Italians breeds

Italian Griffon - Spinone Italiano
Italian breeds of dogs

Origin, classification and brief historical summary

Origin: Italy.
Classification F.C.I. N. 165; Group 7 - Pointing Dogs; Section 1.3 Continental Pointing Dogs, "Griffon type"; with working trial.

As most of  the Italian breeds, also The Italian Griffon is a very ancient breed. In various literary works there are references to Italian  rough-haired dogs. The highest popularity of this breed was during the Renaissance, when it was mainly applied in hunting as a setter. Throughout the centuries it has come to the present days getting through numerous crossbreeding with other hound breeds. After World War II this breed was revalued and rebuilt thanks to few important breeders. Apart from Italy this breed is also popular in the United Kingdom and in Scandinavia.

General appearance

A large sized dog of large proportions, vigorous, with a strong built and a powerful skeleton. Its muscles are well developed and evident. The pecularity of this breed is the fur texture, e.g. “rough hair” Its head is unique of its kind as to expression and  fur position.

Behaviour and temperament

It is one of the most suitable dogs for hunting  in any ground. It is a very rustic dog with marked attitudes: for instance it is considered to be a model retriever. It is good -natured, peaceful and loving; its intelligence is proved by its extraordinary learning ability. His greatest desire is to satisfy his master. Because of its patience and friendliness it is a good reliable companion for the family with children. It is a really unique breed for its morphological and behaviour qualities.

Italian Griffon Italian Griffon (photo

Italian Griffon Italian Griffon (photo


 - males from 60 cm to 70 cm
 - females from 58 cm to 65 cm
 - males from 32 kg to 37 kg
 - females from 28 kg to 30 kg

The direction of the upper longitudinal axes of the skull and muzzle is divergent.
Skull region: 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, not towards the front nor in height. The superciliary 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, reached 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 angle; in their forward part, they are rounded, then, covering the lower lips, they reach the labial commissure 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 commissure.
Jaws: powerful and normally developed, at mid length the branches of the lower 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 which is neither protruding or deep set; both eyes are on a same frontal plane. The iris is of an ochre colour, more or less dark according to the colour of the coat.
Ears: practically triangular shape, in length they are not more than 5 cm. longer than the lower line of the throat; in width they go from the point of insert of the head to the neck to the middle of the zygomatic arch. The forward edge is close to the cheek, not folded, but turned inwards; the tip 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, wich becomes thicker at the edges.

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 double dewlap.

Fits almost into a square.
Back: withers not too raised. Points of shoulder-blades well apart. Upper profile of the back is made up of two segments: the first, nearly straight, slopes from the withers to the 11th dorsal vertebra, and the other, slightly convex, joins with the solid and well arched lumbar region. The rump, wide, long, well muscled and oblique, forms below the horizontal an angle of 30° to 35° wich is measured on the obliqueness of the hip bone. The chest, which descends to at least the level of the elbows, is broad, deep and well rounded at mid height, where its trasversal diameter reaches its maximum and decreases perceptibly in direction of the sternum, but without the chest forming a keel at the junction of the 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. The 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. The lower profile is almost horizontal in the sternal region, then ascends slightly towards the belly. 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 25 cm.

Seen from the front, they are perfectly parallel and perpendicular to the ground. Seen in profile, the 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 movements, 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 the 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 lenght is of 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.

Seen in profile, back edge of the buttock is slightly convex; good angulation of the segments; the hocks must be perpendicular to the ground; seen from behind, the hindquarters are parallel and perpendicular to the ground.
Tigh: its lenght must not be inferior to a third of the height at the withers. Its width is 3/4 of its lenght. Strongly muscled. Its direction is slightly oblique from top to bottom and from back to front. Its back edge slightly convex.
Leg: its lenght exceeds just slightly that of the thigh; its obliqueness is of 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 height at the withers. The opening of the angle of the tibial-tarsal articulation is about 150°.
Hoch: strong and lean, its lenght 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.
Hindfeet: showing all the same characteristics of the front feet, but slightly more oval.

Close fitting to the body, it must be thick and lean. It is thinner on the head, the throat, 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 forms 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 from the outer corner of the eye over the cheeks; in its hind edge this 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.

Nature of the hair: of a lenght of a 4 to 6 cm on the body, shorter on the muzzle, the head, the ears, the front sides of the legs and the feet. On the back sides of the legs, the hair is a rough brush, but never with fringes. Long and stiff hair garnish the eyebrows and the lips forming eyelashes, moustache and tufted beard. The hair is stiff, dense and rather flat, with 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 the colour "Capuchin frier's frock". Not permitted colours are: tricolour, tan markings, black under any shape and combinations.

Faults: any departure from the foregoing points constitutes a fault which when judging must be penalised according ti its seriousness and extension.

by Vinattieri Federico - Ente Nazionale della Cinofilia Italiana

Italian version English version Spanish version

Search in web site
Copyright © - Codice ISSN 1970-2620 - Webmaster: Marco Salvaterra -