Breed Standards : Gun Dog Group : Spinone Italiano
Official UKC Breed Standard
@Copyright 1995, United Kennel Club.
The goals and purposes of this breed standard include: to furnish guidelines for breeders who wish to maintain the quality of their breed and to improve it; to advance this breed to a state of similarity throughout the world; and to act as a guide for judges.
Breeders and judges have the responsibility to avoid any conditions or exaggerations that are detrimental to the health, welfare, essence and soundness of this breed, and must take the responsibility to see that these are not perpetuated.
Any departure from the following 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.
The Spinone Italiano is a rough-haired dog of Italian origin, and is thought to be a very old and established hunting breed. In his book "Le Parfait Asseur," (The Perfect Hunter, 1683), Selicourt spoke of a "griffon" coming from the Piedmont region of Italy. In the Middle Ages, and in the 15th century, this type of dog was often represented by famous artists. The breed is also referred to as the Italian Coarsehaired Pointer.
The Spinone Italiano was recognized by the United Kennel Club on January 1, 1995.
GENERAL APPEARANCE AND CHARACTERISTICS
The Spinone is a dog of solid construction, and is robust and vigorous. It has powerful bone, well developed muscles, and rough hair. Its build tends to fit into a square. The length of the body is equal to, or slightly longer than (by - inch to 1 inch), the height of the dog.
The Spinone is naturally sociable, docile and patient. The breed is an experienced hunter in all terrains, is very resistant to tiredness, goes easily into brambles, and readily enters cold water. By nature, the breed is an excellent retriever and competent swimmer. It is built for an extended, fast trot. Height is measured at the withers. Any departure from the ideal is to be faulted according to the degree of deviation.
HEAD AND SKULL
The length of the head is equal to 40% of the height. The width of the head, measured at the level of the zygomatic arch, is less than half the length of the head. The zygomatic arch is the bony ridge forming the lower border of the eye socket. The direction of the upper longitudinal axes of the skull and muzzle is divergent.
The skull is oval shaped. Its lateral walls gently slope like a roof. The occiput is very well developed. The parietal crest is well marked. The bulge of the forehead is not very developed, not towards the front nor in height. The brows (superciliary regions) are not too prominent. The stop is barely marked. The medial-frontal furrow is very pronounced.
The muzzle is equal in length to the length of the skull. Its depth, measured at mid-length, reaches a third of its length. The profile of the muzzle is straight or slightly hilly (Roman-nosed). The lateral faces of the muzzle are parallel, so that seen from the front the muzzle is square shaped. The lower profile of the muzzle is defined by that of the upper lips. Its lowest point is the labial commissure.
The rather fine upper lips form an open angle below the nose. In their forward part, they are rounded. Then, covering the lower lips, they form a visible fold.
The jaws are powerful and normally developed. At mid length, the branches of the lower jaw are very lightly curved. The cheeks are lean.
TEETH - A full complement of strong, white teeth meet in a scissors or level bite. The dental arches are well adapted.
Disqualifications: Overshot bite. Undershot bite.
EYES - The large, well-opened eyes are set well apart. Both eyes are on the same frontal plane. The eye is almost round, and neither protrudes nor is set deep. Eye color is ochre, more or less dark according to the color of the coat.
Disqualification: Wall eye.
NOSE - The nose is in the same line as the nasal bridge. It is voluminous, and spongy in appearance, with a very thick and quite rounded upper edge. The nose protrudes over the forward vertical line of the lip. The nostrils are large and protruding. In white dogs, the pigment may be pink. It is a bit darker in white and orange dogs. It is chestnut brown in brown (roan to chestnut) dogs.
Disqualification: Total depigmentation of the nose. Black pigmentation of the skin or mucous membranes.
EARS - The ears are practically triangular in shape. In length, they are not more than two inches longer than the line of the throat. In width, they go from the point of the inset of the head to the neck to the middle of the zygomatic arch.
The ear is nearly always carried low, and has little erection power. The forward edge is close to the cheek. It is not folded, but turned inwards. The tip of the ear is slightly rounded.
Ear cartilage is fine. The skin is covered with dense hair mixed with longer scattered hairs, which become thicker at the edges.
The powerful, muscled neck is clearly distinguished from the nape, and merges harmoniously into the shoulders. The length of the neck must not be less than - of the length of the head. Its circumference reaches a third of the height of the dog. The lower edge of the neck has a lightly-developed double dewlap.
The long, powerful, well-developed shoulders, in length are about 25% of the height of the dog, and are free in their movement. Their slope is about 50 to 60 degrees from the horizontal. In relation to the median plane of the body, the points of the shoulders are not very close to one another. The opening of the scapular-humeral angle is about 105 degrees.
The upper arm slants about 60 degrees, and Is directed almost parallel to the median axis of the body. It is well muscled.
FORELEGS - When viewed from the front, the forelegs are perfectly parallel, and perpendicular to the ground.
