This small and slender dog is the smallest of the sight hounds (group of dogs used to hunt using their sight). It is believed they originated from the present day Greece and Turkey. There is evidence of their existence in Egypt as some tombs reveal mummified Italian Greyhounds. They arrived in England around 17th century where they spread to other parts of Europe and became popular among the nobility of Italy hence their name. Many of the Italian greyhounds we captured in art paintings with their owners and the paintings turned out to be world famous. They almost went extinct in Europe during World War 1 due to the high cost of maintaining them in that period.
These are indeed small animals weighing about 13 – 15 pounds and a height of 13 – 15 inches. This small body is full of agility and strength. They have a slender body with thin legs and a thin neck that ends up in a small head. The head is long and pointed with a black or brown nose depending on the color of the coat and teeth close with a scissors bite. They have a slight stoop and their abdomen takes and inward curve as though the dog is holding its breath.
This good companion dog is intelligent, gentle and always seeks to please its owner. They are affectionate to people and hence good company for old people though they may be reserved with strangers. They thrive in quiet environments though can still be bred in the city. They are sensitive to the voice tone of their owner hence one has to be careful during training. They will not respond to harshness. This dog is very dependent and peaceful and will always require consistent leadership from its owner.
Due to the fragile nature of their body frame, one has to be very careful while handling them. They require a regular exercise routine for them to be in good health. It is also important to be keen on their emotions to provide firm comfort when they are agitated. They are very agile and athletic hence; one needs to take care of them while in the house not be housebreak. They are difficult to house train.
The Italian greyhound is sensitive to anesthesia and some insecticides. They are generally healthy but can be prone to certain diseases such as cataracts, epilepsy, fractures, hip dyslexia and some allergies. They are also sensitive to cold hence, it is important to keep them warm.
Due to their small body frame, the will eat half the amount of an average dog. Ensure to give them a nutritious diet particularly with sufficient calcium to strengthen their fragile bones.
Coat, Color and Grooming
They have a soft thin coat that is shiny and come is a variety of colors such as red, cream black and solid white. They shed little or no hair and will require a bath only when it is necessary. Brush its coat regularly, brush the teeth twice a week and trim its toenails.
With family and other pets
They are a good family dog and get along well with children. They also do well with other pets, but it is important to watch out for them against bigger harmful dogs.