The Italian Greyhound – Complete guide to the breed 

The Italian Greyhound  breed 


The Italian Greyhound, also known as the Little Italian Greyhound, is an agile and slender breed. It is believed that it already existed in Ancient Egypt, where it was a pet of the pharaohs. Also, there are images of him in Renaissance paintings around the world.

The breed is noted for its ability to run and its affectionate and familiar personality. If you want to know all the details about this small but precious breed, spend the next two minutes. Ready?

What is the history of the Italian Greyhound breed?

The Italian Greyhound is an impressive breed of dog, having survived at least 2000 years. It is possible to find images of him in murals from Turkey, Egypt and Greece, where he was used as a companion animal .

A dog being small, was c aken status symbol, so its popularity surged during the Renaissance. Kings, dukes and nobles had an Italian hound as a pet.

Starting in 1886, the breed became part of the standard established by the American Kennel Club. During the two world wars, it was on the verge of disappearing, but the efforts of breeders around the world allowed it to continue to exist today.


Characteristics of the Italian Greyhound

The greyhound is a small dog, even considered miniature. The muzzle is narrow and elongated, ending in a raised, dark nose.

The eyes are big round and very expressive, it is easy to guess their mood with them. The color of the iris is brown or black, while the eyelids are dark.

The ears of the greyhound are small, thin and fine, they stand up when the dog adopts an alert position.

The coat is short and silky. The breed standard indicates that it appears in black and yellowish color, in addition to the gray Italian greyhound, one of the most popular . It may also have some white spots on the chest.

The general appearance of the Italian Greyhound makes it an elegant and pretty dog.

How is the character of the Italian Greyhound?

Being a running dog, it is excellent for families who enjoy outdoor activities. He loves playing with older children, running after them, and chasing the ball . The games inside the house also motivate him, an excellent option when it is not possible to take him out to the park.

If we usually go for a walk or jog, it is possible to make it a regular exercise partner, respecting its rhythm so as not to tire it too much and avoid broken legs, a common problem of the breed.

Thanks to its small size and short coat, it is a good dog to live with older people or to keep in a small apartment , as long as its need for exercise is respected.

During the day, the Italian Greyhound is quiet and even slightly sensitive to noise, so it is not recommended for families with young children.

He can be a bit fearful of strangers, we should not force him to be nice to other people or pets.


What care does an Italian Greyhound need?

With regard to daily care, the main factor to consider is the place of play. If we take him to the park, it is advisable to supervise his games and keep him away from larger dogs, to avoid accidents.

Being small and having such a short coat, one brushing per week will be enough. Bathing is only necessary when dirty , according to physical activity.

On the other hand, it is recommended that the Italian greyhound get used to brushing its teeth from a puppy. We must complement this with a veterinary dental cleaning carried out once a year.

The diet must be adapted to the size and age of the dog, taking care not to offer too many canine snacks, to avoid obesity problems. As with any breed of dog, we must provide clean water at all times.

How to train an Italian Greyhound?

An Italian Greyhound puppy requires proper socialization to prevent it from developing a very skittish personality . Patiently introducing him to new environments and people, allowing him to assimilate the unfamiliar situation at his own pace, will build confidence in him and help him feel safe.

We must base the training on positive reinforcement, offering caresses, congratulating him and giving him some snacks when he fulfills the orders correctly.

Being such intelligent and sensitive animals, they learn quickly and respond very well to our acceptance . For this reason, we should never yell at or mistreat them.


Common diseases of the Italian Greyhound breed

Although it is a healthy dog ​​without congenital diseases, it can suffer from some health problems. The main one is due to fractures, since their bones are brittle and brittle . For this reason, it is advisable to watch the games, not force the walks and take special care when it is a puppy, to avoid accidentally hurting it.

In addition, you may suffer from:

  • Hypothyroidism: it is caused by a malfunction of the thyroid. Hypothyroidism causes weakness, loss of balance, being overweight, and high cholesterol.
  • Avascular necrosis of the head of the femur: appears in the first months of life. It consists of the calcification of the femur bone, causing lameness, muscle atrophy and pain.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy: affects the retina of one or both eyes. It results in a slow loss of visual ability, until it becomes total blindness.