FCI Standard No.165 (26/10/92)

ENCI Standard (27/11/89)


Historical Summary: We find in the bibliography descriptions, which evoke a rough-haired dog of Italian origin, which passes as being the ancestor of the present Spinone. In his book "Le parfait chasseur" (the perfect hunter) Selicourt, in 1963, speaks of a "griffon" coming from Italy and the Piedmont. In the Middle Ages and in the 15th century, this dog has been represented by famous masters; the best known is a fresco by Andrea Mantegna in the ducal palace of Mantua.


General appearance: Dog of Solid construction, robust and vigorous; powerful bone; well-developed muscles; hair rough.

Important proportions: his build tends to fit into a square. The length of the body is equal to the height at the withers, with a tolerance of 1-2cm longer. The length of the head is equal to 4/10 of the height at the withers. Its width, measured at the level of the zygomatic arches, is inferior to half its length.


Behaviour/temperament: Naturally sociable, docile and patient, the Spinone is an experienced hunter on all terrains; very resistant to tiredness, goes easily into brambles, or throws himself into cold water. He has a remarkable capability for an extended and fast trot; by nature he is an excellent retriever.


Head: The direction of the upper longitudinal axes of the skull and muzzle are divergent.


Skull region: A skull of oval shape; its lateral walls gently sloping like a roof, with occipital protuberance very well developed and parietal crest well marked.

The bulge of the forehead is not very developed, nor towards the front or in height. The supercilliary arches are not too prominent; the stop is barely marked whereas the medial-frontal furrow is very pronounced.


Facial Region:

Nose - In the same line as the nasal bridge, voluminous, spongy in appearance with a very thick and quite rounded upper edge; of flesh pink colour in white subjects; a bit darker in the white and orange subjects, chestnut brown in the roan-chestnut (brown) subjects. In profile, the nose protrudes over the forward vertical line of the lips. Nostrils are large and protruding.

Muzzle- its length is equal 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 nose). The lateral faces of the muzzle are parallel, so that, seen from the front, the muzzle is square shaped. The upper lips, rather fine, form below the nose an open triangle; in their forward part, they are rounded, then, covering the lower lips they reach the labial commisure where they form a visible fold. The lower profile of the muzzle is defined by that of the upper lips; its lowest point is the labial commisure.

Jaws- Powerful and normally developed, at mid length the branches of the jaw are very lightly curved. Cheeks are lean.

Teeth- Dental arches well adapted; incisors articulate either in scissor or pincer bite.

Eyes- Large, well opened and set well apart. The eye is almost round; the lids closely fitting, the eye is neither protruding nor deep set: both eyes are on the same frontal plane. The iris is of an ochre colour, more or less dark according to the colour of the coat.

Ears - Practically triangular in shape, in length they are not more than 5cm (2in) longer that the lower line of the throat; in width they go from the point of the insert of the head and the neck to the middle of the zygomatic arch. The forward edge is close to the cheek, not folded, but turned inwards; the top of the ear is slightly rounded. Nearly always carried low, the ear should have little erection power. Cartilage is fine. The skin is covered with dense hair mixed with longer scattered hairs, which become thicker at the edges.


Neck; Powerful and muscled, clearly distinguished from the nape, merging harmoniously into the shoulders. Its length must not be inferior to 2/3 of the length of the head; its circumference reaches a third of the height at the withers. The lower edge shows a lightly developed dewlap.


Body: Fits almost into a square.

Back - Withers are not too raised. Points of shoulder blades well apart. Upper profile of the back is made up of tow segments: the first, nearly straight, slopes from the withers to the 11th dorsal vertebra, and the other, slightly convex, joins with the shoulder and well arched lumbar region. The rump, wide, long, well muscled and oblique of 30 to 35, which is measured on the obliqueness of the hipbone.

Chest- The chest 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 perceptible in direction of the sternum, but without the chest forming a keep at the junction with sternum. The ribs are well sprung and slanting with wide spaces between the ribs. The back ribs (false ribs) are long, oblique and well opened.

Loin- Slightly convex has well developed muscles in width. It measures in length a little less than a fifth of the height at the withers and its width is almost equal to its length.

Lower profile - This is almost horizontal in the sternal region, and then ascends slightly towards the belly.

Tail- the tail is thick, particularly at its base; is carried either horizontally, or down: there are no fringes. It should be docked leaving a stump of 15 to 25cm (6-10in).


