Italian Greyhounds


Italian Greyhounds

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Breed Notes:

The Italian Greyhound is a miniaturized version of the standard sized Greyhound. The ancestry of the Italian Greyhound dates to back classical Greece and Turkey (Asia Minor) where it was bred to be a companion dog, not a hunter. Smallest of hounds, it has been greatly prized by royalty and nobility through the ages. During the sixteenth century, the breed became popular in Italy, thus the name it is known by today. The American Kennel Club stud book of 1886 shows the first Italian Greyhound to be registered in the United States.
The Italian Greyhound is a determined and resourceful dog but also an ideal companion. He is sensitive, playful and alert. Loving and playful with the family, he may be reserved with strangers. His coat sheds little hair and has almost no odor.
The skull of the Italian Greyhound is equal in length to the muzzle. There is a very slight drop off (stop) between skull and muzzle. The ears are rose shaped, small, set high and have dropped tips. The eyes are medium sized and dark. The muzzle is long and lean. The neck is long and well arched. The chest is deep and the legs are strong and straight. The feet are hare like. The gait is a very high stepping one. The back has a slight arch above the loin. The tail is set low, long and tapered. It reaches to the hock. The coat is short, fine and smooth. Coat colors include cream, fawn, blue and black. White markings may exist but black or tan terrier markings are not allowed. Average height is between thirteen and fifteen inches and average weight is between seven and eight pounds.


lauraloo76@hotmail.com of Charlotte, NC writes:

The best dog you can imagine.
I had neither heard of nor seen an Italian Greyhound until my fiancee brought ours home a little over two years ago now. She is the product of money-hungry breeders, who were planning to euthanize her, due to a broken tail from birth. Younger than she should have been in order to separate from her mother, she has been our "baby" ever since. It has been said that "the problem with babies and puppies is that they grow up." Not so with the Italian Greyhound; they stay so little that you always have an adorable 'puppy' to snuggle with. The only problem we have is getting her to go outside when the weather is cold and rainy, or just rainy for that matter. She "talks" when trying to bark, with the said "deeper than normal" growl of a breed much larger than her own. DO NOT adopt an IG if you have a problem with a dog sleeping with you every night. Otherwise, I can't imagine how I lived before having an IG of my own!


Name withheld by request of Massachusetts writes:

Loving, athletic aristocrats who demand your whole attention.
I wasn't even a dog person. My first IG converted me instantly with her beautiful looks, incredible speed and agility, and her intelligence, especially where food is concerned. She can undo a zipped backpack and unwrap (not tear off!) the paper round the sliced ham. I should have called my second IG Camille for her "don't leave me or I'll die" act. That total devotion, combined with a skin like silk, her funny little IG smile and the way her tiny paws try to push me out of bed in the morning make me her slave. These are not dogs for people who don't have time or space for a close relationship. They are more demanding than children, in that they don't grow up and leave for college, even though they can live to be fifteen to eighteen years old. They will not play fetch. People bring things to them.


western_co@yahoo.com of Colorado writes:

Will never be without one.
We have lived with an Italian Greyhound for six years and it is the most devoted, loving, amusing dog in existence. There are no downsides to this little companion. You have to be ready to spend a lot of time with them as they are impossible to ignore. Always ready to cuddle, watch TV, go for walks ... she insists on burrowing under any blankets and will not leave any source of heat. No smell, no hair shedding, no yippy, annoying bark ... she has the low pitched bark of a much larger dog. She has no idea of her size, so she'll play with any size dog. Difficult to housebreak, so skip this breed if you value your carpet above all else &shyp; we solved the situation by installing ceramic tile throughout the house.


delacre@juno.com of Westminster, CO writes on 3/29/00:

These dogs have hearts of gold!
The Italian Greyhound is an intelligent breed that you'll never have to worry will bite the neighbor kids or try to make a toy out of your cat! They just want to be cozy. They're loyal, clean little dogs. They are easy to groom, as they have very short hair. Brushing them once a week and bathing once every couple of months, along with keeping nails trimmed is really all the grooming they require. They bark when necessary, but are not prone to excessive barking. Really, what they want most in life is to be cozy with their people. By the way, they're great conversation starters! I guarantee that you'll be constantly stopped by people on the street wanting to know what kind of dog you have! Their charming personality is matched by their elegance, style and grace. I have lived with three IGs, and have found that they are very "laid back" creatures. There are lots of great breeds of dogs, and the Italian Greyhound is one of them!


Name withheld by request of Florida writes on 2/14/00:

Intelligent, loyal, stubborn, easy-care, attention-getting.
I owned an Italian Greyhound for over 14 years, and they were the best years of my life! She was very loving and always wanted attention. She had peridontal disease (which is common from what I understand with this breed, or any smaller breed) that in later years caused many problems. She traveled well, little or no grooming (but loved it when she got it!) Would like to play "find me" at the wrong time (like when we were ready to take a trip). Very pristine and proud breed (she "pranced" when I would walk her). She knew she was an attention-getter wherever she went. She loved everyone, no matter who it was or how they treated her. I miss her very much.


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