The Italian Greyhound is a small breed of dog and a member of the sight hound family. It is the smallest of all the sight hounds, typically measuring in at a height of 32 - 38 cm at the withers and weighing in at 3.5 to 4.5 kg. Although it belongs to the toy group, it requires a little bit more space than the average "toy" dog because of its skinny profile.
The Italian Greyhound is deep-chested and has a tucked-in abdomen. The front legs are long, straight and slender while the back legs have well muscled thighs and it has a long neck. It also features a long muzzle that tapers to a point with a dark coloured nose which is somewhat similar to a Dachshund. In general appearance, it is a miniature Greyhound in all aspects, except for the size of course. The long low-set tail is usually carried low in between the legs. The coat of the Italian Greyhound is short, fine and glossy and comes in a wide variety of colour including black, blue, cream, fawn, red, white or any of these colours broken with white.
All dog breeds have different levels of intellect. Some dog breeds; working dogs in particular, are very independent thinkers and have been evolved to be very intelligent. Typically, a highly intelligent dog does well in obedience training and other activities. A highly intelligent dog can be very demanding and do require lots of physical and mental stimulation. If you’re looking for a relatively laid-back dog, that doesn’t require lots of mental and physical stimulation, then you must fully understand the level of intelligence of your dog breed of choice.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, you must fully understand their intellect levels and their specific levels of energy. To keep your dog well-balanced and happy, their needs must be met and maintained.
All dog breeds have different needs when it comes to the level of exercise they require. For the high energy dogs; which are your typical working dogs, they have a lot of energy and require lots of daily exercise along with plenty of mental stimulation. A highly energetic dog breed would suit an individual or family that is equally as active and loves the outdoors. There are also breeds that have relatively low exercise needs, such as toy dog breeds. Although they require daily exercise and mental stimulation, they’re just as happy chilling at home with their loved ones. This type of dog breed would suit an individual or family that prefers the peace and quiet and relaxation.
Before deciding on your chosen dog breed, Mypetzilla recommends that you research the exercise needs and whether you’re well equipped before committing to buying or adopting a particular dog breed.
There are several dog breeds that are known and potentially predisposed to developing health related conditions. Sensible breeding can help prevent the onset of health related conditions and this should always be taken into condition when researching your dog breed of choice. Before committing to a dog, you should speak to the breeder about any health related conditions that may affect the dog you’re looking to buy or adopt. You can also request to see any test results from genetic testing.
There are many dog breeds that tolerate children really well and are not affected by the constant noise and need for play-time. However, there are some dog breeds that don’t do very well with children and can become frustrated and snappy. That being said, all children should be shown how to handle and care for a dog in their home and should always be supervised when playing. As much as a dog can become annoyed and snappy with a younger child, the child can also become less tolerant and misbehaved towards the dog.
Mypetzilla recommends that you always supervise play-time between your children and dog. Children need to respect the boundaries and feeding time for the dog and likewise for the child. We also strongly advise that play-time doesn’t get out of control and too rough which can cause injury to both child and dog.
There are lots of dog breeds that are well suited to living in an apartment. It’s worthwhile noting that you need to check that you’re allowed dogs in your building before committing to bringing one home. If you do decide to own a dog and are living in an apartment, then you must make sure that they have plenty of room to roam around and frequent walks outside to prevent them from becoming bored and depressed.
Mypetzilla recommends that you check as to whether you’re allowed dogs in your apartment building and to fully ensure your apartment is dog proof before committing fully to bringing a dog home.
All dog breeds shed to some extent, some more than others. With this, all potential dog owners should be aware of this, as it will be a matter of putting up with some hair or lots of hair being left around the house. Depending on the dog breed, there are certain times during the year where some dog breeds shed the most and this is typically around spring and autumn. However, there are some dog breeds that shed all year round.
If you’re very house-proud, they you may want to choose a dog breed that sheds very little. Mypetzilla strongly recommends that you fully research your dog breed of choice and their shedding levels before committing.
All dog breeds require different levels of grooming. Some dog breeds are easier to maintain than others and only require a weekly brush to help keep their coat in good condition. There are some dog breeds that require regular trips to the grooming parlour and this can come at a huge cost. Either way, all dog breeds require their coat and nails to be maintained and cared for.
Mypetzilla strongly advices that potential owners research the grooming needs and associated costs with their desired dog breed before fully committing.
Barking is a necessity for your dog to communicate. However, it can also be a nuisance to yourself and fellow neighbours if it’s not kept under control. If you live in an apartment, then you’re better off choosing a dog breed that doesn’t bark as much. If you live further out and far from civilisation, then it’s worthwhile looking into a dog breed that does bark and will bark to alert you of any other company on your property.
Mypetzilla advices that you research the behaviours of your dog breed of choice and whether this would work for you and your family. It’s worth noting that dogs can be trained to bark less and this will take a lot of effort and training from the owner.
Majority dog breeds form very close relationships with their owners and as a result can become very stressed when left alone for a period of time. If a dog is suffering with separation anxiety then they’re very likely to become destructive around the home as a way of dealing with their anxieties. Dog breeds that do form strong bonds with their owners are better accustomed to a household where one member of the family remains home, whilst the others are out, this is to help avoid further anxieties and destructive behaviours.
