The Prickly Pointer

The Italian Pointer may have something in common with the Shiba Inu: In Japanese, “shiba” means brushwood and refers to a shrub that turns red in the autumn. Some believe the breed was named for this shrub, either because it grew wild where the dogs were used to hunt, or because the Shiba’s most common color is similar to that of the shrub.

The “prunus spinosa,” a prickly blackthorn (sloe) bush native to Europe (and common in Italy), is a dense bush that provided great cover for small game. One of the very few gun dogs that could navigate it was the ‘Bracco Spinoso’ or ‘Prickly Pointer,” a breed we know better today as the Spinone Italiano.

Spinone, by the way, is pronounced “spi – NO – nay,” and its plural form is Spinoni.
“Fermato” pastel on hand-torn English watercolor paper by Rosalind Trigg


2 thoughts on “The Prickly Pointer”

  1. Really interesting, thank you! One quick correction: it is Bracco (pointer), not Braccio (meaning arm).


    • Thank you, Ralf, and we’ll make the correction to what we think was a careless typo!

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