Italian Greyhound

Italian Greyhound


Italian Greyhound


Origin and brief history:

The Italian Greyhound can be found in many ancient decorative arts in the Mediterranean countries.  These dogs were even thought to be companions to the Egyptians as mummified remains have been found in some of the tombs in Egypt.  Some even date all the way back 6000 years ago.  It was known as the Miniature Greyhound then.  Its name was changed to Italian Greyhound when Italian noblemen adopted the breed.  The breed eventually found itself in England in about the seventeenth century where it gained favor among many.  This dog, although small, has been used for hunting usually rats and mice.  They sometimes have even been trained to companion hunt with falcons.



Italian Greyhounds make particularly good companion dogs as they enjoy the company of humans very much.  They would best fit to be homed with the elderly or someone who has no children as they are somewhat fragile because of its size and that it prefers to be in quiet places, but they usually do ok around older children.  This breed can sometimes be used as a good watchdog because they bark at noises that are unfamiliar to them, but would not be considered a true guard dog as even though they bark they spook and run very easily.



The Italian Greyhounds do not require much grooming at all.  They have very short hair that usually never smells.  The occasional bath about every four to six weeks is sufficient.  It is suggested that they be wiped down with a damp cloth after walking because dust and other particles floating in the air can irritate their skin.


Specification of breed:

The breed has no difference in size based on gender.  They usually run about 13 inches to 15 inches in height and weight 7 to 14 pounds.  They are placed in the toy group for dogs but are slightly larger than most other dogs in that group because of their slender build.  The Italian Greyhound has very long legs with a long slender neck that runs into a small head which is long and slender, much like a regular sized greyhound.  Its chest if very broad and its abdomen slims upward tucking it away into its body.


Buyer Beware:

If you plan to own this breed you should be aware that they very fast and have a hunting instinct there for they should be always kept on a lease to avoid them bolting after smaller animals.  Generally people advise the use of a Martingale Collar when walking an Italian Greyhound as it tightens up when it is pulled on but loose when the dog is not pulling in front of you.  This is advised because of their slender build they could easily slip out of a normal collar and could injure themselves trying to do so with a collar that is too tight.



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