shampoo and brushing it with a large pin brush will help it maintain a neat, healthy appearance and prevent your Spinone from looking sloppy or dull.

bathing icon


Because the breed's coat is naturally rough, washing it with a gentle dog shampoo and brushing it with a large pin brush will help it maintain a neat, healthy appearance and prevent your Spinone from looking sloppy or dull.

hair clipping icon

Hair Clipping

The coat should be stripped occasionally to ensure that the hair grows in a healthy pattern and to neaten the appearance around the face and feet.

nails icon


Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.

Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience.  As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.

You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.

eyes/ears icon

Eyes / Ears

Not all breeds and coat styles require routine trimming in and around the eyes and ears but all should undergo regular inspection and cleaning around these sensitive areas. Doing so will help prevent the development of infections that could seriously damage these amazing organs.

It is always important to routinely clean your dog's eyes and ears, and examine for potential infections. Wire coated dogs have sensitive ears covered in hair that  need to be checked weekly for infection and cleaned with a cotton ball. Gently wipe a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, olive oil or witch hazel in your dog's ear, being careful to avoid the ear canal. Never use a Q-Tip, which could cause damage to the inner ear if your dog suddenly shakes or jerks his head. Bushy hair growth within the ear can be thinned with tweezers or blunt scissors. Use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around the eyes, ears and face. West Highland Terriers and other small terriers with white coats are prone to developing tear stains around the eyes, so clean around their eyes with a cotton ball or soft cloth and use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around their eyes.

Teeth icon


Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.

Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.