Italian Greyhound Dog

What is more homely and welcoming to a home than your very own lap dog jumping on you and smothering you with licks and saliva? No other dog is easier to be around with and simpler to take care of than the Italian Greyhound dog. The not so distant relative of the original Greyhound dog, the Italian Greyhound is one of the best lap dogs to have around the house, provided, or course, that your home is not filled with small children.

The Italian Greyhound dog is one of the best breeds of dog to have around and keep as a pet. From their medium-built frame, to their extremely thin coat which makes it easy to take care of, and their energetic and people-friendly temperament, the Italian Greyhound is a dog uniquely made for the lap, and is its own dog, not at all overshadowed by the breed in which it came from, the Greyhound.

From puppyhood, the Italian Greyhound must be taken great care of, since it has really fragile bones for a dog. However, this meticulous care only needs to be done for the first 12 to 18 months of the Italian Greyhounds life, as after that time, this dog almost takes care of itself because of its ease of being taken care of. Also extremely sensitive to cold environments, whether it be an Italian Greyhound puppy or an adult, this breed of dog need to be extra coated when in cold environments, because of its already mentioned thin coating of fur and hair. They also prefer quiet, not-so-rowdy environments when it comes to households, so this dog is perfect, if you are single or are only a couple; small children might not know how fragile The Italian Greyhound dog might really be. Other than these small pet peeves, the Italian Greyhound is still an amazing dog overall.

One of the best traits the Italian Greyhound received from the original Greyhound, was the exceptional speed. The Greyhound is considered to be the fastest breed of dog, with a top speed of 45 miles per hour. Although the Italian Greyhound is not that fast due to its relatively smaller built, it still has a top speed of over 25 miles per hour, 6 miles faster than the other breeds of dog. This, along with all the other traits the Italian Greyhound dog got from the Greyhound, along with its very own traits, make it a dog built for royalty.

Finding Italian Greyhound Breeders

Italian Greyhounds are slender, fine-boned dogs that are intelligent, affectionate, and playful. Because of the combination of their good looks (they do look quite regal) and good traits, a lot of people are interested in getting their hands on this dog. However, it is important that before you head to Italian Greyhound breeders that you are absolutely sure that the Italian Greyhound is the dog for you. After all, caring for a dog is a responsibility you must adhere to, and knowing what kind of dog you are getting will better equip you for the tasks ahead.

Sure that an Italian Greyhound is for you? Then your next destination would be one of the Italian Greyhound breeders around. It is important that you only go to a breeder because this will ensure that you are indeed getting a purebred. If you don’t mind not getting the guarantee of a purebred but would still like to have an Italian Greyhound, please do consider checking out rescue centers because there are Italian Greyhounds looking for families to come home to. Information on both breeders and rescue centers can be obtained from kennel clubs. It is also best to go to a breeder or rescue center affiliated with a kennel club as this will help ensure that the dog you will be getting has been properly cared for according to set standards.

Italian Greyhound breeders are also one of the best sources of information about the breed so you can go to them even though you are not ready to get a dog. The wealth of information they possess about Italian Greyhounds will help enlighten you as to whether or not you should get this dog breed since you will know what to expect. You can always do your research online but there’s nothing like firsthand information to help you truly understand what this dog breed has to offer.

Aside from getting in touch with kennel clubs, you can find Italian Greyhound breeders online or you can check your local phone book directory service for listings in your area. If you have friends or family who may have gotten an Italian Greyhound, you can ask them to refer you to the breeder they used or other information pertaining to the acquisition and care of Italian Greyhounds. If you are looking for specific rescue centers for Italian Greyhounds, your local animal shelter might be able to help you out.

Blue Italian Greyhound Breed Info

Are you a person who prefers the indoors? Do you have a lifestyle that is very simple and compact and you are looking for a pet that will accompany you? If your answer is yes, then a blue Italian Greyhound will prove to be a useful dog breed for you. With their easy to manage physique, quietness and loyalty to owners, they are perfect for individuals who value their peace and quiet. Although the blue Italian Greyhound could be quite quirky and inquisitive of his or her owners affairs, this is just to show their loyalty and attachment to their owners. At first you might think that the blue IG is a couch potato but they could be quite competitive when it comes to athletic activities. They just dont tend to show it all the time. Still, taking them out for exercise once in a while could be beneficial for their physique and health. The IG puppies could be also fragile until they are adults so it is necessary to keep their health in check especially since their bones are not that sturdy and they are prone to fractures.

