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Italian Greyhound

The Italian Greyhound is an elegant companion breed. They are sensitive to cold weather and require minimal grooming. The breed is a long-time favorite of Italian aristocracy.

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Physical Characteristics
  • Slender, fine-boned
  • Coat: Smooth, short hair
  • Long head gradually dissipates into a pointed muzzle
  • Dark nose
  • Small, high-set ears
  • Long, elegant neck
  • Tail straight and low-set; ends in a slight curve
  • Height: 13-15 inches
  • Weight: 7-8 pound
  • Average Lifespan: 12-14 years
  • Submissive, affectionate, playful, smart, mischievous, curious
  • Interaction with people: Good companion dog; wary of strangers
  • Interaction with animals: Good with other pets
  • Training: Housebreaking can be difficult
Medical Conditions
While the listed ailments may be common in this breed, not all members of the breed suffer from these conditions. Responsible breeders screen for orthopedic and genetic diseases.
At Home
  • OK for apartments
  • Needs long, daily walks
  • Somewhat active indoors
  • Enjoys playing in open spaces with other Italian Greyhounds; play with other large dogs is not recommended
  • Feed crunchy dog biscuits to keep teeth and gums healthy
  • Very fast and agile
  • Minimal shedder
  • Rub with towel or chamois
  • Brush teeth often and trim toenails
Other Facts
  • Historically a companion to the aristocracy of the Roman Empire, Europe and Egypt
  • Frequently depicted in Renaissance paintings by such artists including Giotto, Carpaccio, Memling, Van der Weyden, David and Bosch
  • A popular breed with European royalty in the 16th century
  • Smallest of sight hounds
Breed History
  • Native to Italy
  • One of the first breeds bred in ancient times as strictly a companion pet
  • First recorded more than 2,000 years ago in stone carvings and on pottery found in the Mediterranean
  • Depicted in ancient Mediterranean art
For more information about this breed and breeder referral contacts, please visit the Italian Greyhound Club of America For breed rescue opportunities, visit IGCA Rescue
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