The Italian Greyhound is an adorable dog breed. A smaller and slender version of their big relative the Greyhound, the Italian Greyhound exudes elegance and grace.
They are quite similar to Whippet but are smaller in size. This is not a dog breed that you can take home and leave in the backyard. Italian Greyhounds are best indoors as they love to curl up on the couch.
This dog breed is not recommended for families with very small children. There are plenty of things about the Italian Greyhound breed that you might not know. In this blog, you will find out all the information about the Italian Greyhound breed. This will help you decide if this breed is right for you if you are considering adopting one.
The Italian Greyhound is quite an old breed. These dogs may have been around for many centuries. Exactly how and when this dog breed was developed is not clear. But dogs resembling the Italian Greyhound can be found in the 2,000 years old artifacts from Greece, Turkey, and other parts of the Mediterranean.
Although the purpose for which the breed was developed was lost in history, the Italian Greyhound was used as hunting and companion dogs.
By the Middle Ages, the breed could be found throughout southern Europe and became very popular in Italy. The breed made it to England in the 17th century and quickly became popular there as it had been in Italy.
In 1820, the Italian Greyhound was one of the two toy breeds mentioned in the book about dogs. Their popularity increases and reaches its peak during the reign of Queen Victoria. After that time period, Italian Greyhounds declined in numbers and had almost disappeared after World War 2. One possible reason for the decline was a degradation in quality because dogs were bred for small sizes regardless of the health and soundness. In the late 1800s, the breed made its way to America.
Royal owners of the Italian Greyhounds include Princess Anne of Denmark, Mary, Queen of Scots, Charles I of England, and Frederick the Great of Prussia.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) registered the first Italian Greyhound in 1886. This was the time breeders started to establish the breed in the United States.
The Italian Greyhound is very similar in looks to Greyhound but smaller in size and more slender in all proportions. Below you can find more details about the physical characteristics of the breed.
|Head & Skull|
|Narrow and long head. Flat and long skull.|
|Eyes & Ears|
|Dark, bright, and medium-size eyes. Eyes of very light color are a fault. Ears are small and very fine in texture.|
|Neck & body|
|Long, slender, and slightly arched neck. A medium-sized body that is high at withers and dropping at hindquarters. Long and sloping shoulders. Deep and narrow chest.|
|Long and straight legs. They are set well under the shoulder.|
|Long and well-muscled thighs. When you see an Italian Greyhound from behind, hindlegs are parallel.|
|Fine and supple skin. Short and glossy hair that is soft to touch.|
The Italian Greyhound is a sensitive, smart, and alert dog breed. They are loving and affectionate towards all members of the family. They may be shy and reserved around strangers.
If you want to own an Italian Greyhound and expect him to be a living statue then think again. The Italian Greyhound is a strong, active, and highly energetic dog.
Indoor, tug of war with a soft toy will keep him busy. Outdoors, he loves stalking bugs, birds, mice, or any other small games in the yard. He will chase anything he sees moving so it is important to have a fenced yard to keep him safe. You might need to learn how to train your dog to stay in the yard to have peace of mind that he is safe.
Because of their sensitive nature, they need constant training. It may not be easy to house train Italian Greyhounds and this is one of the main reasons people give their IGs to animal shelters and rescue groups.
The Italian Greyhound is a great choice of pets for all families. If you are looking to own one, be mindful of their sensitive and delicate nature. These small dogs get along well with children and other pets.
There are several factors that can affect the temperament of Italian Greyhounds. These include heredity, training methods, and early socialization. Puppies with good temperaments are generally playful and curious. They love to approach people and would not mind being held by them.
Always meet one of the parents to ensure they have nice temperaments. Meeting siblings or any other relative is also a good idea.
Like other dogs, Italian Greyhounds also need socialization at an early age. Early socialization and exposure to different experiences will help your IG grow up into a well-rounded dog. You can also enroll your puppy in a puppy kindergarten class. Take him to parks, stores, and restaurants that allow dogs in order to polish his social skills.
Italian Greyhounds can be stubborn or become fearful when they are treated harshly. Treat them politely and give rewards to encourage them to get things done the right way.
All animals have the potential to develop some diseases. Although IG is generally a healthy breed, they are prone to certain diseases. If you are planning to own an Italian Greyhound or already have one, here are some health conditions that you need to be well aware of.