A blue Italian Greyhound is the perfect dog breed for people or families who live in apartments, condominiums or buildings. This breed can adapt to an indoor setting easily. It is also not as noisy as other breeds and in fact, it doesnt bark much. Though not hypoallergenic, this dogs coat requires little maintenance. Just get a wet towel or a chamois to clean the body and youre all set. Regular trimming of the fingernails is also necessary. Compared to others, this dog isnt demanding when it comes to physical care. In training a blue Italian Greyhound, you can use the positive reinforcement and treats method. They dont respond well to touch discipline as they could be aggressive even to the slightest touch. This makes them not so friendly with children and strangers. At some point, they could also be difficult to train. Much focus and repetitive actions are required to help them remember since they become upbeat when it comes to physical activities.

If you want a dog that can sit still and wait for you as you work the whole day, the blue Italian Greyhound could be the one for you. With their still and quiet personality, they are perfect for the buzzing and compressed city life you have. 

What Is An Italian Greyhound?

Italian Greyhounds, also known as IGs, are slender dogs just over a foot tall. They are graceful and sweet, similar to the other taller Greyhounds. These dogs are intelligent and easy to train, as well as playful, preferring to spend a lot of time with their owners.

Weighing around 8-18 pounds, Italian Greyhounds make the smallest of gazehounds or sighthounds (hunting dogs which specialize in using speed and sight when hunting). It is still debated whether or not they were originally bred for hunting or to be companions.

Hunter Or Companion?

The American Kennel Club (AKC), a United States-based organization maintaining information about purebred dog pedigrees and one of the most recognized dog breed registries in the world, categorizes dogs into 7 groups:

  • Herding
  • Hound
  • Non-sporting
  • Sporting
  • Terrier
  • Toy
  • Working

AKC classifies Italian Greyhounds as toy dogs, mainly for their small size. This makes IGs an ideal apartment companion. To add to that, their short, satin-like coat that is easy to groom and their peaceful and affectionate nature make it easy for people to co-exist with them.

Despite its small stature, the Italian Greyhound has been known to hunt small game (any undomesticated animal hunted as food) as well as rats and mice. This makes them the perfect safeguard from household pests.

Traits of an Italian Greyhound

What characteristics do Italian Greyhounds possess, you may ask? Check the list below to find out:

  • Active
  • Athletic
  • Affectionate
  • Dependent
  • Eager to please their owners
  • Elegant
  • Fast
  • Intelligent
  • Keen
  • Kind-mannered
  • Loves to run
  • Might be reserved to strangers
  • Not difficult to train
  • Peaceful
  • Playful
  • Sensitive
  • Socializes well
  • Submissive

Physical Characteristics of an Italian Greyhound

Italian Greyhounds are quite similar to their Greyhound relatives, only smaller and more slender. Their heads are long and narrow, tapering to the nose. Usually, their noses are either brown or black, depending on their coat. Their teeth meet in a scissors bite. They have dark-colored eyes of medium size, but usually lit up in understanding. Their ears are small and fine in texture, folded back into the head except when alerted.

These dogs are fine-boned creatures, with long, straight legs kept in a dignified posture. They usually stand at 13 to 15 inches.

As for their glossy coats, Italian Greyhounds usually come in various colors, such as blue, cream, gray, red, or white. They can be white with color markings or of a different color with white markings on their chest and feet.

Although they may seem fragile due to their thin bodies, adult IGs are generally more resilient.

Italian Greyhound History

Its been said that Italian Greyhounds are old breeds that originated over 4,000 years ago in the countries where Greece and Turkey now reside.

IGs have been depicted in various paintings and pictorials dating to ancient times. An old Egyptian tomb from 4,000 BC has been said to depict dogs similar to the Italian Greyhounds. Not only that there are also evidences of mummified dogs similar to these particular Greyhounds that have been found in Egypt.

