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Italian Greyhound


Italian Greyhound



The Italian Greyhound is the smallest of the family of gazehounds (dogs that hunt by sight) and the breed is an old one and is believed to have originated more than 2,000 years ago in the countries now known as Greece and Turkey. This is based on the depiction of miniature greyhounds in the early decorative arts of these countries and on the archaeological discovery of small greyhound skeletons. Mummified dogs very similar to the Italian Greyhound (or small Greyhounds) have been found in Egypt, and pictorials of small Greyhounds have been found in Pompeii, and they were more than likely the only accepted companion-dog there.  By the Middle Ages, the breed had become distributed throughout Southern Europe and was later a favorite of the Italians of the sixteenth century, among whom miniature dogs were in great demand. It is, in fact, due to its popularity in Italy at this time that the breed became known as the "Italian Greyhound."





Sensitive and reserved these dogs dislike loud noises and sudden moves.  They can be aloof with strangers, but loving to immediate family and friends.  They are very cat-like in their mannerisms and can be independent and stubborn when being trained.  They make a reasonably good guard-dog, as they bark at unfamiliar sounds. They may also bark at passers by. They often get along well with other dogs and cats.



Height:  3.6 to 6.8 kg  (8-15 lb)

Weight: 33 to 38 cm   (13-15 inches)

The Italian Greyhound which comes varieties of colours resembles a miniature Greyhound, with its elegant, decorative and prancing gait which is the trademark of this sleek, smooth and long-legged small ancient Sighthound.



They possess an extremely short, fine and almost odorless coat that requires little more than an occasional bath, but a wipe-down with a damp cloth is recommended after walks as seeds and burrs could get into the coat and irritate the skin. Shedding is typical as with other breeds.

Life Expectancy

13-15 Years


Health Concerns

It is advisable to contact responsible breeders who choose their breeding stock carefully and screen for inherited disorders as this breed is prone to epilepsy, patellar luxation, liver shunt, PRA (Progressive retinal atrophy) and hypothyroidism to mention a few. 



While they are excellent with children and other dogs, the breed's slim build makes them somewhat fragile, and injury can result from rough play. Care and common sense should be exercised while the puppy is growing up. Due to their slim build and extremely short coat, Italian Greyhounds are at times reluctant to go outside in cold or wet weather and they tend to gravitate to warm places, curl up with other dogs or humans, or burrow into blankets and under cushions for warmth.  Being equally at home in the city or the country, it does not require as much exercise as larger breeds. The young dog is often particularly active, and this high level of activity may lead them to attempt ill-advised feats of athleticism that can result in injury. They also enjoy a good run.




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