The Spinone Italiano is an Italian dog breed. It was originally bred as a versatile gun dog. To this day, the breed still masters that purpose. The Spinone is a loyal, friendly and alert dog with a close lying, wiry coat. It is an ancient breed that can be traced back to approximately 500 BC.
It is traditionally used for hunting, pointing, and retrieving game (HPR), but, in addition to that purpose, the intelligent and strong Spinone may be practically anything ranging from a companion to an assistance dog.
The Spinone has a square build (the length of the body is approximately equal to the height at the withers). It is a strong-boned, solidly built dog with a well-muscled body and limbs that are suited to almost any kind of terrain. A brown and white Spinone can sometimes be confused with a German Wirehaired Pointer by someone unfamiliar with the breeds. However, the long head and pronounced occipital are unique to the breed. He has an expression that shows intelligence and understanding and is often described as having human-like eyes. The tail of the Spinone is customarily docked at half its length (approx 5.5 to 8 inches or 140 to 200 mm from the base of the tail), Even as adults, Spinoni retain disproportionate, puppy-like, webbed paws which make them powerful swimmers.
The coat is tough, slightly wiry, and close fitting. The preferred length is 1.5 to 2.5 in (3.8 to 6.4 cm) on the body; however, the ears, muzzle, head, and parts of the legs and feet are covered with shorter hair. Eyebrows have longer and stiffer hair; longer but softer hair covers cheeks and muzzle, creating a profuse moustache and beard.
The Spinone should not have an undercoat. A long, soft or silky coat is undesired and is a sign of excessive grooming.
Acceptable variants (UK and US) are solid white, white with orange markings, orange roan with or without orange markings, white with brown markings, and brown roan with or without brown markings. Pigment of skin, nose, lips, and the pads on their feet should be a fleshy red-orange in white dogs, slightly darker in orange and brown roan dogs. The white and orange coloration is unique amongst the wire-haired gun dogs.
Source of information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spinone_Italiano
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