The Italian Greyhound is the perfect mini-Greyhound and also the smallest of the sight hounds. He has a slender body, fine-boned, muscular, and has a slightly curved back. His shedding coat is short, glossy, and odorless. He is a high-strung friendly toy breed with lots of nervous energy. This elegant and graceful dog makes an ideal house pet. He is intelligent, obedient, sensitive, affectionate to his owner and initially timid toward strangers but quickly warms up to them. He is not at all an aggressive dog in nature, though he may worry over the unpredictability of young children and may bite if scared or teased. Roughhousing should not be allowed. The Italian Greyhound is an athletic dog that needs to run and play everyday. Training should start early and must be patient and precise. This is an easy breed to train. However, because of his dynamic behavior and high-strung attitude, the “Come” and “Stay” can be the most difficult commands to teach. Housebreaking is also difficult with the Italian Greyhound. You should never be too hard on this sensitive dog or he can get wounded by your harsh words. Socialization is vital and should start early to boost his confidence level. He is very susceptible to the cold and will appreciate a sweater on cold days. He does not enjoy the wind and rain and needs a coat on rainy days. His thin legs could easily break if he jumps from a high place.
Size: The Italian Greyhound stands at about 13-15in at the shoulder and weighs between 8 and 12lb.
History and origin: The Italian Greyhound is an ancient breed that appears in Greek and Turkish works of art that are 2000 years old. He is believed to originate from the Greyhounds depicted on the tombs of the Pharaohs. However, he has existed in his present form for centuries and takes his name from his great popularity in 16th century Italy. He was a favorite of Queen Victoria, who did a lot to popularize him and several other toy breeds during her reign. In an effort to further reduce his size, he was introduced to an English Toy Terrier blood which only spoiled the breed’s character. Attempts were made to restore the breed but with little success that by the early 1950s, only 5 registrations with the British Kennel Club remained. Fresh stock was imported from Italy and due to the efforts and dedication of breeders; the Italian Greyhound was once again established as a stable breed in the early 1970s.
Feeding: This breed requires about ½ can of high-quality meat product (13.30z size) with biscuit added in equal amount or 1-1 ½ cupfuls of complete dry food.
Exercise: Apartment living is ok for this breed as long as he gets out to run everyday. He is a busy dog with high-energy and should not be deprived of regular exercise outdoors.
Grooming: This breed’s low maintenance coat only requires periodic brushing. His teeth need to be brushed regularly.