Country of Origin : Italy
Dog Group : Toy
It is believed that the Italian Greyhound originated in Egypt; in fact mummified dogs very similar to today's breed have been found in the tombs of the Pharoahs. The dog was brought by the Romans to the Mediterrean area in the 6th century B.C. where it became a favourite of Greek and Roman nobility. The dog reached the height of its popularity in the 16th and 17th century where it adorned many courts. Among the famous owners you can find Mary Queen of Scots, Charles I, Frederick the Great and Queen Victoria. Great painters also found time for these little dogs as it was painted by Blake, Carpacio and Van Dyck. The Italian Greyhound may have been used to hunt rabbits but it is also the first dog bred primarily for companionship.
This is a elegant and slender dog, looking like a standard greyhound but in minature. The coat is smooth and glossy and can come in a variety of shades. The head is narrow with a very fine muzzle and ears are softly folded and set high on the head. The spine slopes gently and there is a defined tuck up in the loins. The gait is high stepping and free. This can be a very fast dog when it is so inclined.
Feeding & Ownership
This breed is a good eater and needs frequent small meals, especially while growing as it can be susceptible to hypoglycemia.
This is a loveable dog that loves to snuggle, partly out of affection and partly due to its need to keep warm! It tends to be friendly and can be very showy in the ring as it is not shy with strangers. The Italian Greyhound does better with early socialisation so it will accept new people and situations more readily. This dog can take time to bond but will be an excellent companion once the friendship is well established. Owners need to be aware that this breed is intelligent enough to take liberties if allowed to do so. Despite the Italian Greyhound's diminutive stature, one must be firm in training.
The Italian Greyhound needs very little coat care as it has such a short coat. A rub down with a cloth will enhance the sheen of the coat. These dogs do need a lot of dental care though as they are very much prone to dental problems.