Spinone Italian dog show this week

(Creative Commons)

By Sarah Brown

Lebanon Local

A breed of Italian hunting dogs is coming to Lebanon to show off its best traits, and a club will be ready to judge the field based on appearance, personality and hunting skills.

About 90 entrants will feature in the Spinone Club of America’s “Nuts Over Spinone” National Specialty Dog Show, scheduled May 16-22 at the Boulder Falls Inn Event Center, 605 Mullins Drive, and surrounding areas. Dogs and handlers will participate in rally and obedience trials, hunt and water tests, workshops and seminars, a costume contest and more.

According to the SCOA’s website (spinoneclubofamerica.com), the Spinone Italiano breed’s ancestors originated in ancient Italy, where they were considered reliable hunters in difficult mountain and marshland terrain and could hunt by air-scenting, ground-tracking and pointing. The American Kennel Club defines the breed standard as muscular and robust, with a thick skin and harsh single coat.

“They are one of the few sporting breeds developed by peasants to put food on the table rather than competitive sport hunting,” event co-chair Sue Acquistapace said.

However, they’re also quite charming, with temperaments described as sociable, affectionate, patient and cooperative.

“They are a docile and sweet breed with an expression that is very human (which is) a very important part of the breed type,” Acquistapace said. “They are clown-like in nature and very versatile, being able to do everything from hunting to agility to therapy work.”

She loves Spinoni for their intuitive, sweet and loving nature, and has seven of her own to enjoy.

“Like the Lay’s potato chips of yore, you can’t have just one,” she said.

A drive through Oregon a couple years ago inspired Acquistapace and fellow event co-chair Rebecca Van Ess to consider the area for the annual SCOA National Specialty.

“We loved the Oregon countryside and thought it would be a beautiful area to hold a National,” Van Ess said.

Although Lebanon has no known Spinone breeders or handlers, SCOA chose the city for this year’s event because Boulder Falls Inn could accommodate its needs and welcomed the show, and nearby facilities provided good hunt test locations, according to Van Ess and Acquistapace.

Founded in 1987, the SCOA is the AKC Parent Club for the Spinone Italiano breed. About 500 members and five regional clubs across the United States participate in dog shows, field trials, hunt and tracking tests, obedience and agility tests, and therapy work.

The public is welcome to observe the show. Registration for participation is closed. For more information, visit specialty.spinoneclubofamerica.com/Schedule.

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