Breed standards

Italian Spinone

Breed standards are the official guidelines that describe the ideal characteristics, temperament, and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function with soundness essential.

Last Updated: 16 Jul 2009

Kennel Club, London 1994

Group 3 (Gundogs)

Solid, squarely built, strong bone and well muscled. Kind and earnest expression.


Intrepid and untiring, very hardy, adaptable to any terrain including water. All purpose gundog.


Faithful, intelligent, patient and affectionate.

Head And Skull:

The head planes when seen in profile are divergent. The skull is equal in length from occiput to gently sloping stop, and from stop to end of nose, which protrudes over the lips. Width of skull not to exceed half the total length of head, preferably less. A lean skull of oval shape, sides gently sloping downwards, roof like. Well-pronounced occiput. Well defined median furrow. Muzzle of good depth, in profile straight or slightly arched, square when viewed from the front. The upper lips, slightly rounded, covering the lower lips and reaching the corner of the mouth in a visible fold. Nose large, spongy in appearance with large nostrils.


Large, fairly round and open, eyelids close fitting. Deep yellow in white, and white orange; ochre in brown roans.


Pendulous, triangular, slightly rounded at the tip, pliable and fine. Covered with dense hair mixed with longer, scattered hairs, which become thicker at the edges. Carried low with little erectile power. Forward edge touching cheek. Set on level with corner of eye, long, but not more than 5 cms below throat line.


Jaws powerful with a perfect regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. Upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Lips rather thin.


Strong, muscular, fairly short, merging into shoulder, slight dewlap.


Shoulders strong, muscular and well laid back. Top of shoulder blades set well apart. Upper arm well angulated, muscular and of equal length to shoulder blade. Forelegs, when viewed from front and side should be straight, with strong, oval bone and well defined tendons. Elbows turning neither in nor out. Pasterns strong and slightly sloping. Dewclaws should be present.


Length from point of shoulder to point of buttocks equal to height at withers. Withers not too raised. Topline, which must not be exaggerated, slopes gently downwards from withers and then rises to a slightly arched, broad, strong and well muscled loin. Croup then slopes slightly to set on of tail. Chest broad and deep, reaching at least to the level of the elbows, with prominent breastbone. Ribs are open, well sprung and carried well back. Minimal tuck up.


Thighs long, broad, muscular and strong. Hocks well let down. Metatarsals vertical on extension of buttock line. Tendons clearly visible.


Front compact, round. Hind feet slightly oval. Toes arched, covered with short thick hair especially between toes. Nails strong, arched. Pads hard. Pigmented according to coat colours. Never black. Dew claws on all four feet.


Docked: To half its length. Thick, particularly at the base set on as a continuation of croup and carried horizontal or down. No fringes.
Undocked: Thick at the base, set on as a continuation of croup and carried horizontal or down. No fringes.


Free, relaxed and capable of fast trot.


Tough, thick, slightly wiry, close fitting, length 3.8-6 cms on body, shorter on nasal bridge, ears and head, even shorter on front of legs and feet. Eyebrows consist of longer stiff hair, even longer but softer hair covers cheeks and upper lips forming moustache and beard. Skin thick and leathery.


Only permitted colours are white, white and orange, orange roan, white and brown and brown roan. Lips, nose, eye rims, nails and pads should be pigmented according to the coat colour, ranging from flesh pink in whites, through to brown in brown roans.


Dogs 34-39 kgs (70-82 lbs)
Bitches 29-34 kgs (62-71 lbs)

Dogs 59-69 cms (23.5-27.5 ins)
Bitches 58-64 cms (23-25.5 ins)


Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog, and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.


Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.