(The American Kennel Clubs Standard and Description)
Was recognized by AKC as a Sporting Breed in September 2000.

General Appearance
Muscular dog with powerful bone.
Vigorous and robust, his purpose as
hardworking gun dog is evident.
Naturally sociable, the docile and
patient Spinone is resistant to fatigue
and is an experienced hunter on any
terrain. His hard textured coat is
weather resistant. His wiry, dense coat and thick skin enable the Spinone
to negotiate underbush and endure cold water that would severely punish
any dog not so naturally armored. He has a remarkable tendency for an
extended and fast trotting gait. The Spinone is an excellent retriever by

Size, Proportion, Substance:

Height: The height at the withers is 23 to 27 inches for males and 22 to
25 inches for females.

Weight: In direct proportion to size and structure of dog.

Proportion: His build tends to fit into a square. The lenght of the body,
measured from sternum to point of buttocks, is approximately equal to
the height at the withers with a tolerance of no more than 1 inch in length
compared to height.

Substance: The Spinone is a solidly built dog, robust with powerful bone.


Long. The profile of the Spinone is unique to this breed. Expression is of
paramount importance to the breed. It should denote intelligence and

Skull of oval shape, with sides gently sloping. With occipital protuberance
well developed, medial-frontal furrow is very pronounced.

Muzzle: Square when viewed from the front. Muzzle length is equal to that
of backskull. the planes of the skull and muzzle are diverging, downfaced.
Its width measured at its midpoint is a third of its length. Stop is barely
perceptible. Bridge of the muzzle is preferably slightly Roman, however,
straight is not to be faulted.

Lips fitting tightly to the jawline. Convergence of planes of the skull and
muzzle or a dish-faced muzzle is to be faulted so severely as to eliminate
from further competition.

Eyes: Must have a soft sweet expression. Ochre (yellowish brown) in
color, darker eyes with darker colored dogs, lighter eyes with lighter
colored dogs. Large, well opened, set well apart, the eye is almost round,
the lids closely fitting the eye to protect the eye from gathering debris
while the dog is hunting. Loose eye lids must be faulted. Which is neither
protruding nor deep set. Eye rim clearly visible, color will vary with coat
color from flesh colored to brown.

Disqualification: Walleye.

Nose: Bulbous and spongy in appearance with upper edge rounded.
Nostrils are large and well opened. In profile, the nose protrudes past the
forward line of the lips. (Pigment is flesh colored in white dogs, darker in
white and orange dogs, brown in brown or brown roan dogs.)

Disqualification: Any pigment other than described or incomplete pigment
of the nose is to be disqualified.

Teeth: Jaw is powerful. Teeth are positioned in a scissors or level bite.

Disqualification: Overshot or undershot bite.

Ears: Practically triangular shape. Set on a level just below the eye,
carried low, with little erectile power. The leather is fine, covered with
short, thick hair mixed with a longer and sparser hair, which becomes
thicker along edges. Length, if measured along the head would extend to
tip of nose and no more than 1" beyond the tip. The forward edge is
adherent to the cheek, not folded, but turned outward; the top of the ear is
slightly rounded.

Neck, Topline, Body:

Neck: Strong, thick and muscular. Clearly defined from the nape, blending
in to the shoulders in a harmonious line. The throat is moderate in skin
with a double dewlap.

Chest: Broad, deep, well muscled and well rounded; extending at least to
the elbow. The ribs are well sprung. The distance from ground to elbow is
equal to 1/2 the height at the withers.

Back: The topline consists of two segments. The first slopes slightly
downward in a nearly straight line from the withers to the 11th thoracic
vertebrae, approximately 6 inches behind the withers. The second rises
gradually and continues into a solid and well-arched loin. The underline is
solid and should have minimal tuck up.

Croup: Well muscled, long. The hipbones fall away from the spinal
column at an angle of about 30 degrees, producing a lightly rounded, well
filled-out croup.

Tail: Follows the line of the croup, thick at the base, carried horizontally
or down; flicking from side to side while moving is preferred. The tail
should lack fringes. It is docked to a length of 5 to 8 inches. Tail
habitually carried above the level of the back or straight up when working
is to be penalized.


Shoulders: Powerful and long, withers not too prominent; forming an angle
with the upper arm of approximately angle 105. With well-developed
muscles, the points of the shoulder blades are not close together. The
ideal distance between the shoulder blades is approximately two inches
or more. Angulation of shoulders is in balance with angulation in the rear.

Forelegs: The forelegs are straight when viewed from front angle with
strong bone and well-developed muscles; elbows set under the withers
and close to the body. Pasterns are long, lean and flexible, following the
vertical line of the forearm. In profile, they are slightly slanted.

Feet: Large compact, rounded with well-arched toes, which are close
together, covered with short, dense hair, including between the toes.
Pads are lean and hard with strong nails curving toward the ground, well
pigmented, but never black.

Dewclaws may be removed.


Thighs are strong and well muscled, stifles show good functional
angulation, lower thigh to be well developed and muscled with good
breadth. The hock, with proportion of 1/3 the distance from the hip joint to
foot being ideal, is strong, lean and perpendicular to the ground. Fault:

Feet: Slightly more oval than the forefoot with the same characteristic.
Dewclaws may be removed.

Skin: The skin must be very thick, closely fitting the body. The skin is
thinner on the head, throat, groin, under the legs and in the folds of the
elbows is soft to the touch. Pigmentation is dependent upon the color or
markings of the coat.

Disqualification: Any black pigmentation.

Coat: A Spinone must have a correct coat to be of correct type. The ideal
coat length is 1 to 2 inches on the body, with a tolerance of inch
over or under the ideal length. Head, ears, muzzle and front sides of legs
and feet are covered by shorter hair. The hair on the backsides of the legs
forms a rough brush, but there are never any fringes. The eyes and lips
are framed by stiff hair forming eyebrows, mustache and tufted beard,
which combine to save the fore face from lacerations by briar and brush.
The coat is dense, stiff and flat or slightly crimped, but not curly, with an
absence of undercoat. The Spinone is exhibited in a natural state. The
appearance of the Spinone may not be altered. The dog must present the
natural appearance of a functional field dog. Dogs with a long, soft or silky
coat, the presence of undercoat, or any deviation of the coat as defined in
this standard as well as excessive grooming, i.e., scissoring, clipping, or
setting of pattern shall be severely penalized as to eliminate them from
further competition.

Color: The accepted colors are: Solid white, white and orange, orange
roan with or without orange markings; white with brown markings, brown
roan with or without brown markings. The most desired color of brown is
chestnut brown, "monks habit", however, varying colors of brown are

Disqualifications: Any black in the coat, tan, tri-color, in any combination,
or any color other than accepted colors.

Gait: The Spinone is first and foremost a functional working gun dog. Its
purpose as a versatile hunting dog must be given the utmost
consideration. Easy and loose trot geared for endurance. Maximum
ground is covered with least amount of effort, which his purpose as a
versatile working gun dog demands. Profile of the topline kept throughout
the trotting gait, light body roll in mature bitches is characteristic of the
breed. While hunting, an extended fast trot with intermittent paces of a
gallop allows the Spinone to cover ground quickly and thoroughly. Any
characteristics that interfere with the accomplishment of the function of
the Spinone shall be considered as a serious fault.

Faults: Any departure from the foregoing points constitutes a fault which
when judging must be penalized according to its seriousness and


Wall eye

Any pigment other than described or incomplete pigment of the nose.

Overshot or undershot bite.

Any black pigmentation.

Any black in the coat; tan, tri-color markings in any combination, or any
color other than the accepted colors.

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or to simply help people learn more about this breed.

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