The Italian Greyhound is one of the quietest and most pleasant of all the toy dog breeds. This slim and fragile looking breed is quite fast and still capable of hunting small game. The elegant toy Greyhound has a chiseled and almost ‘statuesque’ looking body. The Italian’s coat is fine and very short and the color can be fawn, blue, black and red with some white on the chest and feet. Italian Greyhounds stand from 13 to 15 inches tall at shoulder height and weigh approximately 8 to 12 pounds.
These toy Greyhounds are members of the American Kennel Club (AKC) Toy Dog Group.
Italian Greyhounds probably date back more than two thousand years. These toy Greyhounds were a favorite dog of royalty and were also popular in Italy during the Middle Ages. This toy breed was very fast and was actually used for hunting rabbits. Today it is much more comfortable in front of a fireplace. This toy Greyhound was ranked 54th out of 154 dog breeds in 2004 AKC registrations.
Italian Greyhounds are cheerful, quiet and affectionate dogs that are also quite playful and active. These sweet-natured toy Greyhounds are devoted companion dogs. They want to be with you or on your lap all the time. These dogs get along well with other family pets and older more considerate children. Some toy Greyhounds will chase small animals and creatures and they should be kept on-leash while walking. This breed can adapt to apartment living if given regular exercise. Italian Greyhounds need lots of early socialization when they are puppies as they have a tendency to shyness. The breed is intelligent and training can only be done using food rewards. These toy Greyhounds are very difficult to housetrain because they won’t go outside in inclement weather. Toy Greyhounds do fine with first-time or novice dog owners. This breed is an ideal apartment dog.
This toy breed gets lots of exercise running around the home but loves to go on walks or run around in the backyard. Italians are sensitive to the cold weather and will need sweaters for their walks. Keep these toy Greyhounds on-leash as they will run off chasing a squirrel. The breed is a good jumper and you will need a high fence if you are going to let them run around in a backyard.
This toy breed needs little grooming beyond wiping with a cloth to make the coat shine. Italian Greyhounds shed very little and may be a suitable dog for someone with allergies. This toy Greyhound, like all toys, should have its teeth checked regularly for tartar build-up.
Italian Greyhounds can be expected to live for 13 to 17 years and are generally fairly healthy. Some health problems include epilepsy, low thyroid and poor teeth. Puppies and adolescent dogs are prone to leg injuries and broken legs. These toy Greyhounds have sensitive skin and need a sweater in the cool weather and a soft bed for sleeping. This breed is also very sensitive to anesthetics, flea medicines and any chemicals.