Italian Spinone10 July 2023
Let’s talk about… Italian Spinone: what are they?
- Italian Spinone, also known as Spinone Italiano, is a versatile and ancient breed hailing from Italy.
- They are a medium to large-sized dog that was originally bred for hunting game and retrieving waterfowl.
- With their unique appearance and gentle disposition, they have become beloved companions and family pets.
- Italian Spinone have a strong, muscular build with a dense, wiry coat that gives them a distinctive and charming appearance.
- Males typically stand at a height of 60-70cm, while females are slightly smaller, ranging from 58-65cm.
- They weigh between 29-39 kg on average.
- The average life expectancy of Italian Spinone is around 10 to 12 years.
What is the temperament of Italian Spinones like?
- Italian Spinone are known for their friendly and sociable temperament. They are gentle, patient, and make excellent companions.
- They are highly affectionate and bond deeply with their families.
- Italian Spinone are known to be good with children and get along well with other pets when properly socialised from a young age.
- They can often have a calm and laid-back nature, as long as they are well-exercised and mentally stimulated.
- Italian Spinone are intelligent and eager to please, which makes them trainable. However, they can also have a stubborn streak, so consistent and patient training methods work best.
How much exercise do Italian Spinones need?
- Italian Spinones need a good amount of exercise and require regular physical activity to keep them mentally stimulated and physically fit.
- They need approximately 2 hours of exercise per day. This can be in the form of brisk walks, jogging, playtime in a secure area, or engaging in canine sports such as obedience, tracking, or retrieving.
- As puppies, to protect their developing bones and joints, it is recommended to limit high-impact activities and excessive exercise. Puppies should have controlled exercise sessions that include playtime, short walks, and mental stimulation. As a very general guideline, puppies can start with around 5 minutes of exercise per month of age, up to twice a day, but your vet can advise you on your specific pup.
- Italian Spinone typically reach their full exercise capacity at an adult level around 18 to 24 months of age. Individual dogs may vary, so it's important to monitor their energy levels and adjust their exercise accordingly.
Do Italian Spinones need a lot of grooming?
- Italian Spinones require regular grooming to maintain their coat and overall appearance. Their coat is thick, dense, and wiry, providing protection from the elements.
- Brushing them two to three times a week will help prevent matting and remove loose hair.
- Italian Spinone have facial furnishings, including a beard and eyebrows, which should be kept clean and free from food debris.
- Depending on their coat some of them will need hand-stripped too, but a professional groomer can advise on your individual pooch.
- Like any dog, regular tooth brushing with a dog-specific toothpaste twice daily is ideal. If you can’t manage that often, just do it as often as you can.
Are Italian Spinones easy to train?
- Italian Spinone can be relatively easy to train due to their cooperative nature and eagerness to please.
- With positive reinforcement, patience, and consistency, you can successfully train and socialise your Italian Spinone.
- Start training early, use gentle methods, and provide mental stimulation to keep them engaged. Early socialisation and basic obedience training are important for their overall development. Introduce them to various people, animals, and environments to help them become well-adjusted and confident dogs.
- Break training sessions into short, focused sessions to maintain their attention and prevent boredom.
- Italian Spinone are intelligent dogs that require mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behaviour. Engage them in interactive games, puzzle toys, and training exercises that challenge their minds. Incorporate activities that tap into their natural hunting instincts, such as scent work or tracking exercises.
- By investing time and effort into their training, you can develop a well-behaved and happy Italian Spinone companion.
What do Italian Spinone eat?
- Italian Spinone puppies have specific dietary needs to support their growth and development. They should have 3-4 meals a day until 6 months old when they can be reduced to two meals a day.
- They require a balanced puppy food that is formulated for medium to large breeds. It's important to follow the feeding guidelines provided by the food manufacturer and consult with a veterinarian for personalised recommendations based on your puppy's age, weight, and overall health.
- As Italian Spinone mature and become adults, they can transition to adult dog food, at usually 12-18 months old. A high-quality commercial dog food that meets their nutritional needs is recommended, your vet can advise.
- Italian Spinone are not typically prone to weight gain, but it's essential to provide them with a balanced diet and avoid overfeeding.
Are Italian Spinones healthy?
Italian Spinone are generally a healthy breed, but like all dogs, they may be prone to certain health conditions. Some health concerns that can be seen in Italian Spinone include:
Bones and Joints
- Hip Dysplasia - a condition where the thigh bone and pelvis do not sit together properly at the hip joint, which can lead to discomfort and arthritis
- Panosteitis - a painful, inflammatory condition of the long bones of the leg
- Entropion - this is where the eyelids roll in, causing eyelashes to rub onto the surface of the eye
- Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV) - this occurs when the stomach twists and gas and contents get trapped inside. It is a very serious condition and a vet should be contacted immediately!
- Hypothyroidism - a condition where your dog does not produce enough thyroid hormone
- Cerebellar Ataxia - an issue with cerebellum in the brain that affects the way a dog moves including their balance and coordination
This list is by no means comprehensive, if you have any concerns about the health of your dog, or if you want to discuss further if an Italian Spinone is right for you, consult with your vet.
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Information on this page should never replace advice given by your veterinarian. Potential health issues presented are given as a guide only and are not meant to be comprehensive. If you ever have any concerns about your dog’s health contact your local vet.
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