The forearm is slightly longer than a third of the height of the dog. It is vertical when viewed from both the front and the side. It has strong bone. The hind tendon is strong in such a way that the groove between the tendon and bone is clearly visible.
The elbows are on a parallel plane to the median plane of the body. The point of the elbow is a little forward of the vertical from the posterior point of the shoulder blade to the ground. The distance from the elbow to the ground is equal to one-half the height of the dog.
The pastern joint follows the vertical line of the forearm. The pastern is flat. When viewed from the front, it follows the vertical line of the forearm. Viewed from the side, the pasterns slant slightly. In length, they are about one-sixth the height of the dog.
The body is almost square. The withers are not too raised. The points of the shoulder blades are well apart. The upper profile of the back is made up of two segments. The first, which is nearly straight, slopes from the withers to the eleventh dorsal vertebra. The second, which is slightly convex, joins with the solid and well-arched lumbar region, forming an angle of 30 to 35 degrees, below the horizontal, measured on the obliqueness of the hip bone.
The chest, which descends to at least the level of the elbows, is broad, deep and well rounded at mid height, where its transversal diameter reaches its maximum, and decreases perceptibly in the direction of the sternum, but without the chest forming a keel at the junction with the sternum.
The slanting ribs are well sprung, with wide spaces between the ribs. The back ribs (false ribs) are long, oblique and well opened.
The slightly convex loin has well-developed muscles in width. In length, the loin is a little less than one-fifth of the height. Its width is almost equal to its length.
The underline is almost horizontal in the sternal region. There is a slight tuckup.
When viewed from the rear, the hindquarters are parallel and perpendicular to the ground. When viewed from the side, the back edge of the buttocks is slightly convex. The hindquarters are well angulated. HIND LEGS - The strongly muscled upper thigh is less than a third of the height of the dog. Its width is three-quarters of its length. It is slightly slanted from top to bottom and from back to front. Its back edge is slightly convex.
The lean-muscled lower thigh is slightly less in length than the upper thigh. Its obliqueness is of 55 to 60 degrees below the horizontal. The furrow is clearly visible.
The lateral sides of the hock joint are very wide. The distance from the point of the hock to the ground is about one-third of the height of the dog. The opening of the angle of the tibial-tarsal articulation is about 150 degrees.
The rear pastern is strong and lean. It is vertical, whether viewed from the side or from the rear. A single dewclaw on each of the hind legs is acceptable.
The forefeet are round and compact. The hind feet may be slightly more oval than the forefeet. The arched toes are well closed. The feet are covered with short, thick hair, including the spaces between the toes. The pads are lean and hard, and are pigmented more or less according to the coat color. The strong nails curve toward the ground. They are well pigmented, but never black.
The tail is thick, especially at the base. It is carried horizontally or down. There are no fringes. The tail is generally docked, leaving a stump of from six to ten inches.
COAT AND SKIN
The hair on the body is from 1˝ to 2˝ inches in length. The hair is stiff, dense and rather flat, with a lack of undercoat. It is shorter on the muzzle, the head, the ears, the front side of the legs, and on the feet. On the back side of the legs, the hair is a rough brush, but never with fringes. Long, stiff hair garnishes the eyebrows and the lips, forming eyebrows, a moustache, and a tufted beard. The thick, lean skin fits close to the body. It is thinner on the head, throat, groin, under the arms, and on the back parts of the body. In the elbow folds, it is soft to the touch. There are two folds (dewlaps) from the sides of the lower jaw, gradually disappearing at the first half of the neck. When the head is carried low, there is a fold that descends from the outer corner of the eye over the cheek. in its hind edge. This fold ends in a tuft of hair.
Skin pigmentation varies according to the coat markings color.
Acceptable colors include: pure white; white with orange markings; white speckled with orange; white with brown (chestnut) markings; roan or roan-brown (chestnut).
Coat color must correspond with the color of the external mucous membranes.
Disqualifications: Tri-color coat. Tan markings. Any black coat coloring. Albinism.
HEIGHT AND WEIGHT
The height range for males is from 23˝ to 27˝ inches. The height range for females is from 23 to 25˝ inches. The weight range for males is from 70 to 81 pounds. The weight range for females is from 62 to 66 pounds.
The dog moves with an easy, loose step. When hunting, the dog moves with an extended fast trot, changing to an intermittent gallop as needed.
(A dog with a Disqualification must not be considered for placement in a conformation event, and must be reported to UKC.)
Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Viciousness or extreme shyness. Overshot bite. Undershot bite. Wall eye. Total depigmentation of the nose. Black pigmentation of the skin or mucous membranes. Tri-color coat. Tan markings. Any black coat coloring. Albinism.
The docking of tails and cropping of ears in America is legal and remains a personal choice. However, as an international registry, the United Kennel Club is aware that the practices of cropping and docking have been forbidden in some countries. In light of these developments, the United Kennel Club feels that no dog in any UKC event, including conformation, shall be penalized for a full tail or natural ears.