Italian Greyhound used to be favorite companion of royal people of Italy. This breed is proficient in hunting small animals. Despite being tiny in size, it is not a lapdog. It is gifted with speed, endurance and hunting skills. This beautiful breed also excels in obedience and rally competition.
The breed has a rich history. Its painting has been made by renowned artists. The slender looking dog closely resembles to Greyhound in appearance. The dog has a deep and shrill voice as if the bark is coming from a big dog. They make excellent watchdog.
They are not suitable for guard dog job because they are too small to provide any actual protection. They are gentle and sweet with their family but are shy and wary of strangers. Like cat they love to climb up to the highest position in house. The dog loves to cuddle with humans and follow them everywhere inside home. They are suitable breed for novice owner. Training the dog is easy if you keep the training lessons fun-filled.
Italian Greyhound Origin
This breed has an incredible history. Discussion of this breed has been made in old scriptures and paintings of this breed have been made by renowned artists. It is a century year old breed and as a result exact purpose of this breed is unknown.
But it is believed that the dog was used in hunting small animals like hares, rodent etc. Archaeologists have even found skeletons of these dogs. In the middle age, the breed became popular among the aristocratic people of Italy. Paintings of owners with this breed were made by famous artists such as Pisanello and Giotto di Bondone.
Italian Greyhound Facts & Characteristics
- The breed belongs to Italy and is proficient in hunting small animals.
- They are fond of chasing that includes cars ad bikes too. Keep it on lease when taking outside for walk.
- The dogs are sensitive to drugs like anesthetics.
- They are fearless breed and puppies are prone to break their bones because they think they can fly.
- They are easy to train but they easily get bored of repetitive lessons. Keep the training fun filled and entertaining
- The dogs need your love, care and attention. Never leave them alone for longer duration. They are also not outdoor dogs.
- They are hypoallergenic in nature.
- Lifespan of this breed is 12 – 15 years.
- Its height is around 33 – 38 cm.
- They weigh around 3.6 – 5 kg.
- They come in canine rainbow colors.
- Average cost of the puppy is $500-$800.
They are elegant looking dog with no bodily features of them are over-exaggerated. Their bones are fine and have light weight. They have athletic looking body which is slender and well developed. Their neck is long with a graceful arch. They have flat ears which get fold back away from the head. Their tail is long, carried low and gets tapered towards the end. Eyes of the dog are expressive and button-like.
Size and Weight
The dog should ideally be 13-15 inches tall irrespective of gender. They should weigh around 8 pounds.
Coat and Color
The dogs have a slender, short and glossy coat which lies flat to their body. Their coat should be soft like satin. The dogs come in shades of blue, cream fawn, red, tan and black colors. Few dogs can also have white markings on their body.
- Personality - Pharaohs' tombs have preserved this breed’s mummy. They are bold and outgoing dogs that loves to play every time. They are highly energetic and wouldn’t think once before disrupting things inside home. The dog likes to climb over table, chairs and sofa. They are sensitive dogs, so violence in the house or harsh behavior with them can affect their mental growth. They have short coat, so it is obvious that the dog should be given protection in cold and wet weather. Coat and sweaters are must for them in winter season. They get attached to their owners and crave for their companionship so never leave the dog alone. They are suitable for retirees and person with flexible work schedule. If you plan to own this dog, make sure to give it enough time and attention.
- Behavior - They are gentle dogs and that are amicable in nature with humans. They have strong hunting drives. Small animals will always be under threat as they tend to chase and kill them. They are courageous enough to get in a fight with big dogs. You should supervise your dog when it is playing with other dogs in park. The dog also tends to jump from high area. Care should be taken because they do not have cat like feet and pawn and can break their bones. Around children they are exuberant and playful. These dogs also make excellent watchdog.
- Training - They have docile nature, do not be harsh on your dog as that can psychologically harm them. They are over sensitive; treats and praise can do wonder in motivating them to learn skills. House training the dog is utmost necessary. They are well behaved dogs and good listeners so even novice owner can train them easily.
- Activities Requirement - If you have a yard, the dog can entertain itself on own or you can make the dog run in a closed fence. If you do not have any sort of open and free space, take the dog on daily walk. These dogs love to play with balls and are fond of fetch games.
This is a tiny but energetic dog so twice feeding is recommended. Feed them raw meat, bones and dry kibbles.
Life expectancy of this breed is 12 – 15 years
It is a hypoallergenic breed. The dog is prone to suffer from following health issues - epilepsy, cataracts, von Willebrand disease, hypothyroidism, bone fractures, patellar luxation and hip dysplasia.
The dog sheds lightly and are snap to groom. Regular brushing will remove the dirt and circulate the natural oil found on their body. Bathe the dog as when needed. Check its ear to see any signs of built up wax, irritation or infection. Clean the ear with the solution provided by the vet. This dog being energetic and playful in nature wears off its nails naturally. Brush its teeth to avoid dental problems.
The dog is suitable for apartment living. House with yard is like a cherry on cake for them. The breed is sensitive to cold environment.
Things To Consider Before Buying
- They are sweet little dog that makes perfect companionship.
- This dog will make your house rodent and pest free.
- The dog is snap to groom. It sheds less and is a hypoallergenic.
- The dog lacks size to be effective guard dog.
- It needs an active owner who can provide it daily exercise.
- The dog has a habit of climbing the higher position and as a result they can break their bones while jumping from high positions.