The Spinone Italiano is a large, muscular, squarely built hunting dog with large, floppy ears and a distinctive wiry coat. The long head has an almost unnoticeable stop, a roman-nosed muzzle and pendant ears. The bushy eyebrows, mustache and beard give the Spinone a gruff, almost grumpy appearance, but they protect the face from brush in the hunting field. The soft eyes and sweet demeanor of the Spinone offset his grizzled facial hair. The coat is 1.5 to 2.5 inches long and short on the head, ears, muzzle, legs and feet. The hair on the back of the legs is longer but does not fringe of feather. They may be white, white or brown with orange or brown patches, orange or brown roan. The tail of the Spinone is customarily docked 5 to 8 inches from the base and should be carried just below the back.
Size and Weight
Male Spinones should stand from 23 to 27 inches at the shoulder and females should stand 22 to 25 inches. The weight should be proportionate to the height of the dog, but males typically range in weight from 70 to 81 pounds and females from 62 to 70 pounds.
Coat and Color
The Spinone wears a single coat of wiry hair 1.5 to 2.5 inches long, that lies close to the body. The head, ears, legs and feet sport shorter hair. The mustache and beard are made up of a softer textured hair, but the eyebrows are stiff.
Spinones may be white, white with orange, orange roan, white with brown markings or brown roan. Chestnut brown is the most desirable color. Black, tan and tricolor dogs can not be shown, however they can make perfectly wonderful companion or hunting dogs.
The Spinone coat should be brushed weekly to remove loose and dead hair. In order to maintain the proper texture, the coat should be stripped a few times per year, preferably by hand. This can be done at home or by a professional groomer. The beard and eyes should be wiped down daily to keep the face neat and tangle-free. Bathe a Spinone only as needed.
Check the dog's ears on a weekly basis for signs of infection, irritation, or wax build up. Cleanse regularly with a veterinarian-approved cleanser and cotton ball. Brush the teeth at least once per week to prevent tartar buildup and prevent gum disease. Additionally, nails should be trimmed once per month if the dog does not wear the toenails down naturally.