Last Updated on February 21, 2014 : :

Your breeder should be able to advise you on grooming your Spinone. Coats vary enormously, an easy coat may require nothing more than a regular brush through whilst a coat that is soft and woolly will be very difficult and time consuming to look after. Most fall in between these two extremes and have a coat that needs to be ‘hand-stripped’, literally meaning pulling the dead hair out with your fingers. This is a fairly easy procedure when their coat is ready to come out.  Start doing this when there are very young, nothing will come out then but they get used to the feeling of it.

You will also need a stripping knife for their head and legs, a brush and comb, thinning scissors and ordinary scissors.  These can be picked up at any pet shop/superstore.  Get your breeder to show you what they use. In addition, not forgetting the all-important towel for their beards.  The Italian spinone should be groomed a couple of times a week, this helps to keep their coat in good condition, getting rid of dead hair.  They are prone to tangles under their armpits the fur is softer here.
By regular grooming you are building up a rapport with your puppy.  He gets used to being touched all over which is a good thing especially when they have to visit the vet.  You will get to know your dog’s body so that any lumps or bumps are found you can get them sorted out


Although the eyelids of the Spinone should be tight many have a slightly loose eyelid, which will enable foreign bodies such as dust and grass husks to become trapped.  If not removed these can set up an irritation and infection. Most Spinone wake up with a slight collection of jelly in the corner of their eyes.  It is easy to remove this with a tissue.  If there is a green discharge this can very often be cured by irrigating with a saline solution (1 teaspoon of salt to ½ a cup of water) or cold tea, two to three times a day for a few days.  If the problem is not resolved seek veterinary advice.
There is a deformity of the eyelid called Entropian and Ectropian, some vets may suggest surgery at an early age and in most instances this may not be advisable, always speak to your breeder for advice.


“Large and spongy looking” The nose should be moist to the touch.  If a discharge or foreign body is found seek veterinary advice.  With age the nose can become encrusted on the top, Petroleum Jelly can be used to help lift the scale-like pieces.


The mouth should be kept clean at all times otherwise a purulent smell can occur, this may be due to rotten food trapped between teeth and in the folds of the mouth.  This can then lead to decaying teeth and fungal infections in the hair just under the lip.  To prevent the above, give large marrow bones or clean the teeth with a veterinary dog tooth paste.  Following a meal wash the beard to ensure all food particles have been removed.


Check the ears weekly but more frequently if you have been out working your dog or have been anywhere that grass seeds could penetrate their way down the ear. Routine clipping or stripping of the hair from the outer part of the ears should be carried out to allow good ventilation.  The hair should not be removed from down the ear canal, although this practice was popular in the past professional groomers are now being told that this is not a good practice.  The Spinone is one of the few breeds that grows hair all the way down the ear canal, it is there to protect the ear drum. 

The ear should not smell of anything else but wax with only a small amount of wax finding its way to the surface.  If your dog begins shaking or scratching its ears check them and clean them, if it continues seek veterinary advice.

Routine cleaning of the external part of the ear can be carried out using a mild ear cleaner and a cotton wool pad.  Remember that the ear is a very delicate organ and it must be treated gently.  There is the thought that filling the ear canal up with cleaner routinely when there is no obvious problem only stimulates the ear to produce a more liquid wax and can then become infected.  Wax is there to protect the ear drum.


The coat should ideally be brushed every day to remove dead hair, matting and any foreign bodies, this is particularly important in the Spinone that has a soft or thick coat as there is more likelihood that matting may occur.  Hand stripping will help to keep the coat at a manageable length.  There are many helpful tools now on the market that can be used instead of hand stripping.  If your dog’s coat starts falling out excessively it could be that the diet requires changing.  If there is a problem with the skin seek your vet’s advice.  In the white and orange Spinone their coat can become an orangey brown if they are chewing or licking excessively.  Dogs especially require washing around the penis and the tops of their legs once or twice a week.  Your breeder will be able to give advice on grooming equipment and where to purchase it from.


Spinone have webbed feet so between the pads should always be kept free from dirt, stones, grass seeds etc. This can be done by gently separating the pads while placing each foot into warm water, gently dry in between the webs.

Nails can be trimmed with a suitable pair of nail clippers, only cut a slither of the nail.  If too much is removed the quick can be cut causing considerable bleeding, a Silver Nitrate stick is useful to keep in stock as this acts as a stiptic and arrests any bleeding.  If the nails are trimmed each week the quick will move back this will then enable you to leave the nail trimming for a longer period of time and then trim a slightly larger piece of nail. Most Spinone have their back Dew Claws removed when just a few days old.  Remember to cut the front ones when dealing with the other nails.


The Anal Gland normally empties its self.  The function of the gland is to act as a scent marker.  The gland can become blocked and may require emptying.  It is best for the vet or groomer to undertake this task for the first time and demonstrate how it is done.  It is a quick process and no anaesthetic is required.  The reason for blocked anal glands can be an incorrect diet, usually a diet with some fibre added can alleviate the problem.


Dogs are prone to internal and external parasites.  Routine treatment is recommended for fleas and worms.  It is best to discuss treatment with your vet as there is such a wide selection of preparations on the market it would be impossible to recommend one.  Adding Garlic and Brewers Yeast to the food will deter fleas and worms.   Certain Essential Oils are anti parasitic and can be used in the dilution of five drops to fifty millilitres of water.  Ticks can be a problem especially in areas where there have been sheep.  Do not try to remove by pulling as the tick has two pincers that penetrate the skin like two hooks.  There are various solutions such as Red Thyme essential oil and Flea Spray that can be applied to the parasite before removing it, by doing this the body will shrivel up and the whole thing can be turned anti clockwise and removed.  If the head is left in a cyst may form, then veterinary advice will be required.