|It is an eye problem in which dogs cannot see clearly. This condition is usually found in older dogs and can be treated with surgery.|
|Von Willebrand's Disease|
|It is one of the most common inherited diseases. This condition can be found both in humans and dogs. It is a blood disorder that affects the process of clotting and eventually reduces von Willebrand in the blood.|
|It refers to a condition that occurs in the vitreous humor. In the eye, the vitreous changes from a very thick gel to a thin liquid substance.|
|Progressive Retinal Atrophy|
|It is a degenerative eye disease that affects the photoreceptor cells. This condition can lead to blindness if not treated.|
|This is a condition in which the thyroid gland do not produce enough hormones. Infertility is the most common sign of this disease. The most effective treatment for Hypothyroidism is daily medication.|
|This disease usually occurs in small breeds. It refers to the deformity of the hip joint ball. It causes arthritis and wearing. Care must be taken to avoid situations that can result in a broken leg. This condition can be treated through surgery.|
|This condition is caused when the three layers of the patella are not properly placed. It can cause lameness in dogs and might eventually lead to arthritis. The treatment for Patellar luxation is surgery.|
|It is an inherited condition in which the femur does not fit properly into the pelvic socket of the hip joint. This condition might not show any sign in dogs. Dogs should be tested for this condition before they are bred.|
|It is a condition that causes seizures in dogs. Epilepsy cannot be cured but dogs with this condition can be given medications to feel better.|
|This condition refers to the abnormal flow of blood between the liver and the rest of the body. Signs usually appear before two or three years of age. The portosystemic shunt can be treated through surgery.|
If you are buying an Italian Greyhound puppy, find a reputable breeder who provides you with health clearance for both of the puppy’s parents. Health clearance indicates that the puppy has been tested and cleared of a particular health condition.
Italian Greyhound has a short coat. These dogs are not good for cold climates so it is better to keep them indoors. They need to be inside the house especially in bad weather. You can also use a sweater or jacket to keep him comfortable when outside in cold weather.
In hot weather, apply sunscreen to keep his skin safe from sunburn. These dogs are very energetic so taking them for daily walks is a good idea.
A short coat on an Italian Greyhound looks glossy and feels very soft when you touch it. They come in different shades like cream, red, blue, blue, black, or fawn with white markings.
One of the benefits of having an Italian Greyhound is that he does not shed much. All you have to do is brush his coat and bathe the dog when needed.
Brush his teeth regularly with a vet-recommended toothpaste in order to prevent bad breath and gum diseases.
Trim nails one or two times a month. If you don’t know how to trim a dog’s nails, ask a professional for trimming your dog’s nails.
Check his ears every week and clean with a cotton ball. Be careful when inserting anything into the ear canal. It is better to just clean the outer side of the ear.
Try to make the grooming sessions easy and as interesting as possible. As you groom your dog, don’t forget to check for rashes, sores, or signs of infection. There should be no redness or discharge from the eyes. If you don’t know how to groom a dog, better get professional services.
The recommended amount of food for an Italian Greyhound is ½ to ¾ of a high-quality and full nutritional meal. But how much food is given to a dog depends on his age, size, and activity level.
All dogs do not need the same amount of food, especially adult dogs. Larger dogs might need a large quantity of food than medium-size dogs. The quality of food also plays an important role in the overall nourishing of your dog.
You can keep your Italian Greyhound in a good shape by giving him measured food two times a day. You can also talk with your vet about the best dog food to give your canine.
Your veterinarian is the best source that you can help with for the best nutrition and feeding guidelines.
Italian Greyhounds get along well with children and other pets. Because they are small and sensitive, it is important to teach your children how to treat them. Many breeders do not agree to sell a puppy to a household with very small children.
You should always teach your children how to approach dogs. Don’t leave your dog alone with your children. Always supervise when dogs and young children are interacting in order to prevent any incident. Teach your child to never approach a dog when he is sleeping or eating.
Although Italian Greyhounds do well with children, dogs, and other pets, it is important to keep an eye on them.
Italian Greyhounds are an amazing choice of pets for first-time owners. They are not very demanding, just give them some of your spare time and love to keep them happy. But you have to take special care of him if you are living in colder climate areas.
Because of their small size, their exercise needs can be met even on the living room floor. It means that even the older members of your family can take care of them. They also do great in households with other dogs.
You will need to have a fence or leash if you want to keep your Italian Greyhound in the yard.
Here are the pros and cons of an Italian Greyhound that you should know if you want to own one.
|Agile and athletic.||Very sensitive.|
|Polite with everyone.||Sometimes stubborn.|
|Doesn’t shed very much.||A tendency to get hurt easily.|
You can also conduct some research on other dog breeds to see which one best suits your lifestyle.
Do you know that Italian Greyhounds can also be used for emotional support?
These small and slender creatures make wonderful emotional support dogs. IGs love to be around people and can make a great bond with their ESA owner.
They are an easily managed breed that any kind of family can own. If you are planning to get an IG or already have one and want to use him for your emotional support, you will need an ESA letter from a licensed mental health professional.
If you are unable to access a medical professional, contact RealESALetter.com to see if you qualify for an ESA.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, Italian Greyhounds make good pets especially for those families who want a small and friendly breed that works well indoors or outdoors. They can even give you company in your morning walks. They may be difficult to train but it is an overall good breed that you can own.
Italian Greyhounds should not be left alone. They have a high degree of developing separation anxiety if left alone for a long period of time. They want attention and don’t do well if left alone or ignored for long hours.
Italian Greyhounds bark occasionally as compared to other dog breeds. They are sweet, gentle, and friendly dogs who desire affection. If not given attention, they can shy or hyper. They definitely do not bark a lot but will alert their owner with a low and resonant bark.
Here are the dog breeds similar to Italian greyhound.
The average cost of Italian Greyhound pets is around $1400 to $2000. If you want to buy Italian greyhounds from a breeder, they can cost you around $600 to $1200. But the cost is very less if you are adopting an Italian greyhound.