The Italian greyhound is a miniature version of the greyhound and is the smallest of the sight hounds. He is a very affectionate and wonderful family dog but owners should be forewarned – like potato chips, it is hard to stop at one and many families have at least two IGs.
History and Origin
The Italian greyhound is an ancient breed that is thought to have originated over 2,000 years ago in the areas of Greece and Turkey. Eventually, by the 1500s, the breed became very popular with the Italians and this popularity resulted in its name. By the 1600s, the Italian greyhound had become popular in England and was a favorite among many royal families.
The Italian greyhound is a site hound or gazehound, a group of dogs that hunt by sight instead of scent. He is primarily a companion but can hunt and chase small creatures.
The Italian greyhound was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1886 as a member of the toy group.
Appearance and Size
The Italian greyhound looks like a miniature version of the greyhound. The head is long and tapering and the chest is deep and narrow. The ears are small and folded and the tail is slender and tapers with a curved end. The coat of the Italian greyhound is short and glossy and can be any color including grey, slate, cream, fawn, red or black. Often the color includes some white markings.
The adult Italian greyhound stands around 12 to 15 inches at the shoulder and weighs about 6 to 10 pounds.
The Italian greyhound is a sweet, gentle and loving dog. The breed is intelligent and playful but can be a little mischievous.
Home and Family Relations
The Italian greyhound is a very affectionate and gentle dog that is very attached to his family. A little aloof with strangers, the Italian greyhound can get along with older children and other family pets. This dog can do well in an apartment if taken on daily walks.
Italian greyhounds are intelligent and easy to train although they may be difficult to house train. They can excel at lure coursing.
The Italian greyhound is very sensitive to cold weather and a sweater is recommended. The legs of the IG can be fragile and can easily break. The Italian greyhound also needs frecuent dental checkups and cleanings.
Common Diseases and Disorders
In general, the Italian Greyhound is a healthy dog with few medical concerns. However, the following diseases or disorders have been reported:
The average life span of the Italian greyhound is approximately 12 to 15 years.
We realize that each dog is unique and may display other characteristics. This profile provides generally accepted breed information only.