“... We have to breed and select with scrupulous attention choosing sires and bitches according both to their pedigree data and morphology and I want to stress that these dogs have to be very active in the competitive sport but give pups too. In my analysis I found many females which, neglected by its owners, grew old without having a pup. This is the worst thing for the selection because it does not give a chance to make a choice.” 

  1. Translated excerpt from: The Spinone In Umbria 1977,  by Ezio Pagliarini


“  ... A prime example of the folly in relying singularly on these tests is my Zera. Though on paper Zera was the best, she was far from the best. If you looked only at Zera’s impressive OFA data page, you would consider her a top-quality choice for breeding. PennHIP essentially rated her “best Kuvasz to date—tighter than the 90th percentile.” With OFA Excellent hips, clear elbows, and patellas, VonWillebrand’s normal, and MSU thyroid normal, what could go wrong? Regardless of her lovely type and conformation (finishing easily novice-owner-handled), she had a horrid disease: autoimmune peripheral vasculitis. ...

    ... Therein lies the problem with putting all our eggs in the health-clearance basket; if we insist on systematically using clearances to remove animals from our already-limited gene pool, we will be breeding plenty of other bad genes we simply don’t know are there, and thus genetically bottleneck the breed.

    With each new test we run the risk of eliminating valuable dogs from our breeding programs, dogs who may possess genes nearly lost to our unique breed. If we had 50 possible tests, every dog would fail at least a few of them. If a dog like my Zera could pass everything yet not be worthy of breeding, in a small gene pool, we must be open to those dogs who should be used despite a less-than-perfect complement of clearances.

    In any breed, every breeding is a spin of the roulette wheel. Depth and breadth of clearances in the pedigrees of the breeding pair lessens the gamble, opening a window into the genotype of our dogs. The phenotypic presentation of genes we see in individual dogs is one thing, but that can be affected by environmental influences. It’s their genotype they will pass to their pups.

    As we consider breeding pairs, we must keep room in our breeding programs to consider the whole dog. Clearance tests are tools. Tools don’t build a house; the people using the tools do. Clearances don’t breed dogs; breeders do.”

  1. Excerpts from:  Kuvasz  - Health Clearances Don’t Breed Dogs

  2. by Beth Lenoski,  AKC Gazette, April 2012,  Volume 129, Number 4

“...  There only are about 5,000 in the country, and the Spinone, which almost became extinct after World War II, only has been recognized by the AKC since 2000.”

  1. Excerpt from:  Rare bird dogs fill Bell Acres couple's home with trophies and ribbons,

  2. by Joanne Barron staff writer for Trib Total Media. Published:  Aug. 21, 2013,


Where and How to Test your Spinone for Cerebellar Ataxia (CA):

All Cerebellar Ataxia (CA) DNA testing for Spinone Italiano is done at the AHT (Animal Health Trust) in the UK. Minimum testing age is 4 weeks weened. The test is a simple DNA swab from the inside of the cheek. The AHT requires you to use their test kit, but you can perform the swab collection at home. There is even a how-to video on the AHT website for collecting a DNA swab sample. The test cost, with return shipping to the UK, is less than $100. (£48. = $77. plus return shipping to the UK) [2014].

To order a CA DNA test simply go to the AHT site: http://www.ahtdnatesting.co.uk/canine_tests

In about 10 days you will receive your test kit in a padded envelope. Give yourself some time to read through everything before you begin taking the samples. You will need your own return padded envelope or small box.  Find a cup or glass to stand the swabs in to air-dry. It is important that you not touch the brushes. Two brushes are required for each test. After twirling the sample brush inside your dog’s cheek, stand the swabs (brush end up) in the glass to air dry (15 min. is recommended, but we waited 2 hours for a very wet sample). Be sure you have completed the testing information on the front of the envelope before you place the sample brushes inside. Place the sealed swab envelope and your “DNA Testing” form in your return padded envelope or small box.  You can even cut out the return address on the bottom of the of the instruction page for your label. Packet must be shipped by First-Class Mail (or faster).


Contact us at: Sherry@WinterbornSpinone.com

or call Sherry at: (208) 263-5118

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