The Spinone and its Standard By Ezio Pagliarini
The Spinone and its Standard By Ezio Pagliarini: Italian Spinone

     Dr. Giuseppe Solaro                                   Dr. Demetrio Ullio to left and Dr. Paolo Brianzi to right

The C.I.S.P., besides organizing shows of a high level, all of which are dedicated to the evaluation of the Hunting and Morphological aspects of the Breed, puts much effort into the preparation of the Spinone Yearbook. Too much attention has been given to greetings to the President and reporting the results of all the shows that have taken place throughout the year. More should be focued  on reports the association rules and (Morphological and Work) Standards of the Spinone. Reading the morphological Standard, one is immediately aware of the differences between some of the descriptions concerning the typical features of the Spinone. 
The Official Standard of the E.N.C.I. (available on line at the address):  unfortunately shows the difference causing confusion among the Spinone enthusiasts. The exact Standard reported by the E.N.C.I . and the discrepancies are easily identified as follows: Official E.N.C.I. STANDARD. Page. 2 of 7, paragraph

1. Skull and Head: Oval-shaped skull- its lateral walls gently sloping like a roof, with very well developed occipital protuberance and parietal crest very pronounced. The bulge of the forehead is not very developed, not towards the front or in height; the supercilious arches are not too prominent, the stop is barely marked, whereas the medial frontal furrow is very pronounced.

2.Eyes: They are large, well open and set well apart, the eye is round; the lids closely fitting the eye which is neither protruding or deep set. They tend to be on the same frontal plane. The iris is of an ocher color, more or less dark according to the color of the coat. STANDARD C.I.S.P. Yearbook. 1999 Page. 11. & http://www.spinone-italiano.comstandard.html

4. Head: Dolichocephaic-long-headed. The direction of the longitudinal superior axes of the skull and muzzle are diverging, the stop is absent.
5. Cranial region: Oval-shaped skull. It's lateral walls gently sloping like a roof. A very well developed occipital protuberance and parietal crest barely marked. The cheeks are lean. The bulge of the forehead is very developed towards the front and in height; the supercilious arches are not too prominent. The stop is barely marked whereas the medial frontal furrow is less pronounced.
6. Facial region: Eyes are big, well open and set apart, they are round. The eye is neither protruding or deep set. The eyelids closely fitting in a semi lateral position. The color of the iris must be ocher, more or less dark according to the color of the coat.

The standard has been modified deliberately, it asks question of typing errors and therefore not correct. This is dusturbing as far as future breedings planned. Especially if aimed at the improvement and integrity of the Spinoni breed.
A head with a very pronounced parietal crest and with eyes on the same frontal plane constitute an unmistakable trait of the Spinone. This particular feature is easily noted even from a distance. The head like the one described in the the C.I.S.P. Standard will be less typical and very similar to that of the Italian Bracco. The Bracco's eyes are in a semi-lateral position with a barely perceptible parietal crest. There was a judge attending a C.I.S.P. meeting that I was attending.  He is a leading judge whom I hold great esteem for. He was describing the head of a Spinone: "I would like to see a touch more parietal crest" His meaning that a more pronounced crest would have given that Spinone a more characteristic trait.
I have attached some photos of Spinone in which it can be observed that the parietal crest is of great importance. The eyes on the same frontal plane are big, well open, round and of the correct color constitutes a great part of its unique features for the global evaluation of the Spinone.

Skull of a white and orange male Spinone with very pronounced parietal crest  (Thiers III of the Cingia, owner Brianzi) from the Lombard orgin. Compare the photo of the skull of a Spinone taken from Ceresolià ok on page 236, of a male Spinone with the photo of a female spinone on a black background The the parietal crest is so clearly seen that it looks almost the same. This head the eye can also be seen to be on the same frontal plane.

Study of Head of  white and orange Spinone female, skull roof- shaped, Fosca of  Subasio. Owner Ezio Pagliarini

Attached here a photo of a female pup at the age of three months. Her eyes are definitely on the same frontal plane. Roan brown female Spinone, eyes in position decidedly on same frontal plane. Sarah of Subasio at 3 months.  Owner Ezio Pagliarini

