Italian Greyhound

The Italian Greyhound is a smaller and more slender version of the Greyhound. Its head is long and flat, tapering to a dark nose. Eyes are dark and bright, giving a look of intelligence, and the ears are small and thrown back unless alert, in which case they are folded at right angles from the head. The jaw is fine with a scissor bite. The tail is slender and tapered with a slight upward curve and carried low. Supple skin is covered with a short, soft, glossy coat. The coat can be any color with any markings except brindle or black and tan. The Italian Greyhound’s overall appearance is one of elegance and grace.

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Fast Facts

Toy
12 - 15 years
Italy
Antiquity
10 - 15 lb
10 - 15 lb
13 - 15"
13 - 15"
Italian Grayhound, Italian Grey Hound or Italian Gray Hound.
Piccolo Levrieve Italiani

Italian Greyhound Photos

Italian Greyhound Temperament

The Italian Greyhound is very dependent on its owner and quite submissive....

They are gentle and playful and are best trained with gentle consistency. They can be disobedient without knowing it so be forgiving without being a pushover or they will try to take advantage. They prefer quiet households and are quite gentle, so be careful when an Italian Greyhound is in the midst of large dogs or rambunctious children. They can be stressed easily and may get snappy when frightened but can be soothed with calm strokes. The Italian Greyhound shares the same love for the chase that his larger cousin has, so be careful when the dog is playing off leash.

Caring For a Italian Greyhound

Apartment life is great for Italian Greyhounds, as they can be active indoors and do not require a yard....

This breed is sensitive to cold weather so when it gets chilly out, put a sweater on your dog before going outside. Though quite playful in its own right, the Italian Greyhound can get impatient with big dogs that play too rough. Italian Greyhounds are great walking companions and can even accompany you on a jog provided you don’t go too far. The breed sheds very little so a rubdown with a towel and very occasional brushing is the only grooming needed. Bathe only when necessary and after bathing be sure the dog is completely dry. Brush the dog’s teeth regularly to prevent tartar build-up, and clip the toenails regularly for the dog’s comfort. The Italian Greyhound is susceptible to periodontal disease; in some cases, this breed may also develop epilepsy, progressive retinal atrophy and patellar luxation. Italian Greyhounds are also very sensitive to drugs and vaccines, and may suffer from life threatening seizures if medication is not administered with care. A poorly bred Italian Greyhound may suffer from low bone density, causing the dog's bones to be sensitive and break easily; well bred Italian Greyhounds generally do not have this problem.

Italian Greyhound History

A Brief History of the Italian Greyhound

Quite clearly a miniaturized Greyhound, the Italian Greyhound is believed to have originated some time around the 1st century BC in and around the Mediterranean; Greek and Turkish art from this time depicts the breed....

The Italian Greyhound spread from its native Italy, and by medieval times the dog could be found throughout southern Europe. The breed became known as the Italian Greyhound during the 16th century and arrived in England during the 17th century, where it was an immediate hit with the aristocracy both as a lapdog and courser. The Italian Greyhound was at the peak of its popularity during the Victorian period, and was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1886. But the dog went into a swift decline during the early 20th century, and by the end of World War II it was virtually unknown in England. Irresponsible breeding that sought to accentuate the dog’s small size without sufficient regard for its health played a large role in the Italian Greyhound’s fall from grace in England. Luckily the specimens brought to America during the 19th century were untainted, and these dogs served to rejuvenate the breed during the mid 20th century. Today, the Italian Greyhound is one of the more popular breeds in the US.