Forequarters: Seen from the front, they are perfectly parallel and perpendicular to the ground. Seen in profile forearm is vertical and the metacarpus is slightly oblique.

Shoulder- Powerful and long. Measures a quarter of the height at the withers, and has an obliqueness below the horizontal of about 50; in relation to the median plane of the body, the points of the shoulder-blades are not very close to one another. Perfectly free in its movement, the shoulder has well developed muscles; the opening of the scapular-humeral angle is of about 105.

Upper arm- Oblique below the horizontal with a slant of about 60, directed almost parallel to the median axis of the body, It is well muscled.

Forearm- Slightly longer than a third of the height at the withers, vertical seen from the front as well as in profile. Strong bones. The hind tendon is strong in such a way that the groove between tendon and bone is clearly visible. The elbows are in parallel plane to the median plane of the body. The point of the elbow must be a little forward of the vertical, which goes from the posterior point of the shoulder blade to the ground. The distance from the elbow to the ground is equal to 50% of the height at the withers.

Pastern joint- It follows the vertical line of the forearm.

Pastern- It is flat, and, seen from the front, follows the vertical line of the forearm; seen in profile, it is slightly oblique. Its length is about 1/6 of the height of the leg to the elbows.

Forefeet- compact, round, toes well closed and arched, covered with short thick hair, including the spaces between the toes. The pads, lean and hard, are more or less pigmented according to the colour of the coat. Nails strong, curved towards the ground and well pigmented but never black.

Hindquarters: Seen in profile, back edge of the buttock is slightly convex; good angulations of the segments; the hocks must be perpendicular to the ground.

Thigh- its length must not be inferior to a third of the height at the withers. Its width is 3/4 of its length. Strongly muscled. Its direction is slightly oblique from top to bottom and from back to front. Its back edge is slightly convex.

Leg- Its length exceeds just slightly that of the thigh; its obliqueness is 55 - 60 below the horizontal; lean muscles in its upper part; the furrow between the Achilles tendon and the bone is marked and clearly visible.

Hock joint- Its lateral sides are very wide. The distance between the point of the hock and the ground is about a third of the eight at the withers. The opening of the angle of the tibia-tarsal articulation is about 150.

Hock- Strong and lean, its length is equal to the distance from the hock to the ground. Observed from whichever side, the metatarsal is vertical. On its inner side there may be a simple articulated dewclaw.

Hind feet- Showing all the same characteristics of the front feet, but slightly more oval.

Gait and movement: Easy loose step; when hunting extended fast trot with intermittent paces of gallop.


Skin: Close fitting to the body, must be thick and lean. It is thinner on the head, the throat, and the groin, under the arms and on the back parts of the body; in the folds of the elbows it is soft to the touch. Just form two folds, which go from the sides of the lower jaws and disappear at the first half of the neck (dewlap). When the head is carried low, one just notices a fold which descends fro m the outer corner of the eye over the cheeks; in its hind edge the fold ends in a tuft of hair. The pigmentation of the skin varies according to the colour of the markings of the coat. The colour of the external mucous membranes must correspond with the colour of the coat.


Coat: Nature of the hair - Of a length of 4-6cm (1.5-2.3in) on the body, shorter on the muzzle, the head, the ears, the front sides of the legs and feet. On the backs of the legs, the hair is a rough brush, but never with fringes. Long and stiff hair garnishes the eyebrows and the lips, forming eyelashes, moustache and tufted beard. The hair is stiff, dense and rather flat, with a lack of undercoat.

Colour - Pure white, white with orange markings, white speckled with orange, white with brown (chestnut) markings, roan or roan-brown (chestnut). The preferred shade of brown is "Capuchin friar's frock". Non-permitted colours are: tricolour, tan markings, black in any shape or combination.



Height at the withers

Males 60 - 70 cm (23.5-27.5ins)

Females 58-65 cm (22.5-25.5ins)



Males from 32-37kg (70.5-81.5lb)

Females from 28-30kg (62-66lb)



Any departures from the foregoing points constitutes a fault which when judging must be penalised according to its seriousness and extension.


Eliminating Faults: Head: upper cranial-facial axes convergent, concave muzzle.


Disqualifying faults: total depigmentation of the nose. Walleye. Black pigmentation of the skin or mucous membranes. Tri-coloured coat, tan markings, black in all its shapes and combinations. Overshot of accentuated undershot mouth.


Note: Males should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

FCI/ENCI Breed Standard