Smallest of the sighthounds, the toy breed Italian Greyhound is a commendable watchdog and companion dog. This deep-chested, slender-waisted, long-legged canine is popular in dog shows and has given company to man since a long, long time.
Mentioned in different popular cultures, they are seen in art, statues, sketches and in paintings by popular artists, and as pets to European royals and the monarchs, and said to have even been mummified in Egypt.
Although they prefer quiet environment, they are adaptable to both the city and the country households, and hence good for elderly people or childless couples. They bark at strange noises or passers-by, nor safe for young children, but grown-up ones. The Italian greyhounds are athletic, agile and active and being gazehounds, have strong predator drive, chasing smaller animals or even hunt them down, and hence, keeping them leashed or in an enclosed area is recommended.
Exercise routine includes long daily walks, and to run and play in a spacious yard. Take care while leashing since they might slip out with their head and neck having the same diameter, or else, a martingale collar is best. Take care that they do not get strangled or injured if this acrobatic pet tries to escape. Brush the coat and wipe down by a moist cloth after walks etc., rather than bathing them frequently, since it might catch seeds, dirt and dust. A full line of apparel, clothing and accessories meant for Italian greyhounds, including sweaters, jackets, jammies, collars, boots, jewelry, harness vest etc. are available in stores and over the internet. They are prone to catching oral (periodontal/dental) disorders, and hence a regular brushing of their teeth is recommended. Their bone is brittle, with a low density, and hence might suffer orthopedic issues like leg break. Other common diseases are ear problems, skin allergies, epilepsy, slipped stifle, fractures, PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy) etc.
Give them 15-20 minutes to eat, as also provide them with enough drinking water. Dry healthy dog foods twice a day is recommended.
Although AKC claims it is easy to train them, but housetraining is difficult. Important for them to be socialized, getting along with strangers, animals, kids, since their puppyhood, else they might learn to take their own decisions and define the owner’s position in its own way. Teach them to respect its family. These intelligent dogs would catch easily the meaning of “go to potty”, especially if they are paid for their achievements and good behavior.
Italian Greyhound Crossbreeds
Italian Grey Min Pin – Italian Greyhound and Miniature Pinscher mix
Italian Greyhuahua – Chihuahua and Italian Greyhound mix
Italian Papihound – Italian Greyhound and Papillon mix
Italian Tzu – Italian Greyhound and Shih Tzu mix
Italian-Bichon – Bichon Frise and Italian Greyhound mix
Boston Iggy – Italian Greyhound and Boston Terrier mix
Italian Chihuahua – Italian Greyhound and Chihuahua mix
Italian Greagle – Italian Greyhound and Beagle mix
Italian-Bichon – Italian Greyhound and Bichon Frise mix
The Italian Greyhound got recognition from the AKC in 1886.
Being bred for hunting, the Italian Greyhounds still have the hunting instinct and would chase just anything moving, including vehicles.
Though intelligent, these dogs have a short attention span.
The Italian Greyhound is sensitive to drugs like the organophosphate insecticides and anesthetics of the barbiturate class.
‘Miniature Italian Greyhound’ is a term used to describe the very Italian greyhound breed for its resemblance to the bigger greyhounds but with small or shorter features. However, this term is derogatory to the Italian greyhound enthusiasts.
In a weekly video, an Italian greyhound “Kermit” (A.K.A. “Cermet” or “Kermie Wormie” or “Silver Unicorn”) was featured by Jenna Marbles, a YouTube sensation, along with her chihuahua named “Mr. Marbles”.