Mypetzilla recommends that all potential owners research their dog breed of choice on their bonding abilities and how well-adjusted they are to being left alone at home. It’s also worth noting that you should never leave your dog for longer than 4 hours alone at home.
There are certain dogs breeds that have very high intellect and therefore easier to train than other dog breeds. There is also a downside to this; as fast as they learn the new trick or command, they can easily pick up bad habits just as quick. Other dog breeds that don’t rank as high on the intellect scale require patience and plenty of reward treats from their owners during training.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, Mypetzilla advices you to fully research your dog breed of choice and their level of training needs.
All dog breeds have different energy levels. The working dog breed has one of the highest energy levels in comparison to the low-energy dog’s breeds such as the Toy dog breed group. To keep a dog truly happy, healthy and well-balanced, their energy levels must be met.
High-energy dog breeds need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. High energy dog breeds would suit an active family or person. Dog breeds that are considered as low-energy, love to spend the majority of their time relaxing and sleeping in their favourite, comfy spot. A low-energy dog breed would suit an individual that equally loves the quiet life and relaxing lifestyle. Of course, low-energy dogs still need their daily walks and mental stimulation, just not as much as a high-energy dog breed.
Mypetzilla recommends that potential owner research fully on the type of dog breed that would suit their existing lifestyle and to also take into consideration the dog breeds energy levels and exercise requirements.
Before you decide on what dog breed would be suitable for you and your family, you must consider whether they’re a friendly dog breed and if you already have other pets within the household. For homes that already have dogs and other domestic pets, then it’s wise to choose a dog breed that has a friendly personality and temperament.
There are some dog breeds that mix well with other dog breeds and there are others that don’t suit one another and this could potentially cause issues later on down the line.
Another important point to consider is whether the dog breed of choice is friendly towards people and children.
Mypetzilla recommends to research fully on the right dog breed for your family and to also consider their temperament and characteristics.
The Italian Greyhound, often called Iggy is the smallest among the sight hounds that we know today and is believed to be an ancient breed. The remains of a dog similar to the breed were found in an ancient Egyptian tomb that dates back to 60 centuries ago. There are no concrete written evidences as to the exact origin and history of the Italian Greyhound. However, artworks dating back to 2,000 years ago from Turkey, Greece, and neighbouring areas gracefully depict the Italian Greyhound. It was probably brought to Europe by the Phoenicians and was one of the earliest breeds to be developed purely as a companion dog. It was a popular breed among the Greek-, Egyptian- and Roman upper class and its name is a reference to the breed's popularity during the Italian Rinascimento. Similarly, mummified dogs identical to the Italian Greyhound have been found in Egypt while paintings of small Greyhounds were found in the ancient Italian city of Pompeii. The breed was brought to England during the 17th century where it quickly won the hearts of nobilities and was introduced to America in the late 1800s. The breed's popularity slowly declined during the early 1900s because of many attempts to decrease the dog's size without regard for its health which lead to the rapid deterioration of the Italian Greyhound's population. Luckily, those that were brought to the U.S. during the 1800s were purebred and helped re-populate the breed. Today, the Italian Greyhound is again fast becoming a popular family companion.
The Italian Greyhound is an affectionate and loyal breed which makes it an excellent companion dog. It does typically well with children and enjoys human companionship. However, care must be taken because the dog's slim build and short coat offers little protection from injuries as a result of rough play. It has large, strong lungs which enables it to bark deeply giving the impression of a much larger dog. The Italian Greyhound is a very fast runner, agile and very athletic. As a puppy, it is particularly active and more often than not this level of activity can sometimes lead to ill-advised athleticism which can lead to injury. This breed loves to run as fast as possible. An intelligent breed, the Italian Greyhound is easy to train in some aspects, but housebreaking can take quite a while. It makes a good watchdog and will typically announce the presence of strangers. One thing about this breed is that it is particularly sensitive to cold or wet weather because it has an extremely short coat.
Being a sight hound with a high prey drive, an Italian Greyhound should be kept on lead when not in a secured area to avoid chasing after small animals. Housebreaking requires patient training. Training and socialization with other pets should be done early in the life of the Italian Greyhound especially with other small animals such as cats, rabbits and feathered pets.
Having a short, fine and glossy coat means that this breed has a low grooming requirement, typically done between 4 to 8 week intervals. Shedding of the short, fine coat is throughout the year. However, like any other dog, regular cleaning of the ears and clipping of the nails is a must.
The Italian Greyhound has been known to suffer from the following medical conditions including:
The Italian Greyhound has a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years.
Exercise requirement is moderate to low and can be achieved with free play or a good walk around the block or in the park. It is an active breed both indoors and outdoors. However, it cannot tolerate cold weather so it should be given ample protection from the cold when it is taken outside in the cooler seasons. When indoors, it should be kept out of drafts and given a nice, warm bedding to sleep on.
Due to its ability to be active both in and out of the house, it is a suitable pet even for a family living in an apartment and will do without an outside space. However, it must be given the required amount of exercise daily. It gets along quite well with other dogs and cats if it is socialized with them at an early age.