Miniature greyhounds occur in ancient arts that are particular to the Mediterranean countries, dating back 2000 years. In the Middle Ages, miniaturized greyhounds existed throughout southern Europe, being especially preferred by Italian courtiers. In the 17th century, the breed came to England as well, becoming slightly popular among noblemen.
In the 1820s, the Italian Greyhound was among the very few breeds mentioned in a dog book. During Queen Victoria’s reign, the Italian Greyhound achieved its popularity peak. Afterward, the population declined significantly, especially after World War II. Luckily, this breed was brought to America in the 1800s as well, the dogs being healthy. That contributed to the revival of the breed in Europe. Ever since, the breed has continued to grow in popularity, becoming among favorites.
Italian Greyhounds are especially appreciated for their affectionate, loyal nature. They encompass the unusual aristocratic features of the ancient dogs, as they have been bred for centuries. The breed is also known to be emotionally sensitive and stubborn, so the owner’s approach matters a lot.
- Activity level: 4/5 ( it has a high energy and activity level while at the same time being moderately playful)
- Intelligence level: 4/5 (it is smart but stubborn, so the owner has to be consistent in his/her approach when it comes to training)
- Curiosity: 2/5 (less curious compared to other breeds)
- Friendliness: 3/5 (friendly towards other pets, but less friendly towards strangers and children; this breed is fragile, for this reason, it’s not suitable for children)
- Vocal: 3/5 (it has the tendency of being slightly vocal, but not in particular)
The Italian Greyhound is specifically slender and may be over a foot tall. Its charm can be attributed to its tall Greyhound relatives, which were overall graceful and elegant in their appearance.
- Fur: It has short, glossy coat that may come in various colors such as white, cream, gray, slate gray, fawn, red, black, or blue. Some dogs present color markings on the feet and chest.
- Eyes: It has medium-sized eyes that are dark colored.
- Body structure: The Italian Greyhound is a fine-boned, slender, if not fragile dog.
- Facial features: The head is narrow and long, with a brown or black nose, depending on the color of the fur, the ears being small and folded back on the head.
- Weight: The weight of female and male Italian Greyhounds varies from 7 to 14 kilograms.
The Italian Greyhound enjoys its daily outdoor walk. Nonetheless, it is not a fan of the cold weather. Its exercise requirements are met if you take it to a daily outdoor walk. Indoor play sessions are also good for it. While it will enjoy spending time outdoors, to some extent, this breed is unsuitable for living outdoors. Given its smooth, silky fur, the Italian Greyhound doesn’t require much grooming – one should occasionally brush and remove the dead hair only. At the same time, frequent brushing of the teeth is also recommendable.
Its lifespan is of 12 up to 15 years, and, unfortunately, the breed is prone to suffer from leg and tail fractures. At the same time, it presents sighthound sensitivity to barbiturates and anesthesia. One of the main health concerns associated with this breed includes periodontal disease while other minor concerns include patellar luxation, PRA, and epilepsy. Knee and eye tests are suggested.
We have gathered this information from our breeders based on their experience with this breed. However, remember that each animal is different with its own personality and needs (just like people!), so use this information wisely.
Do you know more about this breed and want to share your knowledge with us? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org