Showsight Presents the Spinone Italiano

Breeders should safeguard the bone and substance which the breed is known for throughout the world. 4. Do you think the dogs you see in this breed are better now than they were when you first started judging? Why or why not? When they were first approved there were plenty of dogs coming into our AKC system that were bred overseas. These dogs had the depth, bone and mass which I iden- tify as correct for the breed. The breed has gone away from some of this as new breeders have started to pro- duce puppies. Retaining these characteristics is not easy to do in a breeding program for even the most seasoned breeder. There was also a color issue in the breed for some time. The liver dogs were not as well received as the orange originally. Today there seems to be less color prejudice in the breed. 5. What do you think new judges misunderstand about the breed? I sound like a broken record, but size and substance are not understood my most judges. This is a breed like many others in the Sporting group that you need to see in for- eign countries to really understand. To see a large entry of Spinone will help train your eye to the size, bulk and bone of this breed. Determining the proper type of this breed is paramount. 6. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the breed? Please elaborate. There is a challenge in this bred in construction of their rears. They are not the soundest breed to judge but again reward type overall. ANNETTE WINJNSOUW

coming in line with the back, by bringing the neck between the shoulders to give him the possibility to trot. He can see forward and also what is happening by his muzzle. He has also a very typical outline, with the light raising loins that made the trot with a level topline possible. To describe the breed in three words is not easy, but I think sturdy, strong and stubborn. The Spinone is stubborn in his own way. He is intelligent, but will use it for his own favor. When they have to do something, you can see them think, ‘Have I ever heard this word?’ If he has heard it, he will think if he will do it. If he decides to do it, he will do it slowly with the expression of, ‘Okay, I will do it, but I think it is useless.’ If you don’t see the humor, you should never take a Spinone home. Every Spinoni should be able to work, look for and point out game. If they lose this trait, they will lose all their traits. Being able to, doesn’t mean he has to hunt. But breeders should test in the litter for the best hunters. Hunters should understand that the Spinone is a pointing breed and you can teach them to retrieve, but pointing is their passion. There- fore, they like man trailing too, they like to use their noses without pressure. The more pressure on the Spinone, the less they will show their will to please. The most important thing is to find the way to learn and have fun. When working with the Spinoni you need a lot of endurance, inventiveness and humor. They are very easily bored and need new games. I hope we will not lose his hunting traits. The Spinone was the hunting dog for the farmers that hunted by foot. So the typi- cal movement is the trot. I taught my Spinone to go typical as a good mover with the head high. Many are too fast, which is what a lot of judges like. I prefer the typical mover in every breed, that is functional to me. The breed can be stubborn and sometimes very naughty. You can always see when they will be naughty, because they start to think about it—whether it will bring them something or won’t. Working with them is fun; when they do something for you, they will do it for their whole life. Showing a Spinone is also hard work, because to let them think is a way of doing and it takes time. At every show they have to be convinced that it is necessary. The roan/brown Spinone has more personality and is sometimes easier to convince that it is necessary to do some- thing. The roan/brown bitches are boyish and the white/ orange bitches often have the diva behavior. Any black col- oration is a disqualifier for the Spinoni. Every Italian judge will look at the nails of the roan/brown Spinone, because they should have brown nails. In Italy, they will disqualify the dog. Outside of Italy, they don’t do it, but that Spinone will never win. For me, it is hard to see that in some countries the quality of the Spinoni is going down by not breeding them carefully, but just increasing their numbers. They are losing everything you want to see, they are not sturdy, rustic or strong anymore and has less bone and an atypical outline. I think it is most important for every judge to understand the breed. Understanding is very different than knowing the breed. Understanding means you can read the conformation and movement in the function of the breed.

First I would like to thank the maga- zine for the invitation to give my vision and tell something about this wonderful breed. I live with my husband and our 13 Spinoni in the Netherlands. The caring of our dogs takes a big part of the day, but I find time to give show training and help breeders who are starting to breed.

My first breed and breed to judge was the long-haired St. Ber- nard in 1985. Now I judge 18 breeds in FCI Group 2 and in FCI group 7, I judge Spinone and the Bracco Italiano. I have judged the specialty for the Dogue de Bordeaux in France and a specialty for the Spinone Club of America. The head of the Spinone is important; the head must have divergent planes just before the eyes. The lines are from the top of the head and cross the line of the muzzle. If not, the skull or muzzle is not good—the skull is too flat or the muzzle is too short. Then the eyes, laterally placed, almond-shaped and in a nice color, gives them the almost human-like expres- sion. You can read in their eyes, what they want and think. The Spinone has no stop and the eyes are placed light laterally. They diverge because when they hunt, the head is

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