Besides the discussion on the important parts of the head there are also two proposals to bring to the attention of the E.N.C.I. Technical Committee and naturally to that of the C.I.S.P.
1. The size:
Correction on a reduction the current size recorded in the standard corrected to the maximum limit for the males from 70 to 65 cm. We are considering that with the 2cm tolerance margin it would still reach 67 cm leaving the minimum limit unchanged at 60 cm.  For the female corrected to the reduction from 65 to 60 cm for the maximum and the minimum from 58 to 55 cm.
My proposal is not entirely new. In fact, many before me have proposed and adopted these measures. All that is needed is to read the book (or rather great work) by Ceresoli "The Italian Spinone and the similar races" You can see here I have reported some passages knowing that many people don't have this book. Sadly today is out of print.
We are suggesting the reasearch be done by the Technical committee & C.I.S.P but perhaps they could soon surprise us!
We can see from the passages in the 1897 the Braccofila Society proposed a light and heavy stature establishes these measures: Stature and weight of the body. Males: from 54-56 cm. and 24-25 Kg. to 64-66 cm. and 34-36 Kg. Females: from 52-54 cm. and 22-23 Kg. to 62-64 cm. and 32- 34 Kg. Admitted, but not preferred, statures up to 63cm.
I have reported these measurements to show that today, in the current Standard, while not speaking about light or heavy stature it gives the possibility however of attaining the same result. Spinoni from 60 to 70 cm, that is with 10 cm gap as recently seen in the show ring.
In 1926 proposes only one size range from 60 to 65 cm.
In 1928 Bosisio, Brunetti and Rezza give these measurements: 60 cm for the male and 55 for the female; adding their preferences for the larger sizes, but not beyond the 65 and 60 cm respectively. These ethnic data will be adopted by the Italian Kennel Club.
In 1933 also Brianzi and Ullio after the constitution of the Society Friends of the Spinone give measurements of  55-66 cm for the male and 52-62 for the female.
In 1936 these measurements are proposed to the K.C.I. Still in 1936 also Fiorone proposes the measurements 52 to 66 cm.
In 1939 we can refer to the Ethnic Data by Solaro. They are certainly the most complete and they are approved of by the E.N.C.I. The measurements are the current ones but looking at his drawings one does not have the impression of top-sized Spinoni. I believe that on close observation of the drawing of the roan brown Spinone on page 159 of the book, it does not even reach 65 cm. If this proposal is accepted Spinoni will be more homogeneous and not the giants of 70/72 cm that have certainly deterred many hunters from Spinone. This can be due to the space it would take up in the car or for those who live in flats where space is fundamental. In any case is counter-productive for the breed to see Spinoni of maximum and minimum size in the same show ring. It has happened at recent meetings where there has been the impression that not only one breed of Spinone exists.
I hope that this situation is discussed as soon as possible.
2. The Color:
As far as color is concerned, debate centers only around the roan brown variety. It is written that the best shade is the have always added that it is right to specify that as the "mendicant friar". While in fact the order of the Franciscan monks is divided into more groups but the mendicant friar is the one that must be chosen. The mendicant friar is the person who, for many years, traveled around the countryside on a mule and collected the donations from the farmers: wheat, must and olive oil for the convent. He said he would pray for them and sometimes to those who smoked he would give some tobacco. This is the monk with the warm colored habit that is the right shade of roan brown for our Spinone.
Unfortunately now there is the proposal to return to the origins of Francis when the habits were dark grey and so we wouldn't the brown anymore but dark grey instead. For this reason I thought I would present a new and definitive interpretation of the color of the coat of the roan brown Spinone.
Today PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM is used to define a color that is the same all over the world. This is a revolutionary method that prevents errors a system which identifies each color by its an own number. The number is identical in Italy, America or elsewhere. For the roan brown Spinone PANTONE CVC is perfect and will be the same all over the world. Anyone who ownes a computer can find the color. If you do not have a computer would only have to drop by a graphics store and ask for a sample taken from the catalogue of the PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM. They all have all the same reference. Pantone 469 CVC, color a tinta calda come la tonaca di Frate Cercatore. Pantone Color 469 CVC, warm shade like that of the Mendicant friarà.
In the show ring, anyone will be able to observe a brown roan Spinone and compare the color to their own sample of the PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM. The result will always be the same. 
We hope that the roan brown Spinone coat will become more and more homogeneous and nearer to this color. Currently there are too many Spinoni with a very dark coat, which doesn't highlight that "human" eye of the Spinone.

In the color photo above, notice the difference between the mendicant friar habit color or PANTONE 469 CVC and the very dark color of the Spinone in the background. Dr. Luca Massimino, "neo-graduate" is observing this detail, further back, a University Professor is pointing out the same thing with his right arm.

I really hope that this can be discussed as it would unite the ideas and objectives of Spinone enthusiasts who believe in this breed. Now with the accessibility of Internet and e-mail people from all over the world are able to communicate. Our Spinone is not restricted to one nation. They are known internationally. Spinoni are in their moment of glory. The Americans adore them and there are requests from every continent.
We must then try to forget the bad publicity from the years immediately the after war when as Giulio Colombo writes in his book, "The Spinone suffered the insult of crossbreeding with other races, Kortals, Boulet, and Bracco that descend down from there". He didn't boast of their specific assets.
Today the Spinone has freed itself from this insult and with the increase of requests, the increasingly greater interest on the part of hunters to take part in trials with their own Spinone. The precious contribution that the E.N.C.I. gives to the Italian breeds and the great commitment of the C.I.S.P. towards ever increasing improvements will hopefully make important future for the Spinone. The above is meant to be above all an opening towards a discussion group nominated by the E.N.C.I. and by the C.I.S.P.. that really deals with the establishment of rules all aimed at the global amelioration of the race.
Ezio Pagliarini

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