Some 2,000 year-old Mediterranean art also show these fine creatures. There have been remains of a dog similar to the IG that has been found in an ancient lava flow in Pompeii, a Roman town-city near modern Naples which was partially destroyed and buried due to the eruption of a volcano.

During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance period, IGs became popular with noblemen, especially throughout Southern Europe. They were brought by the Phoenician civilization to Europe and later became a favorite of the Italians during the 16th century. During that time, miniature dogs were of high demand.

James I of England, Catherine the Great of Russian, and Anne of Denmark were few of those who owned the IGs. Frederick the Great of Prussia took his Italian Greyhound to a war during the 1700s, and buried it at the Sands Souci himself when it died. He wished to be buried next to his brave companion when he died, and during his 205th death anniversary, he was finally reunited with his beloved dog.

In 1886, the Italian Greyhound breed was recognized by the AKC under the toy dog group.

Living with an Italian Greyhound

Italian Greyhounds are very athletic and love to participate in running games. Despite being fast, however, IGs are not well-suited for racing and owners may have to take caution due to their skinny frame when playing with other dogs or people. Walks or runs with their owners might just be enough for them. They can also be active indoors and do fine without a yard. Another thing an owner should pay attention to is their sensitivity to the cold.

These regal, quiet, yet lovable and playful Italian Greyhounds will surely bring enjoyment to you in its lifespan of 12 to 15 years.

More On Italian Greyhound Puppies

Are you looking for the perfect lap dog to just have cuddled and snuggled by you during those moments when you are just relaxing in your couch or bed? There are many potential candidates for being the best lap dog for you, but one may stand on the shoulders of all those other potential candidates the Italian Greyhound.

The close relative of the original Greyhound, arguably the fastest breed of dog among all the other breeds, the Italian Greyhound combines just enough traits of its ancestor, with traits from other breeds which were used to cross-breed with the Greyhound to produce this amazing breed of dog.

From infancy, Italian Greyhound puppies are to be given extra care over, since they are really fragile dogs when they are still puppies. Even as adults, these Italian Greyhounds are extremely sensitive to cold weather, because of their acutely thin coat of fur; Italian Greyhound puppies would be just as more sensitive to the cold as adults are. These Italian Greyhound puppies have fragile bones, are to be taken care of immensely. However, Italian Greyhound puppies only need to be taken meticulous care of for the first 12 to 18 months from infancy, as they are essentially a very healthy breed of dog once they reach adulthood.

Needing very little grooming as well, the Italian Greyhound is one of the easiest breeds of dog to take care of. You will not even have trouble grooming or making them take the regularly scheduled baths or check-ups unlike with other breeds, since these Italian Greyhounds have one of the best temperaments among all dog breeds. They are one of the friendliest, most people-oriented dogs in the animal kingdom. You would have to train them to be really social, though, if you want these dogs to be able to be comfortable with and around other people. If not trained early on, they might grow up to have high-strung, or even shy temperaments.

These Italian Greyhounds, being sort of the nephew of the original Greyhounds, are some of the fastest dogs among all the dog breeds. Although not as quick as the Greyhounds, who gallop at 45 miles per hour, they still clock in at about 25 miles per hour, almost 6 miles per hour faster than the average breed of dog. That is one of the better traits the Italian Greyhound picked up from its uncle.

All in all, the Italian Greyhound is an excellent dog to have, especially if you are living alone or are only a couple with no children. With a few minor tips, such as being really careful with these Italian Greyhound puppies due to their sensitive and fragile bones, covering them in extra coating or clothes when exposed to extreme cold, and keeping them in households without that much noise, overall, the Italian Greyhound is the best choice for a lap dog among all the others. There is no mistake about it; they would really be one breed of dog you would want.

Italian Greyhound Training & Care

The Italian Greyhound is a pleasing pet breed to own. With their warmth and comfort-seeking trait, they are suitable for families and are very kind to strangers. Though they might be aloof in the presence of people, the Italian Greyhound could get attached to its owner. With their quirky and inquisitive personalities, this breed is great for experienced dog owners, the ones who know how to deal with different types of doggy characteristics.

