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Everything About Italian Greyhound Dogs and Puppies

Italian Greyhounds are a graceful and elegant toy breed, renowned for its affinity for affection and its sleek, miniature greyhound-like appearance. This breed combines the athleticism of a sports dog with the cuddliness of a lapdog, making it a popular choice for a variety of dog lovers.

Breed Facts

Italian greyhound dog

  • Country of Origin: Italy
  • Breed Group: Toy
  • Height: Typically 13-15 inches
  • Weight: 7-14 pounds
  • Lifespan: 14-15 years
  • Average Price: $1,000 – $3,000
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Shedding: Minimal
  • Good With Kids: Yes, but better with older children due to their delicate size

Italian Greyhound History

The Italian Greyhound has a history that dates back over two thousand years, originating in the Mediterranean basin, where Miniature Greyhounds were bred by nobles and royals. The breed was a favorite during the Renaissance in Italy, which is where it gets its name. It was admired for its beauty and grace at Italian courts, and has been a symbol of luxury and refinement across Europe ever since.

This breed was not only a companion; it was also used for hunting small game due to its keen sight and swiftness. Despite its ancient and noble heritage, the Italian Greyhound remains a popular pet today, cherished for its loving and playful nature.

Italian Greyhound Personality

Italian greyhoundItalian Greyhounds are known for their affectionate, alert, and intelligent demeanor. They form strong bonds with their owners and can often be found cuddling or following their human companions around the house. Despite their small size, they are spry and possess a playful nature, enjoying both short bursts of running and long periods of rest.

Their sensitivity to tone of voice and desire to please makes them fairly easy to train, although they can be stubborn. Early socialization and positive reinforcement are key to a well-adjusted, sociable Italian Greyhound.

Italian Greyhound Appearance

Italian Greyhounds possess a beauty that is both refined and athletic. They have a slender build with long legs and a narrow head, giving them an elegant silhouette. Their coat, which comes in a variety of colors including gray, slate, red, black, white, and fawn, is short and smooth to the touch, requiring minimal grooming.

This breed’s expressive eyes and fine features convey a keen intelligence and curiosity about the world around them.

Italian Greyhound Health Concerns

Italian Greyhounds are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they have certain health issues to which they are prone:

  • Dental Issues: Due to their small mouths, they can suffer from periodontal diseases, making regular dental care a must.
  • Bone Fractures: Their slender legs are fragile and can be prone to fractures if not handled with care.
  • Hypothyroidism: This is manageable with medication but needs to be diagnosed early to avoid serious health problems.

Italian Greyhound Exercise Needs

Italian greyhoundsDespite their petite size, Italian Greyhounds need regular exercise to maintain their health and happiness. They enjoy walks, but their favorite activity is sprinting in a secure, open space. However, due to their thin coats and lean bodies, they should not be exposed to cold weather without adequate protection.

Training and Behavior

Italian Greyhounds are intelligent and can learn quickly, but they may have a stubborn streak. Consistency and positive reinforcement in training are crucial. House training can be a challenge, especially in colder climates, as they are sensitive to the cold.

Italian Greyhound Grooming Needs

Their short, smooth coats make grooming relatively simple. Regular brushing and the occasional bath are sufficient to keep them clean. Due to their fast-growing nails, regular nail trimming is essential to prevent discomfort.

Italian Greyhound Care Needs

Italian greyhoundsItalian Greyhounds thrive in environments where they can be close to their owners. They are well-suited to apartment living due to their size and quiet nature, but they do need soft bedding and warm clothing during colder months to keep comfortable.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Are Italian Greyhounds good with children? They are good with older children who know how to handle them gently but may not be the best choice for families with very young children due to their delicate frames.
  2. Do Italian Greyhounds bark a lot? They are not known to be excessive barkers, but they will alert their owners to strangers or unusual situations.
  3. Can Italian Greyhounds be left alone? They can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for long periods. It’s best they have companionship for most of the day.
  4. Are Italian Greyhounds easy to train? They are intelligent and can learn quickly but require consistent, gentle training as they are sensitive to harsh treatment.
  5. How much exercise does an Italian Greyhound need? They need moderate exercise and enjoy short to moderate walks combined with opportunities to run in a safe, enclosed area.

Is This the Right Breed for You?

Italian greyhoundsItalian Greyhounds are perfect for those who want a small, affectionate, and low-maintenance companion. They are best suited for families with older children or singles and couples who have the time to devote to them. Their need for company and moderate exercise should match the owner’s lifestyle.

Further Reading

Thank you for your interest in our Italian Greyhound breed profile. Be sure to check out the many additional breed profiles listed on our Small Dog Breeds A to Z home page.

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