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Italian Greyhound Breed Information

Italian Greyhound

Recognized By: ACR , AKC , ANKC , APRI , CKC , CKC , FCI , KCGB , NKC , NZKC , UKC
AKA: IG, IGGY, Piccolo Levriero Italiano

Living with a Italian Greyhound

Personality: The Italian Greyhound is an affectionate, intelligent, playful dog. They are a sensitive breed and can become alarmed to the change of your tone of voice.

Temperament: The Italian Greyhound can be aloof with strangers but are otherwise a meek and mild dog.

Family Dog: The Italian Greyhound gets along well with adults and older children. They are good with other dogs but should be supervised at first around cats. They are not good bunnies, birds or small pets as they see these animals as prey and may chase them down.

Shedding: The Italian Greyhound is a very low shedding breed.

Grooming: The Italian Greyhound is very easy to groom. They should have their coat wiped with a towel or chamois occasionally and be bathed only when necessary.

Training: The Italian Greyhound can be difficult to house train. Because of their small size many owners litterbox train them. They can be difficult to train as they are stubborn if they don't want to do something.

Barking: The Italian Greyhound does not bark much but when it does it has a louder bark than expected.

Weather: The Italian Greyhound is sensitive to the cold and should always wear a coat or sweater when outside during the winter. They are not too fond of the cold or rain.

Exercise: The Italian Greyhound is an active breed who needs plenty of daily exercise. The Italian Greyhound needs more exercise than it's bigger relative the Greyhound. They are definitely not couch potatoes and love to run at full speed.

Living Conditions: Italian Greyhounds make great apartment dogs. They are pretty active inside and do not need a large yard.

Italian Greyhound Appearance

Appearance: The Italian Greyhound is similar to the Greyhound, but much smaller in size and slender in proportion. They are the picture of ideal elegance and grace.

Size: The Italian Greyhound stands between 13 to 15 inches tall and should weigh between 6 to 10 pounds. They are broken into two weight varieties: under 8 pounds and over 8 pounds.

Companionship: The Italian Greyhound makes a great companion dog. They are great snugglers, very affectionate and can be very attached to their owners.

Head: The head of the Italian Greyhound is long and narrow, tapering toward the nose with a slight stop. The skull is almost flat on top.

Nose: The Italian Greyhound's nose should be dark in color. It may be black or brown depending on the color of the dog's coat.

Eyes: The Italian Greyhound has dark, bright, intelligent, medium-sized eyes.

Ears: The ears of the Italian Greyhound are small and fine in texture. They are held back and folded except when the dog is alert at which time they are folded at right angles to the head.

Muzzle: The Italian Greyhound has a long and fine muzzle.

Teeth/Bite: The teeth of the Italian Greyhound should meet in a scissors bite.

Neck: The Italian Greyhound has a long, slender, arched, elegant neck.

Body: The body of the Italian Greyhound is medium length, short coupled and high at withers with a curved back that droops at the hindquarters. The highest point of the curve is as the loin giving a definite tuck-up at the flank. The shoulders are long and sloping with a deep and narrow chest.

Forequarters: The Italian Greyhound has long, straight front legs that are set well under the shoulders with fine bone and strong pasterns.

Hindquarters: The hindquarters of the Italian Greyhound are long, parallel and well-muscled with well let down hocks and a well-bent stifle.

Gait: The Italian Greyhound has a high stepping, free gait with the front and rear legs moving in a straight line.

Feet: The Italian Greyhound has harefeet with well arched-toes. The dewclaws can be removed.

Tail: The Italian Greyhound has a slender, tapering that is curved at the end. It should be long enough to reach the hock and carried low.

Color: The coat of the Italian Greyhound can come in any color and markings except brindle or tan markings.

Coat: The Italian Greyhound has fine and supple skin covered in a short, glossy single coat which is soft to the touch.

Italian Greyhound Facts

Category: Southern, AKC Toy

Life Expectancy: The average life expectancy of the Italian Greyhound is about 12 to 15 years.

Characteristics: The Italian Greyhound is a true sight hound and will chase anything that runs. They need to be kept on a leash or in a fenced yard. They have been known to reach speeds of 27 mph.

Celebrity Owners: James I of England, Catherine the Great of Russia, Anne of Denmark and Queen Victoria

Italian Greyhound Health

Health: The Italian Greyhound is prone to epilepsy, slipped stifle, luxating patella, legg/perthes disease, fractures and Progressive Retinal Atrophy. Puppies under 18 months of age are very fragile and can easily break a leg.

Dental Health: The Italian Greyhound is prone to tooth decay so they need regular brushing.

Italian Greyhound History

History: The Italian Greyhound is an old breed dating back at least 6000 years where ancient Egyptian tombs show dogs having a similar to them. They are also seen in Mediterranean art dating back over 2000 years. They became popular among the noblemen during the Renaissance. The Italian Greyhound was brought to Europe by the Phoenicians during the sixteenth century where they became popular with European nobility. The Italian Greyhound was first recognized by the AKC in 1886.

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