What are Spinoni like?
Spinoni are sweet, gentle, intelligent family companions and hunting dogs. They’re great in any outdoor activity and generally quiet and independent when indoors. They thrive on exercise but are understanding when that’s delayed at times. They shed, have beards and may drool, so they aren’t enjoyed by those who depend on a tidy dog. They can be shy as pups so they must be thoughtfully socialized. When older, they can outsmart owners who've no attention to obedience. But when properly handled and appreciated, they are the best! To check the breed standard, check the AKC site @American Kennel Club - Spinone Italiano.webloc
Why do you breed Spinoni? (plural for Spinone)
Our foundation bitch, Gracie, is an amazing creature. We were incredibly lucky getting her from Jeff and Sue Rhodes of Osage kennels. She deserved to be bred and because of the small gene pool, we formed a plan and have stuck with it! Her puppies produced have only confirmed her position with us. It took a lot to spay her, but she had huge litters and it was time. Now it is left to Grace’s excellent and talented granddaughters.
What makes a well bred Spinone?
Dogs are well bred when their parents are special and when they come from bloodlines which have proven success conforming to the breed standard and in hunting. Individual features like sweet temperament, intelligence and dependable health and hunting ability are an important start, but must be backed up by quality depth and sufficient diversity in the bloodlines. In America, there are very few line bred dogs, but some of us are working toward that goal. We take great pains over our stud dog choices, and will offer James for stud services and other males as they mature. OJ is no longer available @ stud.
When are your litters available?
Our females have two heat cycles each year, generally spring and fall. An April breeding will mean puppies in late July/August. We occasionally have a winter litter.
How much are your puppies?
Our puppy price is based on the stud fee charged. This will occasionally be modified for a special breeding. We discuss price only with serious clients.
Can the parents be seen or visits arranged?
We love having visitors when prearranged. Our dogs are often at AKC conformation shows or at various hunting events, so check with us. Litters can be visited after 4-5 weeks, just when we want more socializers here at the house. Stud dogs may come from across country or perhaps overseas, so check on availability.
Do you sell to non hunters?
Yes, but we sell all our pups on limited AKC registrations until they’ve passed a NAVHDA natural ability hunt test and a conformational evaluation. This means that owners who want to show their dogs or breed them have to embrace the hunting aspect of their spinoni. This gives us the feedback we need on our breeding to go forward, avoiding problems because the dogs are thoroughly know by their owners.
Can I pick my puppy?
We try to get to know you well enough that we pick. When pups have little to choose between, we’ll give a choice. But, Dana has done such a great job matching everyone, we see less need as time goes by.
Do you ship?
We haven’t thus far, but several pups have flown in cabin to far flung destinations. Because they can be sensitive when young, we feel there’s too much risk sending them as baggage.
What health testing/precautions do you do?
All parents will have been tested for hip, elbow, eye, and CA (cerebellar ataxia) disease. All dogs are extensively exercised and hunted to prove their fitness. DNA is on file. No animal is bred before 2 years of age to insure proper maturity. Litter numbers and upper age limits for breeders are controlled. All puppies will have microchips that we place here.
What is cerebellar ataxia?
This is the one dreaded disease of the Spinone. It is a recessive genetic brain disease that causes early death in those affected. A genetic test was developed (Spring ’08) which has allowed us to eliminate the risk for this problem occurring in any puppy. All good breeders will know their breeding stock’s status so we can gradually eliminate the gene. We have tested this year and know our status to be free of this gene. Carriers of the gene are not ill, but should be bred only by knowledgeable breeders.
Do you guarantee health?
No. But, we will always do as well as two health professionals can do. And, we will always take a dog back-for any reason.
Do you guarantee your dogs performance?
No, but all our house dogs and many of our pups have had very successful hunt and show careers. And because of their multiple conformation evaluations while with us, our evaluation of their temperaments and birdiness while here, we’re very confident about our predictions, but don’t guarantee. All of our house dogs have surpassed our expectations,- have hunted well and all adults but our first, Rocky, who probably comes from a distant Spinone/Bracco Italiano interbreeding, are show champions. He is not part of the breeding program.
Do you have older or started dogs available?
Occasionally. And consider contacting Spinone rescue via the SCOA site.