The Spinone Italiano was bred in Italy during the fifteenth century to be a pointer, hunter, and retriever. The exact origin of the breed is still open for speculation and there are several popular theories. Most believe the breed was descended from the Spanish Pointer, while others insist that the Russian Pointer was the catalyst. Still others think the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, the German Wirehaired Pointer or the Pudelpointer all played a role. The Spinone Italiano is considered to be one of the first gundogs. Like many breeds, the Spinone Italiano almost fell into extinction due to lack of breeding during World War II, but the breed was saved by crossbreeding with other wirehaired breeds. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2000 and, though very popular in Europe, it has yet to gain much of a foothold in the United States.