An all-purpose gundog brought into Great Britain relatively recently, this breed is already showing a fair degree of popularity with those wanting a hardy worker in the field or a faithful, patient companion in the house. There is quite possibly a bit of hound in his make-up, and he is adaptable enough to put up a good performance as a guard dog if he is asked to do so.
Though the Spinone did not achieve championship status in Britain until 1994, it is a very old breed, whose true origins are somewhat difficult to put together. It is thought that the breed has a lot of blood of native hounds of Italy mixed with that of the French Griffons. Another of the Hunt, Point and Retrieve breeds from Continental Europe, he is noted for his good scenting and soft mouth and is especially successful as a worker in rough woodland or marshes.
An easy dog to train, he will fit into the family pattern. His thick, somewhat wiry coat is simple to keep in good order, so that he does not cause a great deal of mess on returning from a walk across farm land or a day on a rough shoot.
His colour is basically white all over with a variable amount of orange or brown, which can be speckled or patched. He is unusual in having a slight slope in his back from his withers and then back up again towards the croup.
Vulnerable Native Breed
How much exercise?
More than 2 hours per day
Length of coat
How much grooming?
More than once a week
Town or Country
Type of home
Minimum Garden Size
Over 10 Years
* If you are asthmatic or have an allergy, you should consult your medical advisor before considering obtaining a dog. More information can also be found on
the Kennel Club website
The Gundog Breed Group
Dogs that were originally trained to find live game and/or to retrieve game that had been shot and wounded. This group is divided into four categories - Retrievers, Spaniels, Hunt/Point/Retrieve, Pointers and Setters - although many of the breeds are capable of doing the same work as the other sub-groups. They make good companions, their temperament making them ideal all-round family dogs.