The Italian Spinone is a large Gundog type who is also adept at following a scent. He is a strong dog who is happy to work in rough terrain all day so he needs a lot of exercise. Ideally he needs to live in a house with a garden and have plenty of access to the open countryside. He is very trainable and will respond well to challenges and discipline. His owner should be prepared to give him the physical and mental challenges that he needs. His thick, wiry coat is easy to keep in order and should be groomed regularly.
Inbreeding Coefficient - COI
(Should be as low as possible)
The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 4.4% - see 'A Beginners Guide to COI'
Effective Population Size - EPSTBC
EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.
Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)
Gastric dilatation volvulus (Bloat/Torsion (stomach) fills with air and can twist – requires urgent vet treatment) A problem in deep chested breeds.
- Hip dysplasia (abnormality of the hip joints causing pain and disability): breed mean score 12.2 (parents should be lower)
- Elbow dysplasia (abnormality of the ellbow joint causing pain and disability): score ideally O:O
Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) are now available for Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia:
DNA Tests Available
- Cerebellar Ataxia (CA)
Unofficial (Breed Club) Schemes
Bitches should not produce a litter under two years of age.
Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.
Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)
- Atopy (hypersensitivity to pollen and other protein particles, causing intense itching)
- Osteochondrosis (abnormalities of cartilage in young dogs causing lameness)
- Entropion (inward turning of eyelashes causing irritation and damage to the eye)
- Panosteitis (bone inflammation in young dog)
- Idiopathic Epilepsy
- Heart disease
- Hypothyroidism (underactivity of thyroid gland)
Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.
Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions. Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.
You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP): www.puppycontract.org.uk
You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding: