Although his bloodline has been debated, one thing is known about the Spinone Italiano: He is an ancient breed that can be traced back to Renaissance Italy. He is a hunting companion in his native Italy, but not so common in America. He is an obedient, good-natured family dog. As a working breed, he does need daily exercise. His dense, wiry coat needs regular grooming.
Here are some of the supplies you will need:
Nail clippers and styptic powder
Ear cleaner and cotton balls
Your pet Spinone needs to be brushed once a week. His coat will shed, so brushing regularly will help keep dead hair off your furniture. An undercoat comb will help keep his coat from matting.
Trim his nails twice a month. White nails make it easy; just trim where the white and pink meet, leaving a little white. If they are dark, trim them where they start to curve and get thinner. If a nail is trimmed too close, just press a pinch of styptic powder on the end of it to stop the bleeding.
The Spinone Italiano is a breed prone to hairy ear canals. This must be removed to prevent germs building up in the ear. These germs can’t escape and can cause ear infections. Using your thumb and forefinger, grab a few hairs from the canal and pull. Do this until the canals are clear.
Clean his ears every month. Squirt a small amount of ear cleaner into his ear canal and let him shake his head. Wipe out his ear with a cotton ball. Any dark discharge or foul odor from his ear warrants a call to your veterinarian.
Your pet can have a bath every couple months. Too much bathing can strip his coat of necessary oils. Use a gentle dog shampoo and lather well. Rinse all soap from his coat and dry with towels. A hair dryer on a cool setting can be used, too.
If you live in the Omaha area and think a Spinone Italiano is your perfect match, you don’t have to go to a breeder. You can find one of these family dogs at the Nebraska Humane Society. Go to www.nehumanesociety.org and click on the “adopt” tab. Follow the instructions to register to get an email when a Spinone comes to the shelter.
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