The Italian Greyhound is a bit sensitive and stubborn. If you are to train them, they prefer upbeat and active methods. They also respond to treats and positive reinforcement. Compared to other breeds, they seem to be the happy and energetic type. However, physical discipline or even the slightest of touch could affect them as they are sensitive to touch. This makes them not quite suitable for very young children.

If you want a small and lightweight dog for your home, then this breed is suitable for you. The breed is polite and peaceful, without barking much. This dog can be inactive at one point and then athletic the next day. They are not a hypoallergenic breed. So if you or someone in your family has allergies or asthma, this breed could only trigger those.

This breed is a good choice for experienced dog owners who are living in relatively smaller spaces. if youre setting is in an apartment or a building, this dog will not be a bother to you or to your neighbors.

Our 4 paw rating to the suitability of the Italian Greyhound for a sophisticated home and an indoor-oriented lifestyle.

Size

12-15 inches, 6-10 pounds

Coat Care

The Italian Greyhound sheds little to no hair

Minimal coat care that can be maintained by rubbing it with a chamois or a soft towel

Family Life

Suitable for buildings, condominiums and apartments as they dont bark much or request to be taken out most of the time. However, this breed might be difficult for families with small or playful children as they could be quite aggressive when touched. Still, they are very loyal and attached to their owners to the point of following them around at times.

Lifestyle

They can adapt to an indoor lifestyle. However they could be quite demanding and inquisitive of their owners activities. Also, they are very difficult to train so training must be made while they are you to sharpen their focus and to help them with obedience. These dogs can be both a couch potato and an athletic pet.

Health

Life Expectancy

12-15 years

Diseases

Check for epileptic tendencies

Very prone to slipped stifle and fractures

Their bones are very fragile as puppies. When they reach 18 months, they might outgrow this weakness and become stronger.

Exercise

Outdoor running exercise is suitable for this breed as they have the urge to go and play outside

Training

Positive reinforcement, no touch or hitting as this breed could be quite touch-sensitive. They respond very well to treats and energetic, upbeat commands. 

Mini Italian Greyhound

When looking for a mini-pooch to accompany you and your family, the mini Italian greyhound may be for you. Possessing happy manners and a good nature, it can be a great canine-pet for any family.

Small, slender, and fine-boned, the mini Italian greyhound is known for its characteristic long, narrow head, and weighs only 6 to 14 pounds. It can come in different short and glossy coat colors such as gray, slate gray, red, fawn, blue, black, white, and cream.

Fairly active indoors and outdoors on the yard, the mini Italian greyhound is playful, eager, affectionate, smart, and overall good-natured. They are also generally very submissive, and naturally want to please their owners.

Not that challenging when it comes to training them, it must be remembered though, that they do not react well to harsh discipline. Instead, be calm, firm, kind and authoritative when dealing with them.

Very dependent and peaceful, its owner must not spoil it by petting it when it is stressed or upset as it will only strengthen this behavior. Though it is easy to train, it still needs a pack leader to follow.

It must be noted that the mini Italian greyhound should not be babied, even though it is tempting for its size to baby and spoil it. Babied mini Italian greyhounds will develop to be snappish and overly possessive.

For exercise, even for its size it requires daily walk, as it loves to run free and play. When walking though, the owner should lead the way and not the mini Italian greyhound so as to earn its respect and see you as a figure of authority.

Grooming the mini Italian greyhound can be quite easy, as it only needs to keep its coat clean and silky by simply rubbing it down with a towel. Bathing it not really needed and should only be done when it is necessary. When you do bathe them, make sure to dry them thoroughly to avoid any complications.  

Expected to live a long life of 12 to 15 years – in some rare cases can live up to 19 years – it may experience a number of health problems. Health problems that are specific to the miniature Italian greyhound are susceptibility to epilepsy, slipped stifle, fractures, and Progressive Retinal Atrophy, or PRA.

Though adults may be tougher, it is important to know that mini Italian greyhound puppies, newly born up until they are 18 months old, are fragile and can experience broken legs easily. Careful handling and special attention is needed when handling mini Italian greyhound puppies.