AKC Group: Toy
Born in Egypt, they were brought to Europe by the Phoenicians and later developed by the Romans. The Greyhound has been found on ancient artifacts of Pompeii and has been a favorite breed of European royalty. Their name stems from the reference to their popularity during the period of Italian Renaissance. The Italian Greyhound is the smallest breed in the Greyhound family and most likely originated in Greece or Turkey.
Size: 13 to 15 inches high; 7 to 14 pounds
Color: All colors but brindle and black and tan
Life span: 12 to 15 years
Health problems: Drug or chemical sensitivities, thyroid problems, seizures, leg fractures from vigorous jumping, luxating patella, autoimmune disorders ad progressive retinal atrophy. Italian Greyhounds are sensitive to extreme temperatures.
Italian Greyhounds are spirited, playful, quiet, affectionate, gentle dogs. Their innate personalities range from amiable and friendly to timid. Early socialization can help if you got a timid Italian Greyhound. They love to receive attention, but avoid sneaking up on him and always be gentle. Italian Greyhounds startle easily. As a Greyhound, they love to run (and run fast) and love to jump, so give him an outlet. Never let him off leash while out for a walk. They get along well with children that are gentle and considerate. They get along great with other canines and cats, but may not do so well with other smaller companions due to his high prey drive. He may never love company. If something is off, your Italian Greyhound will have no problem alerting you. Italian Greyhounds can be slightly stubborn and are very sensitive, so training will not be smooth sailing all the time. Housebreaking will also be difficult. Start focusing on it during 10 to 12 weeks of age. Paper training or litter training is most effective. Crate training is another great option. If they seem uneasy, always stroke or caress him; it helps to calm him. You’ll need to provide lessons on whether furniture climbing is allowed. An Italian Greyhound can be easily distracted. Otherwise, Italian Greyhounds tend to take direction well. Once trained, they are an especially obedient breed.
A toy breed, the Italian Greyhound is a slender dog with a short glossy coat. They have long muzzles and long, slender legs. Simply brush occasionally and rub down with a soft, damp cloth.