THIS Is a very old breed (but not one of the ancient breeds). that means its DNA is not that close to the wolf ancestor. Records date back 6,000 years to Egypt and 2,000 years in the Mediterranean. The issue with its history this far back is that it is based all on looks, not on DNA. (so confirming if it is the same dog or there were different variations of similar looking dogs is always difficult).
Suffice to say the greyhounds in general have been around a while – believe to be at least 1,000 years confirmed as being brought to Europe by the Phoenicians.
Most people know the standard greyhound to be a tall slender fast dog. The Italian greyhound is mostly just a smaller version of it, but typically has a more timid personality.
For anyone who has met the Italian Greyhound, you will know that they are playful, attentive, affectionate, and intelligent. They are known to be often timid and submissive however this masks their hunting pedigree. In a pack of Italian greyhounds or around prey or more submissive animals they can quickly assert their dominance.
Being timid by nature, they are very sensitive to their owners training tones so they need to be approached in a calm, strong and consistent manner. Socialization daily is the key to keeping these dogs friendly. They prefer a quiet house and supervision with children, other dogs and pets is a must. Their cute looks often mean that they are under-disciplined or given excess affection which can lead to them being in an unstable state (not sure who the leader is).
You should also be aware that these dogs are very fast, highly active and also able to climb. Their clean quiet nature makes them an ideal pet for many people, however regular training to ensure they know who is the boss is strongly recommended.
They don’t like being left alone and unless exercised enough in the mornings can develop separation anxiety. Because of their short coat they can suffer in cold weather unless they wear coats. Medical issues can include: seizures, hypothyroidism and knee issues.
The Italian Greyhound coat comes in the colours of: white, cream, grey, red, fawn, blue, black.
Italian Greyhound sizes: 30 – 38 cm, weight 3-5 kg
Italian Greyhound grooming: Because of their short coat and long limbs, their grooming requirements are quite easy. They shed very little hair and only need bathing occasionally. Ensure that they are toweled dry and kept warm in winter. Cut toenails as required.