The breed was brought to Europe thousands of years ago. Small greyhounds can be seen in 2,000-year-old artifacts found in areas in Greece and Turkey. At the beginning of its existence, it has been a favorite dog among noble society and a symbol of wealth and prestige. The Italian Greyhound has a very good eyesight and acute hearing, which largely explains the excellent hunting skills of the breed.
Today, this is a family pet whose athleticism and beauty are admired in different competitions like agility, obedience, and rally tests.
This hound has an elegant, small and slim body, with well defined muscles. The height varies from 30 to 38 cm, and weight - from 3 to 7 kg. The head has an elongated snout, small ears and large, dark, expressive eyes. The neck is long and thin, the tail is slightly tucked. The coat is short and coloration occurs in different colors.
Character and behavior
Italian greyhounds are very friendly, social, cheerful, playful, sensitive and very loving dogs - wonderful companions. They are very strongly attached to their owners and build a special relationship with them. Early socialization is recommended because they have the tendency to become overly shy.
Training and education
This is a very intelligent dog, easy to train, but you should be patient and consistent to overcome the so called "I'll do whatever I want" attitude. They love to run away, so it is better to walk your dog on a leash.
The Italian Greyhound is prone to epilepsy, bone fractures, thyroid problems and frostbite. The average life expectancy is about 12-15 years, but there are recorded cases where dogs have lived to 19 years of age.
Grooming and care
The breed can be grown in an apartment, but needs regular walks. Relevant owners of these dogs are active families and families with children who like to spend their free time with their pets. Italian Greyhounds lend themselves easily to training, but the education must be carried out with a lot of patience, understanding and love from the owners. Their fur is maintained very easily and falls considerably less, making it a suitable choice for people prone to allergies. It is better to dress them with warm clothes during the cold months of the year to avoid ilness and other health issues.
You should keep your Italian Greyhound in shape by not feeding him more than twice a day.If you're not sure whether your pet is overweight, use the hands-on test. When you look at him, you should be able to see his waist. Place hands on the back of your dog – you should feel his ribs without seeing them.
Children and other pets
The Italian Greyhound is a very good companion for grown and educated children. Other dogs are treated well if they are not a breed that likes to dominate. Keep in mind that these animals were bred to hunt and possess very strong chasing instinct. They'll run after any rodent, bird or even a car.
Like almost all hounds, this one is also very fast and is often described as the smaller version of The Greyhound. Some representatives are able to develop a speed up to 42 km per hour.
This is the favorite dog of the Russian Queen Catherine the Great.
Puppies for sale of this breed are very popular not only in Italy, but also in the USA. Sadly, many people couldn't cope with the needs of their Italian Greyhound, which leads to more and more abandoned dogs in need of adoption or fostering.